Miniature prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Rudeofus, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I have this vision of printing my 6x7 color slides in some small format (either as 6x7 contact print or slightly enlarged up to 11x14cm) but with such a resolution that one can discover many details in the print by looking at it with a loupe. Sort of a miniature world on my wall that reveals its secret upon closer inspection.

    Has this been done before? Can this be done? I know that transparent material is available which can hold incredible fine structure, but is there also photo paper which can hold this level of detail? Detail which goes beyond what the naked eye can detect? Would ilfochrome do this for me?
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I suspect that the highest res miniprint that you can make would be on instant film. Try the Fuji fp100c. The other fun thing about that film is that you can throw the print in boiling water and the emulsion comes right off and can be transferred to other paper.
     
  3. Shan Ren

    Shan Ren Member

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    i saw a very interesting exhibition recently by a photographer who had done 645 colour contact prints. No loupe was provided (or needed).
     
  4. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    That's my point: most photographic papers seem to be optimized for direct viewing, and looking at them with a loupe would mostly reveal grain and whatnot but no real information. I just wondered if there was something finer out there.

    I was surprized to read that instant film would actually resolve finer than normal human eyes could see. It's an interesting approach for sure, as there are dirt cheap used polaroid film holders for my RZ67.

    The reason I wondered whether ilfochrome would do this is that ilfochrome is also made on transparent material for projection purposes, and I'm quite sure that at least the transparent material resolves finer than 10 lpmm. I'm just curious whether there is a print medium out there with the resolution of color slide film.
     
  5. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I think your idea has great merit. Many years ago I printed a number of black and white 35mm negatives at smaller than their actual size. I provided viewers with magnifiers. What about simply using 120 transparency film and presenting the images backlit. I'm sure people here would have suggestions for making small light-boxes.
     
  6. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I thought about light boxes, but didn't find an elegant solution for powering them without making the whole setup too big to look good. Having a pic which looks like an innocent small photo on the wall but reveals its hidden gems when looked at through a loupe is still something I would prefer. Sort of a counter statement to all these 30x40" prints out there.
     
  7. I think you've got a great idea. Years ago, I saw an entire portfolio displayed at once inside a linen clam-shell box (about 20 X 24 inches). Each piece was an exquisitely printed 35mm contact print (actual size), mounted on rag board with beveled over-mat, and get this, framed, under glass. A handsome magnifying glass accompanied the portfolio. The framed works were laid-out in a grid fashion, and fitted within a black foam base.

    In essence, you were looking at a portable, mini-exhibition. The craftsmanship was superb. I have no idea what printing paper was used (it had a slight bluish tint to it), but the images looked absolutely precious under the magnifying glass).

    I haven't seen anything like it, since. I hope this gives you additional ideas.
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    dupe film or print film. Dupe film is available on ebay or b&h and a user is selling some vericolor print film in the classifieds section.

    ilfochrome is much higher in resolution than traditional chromogenic materials because the dyes act to prevent halation.
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Oh man, I just checked the ilfochrome data sheet, and they claim 60 lpmm for their print film material! Now I just need to get someone to contact print my 6x7 slides on this material ...

    @tiberiustibz: vericolor is nice but transparent. Since I exclusively shoot slide film, vericolor print film won't do me much good.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Do a search for electro-luminescent (or EL) panels.


    Steve.
     
  11. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Sure, any standard RA4 paper, even the cheapest mini-lab paper you can find should easily do this. I don't know how you would get your images onto the paper, just saying that the paper is not going to be the limit.

    I've been in a handful of these internet "discussions" before, and have found that many people don't listen to well-reasoned arguments about why, so I won't go there. Instead, I'll tell a true story.

    About 20 years ago, in a large photo outfit where I worked, we were having problems delivering a lot of detail onto color paper. Perhaps it was a Copy & Restorationservice or something - I don't remember. The main technical manager stated matter-of-factly that this was a known limitation of the textured 'E' surface paper, that it was not possible to do better. The manager's mind was closed to any other argument or consideration (we see this is not a new behaviour with the internet).

    So I decided to have some fun. With a Word Processor, I printed off a line of text in various font sizes, then rigged a c-mount lens to image this onto the 'E' surface color paper in question (focusing was a the hardest part). After some fine-tuning, I got a decent exposure and focus. My final result looked like a printed hyphen or dash: a dark line about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) long.

    I took the piece of paper to our next meeting, along with a 5X loupe. I asked the chairman, could he see anything in the dash mark? The room was silent while he peered through the loupe. After a half minute, he smiled, saying "Nope, I don't see anything!" As it was passed around the table, more and more people became emphatic that they did not see anything either! Yet all had the same sly smile. Eventually, everyone got in on the joke - the dash mark, barely readable under a 5X loupe, said, "ACT LIKE YOU DON'T SEE ANYTHING."

    There's more. The biggest doubter, the technical manager, became the biggest believer. He later told me that he put the print under a 50X microscope, and was further astounded to discover, not only was it readable, but the letters were all sharp and crisp.

    As I said at the beginning, I don't know how you can get your images exposed, but the photo paper should not be the limit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2010
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Be that as it may, Bill, the level of detail in any paper I know is still substantially lower than the sharpness of film or instant print materials. The paper texture is simply too much, from what I've seen. Ilfo comes close but.. it is ilfo. It is a very nontrivial process compared oto making instant prints with a daylab!

    On the one hand, I definitely see your point that beyond a loupe, the extra detail is moot. But on the other hand, my understanding is that the O.P.'s whole objective is to have much more detail than is visible.... I guess so that if someone did loupe it, there'd be a lot more detail to discover, but also just to have the satisfaction of knowing that he is wasting as little as possible of the information.

    Actually I found this to be my main motivation for doing LF slides, there is something I find very attractive about knowing that there is always more detail. There is WYSIWYG... and then there is the holy crap level of detail from a slide. There are whole new worlds of detail in an LF slide, as you know well! The closest thing I have seen to that is the (now discontinued) 8x10 polaroid... and the 4x5 fujiroids are equally good, just smaller. They can be enlarged substantially.
     
  13. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Keith, what was your method for delivering detail to the paper? I suspect you are working from the same basis as the aforementioned technical manager.

    Since you only mention the loupe, I think perhaps you did not read the part about the microscope. I didn't think it added to the story, but I did also looked at my test strips under a microscope, in the 50-80X range. The letters were indeed fairly sharp, as they flowed across peak and valley of the 'E' matte texture (It was the Kodak professional portrait paper of the day). This texture did not seem to affect things any more than rolling hills and valleys affect sharpness of the shadow of a cloud.
     
  14. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I make 2 1/4 silver chloride contact prints as a final presentation. They have a tremendous presence and beg the viewer to "look closer".

    I have seen similar things done with small slides on a sort of light box as previous posts have suggested. Good luck! Shawn
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Contact print.
     
  16. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    I won't argue about paper texture being a big factor for contact prints. I think that if you tried a camera exposure of color paper, in the same manner as film testing, you might have a different opinion of it.

    As a point of reference, a fellow named Ctein, in his book Post Exposure, says "the typical color-negative paper can record about 65 line pairs per millimter (lp/mm)."
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ok. But I thought this thread was about contact printing small slides... apologies if I am missing something.
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe a little off topic, but I did some 'doll house' sized prints for my kids. They were around 1 to 2 cm in size. They were lith prints for a more antique look. The rule of thumb is to use a lens with a focal lentgh the same as the diagonal of the print you want to make. Negative size does not matter. I have also reduced 8x10 negatives to 4x5, 5x7 and 2x3 just for fun.
     
  19. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    I would say, for max detail, make the contact prints on glossy, not textured paper.

    I guess I should apologize for mentioning textured ('E') paper, but it IS what was tested in my story. So if one is going to optically project the image, then some texture ('E' surface) probably doesn't matter.
     
  20. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Also, when contact printing, if you use a small, point-type light source and/or take it further away from the paper, you will get higher definition images as the paper surface / film emulsion thickness won't matter so much anymore.
     
  21. mark

    mark Member

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    The most memorable image for me was a 2.25x2.25. Perfect is the only way to describe it. The subject for small prints has to be spot on because there is no room for the eye to move and wonder around. Unles it is held up to the nose.