Paper Negatives + Adapted Optics Goodness

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Joe VanCleave, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    More playing around with adapted optics mounted on my 4"x5" Speed Graphic, using the trusty 150mm binocular lens, stopped down to F/8. Exposures timed via the curtain shutter.

    Preflashed grade 2 paper negatives.

    Madrid, NM.

    ~Joe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. asp.artist

    asp.artist Member

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    I love them. The subjects and the materials are perfect together!

    Anne
     
  3. MetaGeorge

    MetaGeorge Member

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    This looks great! I would love to know which types of paper/dev you have found to work with paper negs?
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sweet!
     
  5. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I use Freestyle's Arista brand RC grade 2 paper as an in-camera negative; have been doing so for a few years now. I've commented previously on APUG about using this paper as a negative medium, by preflashing the paper to an otherwise faint gray tone, and the use of slightly dilute developers. I like either Agfa Neutol WA, or Ilford Universal Paper developer, diluted around 1+15. I rate the paper's Exposure Index around 12, assuming the developer is fresh, and at 68f.

    Other folks seem to get good result in controlling excess contrast with paper negatives by using a yellow filter over the lens and using multigrade paper; I never went the way of the yellow filter because in pinhole photography you can detect evidence of the presence of the filter over the aperture if there are flaws in the filter. I also like the idea of a predetermined contrast grade for a negative media, something you can't get with sheet film itself. And I don't like the idea of the scene's coloration affecting the contrast of the negative, which is what happens with using multigrade paper. But, that's just me.

    So, I stick with using the grade 2 Arista as my film, and use multigrade fiber paper for contact prints. Also, I've yet to get involved with contact printing paper negatives onto Lodima silver chloride paper; that will be something for the future.

    ~Joe
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Interesting that you preflash to a faint grey; some will say that you shouldn't go so far as to see any tone change, but I am not going to argue with your success!
     
  7. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    That is an interesting point you raise, Keith. When I first began preflashing, several years ago, I did just that, doing a test strip and choosing the preflash time just prior to visible grayness in the negative. But subsequent experience with the paper negative process has taught me that a well-exposed paper negative doesn't and shouldn't look like a well exposed positive print. That is, the paper negative shouldn't just be a negative version of the finished positive print.

    The purpose of the paper negative, as with film, is to capture as much of the scene's tonal range onto the limited range available on the paper as is possible. My theory about preflashing is that the shadow detail of the scene has to be easily distinguished from the paper's otherwise unexposed whiteness. Preflashing raises the toe (shadows) of the response curve, without overexposing the shoulder (highlights).

    I think it is possible to overdue the effect, excessively preflashing, which can cause the midtones to be muddy and lack separation. So there's a fine balance of giving the negative just the right amount.

    I have lots to learn about this process. I really have not explored the possibilities offered by alternative developers, like the ones used to gain continuous tone images from APHS film, for instance (Soemarko's developer, IIRC). But working with paper is a real kick, and feels liberating, and gives more immediate results than sheet film (the paper can be easily rinsed and dried much quicker, and it only has problems of dust spots on the emulsion side, rather than both sides as with film). The downside is the lack or red sensitivity, hence its slow speed.

    ~Joe
     
  8. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    So Joe, with regard to pre-flashing the paper, my expired, fogged Kodak Panalure might be ok as a paper negative? Developed without any BZT inhibitors?
     
  9. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Way cool, Joe
     
  10. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I am playing with a lot of things the last year and I just stumbled opun using paper as a negative. Can you tell me how the prefalshing works and what kind of Iso I have to think of? That way I can try out 8x10 without wasting to much paper. I will be experimenting anyway but I like to have a guideline. And what paper would be best. Fiber based or coated paper? I will be looking on google as wel but I would appreciate the input here.
    Thanks.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Peter, I think most of what you ask can be found in the paper neg threads, but there is one issue that I don't think has been discussed recently, namely whether the RC papers that have a developer incorporated are appropriate for pinhole. I think you wouldn't have much control over contrast during development if dev is incorporated, using dilute dev or snatching probably won't help much. Maybe if you can get a soft grade or multigrade RC paper like the Forte RC without developer incorporated, that'd be a good choice. But honestly I don't know anything about most of the RC papers and dev incorporation, so I hope someone else can chime in with some info.
     
  12. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Thanks. I will have a look in the paper neg. thread then. I think I will use portriga speed RC paper. I don't believe they have developer in the coating. But I may be wrong. Just one more thing before I head to the mentioned thread. Will it work in a normal TC as well? I want to test it on 8x10. I have lots of that size so I can aford to try out with it.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi peter

    you can always cut the paper into strips
    and bracket your exposure :wink:

    don't forget a good paper negative looks "thin"


    have fun!
    john
     
  14. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I have loaded two pieces of paper and I will try tomorrow. I'll propably a test strip like you do when determining the exposure time for enlarging. I will expose with increments on the same piece of paper. Any guidolines on iso rating for portriga speed grade 2 paper? I'll let you know. Sorry Joe for hijacking your thread. I will start a new one when I will show the results.
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I know the old Agfa Portriga Rapid (fiber) had "Agfa" written all over the back -- don't know about the RC paper.
     
  16. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I forgot about this thread, nice to see some activity.

    Peter, regarding rating the paper's speed, I did some careful experiments this year and found that with freshly mixed paper developer (Ilford's Universal paper developer) mixed at 1:15 and maintained at a temperature of 68f, I can rate the grade 2 Arista RC paper at an EI of 12.

    Prior to this, I was apt to refresh a used batch of developer, and not be too careful as to its temperature (as in, toss the plastic container in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it go at that), and thus was rating the same paper at around an EI of 3. This was in my garage-based darkroom, where 9 months out of the year it's likely to be colder than room temperature.

    Once I started my portable processing box project I had to be more consistent with developing, since I can't develop by inspection using this box, and thus had to eliminate some variables in the process, which was how I found the EI=12 rating with 68f fresh chemistry.Your mileage may vary.

    I suppose you already figured out that you have to trim about 3mm off the long edges of 8x10 paper to get them to fit into 8x10 sheet film holders.

    Good luck and hope to see some results.

    ~Joe
     
  17. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Indeed I did. Oh wait I had to trim a couple of mm of the short edges so the flap could close again. Well I shot to pics and they turned out ok. I will post pics in a couple of days. (have to work tomorrow). I shot one at ten second f=8 and the other at 20 sec.
    Can you explain what EI means? I still go with Iso for sensitivety.
    When I want to make a positive from the paper negative what should I do? Just contact printing under enlarger and expose for a good amound of time?
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Glad to see some activity on paper negatives. I like them a lot in large format cameras and are always amazed about the quality of the contact prints. Makes me feel like Fox Talbot. :smile: I use Ilford MGIV-RC with a yellow filter (Wratten #8) and rate the paper at EI 3, but I don't flash or fog the paper at all. For development, I use Dektol 1+8 and develop to a Dmax around 1.2. The filter and the dilute developer control the contrast nicely.

    I never had an issue with the filter showing in pinhole photography, and judging from the calculations, it shouldn't. The filter is just too close to my pinholes, which are around f/256.
     
  19. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Ok I have read a little bit about EI values but only corresponding to iso 100. I shot my paper negatives yesterday at 10 and 20 seconds exposure at F 8.0 so where does the ei story come into this? I come to an Ei of 6,4 and 3,2 but that is assuming an Iso of 100. I don't think that is correct so wich mistake am I making?
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Peter

    There is no magic here. In very simple terms: it is an ISO speed when the speed test is conducted according to the ISO standards, and it is an exposure index (EI) when it satisfies your personal workflow. For example, an ISO 100 film (box speed) may be exposed as EI 64 to create the desired shadow densities. Then you simply say: "I rate this ISO 100 film as EI 64".

    Strictly speaking, we should say ISO 100/21° by the way, because the ISO speed is a combination of the ASA speed (100) and the DIN speed (21°). Consequently, ISO 100 is not quite correct. It should be ASA 100 in this case, but dropping the DIN speed from ISO is a common simplification.
     
  21. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I did hear at school about the correct writing of the Iso speed. As for of the EI that has to come to me. I'm stuck on Iso and Asa ratings.
    I can rate my portriga speed grade 2 paper at EI 6,4 and it makes sense? Because if I use longer exposure the EI will differ. Hmmmmm I will ask at school as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2009
  22. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Not to confuse the issue, Peter, but there really isn't a true ISO or ASA speed for photo paper that is equivalent to what we are used to seeing with films, since photo paper isn't manufactured for the purposes of being used as an in-camera film. So, we're using this paper for a purpose for which it wasn't intended.

    Thus, I'm using the term "Exposure Index" to mean the working "speed" of the paper that you personally find through experimentation, when used as an in-camera "film".

    There are no hard or fast "rules" that you have to follow when using paper negatives, as long as you're able to achieve the results that please you.

    And I look forward to seeing more of your images.

    ~Joe
     
  23. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Aha there goes the confusion. :smile: I did figure out that the exposure times I used are pretty decent. Some fine tuning may be needed but the results are pretty decent. I will scan the pics today and put them online. Or tomorrow as it is new years eve.
     
  24. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Here are the prints. I like the result and will continue with it. Next thing to try is the contact printing. The positives that I posted where made digital for comparison.
    Paper neg 1:
    [​IMG]

    The positive version:
    [​IMG]

    Paper neg 2:
    [​IMG]

    And the positive version:
    [​IMG]

    I can see that the lighter the negative the better the end result. Nice!

    greets,

    Peter
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2010
  25. njelle

    njelle Member

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    paper negs's are a sweet thing especially if youre shooting 8x10; does anybody know if those silver chloride printing papers are still available out there?
    read alot of good stuff about lodima and co but just cant find that stuf anywhere ;-(