Printing on direct positive paper makes my head hurt

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sly, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I've been hired by a local fella to print a few old negatives. It's interesting. Most are 40's to 60's, but the oldest are glass plates over 100 years old.
    He is quite adamant about NO COMPUTERS, no RC paper, no photoshop to fix scratches, no digital negatives. Fibre paper only, and he is picky about the surface too. Obviously a man of tatse.
    There are a few lantern slides he'd like printed. He had heard about Ilford's direct positive paper, and asked me to try to print them on that. So I'm trying. Lots of test strips today. The no exposure, DARK paper, lots of exposure, WHITE paper, I'm finding challenging. After decades of the opposite, it makes my head hurt to think backwards. I was worried about the high contrast. Once I figured out the preflashing (you're not looking for that split-second that gives you just off-white, you need just off-BLACK), and diluted the developer a bit the contrast seems somewhat tamed.
    Anyone else trying to print positive transparencies? I'd be curious to hear how it's going, or see examples.
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    It might have been easier to contact-print the slides onto film (or re-photograph them on a light box), then print on the usual FB paper! But not as adventurish!

    Years ago I did a little printing onto Agfachrome Speed (from color slides), and yes, it too a bit to wrap the brain around it! Good luck!
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I don't know if this will be helpful to you.

    I had to print a reverse image of my image. I had a negative (normal negative) and I wanted to end up with a negative image, not the usual positive. The way I achieved this is that I set my original negative on a light box and shot a macro shot of the negative onto a negative, which end up being a positive. Then I printed this positive onto a regular paper which ended up being a negative. The only thing I had to be mindful of was the contrast. I had to bump up one grade to get a normal looking image.

    Here's the result:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=68190&catid=member&imageuser=36046

    You could potentially do the same thing and meet your gentleman's standard of method and material without using somewhat exotic paper and mind numbing printing process.

    By the way, my example comes from a 35mm neg being copied to 35mm neg. Enlarged to 7x10ish size, I saw no loss of detail that my eyes can detect.
     
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  4. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Yeah, I thought of that, and suggested an internegative straight off. The direct positive paper had already taken his fancy.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Lillian:

    Considering how much time you've probably spent working with ground glass or waist-level viewfinders, I'm surprised that a bit of inverted/upside-down and reversed thinking would bother you :whistling:.

    Sounds like an interesting project.
     
  6. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    It did get easier as I spent more time, Matt.

    Here's my first effort. I've posted in the gallery, but thought I'd stick it here too, for members who can't acess the gallery.
     

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  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Reversal processing of regualr photo print paper is also an option. I have used this to print slides with ra/4 paper. I cannot see how this would not work with traditional b&w processes. I do use reversal when working with lith films to make large format negatives in one step. then there is only half the pinhole spotting as compared to the interneg ( or interpostitive as my case would be).
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I am sure you will get used to the positive to positive thought in a while. I do negative to negative on direct duplicating film and it was making my head spin for awhile until it clicked for me that I can't think in terms of increasing anything, I can only think in terms of reducing things. The direct dupe film will process out completely black unless I inhibit it by either using shorter development or more dilute development or by exposing it to light. Once I started thinking of using light to inhibit something rather than to build something it all made better sense to me.
    Dennis
     
  9. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Dennis, it did get easier as the day went on.

    Mike, I had no idea you could reverse process paper! Where would I find information on that?
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Usually for film the first developer is a contrasty one, with some thiocyanate added to get all of the image developed. Then you rinse/stop bath, and bleach the first development away. After this you can work in tungsten light. You wash more, use a clearing bath optically (or even chemically reverse, but I a not a fan of the chemistry involved - tins in solution usually) fog in strong light and then plunk them back into the regular developer stop and fix.

    To calibrate your process I would recommend starting with a step wedge image. Look on Ilford's site. They have a document on reversal processing film that will get you thinking. Stick with RC paper if you can- FB will take forever to rinse the bleach staining away.

    PM me and I will work on digging up more documentation if you want to chase this down. My notes on this are at home, and I am taking a brain break here at work at the moment.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The first effort looks damn fine to me. Reminds me of the sort of print that Herbert Ponting or Frank Hurley might have produced on the Scott and Shackleton expeditions. It has that look about it. Very well done

    pentaxuser