Using Ilford Paper as a Negative

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Fotoguy20d, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    As still something of a newbie to LF...

    It occurs to me I should be able to use Ilford Multigrade IV (or any other paper but I have quite a bit of 8x10 RB MG-IV lying around) as "film" in my large format cameras as long as all I want in the end is a 1:1 printing ratio. At least, it's a cheap way to practice and experiment as opposed to $1 a sheet for 4x5 film. And, I suppose, it gives me an easy way to use a 3x4 camera (or other odd size).

    I assume I can cut the paper to size in my darkroom using a dim safelight and load the holders the same way. Any issues there?

    What do I use as a speed for the paper when exposing in camera? Is ASA 6 a good starting point?

    Do I need to filter in any special way, given that paper is not very sensitive to red light?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yup you can do this. Red safelight is fine. The paper will have low sensitivity (ISO 5 or so as I recall) and high contrast but you can combat this by preflashing about 3 stops below what your exposure will be. Preflashing will effectvely boost your sensitivity to maybe ISO 10-15 or so, it depends.

    RC paper works best for this.

    Just try it and you will quickly see what the issues are in terms of tonality and contrast. Not much you can do, filter-wise, to help that. But you can get tonally decent results this way and it is an inexpensive way to learn! It also fun to do easy pencil touchups on the back of a paper neg... so even if you don't do the primary shot on paper, keep this in mind. You can e.g. shoot to slide and enlarge to a paper negative....

    It's wholesome fun for the whole family.
     
  3. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Done it before, not for LF, but in a small pinhole camera kit I got for christmas.

    Print it out back to back with another sheet of paper or say sod it and scan it in on a flatbed and hit the negative button on Photoshop, gimp or Paint.net

    And also carrying on from the pinhole experience, if you can get hold of some Ilfachrome (Cibachrome as was) and the chemicals you could try shooting direct to positive.
    (Though 4x5 sheet film might work out cheaper for that)
     
  4. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Could you not use the Efke positive paper for this?

    Been meaning to buy some and try, after reading another thread here on that product.
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Absolutely.
     
  6. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    It is what's called calotype, isn't it?
    I saw the show at the musée d'Orsay (after New York and Washington) last week and will try to experiment with the Efke/Adox paper.
     
  7. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    It is sometimes advised to developp in a FILM developper, in order to get a lower contrast. Does anyone know about this technique? Would HC1109 be fine?
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A starting ISO for Ilford MGIV in camera is 25. However, be warned that the high contrast will give odd results as well the variable contrast as a function of color. This will give variable contrast as a function of color.

    PE
     
  9. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Using B&W photo paper (Efke Positive, or the "regular stuff") is not a callotype (calotype).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calotype
     
  10. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Would you agree if we called it 'modern calotype'':smile:?
     
  11. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Not really and here is why. A "calotype" is done using Talbot's method & formula for sensitizing the paper, etc. A "moden calotype", in my opinion, would be a calotype done with modern materials. The modern materials in this case would be watercolor papers with factory sizing (not necessarily gelatin based) and the raw chemical stock production having benefited from the industrial revolution and higher purity. Otherwise it is a calotype and all you would have done to make it "modern" is convert Talbot's grains into grams and drams into ml. :smile:

    Using the Ilford MGIV to make the negative it is just a paper negative. Browse around over at http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/www.f295.org (mostly pinhole cameras but lots and lots of examples made with B&W paper as the "film").

    If you are wanting the calotype look then make a calotype but you won't get that somewhat painterly look from Ilford MGIV paper without some manipulation.

    You might come close to the look if you try printing the RC paper negative as a salt-print on some toothy paper. Or a cyanotype and then do a bleach & stain to get the brown look. Although, technically, a calotype is the negative only, not the final positive. The positives made were probably salt-prints or maybe albumen (late in its reign, before the calotype fell to the wayside).

    All that said, personally, I use graded RC paper for paper negatives (pinhole cameras) with some pre-flashing. Generally get bit more normal contrast and tonal range that way. But you can try sticking a #0 printing filter behind the lens/pinhole to control the MGIV paper a little bit. If you are using a lens, then a #8 yellow in front is fine but put a filter in front of a pinhole and you get to see how clean your filter is...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2008
  12. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    There is a thread around here, another over at LF and a couple at www.f295.org.

    I think Joe VanCleve (did I spell that right Joe?) posts here and at f295 and I can remember he did some testing of the Efke stuff. As did a few other people. Pretty contrasty stuff.
     
  13. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    calotype

    I just took a workshop at the f/295 symposium where we made calotype negs
    we made them on Bienfang 360 paper..
    Best, Peter
     
  14. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Yeah, that was run by what's-his-name the "Primitive Photography" guy. Sounds like fun! Salt-printing and albumen printing are fun so adding a calotype (wet or dry) would just be fun on top of fun! :smile:

    Everything old is new again.