India ink for blackening; thinning? dulling?
Finding truly dead flat black paint is a challenge. Some are surprisingly shiny. It also builds up pretty thick, when you 'want it all', black hole of immeasurable buildup.
Recently India Ink was recommended as an interior blackener for cam-work, but I see some manufacturers describe their India Ink as semi-gloss when dry.
I wonder if it can...?
1) be diluted...I believe it's aqueous
2) be made 'duller' with additive (flour, baking powder, flocking fuzz?) In my high school wood shop, people made jewelry boxes, put adhesive inside and blew flocking powder of some kind in with a fireplace-bellows-type thing until the adhesive was covered.
You could try printer toner dust, you can get refills at Office Max, Office Depot, ect. Careful, it's messy.
Good luck with it.
India ink today is not what it used to be. It can be diluted with alcohol or water, but will no longer be opaque. The original india ink was made from ground up insects and was extremely black and opaque. Todays india ink would be a poor choice for blackening a camera. Model railroad paint is ground much finer than regular spray paint. Does not build up as fast. Floquil has several excellent dull blacks that can be thinned and air brushed for a beautiful black. That is what I use for touch up and interior work on anything from a Hasselblad to a "woodie" view camera. Available at most any hobby shops. Floquils Grimey Black will not hide the details molded into an N scale model. Flocking powder is still available from silk screen suppliers.
I know Dick Blick Art Materials carries a range of black inks other then India for calligraphy.
I would be a bit cautious about mixing any medium like toner dust into paint or using flocking powder. It seems that over time such materials could deteriorate or be abraded and cause dust problems with negatives.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
A while ago I got interested in Chinese calligraphy and got me a stick of dry ink that you grind on a stone by adding drops of water to it. You can get very thick, water-soluble ink that's pretty flat on paper. You should be able to find it in any Chinatown craft place, or paper stores that carry Japanese/Chinese supplies. I don't know if it would bind to the surface you're using, but it's cheap, and you can always play with it later to try writing poems...
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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How about a water-based black stain?
I've been using a water-based black stain from General Finishes for lensboards. I picked it up at the local woodworking shop, but I think it can be found at most paint shops. This dries flat black. I've been using birch aircraft plywood for the lensboards, so the stain takes quite well to that surface... I'm not sure how it would work on every wood surface, but I imagine that if the surface is sanded first it should take.
John (Alpha Flying Monkey) Moore
True flat black paint is Krylon acrylic ULTRA FLAT #1602 available at any hardware store. This is what I use inside cameras and enlargers.
If you are just blackening the edges of lenses, a launrdy marker is more than enough.
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.
I would definitely second the idea of model paints. They come in a choice of enamel and acrylic, a myriad of shades, and are specifically meant to cover well without obscuring fine deail. They are also very good for spraying with airbrushes - perhaps the ultimate solution to great and even coverage without much build up. If applied properly they are pretty durable, although not bullet-proof and I would not suggest them for any heavily handled areas.
I am a masochist, so I always used Humbrol enamels, but if sanity was to prevail, I would suggest Tamiya or Floquil S acrylics: dilute with water and alcohol, clean up with the same - clean, not very toxic and very easy to work with. And since many of the modeled finishes are of military origins, there is a whole spectrum of matt paints - what I had to do years ago (adding talcum powder to gloss paint) is no longer needed.
But pints & quarts of India Ink were looking more attractive until now.
Testors, the folks that make model cement and paint have a very good flat black paint. Comes in 1/2 bottles at hobby stores.
India ink is carbon black and gum arabic in water. The problem is gum arabic may hold moisture and encourage rusting.