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  1. #1
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Copying B&W Negatives To Make B&W Positives

    Hi All,

    I have a question on copying B&W negative film to make B&W positives. Is it possible/feasible to copy a B&W negative using a slide copying setup to create a positive? The goal is to make B&W transparencies. I thought it might be possible to do so by copying a B&W negative to another negative to make a 'positive' image. I believe base fog would present itself to be a problem but are there any other factors that would prevent this from working?

    Any thoughts or input?
    Last edited by Snapshot; 11-07-2007 at 06:07 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Grammar and some rewording of the question.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  2. #2

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    Instead of a slide copying attachment, you might want to consider making a contact print of the negative onto some graphic arts film. Almost non-existant base fog. Go over to Freestyle's or Ultrafine's websites and search for ortho litho film. Both firms advertise on this site. Lot's of choices and very low prices for the materials. Develop just like enlarging paper using very dilute paper developer to control contrast.

  3. #3
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I would just project the negative on lith film or TMax 100 using an enlarger set to give whatever size negative desired.. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
    Lith can be used with a red safelight, but must be developed in a very soft working developer. The results are very sharp.
    TMax 100 must be used in total darkness, light source may have to be dimmed, very short exposures - but can be developed in normal film developers.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  4. #4
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    SInce film developers are already softer working than paper developers, dilute film developers are best regardless of what one may read.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  5. #5

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    I have made B&W slides using this method with great success:

    (1) Load camera with Kodak 5302 "Fine Grain Release Positive" film (available from an electron-microscopy supply store like EMS for about $20 per 100-foot roll). Be careful when loading -- it doesn't have an anti-light-piping dye in it

    (2) Attach slide duplicator with negative mounted in it

    (3) Point camera at an evenly lit light source (like a light table) and try a few different exposures between 2 and 10 s, depending on your light source and slide duplicator

    (4) Develop the 5302 in your favourite paper developer (I used working-strength Ilford Multigrade) for 3-5 minutes, then stop and fix as usual

    Result: nice B&W positives, no darkroom required. You can give the resulting slides more punch by toning them in KRST if needed.

  6. #6
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    I think if you develop the copy to less than normal contrast, you will be disappointed. Normal contrast is already about 60% of what you see. Developing a copy of that to less than 60% will give you less than 36%. Usual practice is to make the gamma product somewhat greater than 1. This is what happens when you do reversal processing, which is an alternative if you do not already have the negatives.
    Gadget Gainer

  7. #7
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    While I was cogitating (old timer's lingo for "sleeping") Jordan told you how to do it when you do have the negatives. He can also tell you how to do reversal processing. And other things, too.
    Gadget Gainer

  8. #8
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input everyone. Certainly, there is food for thought. Anyone have any success using Ilford's B&W reversal process?
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  9. #9

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    Good Evening, Snapshot,

    What you are suggesting is quite practical. In my view, the negative-to-positive copying approach is much preferable than messing with reversal processing. Reason #1: Reversal processing requires a special chemical kit, which, unless used regularly, will probably end up being partly wasted. Reason #2: Negative-to-positive allows for exposure bracketing when making the slides. Reason #3: Contact printing or direct reversal pretty much means 35mm only, while original negatives of any size can be used with the negative-to-positive approach. Reason #4: Negative-to-positive allows for easy cropping. Reason #5: Some control of slide contrast can be done with adjusted processing times, just as with standard film processing. Reason #6: Multiple copies, if needed, are easy to make.

    Incidentally, B & W slides can also be easily made from color negatives.

    Most of my experience with the negative-to-positive process came years ago, using the old Kodak High Contrast Copy film, processed in either D-19 or Dektol (can't remember the dilution, but it was probably 1:1).

    (Many thanks, Jordan, for the info on Kodak Fine Grain Release Positive. I need to get some and try my hand with B & W slides again.)

    Konical

  10. #10

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    Reversal processing is certainly possible at home, but if your goal is merely to make copies of your B&W negatives for projection, the slide-duplicator technique is easier. There are a few other ways to make B&W slides -- I have them summarized in an article on my website, along with some reversal recipes and comments on the Ilford reversal process (which works, but needs modification for optimal results).

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