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Thread: XXL enlargement

  1. #1

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    XXL enlargement

    I started discussing this topic here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/7...ng-system.html
    And I came up with a few good ideas about processing XXL prints.

    Now it's about which method to use for enlarging.
    I want to enlarge small sized negatives to about 4x6 ft, so I am thinking about projecting on the wall with a small enlarger.

    The negatives are pinhole shots and they are quite fogged - so I might end up having 1h+ exposure times. A halogen light would bend and shift, and evenually ruin, the negatives, even in a glass carrier.
    That is why I thought I might use an energy saving bulb, the most powerful I can find, and add a computer fan cooler to the outside of the bulb case. Light stabilization should not be an issue with such times.

    The other problem is which paper to use. Begger produces rolls up to 127cm tall, which is my ideal size, but it is extremely expensive (even compared with the excellent Adox MCC or Fine Print), and it only seems to come in warm tone.
    The other option would be using liquid emulsion on high quality, 300g/mq watercolor paper. Fabriano Artistico comes in 140cm rolls. I never used liquid emulsion so I don't know if it would be very hard to spread it over such a large surface.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    gm
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  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    When you print that large, your enlarging lens also becomes important. Most standard lenses work well to about 16x20.

    With exposures that long, you should also consider reciprocity failure of the paper.
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 06-23-2010 at 04:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

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  3. #3

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    I've made lots of mural prints, some up to 30 feet long. For paper, I've used Adox MCP310. You definitely want to use RC!
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/120423...ssy?cat_id=501

    I have access to a darkroom with an 8x10 enlarger, which I can point to the wall. Other murals I've created by exposing sections of the paper under a regular enlarger.

    The rolls of mural paper were developed in plastic troughs. Roll the paper tightly, put it in the trough with the developer. Then grab the end and and start re-rolling the paper, so it's like a scroll. Just keep scrolling and re-scrolling the paper until it is developed to completion. Repeat for the other baths.

    Drape over a clean clothes line to dry.

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Very, very big enlargements of small negatives are limited by diffraction caused by the very small effective aperture. You can cheat physics by making a 4x5 or 8x10 internegative and enlarge that to your huge size.

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    I am replying here to Ian, who wrote me in private, and Thomas.
    Thanks for the reply. I have already tried some quite strong enlargements, not so extreme though. I am enlarging from 35mm details, and I have found a Schneider 28mm which seems to work well. I definitely want the grain to show, and probably aligning the enlarger head with the wall plane will be tough...
    As far as enlarger, I have a DeVere 507 but even that won't go far enough, so I have to use a small Durst to project onto the wall.
    I am also thinking about building a "tunnel" with black cloth between the enlarger and the wall to minimize light spilling. Last time I printed 65x130 cm I noticed that the larger I went, the lower the contrast got.
    @vdonovan: Why RC? It's so ugly!
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  6. #6

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    BTW I should enlarge something like 150x.
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    Hi gattu, RC just makes paper handling easier. It's sturdier, less likely to rip, and dries nice and flat no matter how you hang it.

  8. #8

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    FB paper can be handled carefully enough to avoid damage, but RC has that "cheap plastic" looking finish which I do not want to give to my photos.
    I really would like to go watercolor+liquid emulsion. That would make a sturdy, custom sized support with a beautiful look. I am only afraid of the gelatin cooling while spreading, and the lower contrast (I might need quite a bit of that because of light spilling).
    Has anybody experience with those sizes?
    BTW internegatives *might* be a good idea. I tried that before, but I had problems with a "double grain" effect: the grain of the original negative, which I want to preserve as much as possible, being disturbed by the internegatives' one.
    Last edited by gattu marrudu; 06-24-2010 at 01:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  9. #9
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Hi Gattu,
    I have made large prints from 35mm negatives both direct and with large format internegative dupes. I had a lot of room in my shop for horizontal projection with several enlargers. As Ic-racer states; diffraction is a serious problem. In spite of that, there may be something artistic in that look. I got around that by enlarging with longer focal length lenses and using filters, so I was essentially using monocromatic light. This makes a big difference when using a lens well outside its best range of performance. Unfortunately, exposure times are ridiculous but are greatly improved with a condenser enlarger (point source fastest).
    Just a thought regarding internegatives: I would eliminate the grain of the original negative most of the time. You could try a high contrast graphic arts film to retain the original grain but not have grain from the internegative. You might need to balance your 35mm negative exposures to get the best results.
    I built 3 very big enlargers and used flourescent lights for my diffusion source. It is not the power of the lamp which is the most important.
    I inherited a 16 x 20 enlarger. The light source was 6 x 500w photofloods. It also doubled as a stove and oven. I replaced those with 6 x 15w x 24" fluorescent tubes. The result was no heat worth considering and the same exposure times.
    If I can help with more; let me know.
    Regards
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  10. #10

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    I have a light box with 10 actinic tubes (180W total, and an amazing light power - not bad for energy and heat saving!) which I use for alt processes. I can switch the UV tubes with white light, and build a reflective "funnel" to converge the light to the original lamp housing. That would dissipate heat very well and make a diffuse source (I would prefer a point source for better sharpness, but that's the lesser evil). See illustration
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails light_amplifier.png  
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