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  1. #1
    rduraoc's Avatar
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    Cyanotype from a 35mm neg

    I want to try doing cyanotypes, but I only shoot 35mm, so no contact printing possible. I was thinking about using my enlarger (Meopta Axomat 5a), by removing the lamp house, isolating the area between the board and the lens with some black cardboard or cloth, and put the whole thing under sunlight (yes, in Portugal we have good sunlight in the winter ). From your experience, will it work? What do I have to watch out for?

    TIA,

    Rui Durão
    I am not afraid of grain.
    http://fotodura.pt.to

  2. #2

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    I have never tried taking an enlarger out on the sun :-). I don't know, really, if it works, you can try. If you don't want to make enlarged negatives (via interpositives), the other way is to scan your 35 mm film and make digital negatives.

  3. #3
    Marco Gilardetti's Avatar
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    Most of UV rays will be attanuated by the glass, however the experiment sounds very interesting. I would be surprised if nobody gave it a try before. Expect focusing shifts, as much as it happens with infrared rays but in the opposite direction. I actually think precise focusing will be a problem.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
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  4. #4
    rduraoc's Avatar
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    I don't have the hardware to scan negatives, and I was trying to get the cheapest way of doing it - that's why I am trying to go around enlarged negatives.
    Another question: once the paper is ready, only sunlight or UV lamps will be able to impress it, right? Normal house lamps (fluorescent or tungsten) don't emit in the UV band?
    And what if I buy a UV lamp and place in the enlarger? So many ideas...and I still have to find the chemicals.
    I am not afraid of grain.
    http://fotodura.pt.to

  5. #5
    Marco Gilardetti's Avatar
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    As far as I know, UV lamps generally come more in the shape of a neon-like fluorescent tube, and I'd say none would fit an enlarger's head properly.

    Yes, tungsten lights are quite safe with UV-sensitive materials since the spectrum is much toward yellow. With POP paper, for example, you can keep the sensitive material under normal kitchen light for hours before noting any effect on the emulsion. However, as with any "safety" light, remember there is ALWAYS a time limit after which some fogging will occurr.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
    (Tristan Tzara, 1922)

  6. #6

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    rui

    why don't you make a paper negative, and then use THAT to make your cyanotype ?

    it isn't hard at all to make a paper negative from one of your enlarged prints - you just make a good print with the enlarger ... then take an unexposed piece of photo paper, make it wet + squeegee it off so that it makes a nice tight bond with your (+)print emulsions. take the negative out of the enlarger ... and blast the light through the paper print --- you can make a test strip &C to see what your exposure will be &C ... and then make your print. my times with a cold light head - and i have been getting good exposure f9 at about 8 seconds with burning and dodging after that ..
    once you get your exposure you develop in anything you want - i use dilute ansco130 with a little oxidized developer added ( about 500 cc/1/ ) but there is a school of thought that film developer might work better .... by the end of it, you'll get a nice paper-negative ...
    your sun-time to make the cyanotype will be sort of long because the rays have to pass through the paper but it should work fine. if you use single weight paper that works great, but regular paper works fine too.

    i'll be doing the same thing in a few weeks time


    good luck!

    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 01-11-2006 at 12:58 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: it was early and i forgot some stuff ..

  7. #7
    Marco Gilardetti's Avatar
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    I'm very surprised that still nobody posted some reason why the idea wouldn't work, it seems very convenient and straightforward and I wonder why nobody thought about it before. I mean: first enlargers were simply view cameras put back to back with a window, using daylight as light source. I wonder why the same technique shouldn't work now with 35mm.

    I strongly encourage you to make an experiment with the enlarger under sunlight. Unfortunately I only own enlargers with mirror-reflected light source and can't make the experiment myself, but I am extremely interested in reading your results.
    I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
    (Tristan Tzara, 1922)

  8. #8
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    I've tried it - about 8 months ago - laborious to focus and to get maximum intensity you have to orient your enlarger towards the sun which is awkward to say the least ...

    I gave up and decided to build a 4x5 large format instead ... in which funnily enough I've also put in cyanotype sensitized paper to get cyanotype negative prints, it may well be worth making a similar system as an enlarger but out of much lighter weight materials as found in field cameras, pinholes etc...
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  9. #9
    rduraoc's Avatar
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    I'm trying to find a shop that will sell me the chemistry needed (it's not easy, most of them only sell to schools/universities/companies and not to the general public). But as soon as I can get them, I'll try it and then post some results. And I'll also try to find a UV lamp with a "regular" shape, not in tube. I think I've seen them before.
    I am not afraid of grain.
    http://fotodura.pt.to

  10. #10

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    Regarding a UV lamp, I'm using a home solarium (tanning lamp) about a size of A3, consisting of 6 tubes. It works very well for alternative printing.

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