This is a mixed blessing, however. Although you have a bit more control, you also have more ways to screw up. If you are somewhat scatterbrained and careless, like me, the reversal route may (only may) be better. For the careful worker, though, I agree that the interpositive route is not that difficult. Since the interpositive is usually contact printed to the final negative, you do not lose any quality in that step. The cost may be somewhat higher, but bleaches are not cheap either, and the fuss of reversal processing is at least as great as the fuss of interpositive processing.
Originally Posted by Jim Noel
Originally Posted by nworth
Well, I guess I'd always assumed that the interpositive was made by contact printing the original neg, and that the interpositive was then projected onto the final sheet film for the final enlarged negative. Seems that would save on film costs, but I guess the best way to do this is something I'll eventually learn.
As great as all these online articles and forum threads are, there's some stuff I just need to learn kinesthetically.
I had one level of understanding of split contrast printing and would have probably stayed there forever but for Les McLean's darkroom workshop. Now, that skill has been kicked up a practical notch. There's no substitute for seeing it done and doing it with the right person/people looking over your shoulder.
You may think it difficult, but, as Franklin P. Jordan said in 1938,
“I’ll take your word for how dumb you are, but even at that, you can learn to make a good copy negative in one evening.”
It is not a difficult or expensive procedure. It just takes attention to detail.
Obtain some lith film from freestyle, your favorite film developer at higher dilution, and go to work. Others will argue with this approach, but it does work. Are there other materials out there? Sure there are. For instance Ilford Ortho+ is a full scale ortho film which works very well. But you can learn the basics and make some good negatives with lith film.
I don't want to enter into an argument with others about the details of film, developers, etc., I just want to help someone get started.
If you desire more detailed info, PM me.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]
You can also make paper negatives if you want someting quick and dirty.
It drastically increases exposure times, but you don't have to buy any additional materials.
That's even easer than the lith route...
I have been making enlarged negatives form original 4x5 and 8x10 for some time both via interpositive and through direct reversal. I have settled for most of my negatives on the direct reversal procedure after Liam Lawness (try search engine, if it does not show up, I can provide details) with a few modifications.
For both procedures I have used, at least for the final result Arista Lith films from Freestyle.
First a general personal observation/opinion: For all I know, it is, contrary to common wisdom, possible to make via the analogue route, both through internegative and direct reversal, enlarged negatives which are in no way inferior to original in-camera negatives. It is quite difficult to get exactly the same contrast range, but this should generably not be desirable either: rather, weaknesses in the original neg may even be improved. However, making a first-rate enlarged neg takes time and dilligence.
I have limited experience in making digital negs, but know also the results of others, and I do not share the euphoria for them because: 1) it is neither easier nor cheaper 2) results often tend to have a "polished" look due to what I think is called periodisation (some fine in-between tones are skipped) 3) the procedure for me has principally the charme of building something with Lego-toys: the range of the resluts is pre-given by the elaborate forms of the material.
The basic reasons for why I settled on direct reversals are 1) the end result is achived in one continuous procedure, without intermediary drying/waiting for the next day, 2) I don't own a Jobo, and my procedure of developing the final negative takes ca. 45 minutes (intermediary movement after the first 10-15 minutes, but still rocking the dish at least every 3 minutes. This is too tedious for me as a common procedure, but this problem would be completely alleviated by a Jobo.
The basic problem with Liam Lawless direct reversal process as he describes it (and as it is described on the unblinking eye) is: when using contrasty original negatives, that is such which are already intended for contact-printing with, say, iron-salt processes, highlights tend to become very soft/lack contrast (regardless of how much pre-flash is used). This is because the lith film, when developed in the dillution specified by Liam, cannot handle this contrast range. Two solutions offer themselves, either alone or in combination: 1) build the final negatives from two films, one emphasizing the shadows, the other the highlights, achieved by a longer exposure. 2) develop in dillution 1:20 instead of 1:10, develope for at least twice the time: this way lith film can handle an amazing contrast range.
Another hint: I use the dichromate bleach bath (one dish, by the way, pouring in and out the solutions; saves place and the neg does not get dammaged by handling), but when the print is in the first water bath, whipe both surfaces with a soft hake brush. This goes a long way to remove silver residuals from - I suspect - the bleach bath, even when made up from distilled water, a problem which otherwise the more dilluted developer seems to aggravate.
These are my starting hints; I may be able to provide more information when needed/to specific questions.
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I should be in the Dallas area on the afternoon of the Second of August. I will be there until the afternoon of the 6th. So for those days, I can teach you when it fits into your schedule. I'll bring the films I have here to try. Just get some dektol ready. I also have the film holders in sizes 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 to use for easels. Also depending on your printing methods (strong suggestion for Van Dyke it is very easy to do with this) have those chemicals mixed and ready to go.
Aggie, I'm taking this conversation out into the hallway, since it's of dubious value to the 13.3 thousand other members at this point.
I'm also in the camp for inter-pos (4x5) to inter- neg (whatever size) It does take a concentrated learning curve and each image has its own needs in terms of expanded or condensed value range but the processs works great! I too find that a under exposed and/or extended value range works best for the inter-pos. I use Hc110 or rodinal for the negs depending on the vibe for the final image. The rodinal only for the inter-pos then back to Hc110 for inter-neg. Yes it is time consuming and it is necessary at times to re-make the negs to nail the proper value range but well worth the effort. I've yet to see the loss of sharpness that people attribute to additional generation negs but because I'm using emulsion (plat/Pall) on art papers it may not be a good test.
Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!