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  1. #1

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    Paper positive or paper negative?

    Hi all,

    I will be shooting some paper soon with my DIY camera and DIY lens and it will be the first time I will be developing anything senstive to all light. I do my own Cyanotypes which are really simple as they are only UV sensitive and the ISO is soooo sloooow I can't really mess it up lol.

    I know that Ilford make paper negative and also paper positives mainly used in pinhole it seems, I am just wondering if I should go paper positive or paper negative as my first lots of paper?

    My interest in tintype got me into photography as it was a single unique photograph where no copy could be made from it. I like the idea that every tintype is unique which I am guessing also applys to paper positives.

    I am just wondering if I should go with some paper negatives first, scan them and reverse them for online and also cyanotype contact print them. Or if I should go with a paper positive and just use it as is (I can still scan it in and produce a digital negative if I wanted to make a contact print to any size).

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    If you use ordinary photographic paper you can reverse it by contacting it when dry with another sheet under glass (image and paper emulsion side in contact).

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3

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    Thanks for that I will have a look into the different papers, I guess there are 2 routes I would go down:

    Shoot paper negative + scan into PC and reverse + Cyanotype contact print
    Shoot paper positive+ + scan into PC as is + perhaps create digital negative to get larger size if required.

    What are the cost differences for the papers btw? I am guessing that paper negatives would be cheapest to start with?

  4. #4
    heterolysis's Avatar
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    Positive paper is much more expensive. I'd play with negatives first and get a hang for it so you aren't throwing any money away.

  5. #5

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    I will start with some basic negative paper then, I would try an in camera cyanotype but I would hate to try and work out the exposure time on that!

  6. #6
    NedL's Avatar
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    Also for your list ( as Cliveh mentioned ): Shoot paper negative + direct contact print using same photo paper. No computer involved.

    I'm not sure what size paper your camera will hold, but even 116-sized images ( 2-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches ) can make very nice contact prints.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by NedL View Post
    Also for your list ( as Cliveh mentioned ): Shoot paper negative + direct contact print using same photo paper. No computer involved.

    I'm not sure what size paper your camera will hold, but even 116-sized images ( 2-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches ) can make very nice contact prints.
    Thanks for that, I am building my own 5x4 camera and lens, I have a speed graphic but I thought it would be interesting to make my own camera, I might even build a slightly smaller one and perhaps do something like tintype 1/6 plate sized images (2.5"x3"). It should yeild quite a few images from a single peice of negative paper so I can pratice more without worry of spending loads on paper.

  8. #8

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    you can alao stick paper in your camera leave rhe shutter open for between 20-to as long as you wanr.
    the NecIphore's retina prints were made like this ... no chemistry needed ...
    i have some i recently made vut can'postem yet, too far from my numeric electrification device ...

    have fun !
    john
    im empty, good luck

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    you can alao stick paper in your camera leave rhe shutter open for between 20-to as long as you wanr.
    the NecIphore's retina prints were made like this ... no chemistry needed ...
    i have some i recently made vut can'postem yet, too far from my numeric electrification device ...

    have fun !
    john
    What are those? I am guessing the exposure time gets so long it basically burns away the chemicals in the paper?

    I have just done a proof of concept in camera cyanotype so will have a go with some fresh mix (just used some older coated paper I had done a while back), should yield a negative the DIY lenses I am making will be letting a lot of light in, one of the lenses I am building will be a 71mm f0.85, so they won't be slow lenses, just slow cyanotype paper!

  10. #10
    NedL's Avatar
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    I think a 71mm F/0.85 lens might be excellent for what John suggested. I guess this isn't the forum to talk about tricks for processing them. Very fun though!

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