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    jstraw's Avatar
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    Negatives for Contact Printing v. Enlargements.

    Assuming the same subject, is your ideal negative for contact printing different than your ideal negative for enlarging and if so, how?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    Assuming the same subject, is your ideal negative for contact printing different than your ideal negative for enlarging and if so, how?

    What are you contact printing on? What format are you using? What sort of enlarger are you using? Too many variables. You have to zero in on a particular kind of negative with a particular use in mind. This question, really, is too general.

    Cheers,

    R.

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    jstraw's Avatar
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    Ok, for the sake of discussion..it's a 4x5 neg, a cold light head, and your favorite neutral tone, graded paper...or grade 2 VC paper, in Dektol. If you're shooting to print 8x10 do you want your negative to have different characteristics than if you were contact printing it?

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    If the paper scale is the same in both cases and the light source used for exposure is the same then the negative density range would be the same.

    For that reason, it behooves a person to determine the exposure scale of the paper first and foremost.
    Last edited by Donald Miller; 10-13-2006 at 03:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The reason that people sometimes develop to a different contrast range for contact prints is not because of contact printing per se, but because they are using a different print medium than they are for enlarging. Azo likes a contrastier neg than most enlarging papers, and most alternative processes work better with a contrastier neg than one would want for Azo.
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    jstraw's Avatar
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    So commonly, if one were using an optimized process for contact printing and an optimized process for enlarging, the negative shot for one purpose would indeed be different than for the other. Yes? I realize that this is a broad generalization with lot's of variables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    So commonly, if one were using an optimized process for contact printing and an optimized process for enlarging, the negative shot for one purpose would indeed be different than for the other. Yes? I realize that this is a broad generalization with lot's of variables.
    No, that is not what David or I either one said.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  8. #8
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    I agree with Don and David. It depends on what you are doing. The mere fact of the paper being in contact with the negative has little, if anything, to do with it. It depends on your paper, emulsion, printing light, probably developer, etc.

    If you are using the same paper, same light, same developer, the negative should be the same. If you are using different paper, different light or different developer, the negatives may well be different.
    juan

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It's not as if Azo is "optimized for contact printing"--it's just a longer scale paper that can render fine gradation over a large range. In theory that might make it better for enlargements as well, but practically it is too slow for enlarging unless you have a very bright enlarging light source. For contact printing, it's easier to use a brighter light source, so it is easy to print on Azo, but if you happened to prefer an enlarging paper to Azo for contact prints, you could use it, and it would require a negative of similar contrast to negatives enlarged on the same paper with the same light source, etc.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan View Post
    I agree with Don and David. It depends on what you are doing. The mere fact of the paper being in contact with the negative has little, if anything, to do with it. It depends on your paper, emulsion, printing light, probably developer, etc.

    If you are using the same paper, same light, same developer, the negative should be the same. If you are using different paper, different light or different developer, the negatives may well be different.
    juan
    I disagree slightly with what you said. A projected image vs a contact print on the same paper, etc. will yield slightly different results.
    Don Bryant

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