Quote Originally Posted by BobF
I am a total newbie to this (haven't even read much about it) and am wondering what are the advantages of an enlarged negative.

I understand about being able to contact print on AZO and do some dye dodging and masking on the negative etc. but doesn't an enlarged negative lose as much tonality and sharpness/acuteness as an enlarged print? Or does some magic happen that eliminates the normal enlarger effects?

Dmin

Dmin=(barely visible and in a fog)
Bob,

The advantages to doing an enlarged negative are that one can adjust the contrast to match the material that you are printing on in addition to the other controls that you mentioned. If one uses a lith film for the enlarged negative, then the enlarged negative will not evidence the grain that would normally occur if one were strictly enlarging a negative onto the printing paper. The reason that this is true is that lith film does not exhibit the grain that conventional pan films do. Considering that the first generation of this process occurs by contact printing the camera negative onto 100 speed pan film actually would tend to diminish grain from the grain that a 400 speed camera negative would exhibit (for instance).

Using this procedure one could take a 4X5 inch camera negative having a density range of 1.10 for instance (for conventional enlarging with condensor enlarger) and increase it to a 20X24 inch negative with a density range of 1.60 (for contact printing on grade two Azo or pt-pd) with no increase in grain in the process. The primary limiting factors are the resolving abilities of the original film, the taking lens, and the enlarging lens.

Hope that this answers your questions. Good luck.