How to make bigger negatives.

From: Loris Medici ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 08/23/04-03:54:31 PM Z
Message-id: <004301c4895b$c5ed29a0$bd02500a@Loris>

Hi Christina, this is from a rookie (exactly what I am - when compared talended and knowledgeable persons here)

I use an Epson 1160 with 3rd party inks (Piezotone quadblack inkset) to make up to A3+ (13x19", 32.9x48.3cm) digital negatives on inkjet transparency media. (Well, my actual current max. size is 11x17" (27.9x43.1cm) because of the transparencies I have in hands.) First of all you have to obtain a tabloid (or larger) sized printer. Epson 2100 (2200 in the States) is a good modern candidate for this job (but it's an expensive option). Many will approve that 2100 is one of the best tools for making digitally enlarged negatives. Also, there's the question of a suitable media. The media should be able to hold considerable amnt. of ink (because you need density) and should not block UV light. Most people here use Pictorico Transparency material which is very good depending on what ink you use (good for 2100 inks - Ultrachromes, no good for Piezotones). Pictorico is considered as being the best substrate for Ultrachromes or Epson dye inks. But again, it's pricey. I personally use Ultrafine Crystal Clear Transparency from Photo-Warehouse, but this is not the best substrate for 2100's UC inks, works very good for Pieztones.

You can use service bureaus and let them make large negatives for you using imagesetters. I understand this is a very expensive option in the States, but where I live (Turkey) the cost of 3600dpi imagesetter output is less than to making negatives using inkjet printers at home (for instance, I pay $1.7 per 20x30cm imagesetter negative here in Istanbul). So, research that option too. Maybe imagesetter output is not costly in your location too.

But please bear in mind that enlarging to conventional film can be much more costly due to large format film prices and the extensive labor involved, also there's more possibility to mess things up. So even if the setup cost looks high, you save more in the long run when compared to traditional methods. I you opt to make it digitally, you should consider the book from Dan Burkholder (Making Digital Negatives I have this, very nice book indeed - kind of industry standard) and/or the book by Mark Nelson (Precision Digital Negatives, don't have this but this one, but this one also got high praise from many trustworthy persons).

A last word: big prints are hard especially in alt. processes. Coating is harder, exposing is harder too (you will need a high quality contact printing frame for large prints - a vacuum frame is the best in this case, but again... expensive). I often get uneven coating with 11x17 prints (no problems with prints up to 20x30cm) - coating large prints it another thing to be mastered.

Hope this helps,

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Christina
  Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 7:15 PM

  Hello everyone,


  Iīm new to this maillist.

  I read the mails since about one month now and its very interssting!

  First I want to say sorry for my English. If you donīt understand something that I write, please let me know!

  Photography is my only hobby since about 3 years.

  In the past I was also doing some Cyanos and Salt Prints.

  I use a 4x5" Camera to get the negatives, and if they should be bigger I print them out on Agfa Copy Jet Film.

  But what to do if the sice should be bigger that A4 size?


  How to make bigger negatives.

  I know a little bit of making them in the darkroom with the enlarger.

  (First make a good print of the negative, then put the print together with a sheet of film, exposure it and you got a big negative)

  But how long to expose the film with the print on it?

  The sheet film is not that cheap to try out some time to get the right exposure, and what kind of film to use?

  Is there an other way of getting a bigger negative?

  Thank you very much for your help!

Received on Mon Aug 23 15:55:42 2004

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