Re: Base for enlarged negs.

From: Michael Healy ^lt;>
Date: 03/13/05-11:15:14 PM Z
Message-id: <4234BB72.20044.1117772@localhost>

Hello, Hans. Your question probably is going to get quite a range of responses,
assuming enough people on this list can break themselves away from their
entrenchment over transsexuals, list monitors, and various piss fights they want to
prolong past "ad naseum". In the meantime, let me offer you a couple pointers.

First of all, you will face the very basic problem of how to get a digital negative that
works for you at all. Don't waste expensive material on this! Personally, I have made
great strides by devoting lowrider brands of overhead projection film to the project of
working out the kinks. Just do that. It's cheap, you won't lose sleep over $5-per-sheet
high-end stuff, and you even can print with it - a GREAT WAY to figure out the pros and
cons of digital negs, and of such other things as how much resolution you need or can
get away with, and how to tweak your printer so it doesn't produce banding. A lot will
depend, anyway, on the process you use. Gum or cyanotype will demand very different
things than, say, platinum. The array of issues you need to work out could sometimes
get to feel quite daunting. It is at your own risk that you waste expensive transparency
film on this learning process.

Then there is one other thing. This is going to read like sacrilege to some list members,
and it IS winter up there in the American Heartland, so everybody is engrossed in
sniping, but here goes. (Chris, you're supposed to smile over that. Not the "snow" part.)

I was doing just fine with Pictorico. It's expensive, but it works. Cool. Then my printer
crapped out on me, and being the penny dredging unemployed loser that I happen to be
right now, I had to replace it with an Epson C84. This printer has many drawbacks if
you're high-end, but I'm not. However, it DID have one very practical drawback that (to
me) has been especially critical: it can't be adjusted to accommodate paper thickness.
When I run the expensive Pictorico through it, the last inch or so flaps in the breeze as
it's going down the printer. As a result, on the last inch of the neg, the printer head(s)
don't lay ink down in perfect alignment. When the neg comes out, the three colors are
very nicely separated into bands of CYM in the last inch of the neg. I'm okay if the neg is
no more than about 7-8" long; but I'm enlarging 6x9's to whatever-by-10's, as big as I
can get them. And the C84 breaks up a ten-inch print job into three colors in the last
inch of the printing.

In short, I can't use the stuff. I've been reduced to relying on my - hey, you want low-end
crap? - on my Apollo Quick-dry InkJet Printer Transparency Film (Universal). For final
digital negs, okay?! And you want to know something? It works! I'm not going to try it
with albumen, that needs too much resolution; but for cyanotype, in preparation for Sam
Wang's 3-color gum, it's not half bad. That's a lesson.

So just use the "junk" film you have, and get familiar with the problems. And depending
on your process, you might even make the pleasant discovery that it works for you. If it
doesn't, then get some Pictorio when you're ready to make a "real" digital neg; but by
that time, you'll have worked out a lot of kinks and unfamiliarity on the cheap. That will
save you some money. Also, it will encourage you to feel free to burn some "film" in
order to get to the bottom of your problems.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


On 13 Mar 2005 at 19:47, Hans Klemmer wrote:

Date sent: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 19:47:21 -0600
From: Hans Klemmer <>
Subject: Base for enlarged negs.
Send reply to:

> Hi everybody,
> I'm the proverbial new kid on the block and hope to make my first
> enlarged digital negative this week. The question I have for the group
> is this: Do I need to use something like "Ultrafine" or other high end
> clear film for making digital negatives, or can I use something as low
> tech as 3M Transparency film? What qualities should I be looking for
> in a film base for my negatives?
> Thanks in advance for any input,
> Hans Klemmer
> P.S. I apologize to the list for sending out a short, personal note a
> few days ago. It (probably) won't happen again.
> “ The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture- however
> unreasonable this may sound. The picture, if a picture results, is a
> by-product and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what
> has passed. The object, which is back of every true work of art, is
> the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a
> more than ordinary moment of existence.” Robert Henri
> >
Received on Sun Mar 13 23:15:22 2005

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