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Thread: Digital negatives for contact printing question

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  1. #1

    Cool Digital negatives for contact printing question

    I have a favorit scene I have been working on for several years - it is about 100miles
    from here, so it is rare that the clouds, light etc are just right. I have a couple of 8x10 and 4x5 shots that are good, but they have some powerlines ruining the shot(dumb beginner mistakes).
    Now the old buildings are being torn down, destroying the scene.
    It occurs to me that photoshoping the powerlines out would be the way to salvage the scene, but I have not seen decent b/w prints that rival wet process (IMHO, anyway), so digital printing does not seem like an option.

    Any experience with making a drum scan and then a digital negative for either enlarging or contact printing? There is a guy nearby who will do a drum scan of 8x10 or 4x5 reasonably, and I have a 10x10 enlarger.

  2. #2

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    Herb,

    I can't help you, but Sandy King (and others) make digital negatives to print using alternative (wet) processes. Try a search both here and on APUG. I think you will find the answers to your question.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    There is lots of discussion of digital negatives on hybridphoto.com

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    As David suggests there is a lot of discussion of making digital negatives for various processes on the hybrid site. What the OP wants to do can definitely be done but there is something of a learning curve involved both in the use of Photoshop and in the choice of method used to make a digital negative. For contact printing on silver papers a viable path is to print with the Epson 3800 on Pictorico controlling the ink with QTR. I know for a fact that one can make very nice digital negatives with this combination. In addition to the hybrid site have a look at Ron Reeder's site for more information on using QTR to make digital negatives. http://www.ronreeder.com/

    Sandy King


    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    There is lots of discussion of digital negatives on hybridphoto.com

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    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    You can get a digital negative made by Chicago Albumen Works: http://www.albumenworks.com/

    or even a digital file printed to Ilford Fiber paper by Elevator digital:
    http://elevatordigital.ca/

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  6. #6
    Richard M. Coda
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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    Inkjet negatives don't cut it, IMHO. I have seen some really sloppy and fuzzy work. That's not to say that there aren't good examples out there... I just haven't seen them. I even had a friend do a test for me with an inkjet neg from one of my 8x10 negs in platinum/palladium. The original 8x10 neg blows it away. That said, I also prefer silver over any Alt process. Just MHO.

    Go with Jon Shiu's FIRST recommendation. I have used both Albumen Works and Elevator and found Album Works to be superior... in fact I will say INDISTINGUISHABLE from a silver LF print.

    I have used this process to salvage bad negatives of good images and even to make a 4x5 neg (that I can enlarge) from a DSLR image (the flag on my website).

    Talk to Oleg at Album Works...
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
    my blog
    Primordial: 2010 - Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon
    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10"
    "I shoot a HYBRID - Arca/Canham 11x14"

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    And I have seen some incredibly sloppy work from 8X10 in camera negatives.

    You are entitled to your opinion but it flies in the face of reality. Dick Arentz, who is one of the best pt/pd printers in the world, has been printing with digital negatives for at least four or five years and no one who has seen his work would call it sloppy. And except for the linear rendition of tonal values (instead of the typical toe and shoulder of pt/pd prints) there is no difference in quality IMO between pt/pd prints made with in-camera LF negatives and well-made digital negatives from inkjet printers. The limitation of the process in terms of resolution/detail is in the paper, not the digital negative.

    That said, for silver gelatin printing I have made AZO prints from digital negatives printed on the Epson 3800 that have the look and feel in terms of grain and sharpness of 16X20 prints made from 4X5 negatives by projection printing. I have not, however, seen anything that will match a silver gelatin print on smooth paperr made by contact printing. For that I agree a negative made on continuous tone film or with an image setter will give better quality than one made with an inkjet printer, but not by a lot.

    Sandy King



    Quote Originally Posted by Richard M. Coda View Post
    Inkjet negatives don't cut it, IMHO. I have seen some really sloppy and fuzzy work. That's not to say that there aren't good examples out there... I just haven't seen them. I even had a friend do a test for me with an inkjet neg from one of my 8x10 negs in platinum/palladium. The original 8x10 neg blows it away. That said, I also prefer silver over any Alt process. Just MHO.

    Go with Jon Shiu's FIRST recommendation. I have used both Albumen Works and Elevator and found Album Works to be superior... in fact I will say INDISTINGUISHABLE from a silver LF print.

    I have used this process to salvage bad negatives of good images and even to make a 4x5 neg (that I can enlarge) from a DSLR image (the flag on my website).

    Talk to Oleg at Album Works...

  8. #8
    Richard M. Coda
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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    Sandy:

    I did not mean to start a war. Sorry if I offended you. I have seen Dick's work... he was a guest at our LF class that Rod Klukas teaches. There were giant "hairs" and other defects on his prints... on the digitally made prints. That's just unacceptable. I could easily tell the difference between in-camera and inkjet negatives. I do respect his work, but it's just not my cup of tea.

    I agree one limitation is in the paper. I also think that inkjet negatives will never be as good (read "sharp") as a silver negative. Again, just MHO.

    Herb, maybe you could clarify what process you intend to print with (silver or Alt). That would tame the flames.
    Photographs by Richard M. Coda
    my blog
    Primordial: 2010 - Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon
    "Speak softly and carry an 8x10"
    "I shoot a HYBRID - Arca/Canham 11x14"

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    Re: Digital negatives for contact printing question

    Giant hairs on Arentz' prints? Now I find that totally unacceptable. We might not agree on anything else but giant hairs on prints is something I just won't stand for. Even the little ones are hard to accept.

    Sandy King





    Quote Originally Posted by Richard M. Coda View Post
    Sandy:

    I did not mean to start a war. Sorry if I offended you. I have seen Dick's work... he was a guest at our LF class that Rod Klukas teaches. There were giant "hairs" and other defects on his prints... on the digitally made prints. That's just unacceptable.

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