View Full Version : Optically printing digitally-printed color negatives in the manual darkroom

Daniel Stone
29-Aug-2014, 17:08
Hey all,
Maybe this had been discussed before, but I just had a thought:
Take any high quality digital file, print it(after inverting in Photoshop) onto an optically clear material, then sandwich it with an unexposed, developed piece of film base. Optically enlarge it to the print size intended, just as you would with any other traditionally exposed/processed in-camera color negative... This way a fully corrected file could be printed at home from any digital file.
Of course, you'd need an appropriate inkjet printer capable of printing at extremely high dpi settings.

What say y'all? I know that lightjet is there(heck even Costco), but just an idea I had.

Could be a way of controlling more stuff to the degree some people like, without resorting to traditional color/contrast masking methods. The clear, orange film base would simply serve as that, the inverted color negative would be printed into clear Mylar/acetate.

29-Aug-2014, 17:51
Subscribed to this thread! I want to see where this goes....

29-Aug-2014, 20:35
The DPI is probably no longer the limiting factor per se. With B&W digital negative, one of the biggest problem is that printing on the transparency require a compensation curve which can be quite complicated as it depends on the print materials, its use, the printer, the inks etc. I have never done color printing in the darkroom so not sure whether it will be even more complicated or less....

bob carnie
30-Aug-2014, 06:33

You will need a LVT recorder and you can then make negatives from digital files the will print in your enlarger... Inkjet negatives will work but very limited results .

I make enlarged silver film separations to final print size for pt pd, silver and tri colour gum over pt pd using real silver film exposed at 400ppi on my Lambda. These contact prints
exhibit all the qualitys of lamdda/chromira prints. But you cannot put the film in the enlarger, it has to be contact.

Before , Lambda , Chromira, Lightjet, all the labs from 1989-2000 made LVT or Premier negatives to go in their enlargers. Once the laser devices came out that printed directly onto wide format media RA4 and silver the LVT neg route was abandonded. But there still are people making these negs, I just framed a show this year of prints all made to 8x10 trans and then printed to 30 x40 cibachrome using an Durst enlarger.

Actually there are two people on this site who do this , if you are really in a pinch email me and I will put you in contact with the one vendor in New Rochelle New York.
He does excellent work and I have referred many clients to him for this very purpose.

bob carnie
30-Aug-2014, 06:34
Just a side note... inkjet on transparency does not have the blocking power that silver film has to do a credible job... I have samples of that but you have to drive to Toronto to see.