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gnd2
8-Jul-2016, 13:02
I've been doing a lot of searching but still having trouble wrapping my head around this so hoping to get some help specific to what I'm trying to accomplish. I want to do this all in film/darkroom, no digital.

My goal is to take my 4x5" negatives (FP4+) and make a negative enlarged to 8x10" to make contact prints with (regular RC paper prints for now, looking to do Kalitype later on). In the process, I'd also like to retouch the film (the 8x10" interpositive for highlights and the final 8x10" negative for shadows using pencil. I've tried retouching the 4x5 negative but want to be able to get finer detail).

My big question is, what film would be suitable for this?

I've played around with duplicating using my FP4, but working in total darkness with the pan film and short exposure times isn't very fun, so I started looking into ortho film. I came across the Arista Ortho Litho film which has an attractive price. I realize litho film is normally very high contrast for line work but they say it can be developed for continuous tone with dilute paper developer (and I've read even film developer can work better), and the slower speed sounds like a plus for the darkroom. The question is, will I really be able to get a nice continuous tone image from this without a ton of experimenting or is it going to lead to a lot of frustration that would be avoided by just using another more suitable orhto film?

Anyone here have experience doing something similar? Suggestions for film? Does my idea even sound reasonable or totally off the wall?

Thanks,
Gary

Harold_4074
8-Jul-2016, 13:53
Consider x-ray film. It is really cheap, can be handled under red light (there are "special" filters for green/blue films, but they are pretty close to ortho).

I have made both enlarged interpositives and contact duplicates on Kodak CSG and had a lot of fun doing retouching at both stages. I don't think that CSG takes crocein scarlet as well as conventional film, but it has emulsion on both sides so that helps. Pencil retouching, naturally, works pretty much the same once the retouching medium is dry. I found it a bit tricky to estimate the density change due to red dye (to my surprise, scanning in color and then using only the green channel didn't work well) but Spotone works just fine.

The last time I did this, I used dilute Dektol (about 1:4) for the dupes, but have since worked out the protocol for HC-110 in order to get lower contrast for cyanotypes, and will probably try it for duping the next time it comes up. I also want to experiment with an airbrush; the phrase "airbrushed out" used to come up in the context of 1950s-era pinups, so it must have had some utility even though it is uncommon nowadays.

bob carnie
8-Jul-2016, 14:05
I remember ortho 25 contact with original In HC 110 not sure of dilution

this created a flat dupe which was then put in the enlarger and 16 x20 FP4 was used , once again HC110 .Today I would try Pyro dev instead of HC110 for this stage.

made beautiful negatives for contact.

The only issue that I encountered was tremenously fast enlager speed which curtailed dodge and burn, but you could tame this of course with NDensity , (why didn't I think of that at the time]

flat pos do a contact your final prints will be sharper.** important**
one or two tests on the film developer times and you can build your contrast to tailor the 8 x10 FP4 to your process.

Once you have this process nailed you just have to keep feeding same types of negatives to it.

But I gotta ask Why not just shoot 8 x10?

interneg
8-Jul-2016, 14:36
Ilford Ortho+ - http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2011427119221450.pdf is what you want - has similarities to FP4, generally easy to handle, just watch out for the emulsion being a little delicate at times & definitely more sensitive to safelights than paper. You can alter its contrast & curves quite easily & it's available in 25 sheets of 4x5 or 8x10 as a regular stock item.

In the interests of reducing the number of processes, you might want to investigate getting your camera film processed as BW transparencies (I use Photostudio13 in Germany) & enlarging them to a neg in one stage. I'm (slowly) experimenting with this method & it does seem to offer quite a lot of potential.

pdh
8-Jul-2016, 14:53
flat pos do a contact your final prints will be sharper.** important**


Can you unpack this in a bit more detail bob?
I have a lot of 35mm and medium format negatives I'd like to make alt prints from.
So far I've managed this via paper interpos but I'd like to refine a bit more

gnd2
8-Jul-2016, 15:20
X-ray film? Interesting, I'll have to look into that.

Ya, the Ilford Ortho+ looks like the best option I've been able to find from a usability standpoint, pretty pricey though. But, the way they talk about it in the description it makes me wonder if it's really that different from the Arista Ortho Litho in terms of the contrast and controlling it with development?

I'm not shooting 8x10" because, well, I don't have an 8x10" camera :) The thought had occurred to me but I also want to eventually do even larger sizes and enlarging the negative seemed more flexible and economical than getting bigger cameras and lenses.

Neutral density sounds like a good idea for the exposure time issue (I'm having a "duh" moment now too).

And yes, I'd like to have the "flat pos" comment unpacked a bit too :) I was planning to enlarge the interpositive to be able to retouch it then contact that for the negative. Does it make a difference to contact the interpositive then enlarge to the negative?

BTW, I'm in the US (So. Cal) but can't seem to access my profile to update the location. So looking for materials easy to obtain here.

I'm curious about how they did airbrushing back in the day also but every search I do only turns up photoshop tutorials.

Thanks for the responses so far!

interneg
8-Jul-2016, 15:42
Ya, the Ilford Ortho+ looks like the best option I've been able to find from a usability standpoint, pretty pricey though. But, the way they talk about it in the description it makes me wonder if it's really that different from the Arista Ortho Litho in terms of the contrast and controlling it with development?

Vast difference - you can shoot O+ in camera, process in a regular developer (eg ID11 1+1) and get a normal negative. You can use different developers to bend the curve shape, and you'd need something like Phenisol to be getting extreme contrast. It's aimed at a range of uses from masking to copying and a whole lot of others where curve and contrast control matter.

Litho film is designed for something else entirely & in using for regular photographic processes you are having to depart well outside what it was designed for - that is unless you're needing to shoot screened separations.

gnd2
8-Jul-2016, 18:49
Vast difference - you can shoot O+ in camera, process in a regular developer (eg ID11 1+1) and get a normal negative. You can use different developers to bend the curve shape, and you'd need something like Phenisol to be getting extreme contrast. It's aimed at a range of uses from masking to copying and a whole lot of others where curve and contrast control matter.

Litho film is designed for something else entirely & in using for regular photographic processes you are having to depart well outside what it was designed for - that is unless you're needing to shoot screened separations.

I see, that's what I was afraid of. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Going outside what the film was designed for and the consequential decrease in image quality are precisely what I want to avoid.

At this point it looks like my best options are:
1. Deal with pan film in the dark
2. Bite the bullet cost-wise for Ilford Ortho
3. Experiment with x-ray for cost reduction.

Erik Larsen
8-Jul-2016, 19:35
Here's a couple links that might be of interest
http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/EnlargeNeg/enlargeneg.html
http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/NbyR/nbyr.html

Randy Moe
8-Jul-2016, 19:54
Here's a couple links that might be of interest
http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/EnlargeNeg/enlargeneg.html
http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/NbyR/nbyr.html

I'm basically doing that process with X-Ray. I wasn't aware of the process until recently.

I posted earlier today in X-Ray and 6X17 if anybody is interested.

interneg
9-Jul-2016, 04:55
I see, that's what I was afraid of. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Going outside what the film was designed for and the consequential decrease in image quality are precisely what I want to avoid.

At this point it looks like my best options are:
1. Deal with pan film in the dark
2. Bite the bullet cost-wise for Ilford Ortho
3. Experiment with x-ray for cost reduction.

Should add that Litho film can have uses when you need masks etc - again things you might need down the line depending on what your process is. You might also want to consider reversal processing the lith material for one-step negative making http://www.moersch-photochemie.de/files/articles/FO5%20Reversal%20development.pdf

What Bob was meaning by a 'flat' positive was meant in terms of contrast - exposure & process time control along with masking may be needed depending on choices of materials.

ND filters will be a very good idea

bob carnie
9-Jul-2016, 06:03
I have done a fair amount of work like this, but should warn you that nowadays I do it all with a Durst Lambda and Photoshop, but in the past, I did a lot
of Positive from neg then back to negative. We are making up to 30 inch by 40 inch silver negatives for Contact Process with our newish setup.

Just like in the digital world the more information you can get the better , as well the sharper the better as you will be going through two steps the old way I am describing.

We always made Contact dupe, no matter if it was 35mm, 2 1/4 , or 4x5 original and we would always try to keep as much information at both ends therefore creating a Flat Pos. Contact dupes are by far
more sharper than enlarged dupes, some may argue, all you need to do is a few and you can easily see the difference.

Now someone here mentioned a service where you go direct to neg- we did this with Ed Burtynsky's Scala machine with great success and in the States it would be worth asking DR5 about a direct negative from negative using his service. {It should be noted but not proven, that Scala film was actually Agfa 100 neg film.} This would allow you to go direct from enlarger to finished film.

Once we had the flat positive, or nowadays a flat file we would expand the contrast with the FP4 film via exposure and dev time and agitation, Today in Photoshop we just start adjusting the curve.

for complete control rather than sending out to DR5 ( which btw I completely endorse his service) some of us are control freaks, I would start with Ilford Ortho make a flat dupe via Contact, and then purchase Ilford FP4 and play with exposure dev to get contrast , and yes use ND so you can Dodge and Burn the enlarged neg easily... We used a Welders hood and gloves and dodged and burn under the Nuars, pretty dumb when you think of it.
This is not as hard as one would think and will allow complete control for many end process.

EdWorkman
9-Jul-2016, 15:30
Get X Ray dupe film for a one step process. Kinda like the late Kodak dupe film only very slow for projection.
As in minutes with a typical enlarger cold light.
Control contrast with choice of developer- increase contrast with paper developer, decrease with film developer.
I have also tried preflashing ,but in a terrible unsophisticated way using the overhead light and cutting test strips from the flashed piece.
On another note for the two step process
I have duped 8x10 negs that had stains.
I made a positive with panchromatic film which saw right thru the yellow, the contacted that onto ortho for simple processing under the safelight

pdh
10-Jul-2016, 06:22
Just like in the digital world the more information you can get the better , as well the sharper the better as you will be going through two steps the old way I am describing.

We always made Contact dupe, no matter if it was 35mm, 2 1/4 , or 4x5 original and we would always try to keep as much information at both ends therefore creating a Flat Pos.

Of course!
That's what I need to try next.
(I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes...)

Thanks

blindpig
10-Jul-2016, 08:58
This really takes me back(probably about the same time Bob was making inter-negatives and positives),definitely before digital.Along with all the technical proficiency required there was DUST!,seems no matter how careful one was a tiny speck appeared(I often thought it was embedded in the emulsion when the film was made LOL!) Extra strenuous house keeping,cotton only clothing,etc,to no avail.Then one day our Kodak rep. allowed that a large amount of dust was human dander and that their technicians always wore head gear.Needless to say a hat became mandatory for all film handling in the dark.Tales from long,long ago....

bob carnie
10-Jul-2016, 09:07
This really takes me back(probably about the same time Bob was making inter-negatives and positives),definitely before digital.Along with all the technical proficiency required there was DUST!,seems no matter how careful one was a tiny speck appeared(I often thought it was embedded in the emulsion when the film was made LOL!) Extra strenuous house keeping,cotton only clothing,etc,to no avail.Then one day our Kodak rep. allowed that a large amount of dust was human dander and that their technicians always wore head gear.Needless to say a hat became mandatory for all film handling in the dark.Tales from long,long ago....

Yes the common hellish enemy of the darkroom interneg tech.. we also raised the humidity to almost unbearable levels to drop. Anything I say anything to get rid of it.