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View Full Version : Reducing the size of a negative?



kendolinator324058943
4-Feb-2019, 23:44
I know there are englargers, but is it possible to reduce the size of film negative?

Larry Gebhardt
5-Feb-2019, 03:22
You can do it digitally by scanning and writing a new negative to film with a film recorder like a LightJet or LVT.

You could also photograph the negative and then contact print a copy to another sheet of film to reverse it again. You can also do this using an enlarger if you can make the geometry work.

Pere Casals
5-Feb-2019, 04:00
I know there are englargers, but is it possible to reduce the size of film negative?

Yes, of course... even you can reduce size hundreds of times. Depending on the ratio there are several choices. If reduction is to be to 1/4 I'd reverse the enlarging lens. If if was to 1/2 of the size then I'd use a Rodagon D or R, perhaps reversed.

It's important to note that the copied negative would be a positive, so reversal process would be necessary, or making a contact copy of the reduction. This would require using duplication film that has low ISO, high sharpness and a the right "proper" contrast. Other films would be suitable, but an accurate film calibration and refined method would be nice.

As Larry says using a film recorder machine would be also a good choice, this is the easy way. LVT Rhino delivers high resolving power, a lightjet or a lambda have a resolving power that's good for prints so suitable for contact copies of the reduced negative. If the reduced negative has to be enlarged to be printed then you need the LVT Rhino job.

Half of the Genesis Exhibition (Salgado's post 2007 shots) were enlaged from negatives printed with a LVT Rhino.

Larry Gebhardt
5-Feb-2019, 08:05
LVT Rhino delivers high resolving power, a lightjet or a lambda have a resolving power that's good for prints so suitable for contact copies of the reduced negative. If the reduced negative has to be enlarged to be printed then you need the LVT Rhino job.

LightJet made film recorders too. They were Res80, or 2032ppi. So good for at least 5 to 10x enlargements depending on your requirements.

Richard Wasserman
5-Feb-2019, 08:25
Way back in the dark recesses of time-1973-I did a series shot on 35mm film which I printed about 1/2 size. As I remember I simply extended the enlarging lens as far as it would go and focused by raising and lowering the enlarger chassis.

I provided a magnifying glass to view the prints. It was all so artistic...

Randy Moe
5-Feb-2019, 08:40
I have an 8X10 Elwood enlarger with a 14" cone lens board which I believe was for reductions.

I never tried it and I am not offering to do your goal.

But, they used to do this all time, found this book and description on Google. Also cut and paste way before PS.

https://books.google.com/books?id=6vnNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA267&dq=8X10++reduction+prints&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjOvJDQ86TgAhWYn4MKHRw7At8Q6AEIMDAB#v=onepage&q=8X10%20%20reduction%20prints&f=false

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4579/26912011759_2d13f160f3_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/H186uK)IMG_0491 (https://flic.kr/p/H186uK) by TIN CAN COLLEGE (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tincancollege/), on Flickr

Pere Casals
5-Feb-2019, 08:56
LightJet made film recorders too. They were Res80, or 2032ppi. So good for at least 5 to 10x enlargements depending on your requirements.

Larry, thanks for pointing it, I was not aware that LightJet2000 and Fire1000 film recorders even existed. The 2000 makes 1114" !!

Mark Sawyer
5-Feb-2019, 12:03
I have an 8X10 Elwood enlarger with a 14" cone lens board which I believe was for reductions.

Or possibly making mural-sized prints with the enlarger set horizontally?

I think the OP needs to clarify if he wants to reduce the negative digitally, make a smaller interneg in the darkroom, or if making a print smaller than the negative would suffice.

Larry Gebhardt
5-Feb-2019, 12:49
This is the OP's other thread: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?150434-Best-approach-for-repro-work-where-size-reduction-is-required