View Full Version : Paper Negs...a beginner asks

18-Mar-2010, 12:08
I just shot some paper negs, will post when they dry.
I used some strange graphic arts paper, very high contrast, thinner than sheet film, and used ISO of 3.
Almost no shadow detail, and I processed in regular paper developer.
1/ Is there a better way to do this? Rather, what is a better way?
2/ Does the paper fully develop after 2min or can it stay longer like film?
3/ How do I enlarge this negative? It is not translucent like a normal film negative.

Thanks in advance.

Ron McElroy
18-Mar-2010, 12:21
All graphic art contact papers are very high contrast with few shades of gray. That's why there is little shadow detail. A regular enlarging photopaper will work much better.

While enlarging a paper negative is technically possible with a ton of light, basically this is a contact process only.

18-Mar-2010, 12:25
...this is a contact process only.


...and thanks.

Btw, does the contact process with paper work the same way as it does with film, or is there something special to do?
Thanks again.

Ron McElroy
18-Mar-2010, 13:05
The process is the same, it just takes more light than with film. Think of the paper density as the base+fog density of film.

18-Mar-2010, 13:13
It works about the same as with film. I find that preflashing the paper negatives really helps with shadow detail, also, a good paper negative looks surprisingly dense. You shouldn't see much white.

18-Mar-2010, 14:06
Here are the negs, inverted in Photoshop and with a minimum of level adjustment.
Kinda cool for some subjects, and kinda sucks for "skin tones", if I can call them that.

18-Mar-2010, 16:28
Brutal contrast, would have been decent shots too, get some film ;)

18-Mar-2010, 17:16
Got film, just playing.:)

18-Mar-2010, 17:18
Or use a yellow filter. Helps some bit…

Stephanie Brim
18-Mar-2010, 19:48
I kinda like the contrast, but I'm generally a high contrast kind of girl.

18-Mar-2010, 20:25
hey ari

try using spent developer instead of fresh developer....
i disagree with bettersense about dense paper negatives,
sometimes the bst ones seem kind of "thin" ... but to
each their own.

have fun

21-Mar-2010, 08:22
Interesting, thanks John.
And Stephanie, I am addicted to contrast, but I wasn't crazy about how the skin came out that time.
This process may have its uses, however. Seeing as I have two boxes of mystery paper of obviously very high contrast (and likely higher than ISO 3), it seemed the right thing to do.
Thank to all.

Rick A
26-Mar-2010, 05:22
If you use a grade 2 photo paper and preflash you can achieve paper negs similar to a decent film neg. Check out Joe Van Cleave's blogs on the subject. You can google his name directly or find his threads on APUG. If you are crazy for contrast, then use a harder paper, maybe g3 or g4(I use Kodabrom 4 or 5).
this is a test shot from last night KodabromII RC grade 5

26-Mar-2010, 09:55
Much appreciated, ralnphot.
I won't be able to shoot anything fun for a few weeks, until work slows down, so some research is in order.

26-Mar-2010, 10:43
I've settled on using grade 2 RC print paper, preflashed such that if developed without the in-camera exposure it would be a faint, light gray, exposed at EI=12, processed in liquid paper developer diluted 1:15 at 68f.

An example, exposed using a handmade 8x10 box camera, fitted with an improvised binocular objective lens, stopped down to 7mm (f/38 effective aperture), exposure time 50 seconds, scene lit by one CF lamp (reflected in the Speed Graphic's Ektar lens), plus some window light:


~Joe Van Cleave

Colin Corneau
30-Mar-2010, 12:02
You could also try some Efke positive B&W paper. It's also high contrast but give Kodak's Selectol Soft paper developer a whirl...a good suggestion for either type of paper.

Cool work!