View Full Version : Inkjet negatives for contact printing

Kevin M Bourque
25-Mar-2002, 15:23
I?ve seen some recent posts about making enlarged negatives on an inkjet printer , which is then used to contact print. I have several questions about the topic .

What is the preferred material on which to print? I?ve tried a few experiments, but I always seem to get some unwanted texture.

Is there a preferred printer/ink combination?

Is a ?high-end? scanner required, or are there less expensive (i.e. flat bed) op tions that will suffice?

By the way, this strikes me a wonderful union of traditional and digital techniq ues. The lion doth lie down with the lamb.

Thanks in advance.

- Kevin

Don Sparks
25-Mar-2002, 15:51
Check out Dan Burkholder's site:http://www.danburkholder.com/Pages/main_pages/page1_main.htm

His book is a must for anyone wanting to learn how to make digital negatives.

25-Mar-2002, 15:57
Definitely get Dan's book. I bought it a few months back, and this might be my direction in regards to printing.

One note: the technology changes swiftly, and his book is getting out of date. In the jan/feb issue of Photo Techniques, he wrote an update on how to do the process with desktop inkjets, notably the Epson 1270. He also makes a few suggestions on what transparency materials to use.

Good luck, and I hope we keep this subject alive.

David F. Stein
26-Mar-2002, 00:21
Look at the LensWork Quarterly site SPECIAL EDITIONS prints. This is an outstanding example of what can be done IF only we had that super-hi-output imagesetter. There are strategies for using lower output imagesetters-the few that linger at typical service bureaus-see Dan's site/book and maybe Brooks Jensen will contribute to this discussi

26-Mar-2002, 03:28
Books about digital printing? Hmmm... Sounds like a good idea, it's obsolete in quite a few technical details as regards equipment in six months, let's get another edition out. That's the new economy, right? :))

26-Mar-2002, 03:50
(Rant mode off) Sorry, what I wanted to contribute with was these sites, they may help you for free, if you do alternative printing such as cyanotype/platinum/whatever prints onto non-photo paper:

http://www.mspedding.freeserve.co.uk/alternate.htm http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/fokos.htm

The lion doth lie down with the lamb, because he's hungry today.

Lyle Aldridge
26-Mar-2002, 09:16
I've been to the recommended website, and found lots of "teaser" info intended to induce book purchases and enrollment in workshops -- but no answer for even one of Kevin's three posted questions. Is this one of those "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" situations? Next clue?

Ellis Vener
26-Mar-2002, 10:14
Dan Burkholder is "the man' for this kind of stuff. not just a techie, but also a maker of truly beautiful images.

1.) You don't use paper, you use transparent film.

2.) I believe Dan uses the epson clear base "film" to print on and uses an Epson 1280 in grayscale mode. I could be wrong.

3.) the GiGo rule still applies but start with the scanner you already have.

Kaatharine Thayer
26-Mar-2002, 12:24
Lyle and Jimi's insinuations above are not only insulting, but inaccurate. Dan has only put out two editions of the book in ten years, so it could hardly be said that he is trying to scam the public by writing a book that has to be updated all the time. He adds to the book by putting updated material on his website (It's under Book Information).

Dan's current favorite printer, software and media combination for contact negatives are the Epson 1160, Jon Cone's Piezography, and Pictorico OHP Transparency. He's not hiding that; it's in the extensive FAQ under Book Information on his site, where most if not all of Kevin's questions are answered, at least Dan tells what he himself prefers. However, there is no consensus on these matters among people who make digital contact negatives. The alternative photography list (maybe someone can provide the URL for subscribing; I don't have time to look it up) has periodic long discussions on the topic; those archives would be a good source to get an understanding of the issues involved.

Kevin M Bourque
26-Mar-2002, 12:55
Thanks for the tips.

I had tried printing on a translucent drafting material, and that's where I got some texture. When I used smooth plastics, the ink never dried. That's why I asked about what ink to use.

Sounds like there's a copy of the book in my future.

- k

26-Mar-2002, 13:18
I'd mentioned the ALT Photo list in a previous post on this subject. There are problems with the process - the carbon inks don't like to stick to the transparent films, a spray overcoat is required. Can't send the link (not at home) but a search should turn it up.

27-Mar-2002, 04:55
"Lyle and Jimi's insinuations above are not only insulting, but inaccurate."

Katharine, I can only speak for myself here: I was just poking fun at the general idea of making dead tree editions about stuff that is digital, ie Linux, MS Office or anything digital you'd care to mention. The digital world moves so fast, even monthly magazines have a hard time to keep up with it. I do not wish to slander mr Burkholder. As far as I see it, he's doing those interested in digital output a good service.

What I wanted to contribute with is to check out the Lysonic inks, in case you haven't.

Mike Kravit
28-Mar-2002, 14:39
Most people having excellent results with the Inkjet printers are using Pictorico OHP Film. I have seen both platinum and silver prints made with this stuff. It is clear and does a great job.