View Full Version : creating a B&W neg from Provia

mark blackman
29-Nov-2003, 02:31
I have a shot on a sheet of Provia that has a nasty orange cast to it. However, when scanned and unsaturated produces a lovely B&W shot.

I've embraced digital print processing, but still like to retain the original film, its got proven keeping properties. To this end, I would like to create a copy on 5x4 FP4. What is the recommended way to do this? I've thought a bout making an A2 print and then photographing that, but I don't think this will retain the details of the original, and would be difficult to light. any ideas?

Darin Cozine
29-Nov-2003, 03:17
Split out your negative into RBG channels, then evaluate each channel. Usually one will make a better B&W that just desaturating the whole thing.


David A. Goldfarb
29-Nov-2003, 09:03
If the final output is to be digital, I'd do what Darin suggests.

Options to do it on film would be to contact print the transparency to B&W neg film, emulsion-to-emulsion. It will read the wrong way, but you can flip it in Photoshop.

Alternately, you can dupe the transparency optically using a camera on a copy stand and a lightbox or using an enlarger. If your scanner will handle larger negs and give you better resolution that way, you might enlarge it to 8x10" in the process.

If the main concern is to have an archival neg of a print produced by desaturating the transparency and applying various digital corrections, then just dupe the print using standard copy techniques. Ansel used to do this to produce low-cost editions of fine prints that could be produced by assistants without any need for dodging or burning. I'd probably use TMX rather than FP4+ for that, since it will give you a bit more of a neutral rendition.

Robert Lawrence - Fivebyfour Commercial Photography, UK
29-Nov-2003, 09:59

Tape your tranny on to one of those 'daylight' viewing tranny boxes and then photograph it with your LF kit using FP4. Bellows extension factor will be 2 stops at 1:1, use your spot meter to take a reading off of the tranny from a 18% grey area. If you are using your Ebony you'll probably run out of extension if you use anything bigger than 90mm. I expect that you will run into FP4 reciprocity failure as well so check the data sheet.


Larry Gebhardt
29-Nov-2003, 17:54
Why bother if all you are doing it for is the keeping properties of film. You will always have the original Provia image, and even if it fades some you should always be able to get another scan to convert to black and white.

mark blackman
30-Nov-2003, 02:48
Larry, I want to keep a copy of the shot on film - I suspect the cast on the original is due to a film defect, hence I'm concerned it may well deteriate.

Bruce Watson
3-Dec-2003, 08:48
If you really want to do this, find a service bureau with a film recorder. Take them your final image as an untagged TIFF file or whatever format both you and they agree on (something both your software (Photoshop?) and their software can read without data loss). They can output this to film for you. It's not cheap, but it will give you a negative you can scan, enlarger print, or contact print.

Any service bureau that can give you film recorder output can almost certainly drum scan the original for you too. If you want the extreme high end in quality, you might want to drum scan first, then massage the image in an image editor like Photoshop, then send it through the film recorder.

If you are going to do this, you might want to read Burkholder's book on creating digital negatives for contact printing. I'm told it has some good information that probably applies to your situation.

mark blackman
3-Dec-2003, 16:46
Hogarth, thanks for this. I'll have to see what there is available here in London. Your solution sounds like the easiest, but I think I'll give Robert's a try as well.