View Full Version : What do you use for paper negs?

jonathan smith
10-Apr-2004, 01:55

I'm thinking of using paper negs and wondering about your favorite paper to use. High contrast or low?

And who makes paper without a brand name printed on the back?


Ole Tjugen
10-Apr-2004, 02:59
Ilford multigrade is my answer to all (!) of your questions.

10-Apr-2004, 05:18
Don't mind if I jump in to ask - Is single-weight paper more practical as paper negative? Thanks.

Ole Tjugen
10-Apr-2004, 08:11
The thinner the paper, the easier is is to print positives through it. So yes, single-weight is more practical. Ideally the base should be transparent, but then it would be film - like MACO GENIUS Printfilm...

10-Apr-2004, 08:46
hi -

try using kodak polymaxfb single weight. rate it at about iso 6.

good luck!

10-Apr-2004, 16:24
hi again jonathon:

when you make prints, one way i have gotten good results is to get both your negative and fresh paper wet, squeegee some of the water off, and put them emulsion to emulsion. you will get a good bond, and crisp image without parts of the image appearing out of focus because of poor contact. the only thing to worry about is if the paper gets too "dry" the emulsions will not want to come apart without a little help :)

i used to make paper negatives (contact printing) to make duplicate prints, when the film-negative was unavailable.

11-Apr-2004, 04:29
Thanks Ole.

Stan. Laurenson-Batten
11-Apr-2004, 07:31
Hello. There are a number of materials/papers suitable for making paper negatives. Light weight B&W RC paper, photo copy paper and many more. Be aware that the contrast of any enlarged image may be far too high, so make your original paper negative of much lower contrast that would normally dictate. Although the paper negative are not so defined as film, the results can be very interesting indeed. Polaroid 55 is another option where a positive and negative is obtained to produce a 5X4 negative. The advantage of this system is that no darkroom is required. But, remember to clear and fix the film straight away. Best wishes.

Joe Hunt
15-Apr-2004, 15:38
I tried Ilford Multigrade IV rated at ISO 3 (best setting) and developed in print developer. Used enlarger with appropriate filtration as light source for contact print, and also enlarged from the paper neg.

Needless to say that the paper neg is placed image side down....

The negative printed very well considering - I've just scanned the neg and print to post it but now see that I'd need to have a site and tag a link to it. I could of course send it as attachment if you were curious.

Pearse Stokes
11-Jun-2004, 03:53
I have recently learned an interesting approach to paper negs, from a Mr John Quinn of Dublin, Ireland. Mr Quinn has recently retired, but is a tremendous repository of interesting photographic lore from years gone by.

In the years after World War II, there appears to have been a shortage of 'ordinary' film, and a surplus of paper film that had been in use for wartime aerial photography.

Some rather innovative photographers put this to their advantage:

Wedding photographs were often taken in the studio, rather than on-site at the church. The couple would arrive at the studio in their finery, and have their photos taken. The paper negative (10" x 8") would be processed quickly, and while still damp, it would be retouched easily, using an ordinary pencil etc.

Here's the best part:

The negative (still damp) was projected onto a sheet of photographic paper mounted vertically on a wall. The projection was done with an epidiasope. The exposed paper was processed, and the final image was available in no time at all.

In fact, it only took a couple of hours from taking the shots to delivering the prints. The couple could pass the time having some tea and scones, in Dublin's famous Bewley's Cafe. They might have had a chat with Brendan Behan or Thomas Kinsella.

Not a bad system, really?