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Thread: Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

  1. #1

    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    With the demise of the Kodak R3 process I have, for the past few months, found myself without an easy way of getting good quality colour enlargements printed from my 4x5 transparencies. I live in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and I have been very happy with the work previously done by my local pro-lab however demand here is such that they are now only catering for 35mm and 120 slide film users by scanning and printing digitally. Ironically these formats are the ones I'm able to do myself with Ilfochrome. To print from 4x5 I need to have a scan done by an interstate lab and if I want a custom print done locally from this scan I'm limited to prints of 10"x15" as this is the maximum size their machine is capable of printing. They are able to make 35mm internegatives from 4x5 film which would allow them to be enlarged and printed using the RA4 process on-site however my preference is for minimally 16x20 prints which is pushing 35mm film beyond what I consider good quality and mostly defeats the purpose of using the view camera in the first place. Unfortunately they are only able to duplicate 4x5 transparencies onto 35mm or 4x5 film, the latter by contact printing. The ultimate solution is for me to buy a 4x5 colour enlarger and do the prints myself (I'm keeping my eyes open) however for the moment due to space and finances (photography is only a hobby says I) my enlarger is at best only capable of printing from 120 film which is the path I am currently investigating. My initial question is has anybody duplicated 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film (6x7 format or thereabouts), secondly if they did what equipment and film did they use and thirdly is it worth the bother? Alternatively can anyone in Australia recommend a good lab who'll listen to my instructions when necessary (going mail-order makes this more difficult) and makes decent quality 16x20 (and larger) prints from 4x5 transparencies?

  2. #2

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    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    I suppose a lot would depend on what quantity of copies you would be doing, how much you feel comfortable in spending, and whether or not you already have a suitable 6X7 or 6X9 camera.



    To start with the lens, a Polaroid 105mm Tominon would almost certainly be the least expensive appropriate choice. Many 6X9 enlarging lenses woould be equally suitable, though lacking the convenience of the shutter which is available for the Tominon at modest cost. The ideal would be a 4" (100 to 105mm) Apochromat, but they are hard to find and could be expensive. The three that come to mind as being available in that size are the Apo Artar, Apo Skopar and Apo Saphir. Some come in shutters.



    If you are going to do this often, it could be worthwhile setting up a permanent arrangement for this purpose only. In any event, making, or having a local cabinet maker construct, a permanent fixture which would hold the light source, transparency holder and camera all in proper alignment would save a huge amount of fuss each time you wanted to make a copy. If a cheap camera could be dedicated to this purpose only, that would be better yet.



    Film flatness is a major consideration. The relatively inexpensive Graflex holders don't have a very good reputation in this regard, although many of the problems seem to arise when the film is left in the holder for a long time between shots. Delaying copying until you have enough for a full roll would be a good idea, particularly if you use a Graflex holder.



    Kodak used to make an internegative film just for this purpose. I don't know if they still do and, if so, what packaging is available but probably bulk only. Occasionally a "long roll" 70mm back shows up on eBay. When using a normal film, pre-flashing to reduce contrast is often suggested. I think Kodak used to have a pamphlet on this subject and perhaps still do.



    As to whether this would be worth the bother, you'll have to answer this for yourself.

  3. #3
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    It seems to me, Roger, that your best course of action, short of getting a 4x5 color enlarger, may be to find another lab that you can deal with in Australia - one that can work directly with your 4x5 transparencies to produce the size of enlargements that you want. I suspect you'd be unhappy with any reduced-size internegative of your 4x5 transparencies due to the inherent loss of image quality and increase in contrast. To further complicate matters, I believe that Kodak has discontinued their duping film, which seemed to be the best for this purpose, even if less than ideal.

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    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    I have no first hand knowledge so take this for what it is worth. I think you would get better results if you just got a roll film back for your 4X5 and go from there. I would also curse alot. Another possibility is to buy a scanner and then just send the file for printing.

  5. #5

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    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    Hi Roger

    I did dupes of my 4x5 transparencies to 4x5 tmax by taping it to a lightbox, set the light box standing up and rephotographing it

    ( i only got the tranny, and wanted to try argyrotype contact printing )

    If you got a 120 film back, shouldn't be too much of a problem to try shooting one roll with your existing equipment.

    Lam

  6. #6

    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I think I've decided as an interim measure to get some small digital scans/prints done (10x12 and a 4 day wait) so I can see something a bit bigger and wait until I can find and purchase a suitable enlarger before doing the larger prints. Contact prints from ULF would be the way to go but probably break my bank balance with film costs and my back getting the gear up the mountains here. :-) I might send an email to some of the pro-photographers on the mainland who get Ilfochrome prints done to find out which labs they use - I might get lucky and have one of them respond. I'll also load a roll of 120 into either the Pentax or the 6x7 RFH for the 4x5 and try a dupe from the lightbox. I suspect I'll have trouble with alignment, colour casts and contrast but a roll of film isn't that expensive for an experiment. I couldn't find any duplicating film in 120 format which might explain why the local lab doesn't offer it as an option. As mentioned I do have a 6x7 back for my 4x5 camera but it always seems to get left behind - mainly due to weight, space and limited wide angle lens selection but I may have to rethink my reasoning.

  7. #7

    Duplicating 4x5 transparencies onto 120 film?

    You can try Lab-X in South Yarra, Victoria. They are pretty good and have always looked after my trannies with care. Have a look at their website..

    www.labx.com.au

    Best regards, Steve.

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