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Thread: Digital file to B&W negative

  1. #1
    Eric Woodbury
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    Digital file to B&W negative

    I'd like to be able to use a digital camera to make a conventional negative. I know this is possible, but a few questions:

    Can a digital negative be enlarged? I expect not, at least not by much. That's fine.

    Can this be done withOUT great expense for printer and inks? Something simple. I don't wish to manipulate the image file in a computer. Maybe global contrast or simple adjustments only.

    Thanks for the pointers.

    E

  2. #2
    Moderator
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    What do you mean by "conventional negative"? Do you mean for printing in silver rather than alt processes, or something else?

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    Yes, silver printing. Contact or enlarged. I don't need bigger than 8x10.

  4. #4

    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    a digital negative can be enlarged if you have one made by a lab that uses a film recorder to output continuous tone onto film material....otherwise yes you can't enlarge very much without the dot pattern from your inkjet printer showing up.

  5. #5
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    If you're talking about making injet negatives... no you wouldn't want to put one in an enlarger. They are fine for contact printing, though, and a great way to get into Alt Process. I also linearized my system to produce negs for silver gelatin prints. While the tonal control was excellent, the rendering of the inkjet dither pattern made it a no go for me. My friend Xander has tried this using an Epson inkjet film material that is more opaque than the Pictorico we normally use and he said that it provided enough diffusion to smooth out that pattern.

    So, yeah, totally doable, but contact print, don't enlarge. You might want to look into the Facebook Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitalnegatives

    -CB

  6. #6
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    In the hands of someone who knows what he's doing, an inkjet internegative can be used to make a convincing alt process print. Silver... not so much IMO. Others may feel differently.

    Another option for making silver prints from digital captures is to use one of the labs that is equipped to write a digital file directly to silver paper. Here's one:

    https://digitalsilverimaging.com/about-dsi/

  7. #7

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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    Use film!

  8. #8

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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    Yes, silver printing. Contact or enlarged. I don't need bigger than 8x10.
    Though I make digital negatives for pt/pd printing, I've never been successful making one for silver contact printing. Even with the very small size of 1.5 picoliter I can still see the dots. I use Pictorico film so, perhaps, a more opaque material (as suggested above) would work better.

  9. #9
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    I'd like to be able to use a digital camera to make a conventional negative. I know this is possible, but a few questions:

    Can a digital negative be enlarged? I expect not, at least not by much. That's fine.

    Can this be done withOUT great expense for printer and inks? Something simple. I don't wish to manipulate the image file in a computer. Maybe global contrast or simple adjustments only.

    Thanks for the pointers.

    E
    I use a Lambda 76 and have been making digital negatives on ortho film for years... up to 28 x 40 inch in size...(very expensive). to answer your question my negatives are made for contact exposure and not for enlargement. You can have a Lvt output negative made, there are a few
    labs that do this and you can indeed put this negative in the enlarger.

    FWIW both ways give excellent results that would be impossible to tell the difference from either outputted print and that of an enlarger print from original negative.

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Digital file to B&W negative

    Saw this video a couple days ago made by a member here

    Darkroom Printing From Your Smartphone

    Today I already planned to try contact prints direct from my iPad Mini 5 which has a 1/2 Plate high resolution dim-able screen

    I have an inverted image digital neg ready

    more later

    also on the reversal thread
    where is the monolith

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