35mm negatives from digital files

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Fall, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Fall

    Fall Member

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    Okay, so I'll try to say this succinctly. I've never really owned a digital camera, so most of my work is 35mm and 120 rarely. I do my own darkroom work and it's how i prefer it. I wanted to experiment with a digital camera, as i have the opportunity to purchase a nice little one, with a very interesting lens. I am wondering what you think of what i'm planning. I want to take 30 or so shots that i like of the digital photographs, and print them onto transparencies, like people do for digital negative contact prints. However, i want to print a contact sheet-like sheet of transparencies as 35mm sized negatives (like reversed and resized to 35mm) and cut them and print them in my 35mm enlarger. Why not digital prints? i hate them, sorry. I just wanted to see if it would work, as i have concerns about densities.. anyway, i just didn't want to waste this money if i can't do this, or even if i can do it, but to expect poor results. Anyway, anyone with some knowledge of this or even ideas, let me know. Thanks. This probably is impossible, as the resizing alone may be not possible, i know nothing about digital processes.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You need to find someone who has a film recorder - a machine designed to write digital files to film.
    I don't know though whether I've ever heard of one set up for preparing negatives!
     
  3. saman13

    saman13 Subscriber

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    This is an interesting idea. Do you already have the necessary printer and supplies to print digi negs? If not, that's an additional sizable expense on top of the digital camera.

    I've done digital negs before, but only as contact prints - never in an enlarger. I'm not sure if they can be used in an enlarger, or if they are like paper negs and can only be contact printed. I don't see why they couldn't be printed via enlarger with proper curves applied, though. Maybe someone with better experience with this can chime in.

    However, you can definitely make an 8x10 (or whatever size) digital neg and contact print this onto photo paper. That's done all the time with great results. But, maybe the reason you're wanting to use the enlarger is so you can dodge ad burn by hand rather than on the computer.
     
  4. nmp

    nmp Member

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    You can do all that in principle. Where you will run into trouble is the resolution you can get out of the inkjet-printed negative. Today's inkjet prints can print may be 10 l/m, give or take, right at or barely past what the human eye can perceive. On the other hand, resolution on the film is an order of magnitude higher - in the 100 l/mm range. If you enlarge the digital negative, say 10x typically for 8x10 print, you will end up around 1 l/mm. In short, there will be an unacceptable loss of sharpness when you covert the film negative to a digital negative of the same size.
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Usually digital negatives are used to make a contact print, and you could certainly use your enlarger as a light source for doing that.
    As mentioned, I expect you'd quickly run into resolution limits enlarging the digital negative.
     
  6. Frank53

    Frank53 Subscriber

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    Never tried it, but you can have your digital files transfered to film. Quality will be better than trying to do it yourself with a inktjetprinter.
    I saw it on the Firstcall website for £25 for a 36 exposure film. Suppose others will offer this service as well.
    Regards,
    Frank
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Fall

    Fall Member

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    Thanks everyone, this is kind of what i was thinking of.. I figured the printer would be the limitation.. I was just really wanting to work with the file as a true negative, and print it, burn it, dodge it, and just over all have a very refined print from a file. Anyway, thanks for your all's help. if anyone else has any more ideas, let me know.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Fall

    Fall Member

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    hmm, so would this be a purchasable item..? do you know anyone who does this sort of work for people?
     
  9. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    I think the quality will be better if you skip the digital file and internegative and stick with film for the process you are suggesting. Not that it can't be done.
     
  10. Kino

    Kino Subscriber

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    Laser Graphics made a desktop size film recorder up to 8K, but they are getting very hard to find, as they were produced in the 1980s' and the software is getting very old in the tooth.

    I remember seeing one listed in the Washington DC Craigslist not long ago...
     
  11. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Have commercial paper prints made from your digital files (4x6 or 5x7) and photograph them with your 35mm camera,
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I have friends who have one, but it may not be up and running at present, and I think it is set up for medium format film.
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It's done with a device called a film recorder. I haven't worked with one for close to 20 years. Even the best ones back then gave mediocre results.
     
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  15. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  16. Poisson Du Jour

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    3M at one stage, now long ago, made film recorders for the photographic industry. And my former Ilfochrome Classic lab in South Australia had one of multiformat sets for A-to-D//D-to-A transfer of digital print files back to analogue (at the time they were offering both analogue and digital printing to Ilfochrome Classic, which was novel but not the tear-away success hoped for). As far as I am aware after 2010 everything in that print output went to the tip!
     
  17. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  18. Kawaiithulhu

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    For historical interest, Polaroid also made a film recorder that used computer video card sources instead of having its own internal digital boards. Mostly they were focused on the presentation graphics business market back in the day. Even if you found one today you'd still need an ancient Amiga-1000/Mac-2/PC-EGA and OS versions that haven't been supported for decades.
     
  19. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    I had some 4x5 negatives made from very high resolution scans of Ilford direct positive paper images. I printed these to 20x24”. Results were ok, not what I had hoped. I used a place called digital silver, but they seem to be no more.
     
  20. Kino

    Kino Subscriber

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  21. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    digital silver imaging out of massachusetts ?
    they are still around .. i just got marketing email from them the other day ...

    bob carnie doesn't print the film with a printer but exposes the image onto sheet film using a modern enlarger ..
    ( from what i remember reading ) ...
     
  23. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  24. Kino

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    Agreed. There is nothing simple about accurate digital to film recording.
     
  25. Kino

    Kino Subscriber

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  26. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Bob uses a Durst Lambda 76 photographic laser printer to write digital files to film
     
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