Duping b&w 4x5 positives down to 35mm

Moon at Willson Downfall

A
Moon at Willson Downfall

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Work from home

Work from home

  • 4
  • 2
  • 192
^

A
^

  • 9
  • 3
  • 227
portrait

A
portrait

  • 2
  • 1
  • 269
Nature Photographers

D
Nature Photographers

  • 0
  • 1
  • 166

Forum statistics

Threads
178,546
Messages
2,455,783
Members
94,561
Latest member
Evergreen States
Recent bookmarks
0

B&Wpositive

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
462
Location
USA
Shooter
35mm
I've got some 4x5" b&w positives and negatives that I need to print at 11x14 on an enlarger that can only handle up to 2 1/4. What I was thinking of doing was to simply lay them on a light box and copy them onto 35mm b&w film, using one of the finest-grained, highest-res b&w 35mm negative films.

This won't be a one-time project, either. It's going to be something I will be doing over and over, refining the technique over time.

Does this method sound ok? I plan to pull out all the stops I might need in order to manage the contrast (pre-flashing, altered development...whatever it takes).

No 4x5 enlarger, unfortunately.

Another option would be to dupe onto 6x4.5 cm film using the same setup as above. Realistically, I don't know if 35mm versus MF is likely to make much difference for an 11x14 inch silver gelatin print. Also, I'd rather use 35mm because I have access to some micro-Nikkors, a 55/3.5 pre-AI and the very newest 60/2.8 ED.
 

snallan

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
519
Location
Cambridge, U
Shooter
Multi Format
Hi, In the Darkroom Cookbook, 3rd Ed, mention is made of T-Max 100 and Microphen being a good combination for making copy negatives of full-scale B&W prints for reproduction (p 217).

Whether this would be suitable for your requirements I don't know (I have never done this), but it might be worth considering.
 
OP
OP

B&Wpositive

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
462
Location
USA
Shooter
35mm
Hi, In the Darkroom Cookbook, 3rd Ed, mention is made of T-Max 100 and Microphen being a good combination for making copy negatives of full-scale B&W prints for reproduction (p 217).

Whether this would be suitable for your requirements I don't know (I have never done this), but it might be worth considering.

Sounds like I will have to get that book! Thanks.
 

WetMogwai

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
152
Shooter
Multi Format
If you're going to be doing this frequently, it might be more cost effective to find a 4x5 enlarger. They aren't too expensive anymore if you can afford to look around. I found one along with several small format enlargers and various other equipment for only $100 on Craigslist. It just needed cleaned and I had to get the negative carriers. I would expect your end result to be higher quality and the process to be less work if you tried to get the right enlarger. If you only have room for one, I suggest trying to find something like the Omega D2. It can do anything up to 4x5.
 

nickandre

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
1,920
Location
Seattle WA
Shooter
Medium Format
If you're going to be doing this frequently, it might be more cost effective to find a 4x5 enlarger. They aren't too expensive anymore if you can afford to look around. I found one along with several small format enlargers and various other equipment for only $100 on Craigslist. It just needed cleaned and I had to get the negative carriers. I would expect your end result to be higher quality and the process to be less work if you tried to get the right enlarger. If you only have room for one, I suggest trying to find something like the Omega D2. It can do anything up to 4x5.

They're positives so you'd still need to dupe them...

Yeah. I would look into finding a microfilm though. Adox CMS 20 would probably be best suited to this. AFAIK exposing and processing normally should work with an in-camera meter.
 

fschifano

Member
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
3,201
Location
Valley Strea
Shooter
Multi Format
Everything else being equal, 6 x 4.5 you will get a better result simply because the reduction and enlargement ratios will be less. Having said that, I think your biggest challenge will be to get a perfectly even back light. Light tables are fine, but most I've seen hardly qualify as evenly illuminated. I'm at a loss for an easy, quick, and cheap way to do this and still make the illumination bright and even enough to work.

For film, I'd go with TMX, and not only because of its extremely fine grain and very high resolving power. Microfilms are inherently of too high contrast for this job; and each time you make a dupe, you increase contrast. The positives are most likely already have a pretty short and steep straight line in the contrast curve. The negatives will need to go two generations to produce an internegative. TMX is pretty flexible, so you can experiment a bit with exposure and development to get the contrast down to a usable level.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP

B&Wpositive

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
462
Location
USA
Shooter
35mm
All the suggestions you have given are good ones.

Frank: Never having used a light box for this sort of work, I am unsure if the light will be even enough. I'm planning to try and see. I was thinking about using TMX or Acros. I've heard great things about TMX for copying and duping (I do have the Kodak book on copying and duplicating), though isn't Acros supposed to be a bit finer-grained even if the latitude and curve are different?

Frank and tiber: I was also thinking of using a microfilm (the Adox one that was mentioned). I may be able to get away with it in some cases, because some of these positives have far lower contrast than you'd normally expect of a positive.

Another film that I thought might be worth trying is Ilford Pan-F Plus, which has a nice balance between fine grain, latitude, and sharpness being a traditional (non-TGrain) film. The nice thing about this film is that it's well suited to such manipulations as flashing and altered development time (for contrast adjustment).

Wet: Yeah, last resort is to find a 4x5 enlarger. I'm not against it.
 

fschifano

Member
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
3,201
Location
Valley Strea
Shooter
Multi Format
As far as grain goes, I don't think Acros is in the same league as TMX. I've used both and examined negatives from both using a grain magnifier. Acros shows more grain than TMX at the same magnification level. In practice, it doesn't add up to anything really noticeable. Under the microscope, its obvious.

PanF+? No. Bad choice, I think. I have a hard enough time taming the contrast of this film when used normally for general picture taking. It's really slow in the shadows, and shoulders off very abruptly in the highlights. I use this film when I have controlled lighting and lots of it. When used in this manner and developed in D-76 1+3, it delivers the goods; but optimal results are only obtainable under a very narrow set of circumstances. Grain is not nearly as fine as TMX either.
 
OP
OP

B&Wpositive

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
462
Location
USA
Shooter
35mm
PanF+? No. Bad choice, I think. I have a hard enough time taming the contrast of this film when used normally for general picture taking. It's really slow in the shadows, and shoulders off very abruptly in the highlights. I use this film when I have controlled lighting and lots of it. When used in this manner and developed in D-76 1+3, it delivers the goods; but optimal results are only obtainable under a very narrow set of circumstances. Grain is not nearly as fine as TMX either.

Interesting. Would Pan-F also be a poor choice for copying prints (reflective media)? I was planning on using it at least for that purpose after hearing it was suited to copywork.
 

fschifano

Member
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
3,201
Location
Valley Strea
Shooter
Multi Format
If anything, PanF+ would be suitable for copying line drawings and text documents - stuff that isn't continuous tone. Even then it wouldn't be ideal. I have used TMX for copying reflective, continuous tone material, old prints to be exact, and the results were quite good.
 

dr5chrome

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
461
Shooter
Medium Format
High rez scan = Film recording - LVT or CRT

simple.

regards






I've got some 4x5" b&w positives and negatives that I need to print at 11x14 on an enlarger that can only handle up to 2 1/4. What I was thinking of doing was to simply lay them on a light box and copy them onto 35mm b&w film, using one of the finest-grained, highest-res b&w 35mm negative films.

This won't be a one-time project, either. It's going to be something I will be doing over and over, refining the technique over time.

Does this method sound ok? I plan to pull out all the stops I might need in order to manage the contrast (pre-flashing, altered development...whatever it takes).

No 4x5 enlarger, unfortunately.

Another option would be to dupe onto 6x4.5 cm film using the same setup as above. Realistically, I don't know if 35mm versus MF is likely to make much difference for an 11x14 inch silver gelatin print. Also, I'd rather use 35mm because I have access to some micro-Nikkors, a 55/3.5 pre-AI and the very newest 60/2.8 ED.
 

Mike Wilde

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
2,907
Location
Misissauaga
Shooter
Multi Format
For limited numbers I have done the dupes in the darkroom, with a light box as the light source, and orthographic kodalith developed in a low contrast developer, that you can develop by inspection.

I tape the light box to the enlarger baseboard, and mask the area of the light box where I want to consistently want to place the posititive film. I place tracing paper on the light box, and focus a normal neg on the tracing paper to focus the lens, and get the right head height to fill the image to the masked frame area.

Then it is a matter of testing. Load a short length of kodalith (I have a few 100' bulk rolls). I find about 4" is enough to have room to handle with tongs and not damage the image area of interest. Fit ito into the neg carrier. Lay positive copy material on the light box. Exposure is by uncovering the enlarger lens or swinging away the red filter, with the light box illuminated. With light box turned off, extract the film, and develop by inspecton in a small tray.

I now am lucky enough to have been gifted a polaroid industrial copy camera that makes duping things much more convenient.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom