making an enlarged negative : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can someone tell me how I can increase negative size, say beginning with a 6X6, how would you go about working it up to a 4X5 or even an 8X10 for contact printing. Do you have to do a print and then photograph the print to get a negative and thereby lose detail? Or is there some way you can go from negative to negative and retain all the fine detail in the negative. I read somewhere that Edward Weston took portraits with a 4X5, but he eventually printed the final 8x10 with the contact method; however the article neglected the details of the steps in the process. In another sorce, I read where you can go from a negative to a positive on film with an enlarger, but one: how would you time it (must be very slow speed film), and what are the steps to get back to the negative you need to do the contact print. If anyone happens to know, thanks in advance.

-- david clark (, October 02, 1998


Response to negatives

David, This same question was asked a few days ago. There were lots of good answers to that question. It would probably be easier just to check it out on the site, Q&A page, "Older Messages", "Darkroom" threads, "Making enlarged negatives (8x10 from 35mm).

Don't worry, I'm not going to scold you. We're a lot more civil on the LF side!

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, October 02, 1998.

Response to negatives

The obvious answer is to start with an 8x10 original, but if you had done that you would not have asked the question. Each time you copy a photo to make a negative you will lose information and add noise. I make a lot of copy negatives at my night job, and often see the copy negative picking up the surface texture on the print. This is more of a problem with old black-and-white prints than with new color prints.

Two other methods I know of involve computers. Send your negative to a service bureau for drum scanning, crop and balance the colors or tones in PhotoShop. Now you can either send the file to a service bureau for output onto a larger negative, or printing through an excellent color printer. (You can print a nagative image onto any printer through the appropriate selection in the Print dialog box.) Then go into the darkroom and make your contact prints.

After all this you may find it is not worth the trouble because your original 6x6 might make a better

-- Darron Spohn (, October 02, 1998.

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