Making Enlarged Negatives : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I know some people make large negatives by enlarging a smaller negative to create, say an 8x10 negative to contact print. This is typically done for processes that require contact printing. I am curious what developer and such is used for the second negative, since this is a negative-to-negative process. Any special film? And, does anyone do this routinely for alternative processes? I know someone who does this in color, but not B&W. His color prints are stunning. He goes from 4x5 to 8x10 interneg, then prints about 11x14. That makes the enlargement half-and-half. One part from original, the other from interneg. I am curious about using it for some B&W prints, however. Thanks for your comments.

-- E.L. (, June 17, 2000



Contact the Palladio Company, #2400, 200 Boston Avenue, Medford, Ma. 02155, 1-800-628-9618. Ask them to send you their free catalogue/instruction booklet.

These folks put out the most informative, step-by-step instruction manual for creating enlarged B&W negatives for contact printing altertnative processes that I've ever read. It's extremely informative, well-written and helpful stuff. Anyone interested in this process should send for one.

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, June 17, 2000.


I am not sure why your friend enalrges with a 2 step process. It would seem to me that you would loose quality in the enargement the second time around from a second generation interpositive.

I am a platinum printer and regularly enlarge MF and LF negative to 11x14 and larger. It is a fairly easy process but unlike silver all local controls (dodging, burning, etc.) must be done in the enlarging process on film. Platinum utilizes extremely long exposures and therefore dodging and burning is highly difficult and problematic. In addition, it is very difficult to see areas of the negative when it is in a contact frame.

I enlarge my negatives using a 2 step process. First I enlarge the original on the size film I want the final print to be. Say 11"x14". This produces an interpositive or diapositive. I incorporate didging and burning just as you would for a silver print. I make the positive with a with a density range of 1.75-1.95. This allows for full highlight and shadow detail.

Next I contact print the positive to another sheet of film to produce the final enlarged negative. Here I expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights just as you would with an in camera negative. The final negative is test printed in platinum and if the print is too flat I increase development time to raise the density range. You see I do not use contrast agents in my platinum prints. I hand taylor each negative to print just as I want it. I feel that contrast agents degrade the platinum image.

As far as films go I use Agfa Gevatone N31p for my interpositives and Kodak Commercial or Ilford Ortho film for the final negative.

I believe the Palladio Company is out of business. You may want to take a look at the Bostick and Sullivan site. They have an excellent series of articles posted on their web page that describes many of the alternative processes. Also take a look at david michael Kennedy's web page. he has a full text on platinum printing with an excellent section on making enlarged negatives.

Good Luck.

-- Mike Kravit (, June 17, 2000.

There are a lot of different ways of doing this. Many people now do it digitally. If you want to use the older, traditional ways then you can go the interpositive route as someone else mentioned. I've never liked that way just because I don't like to have to do it twice. The other way is to make a duplicate enlarged negative (i.e. eliminate the interpositive step). This can be done by using direct duplicating film or by reversal processing lith film. As far as the developer goes, when lith film is used for the positive/negative, or just for the negative if using reversal processing, a dilute print developer such as Dektol is commonly used. I've also used D 76 diluted 1-6 with some success. If you'd like some suggested reading, send me an e mail. I'm very surprised at the way your friend works. Making the enlarged negative is something of a pain and no matter what method you use to do it (except perhaps digital) you tend to lose at least a little detail and tonal gradation. Going to all the trouble of making the enlarged negative, with the attendant loss of detail and tonal gradation, only to then enlarge it (with still further loss of detail and tonal gradation) rather than contact printing it, sounds strange to me but if it works for him it doesn't matter what I think.

-- Brian Ellis (, June 19, 2000.

Thanks for the replies. I am just curious at this point. The chap I know makes 4x5 color transparencies, then creates an 8x10 interneg to use for printing. I know it sounds like a two-step process instead of a simple print, but... his 11x14s are the interneg film has good resolution, which it helps hold for the first half of the enlargement, then the paper is only having to see less than 2:1. I don't care to mess with all that for color, but it is interesting. In B&W it is very similar to making a paper negative, only a lot better quality.

-- E.L. (, June 19, 2000.

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