Paper Negatives? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have recall in one readers' 8x10 responce that they had used printing paper as a substitute for 8x10 film. What paper were you using? Any problems in using it in a 8x10 film holder?

I tried Kodak's paper a few years ago in a pinhole project and found (while it was not visible on the back of the paper), their name printed on the prints (some sort of watermark).

-- Emile J Schwarz (, June 24, 2000


I read someone talking about paper negatives. So I went and put some paper in my holders. Tested the speed (Ilford MG 6 ASA just like they said). Went outside, found the test was useless and learned the meaning of "latitude". Yes, I now know how marvelous negative film is and how forgiving. My conclusion, the time wasted and the quality ain't worth the cost of the film. Just my opinion though.


-- Dean Lastoria (, June 26, 2000.

I spoke to a pro once from NYC that had a 11x14 camera and was using paper as the film (I guess 11x14 film is hard to find). Seems like he said he would later remove as much of the paper backing as possible and then make contact sheets. It all seemed weird to me, but I was too focused on his 4x5 equipment to ask for more info on the technique.

-- Joel Collins (, June 28, 2000.

Several years back when I was in art school, I went through a period of experimenting with paper negatives. I had a classic Ansco 3A folding camera and a large supply of really old 8x10 single-weight FB paper which I cut down in the darkroom. This meant I had to change "film" after every shot. When I got my first 5x7 camera I tried that size too. The paper I used was Kodak Panalure and I still have about half a box of 500 dated 1981. I got fairly good at working out the exposure times and got some good negatives. Negatives came out soft and lower-contrast if I remember correctly (especially with the dirty Ansco lens!). Think pictoralist. I contact printed them wet (often right out of the final rinse after processing) and squeegeed the wet neg and printing paper on a sheet of glass under the enlarger to remove any air bubbles. I had fun with this process, but my photo classmates and professors did not care for it, and as I became more serious with the use of film (5x7) I gave up the fight and moved on. I may yet resurrect this art and attempt some portraits.

Since this was old FB paper I don't know what is available now in single-weight. I had no problem with watermarking with this particular paper. RC experiments were not promising. Another thing to think about is that the paper was not panchromatic and blues were rendered white or clear.

I hope some of you find this ramble useful. :*)

-- Brian Austin (, September 02, 2000.

Some years back, I picked up a book on making paper negatives. But, this approach first exposes a sheet of film, transfers the image to a "paper positive". This paper positive is then transfered to a "paper negative". The final result is achieved by contact printing the "paper negative" onto another sheet of paper.

The name of the book is "Picture Making With Paper Negatives". The author is Nowell Ward, and the book was published in 1947 by American Photographic Publishing Co., Boston, MA.

-- neil poulsen (, September 02, 2000.

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