Printing onto clear film for large contact prints : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

I'm sure some other folks have had this idea, and I'm wondering if it works. I'd like to have some large negatives (say 8 X 10) to do contact b/w prints. It occurs to me that I could use a scanner and print onto the clear plastic used for making overhead-projectore transparencies.

I'm thinking I could put a positive slide (Scala, for instance) in my enlarger and produce a negative-print on paper. Then I scan the negative-print onto the clear overhead-film and that negative-overhead-image is my negative for contact printing.

Does this make any sense? Is there an easier way? Incidentally, I only have a flat-bed scanner and no transparency attachment. I'm not even sure how folks make the overhead transparencies, but that it is commonly done and that the overhead film is a positive of a positive.

Suggestions welcome.


-- Paul Arnold (, November 01, 2000


Check out Dan Burkholder's book, "Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing". He is the acknowledged expert. He has a site at

-- Ed Buffaloe (, November 02, 2000.

Ed -- Thanks so much. Sounds like just what I was seeking. I've ordered a copy. Next, I guess, I'll be asking for a reference book for printing palladium (and the like) prints; any suggestions?

-- Paul Arnold (, November 02, 2000.

Go to Bostick & Sullivan's literature page at http://bostick- for a number of books on Platinum/Palladium printing. They also have most of the supplies you will need. You can scour my links page at for other relevant information. Especially check out Mike Ware's site on alternative processes.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, November 03, 2000.

Thanks so much, Ed. Most helpful.

-- riverrun (, November 03, 2000.

I had the same idea you did and i tried it this weekend, but it didn't work. i scanned a photo, converted it to grey scale, changed it to a negative and printed it on an over head transparencie. my goal was to have a large negative so i could do van dyke brown, or platinum/palladium contact printing without buying an expensive large format camera. here's what went wrong, the negative was way too "contrasty" not very clear and you could see the little print lines from the printer.

if you have any luck doing this process please drop me a line, because i haven't given up yet.

-- jane linders (, January 29, 2001.

print the picture on litho film and use a highly diluted paper developer to give you a full tonal range.

-- kage (, March 14, 2001.

First of all if your taking the time to make contact prints you want to use the right sutff. There are two ways to going about it, first is to have a large format camera, second is use a film by Kodak called KODAK PROFESSIONAL B/W Duplicating Film SO-132, which is an Orthochromatic, medium-contrast, direct-positive film for one-step duplication of continuous-tone black-and-white negatives. What you would do is to expose the film under an enlarger using one of your 35mm negs. You can buy it in the 4x5 or 8x10 sheets, but the 8x10s cost much more, so I would start out with the smaller size sheets first. If you do not have a lab to make your own you can find a photo lab that offers that type of service, but it is not cheap.

More information on the film: Speed,Very slow and it's Primary features: Orthochromatic Long tonal range for high-quality duplicates KODAK 1A Safelight Filter / light red with a 15-watt bulb at least 4 feet from film 7-mil ESTAR Thick Base Suggested applications: Copying Dupe negative Recommended KODAK Developers: D-76, DK-50, DEKTOL, XTOL, DURAFLO RT Chemica

I have used litho films and they did not work right, now you can also use your computer to make a neg, but I would only use it on say Black & White paper printing and not other types processes. If your taking the time to do this type of printing and spending that type of money you should not go the cheap way of litho or computer negs.

Thanks Gilbert Flores

Here is a name of a book that should really help out

The New Photgraphy By Catharine Reeve & Marilyn Sward

isbn 0-306-80295-3 DA CAPO PRESS NEW YORK

-- Gilbert Flores (, October 13, 2001.

I could not disagree with Gilbert more!!! First of all if you go his way you are limited to 8x10, what fun is that??? Seconn of all I would rather see you spend your money on film or chemicals for alternative printing than on this outrageously expensive film! Look visit the bostick and sullivan site, in the front page there is a good article about making enlarged negatives with lith film. you can go all the way to 20x24 this way, you will learn more about sensitometry and once you get the hang of it you will make very nice enlarged negatives. Which by the way is my other point, every time you make a mistake or want to make exposure adjustments you will be cringing because you will be wasting a few dollars, with lith film you will be wasting a few cents.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, October 15, 2001.

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