recommended soup for thin negatives : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I failed to process my negatives long enough, and they are thin, with hidden information which would require a potent print developer which I normally would not use. What suggestions, etc, would the general public have in this matter??????? thank you!

-- Raymond A. Bleesz (, November 27, 2000


Raymond: First, I would try selenium toning the negs. It may take up to 10 minutes in a fairly strong selenium mixture.You will pick up at least a zone of density, which will make them print easier. I am assuming you mean black and white negs. Try some full strength or one- to-one D-76 on the prints, with higher grade paper. As long as the detail is there, you should be able to print it. Try a grade four or five filter with VC papers.


-- Doug Paramore (, November 27, 2000.

I'll second that suggestions to selenium tone the negs. Use a strong dilution--1:2 or 1:3. With TMX, I get a 1 zone expansion with Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner, 1:3, 8 minutes, 68-deg. F.

-- David Goldfarb (, November 27, 2000.

Be careful with selenium toning those negs. If you can't see the detail in the shadows(low or no density areas) of the negs, forget doing anything to them. They have been fixed and what information was there the fix bleached it out and it is lost. If you can see it, be careful because selenium toning will make them more contrasty because the more silver in the image the more the selenium works. Highlights become more dense yet and in the shadows where there is much less silver to convert, the density stays about the same. I suggest you try selenium toning but if the neg becomes too contrasty then use a Q-tip and slowly dab selenium(with a little spit added) on just the shadow areas. If they are really thin then nothing is lost anyway. After you have selenium toned the negs, first print them with as soft a grade filter as you've got and then re-expose them to a really hard filter. Split exposure helps really under developed negs. james

-- lumberjack (, November 27, 2000.

Lumberjack: Good tip about the split contrast exposure. I have one neg that prints best with that method. I expose it as you said with a soft filter and then "bump" the contrast with a short high contrast filter. It's really not that difficult to do and can make super prints.


-- Doug Paramore (, November 28, 2000.

This is where scanning could be extremely helpful-if we had an economical way to re-generate negs as LensWork does with its special editions program. Flatbed scanners with transparency adapters do extremey well with thin negs-ones so thin that I would never try conventional printing scan beautifully and produce a full tonal range. Conversely, dense negatives are MUCH harder to deal with.

-- David Stein (, November 28, 2000.

I know! I've got a neg of the old truck up in Bodie that takes 20 minutes exposure at f5.6 #5 filter to get an acceptable print from at 11x14. That's just the basic exposure too. I then have to burn all around the edge to even out the light outer parts of the image due to the very small at normal exposure light falloff. But it has the sweetest grain you ever saw. Oh, and it's IR from Kodak. James

-- lumberjack (, November 28, 2000.

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