Scans of LF negs/contacts and output to smaller, but still Large negs for Alt process printing : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a number of 8x20 and 18x22 negs that I would like to make smaller negatives of for alt process prints. I am having a tough time finding a lab that can scan them and/or work on them to make them smaller. I would like to do some smaller contact prints in Carbon, but need the smaller neg to do so. One lab said 'sure, we can do it. All we have to do is cut the negs or contacts into pieces, scan the smaller pieces and then stitch it together in Photoshop. Trouble is, even after this foolish answer they can only output a neg as large as 4x5, way too small for my needs.

Anyone out there have a good lab that can do what I need?

-- Dan Smith (, December 30, 2000



As you have found the biggest problem you will run into is getting a drum scan that large. The service bureaus here in S. Florida only have equipment to scan up to 8.5x11. Some have Flat bed pre-press scanners that will will acommodate 11"x17". I have also tried to get large scale works scanned with no success.

I would think that somewhere nationally, there must be a shop with a large format scanner. I know that there are shops that scan reflective works up to 36" in width on OCE, and Xerox scanners. These feed the document through a scanning head that is mounted on a stand. I know that you want a scan from your negative, but perhaps you could scan a contact print that could then be reduced and output to a film recorder. The loss in quality I imagine would not be that great.

I have 30"x42" drawings scanned in this manner from time to time.

Large graphics houses like T-Square do this on a regular basis.

Not a lot of help, but a thought.


-- Mike Kravit (, December 30, 2000.

Dan try a prepress shop for the printing industry for your scans. The high end drum scanners they use have drums that they can handle 20x24. And while all of these places output film, most image setters are designed for halftone reproduction. That is there will be dots in the film. You might need to have the film generated in a seperate facility if you need continuous tone.


-- Ron McElroy (, December 30, 2000.

Put the negs on a translucent surface or even regular glass and rephotograph them: this is what was done all the time before we had scanners and whatnot. Daylight illumination will do fine. It will be cheaper; you can recontrol exposure/development and so for

-- David Stein (, December 30, 2000.

I like Davids answer the best! Sometimes the most obvious things we tend to overlook today...

If you still want to pursue the scanning route, Howtek makes a Hi Resolve Grand drum scanner. It's surface area is 18x24" so you should have no problems making your chromes fit. Call howtek, 800- 644-6983 and ask the sales department to inform you of labs closest to you that use this paticular scanner. Since the scanner is very reasonably priced, I would hope the scans are too???

-- Bill Glickman (, December 30, 2000.

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