Internegatives to contact printable 8X10 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a yen to do some alternative processes that involve contact printing from an 8X10 negative. Since I am using either a 4X5 or a 6X7 format these days it seems I need to learn something about creating an 8x10 neg from the smaller formats through creation of an internegative.

Any hints, warnings or pointers would be appreciated.



-- Robb Reed (, April 08, 2002


Why not just practice with 4x5 negs first?

-- Chad Jarvis (, April 08, 2002.

You can use your computer in your quest for larger negatives. Visit

Alt processes can be expensive (platinum/palladium prints for example), so if you wish to pursue this wonderful manner of printing, you should practice with 4 x 5 negatives.

You could also start with something inexpensive, like cyanotypes.

-- Joe Lipka (, April 08, 2002.

You can make remarkably good negatives by reversal using cheap lith film. My article Less is More tells how to do it. I find it works best if the negative you start with is 4x5, though my 6x7s come out pretty well also.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, April 09, 2002.

Agreeing with everything said here, also if you want to try coating your own, try liquid emulsion or doing Kallitypes first to get that part of it down.

-- Scott Walton (, April 09, 2002.

You can also make an enlarged interpositive onto either 8x10 sheet film like Plus-X, or Delta 100 etc. or Ilford Ortho Plus. Ortho Plus is pretty cheap and you can work under a red make the interpositive sorta dark--it's not meant for viewing. You can dodge & burn etc. as print the interpos onto a sheet of Ortho Plus for the duplicate negative. If you can still find some (soon to be discontinued) or can afford it--expensive--you can use Kodak's SO132 Professional Duplicating Film. The film is pretty slow, but if you use modern films that have a good tonal range--not too excessive--you can make an enlarged negative in one step with this film and develop it with normal b&w developers. Don't use a hypo clear with it, and go for a full wash. The film has some permanence problems if not processed exactly as the tech sheet spells needs to be toned for permanence as well. In 8x10 it will pretty expensive. It's about $45 or so for 25 sheets of 4x5.....hope this helps. My opinions as always.

-- dk thompson (, April 09, 2002.

There's not to many people out there making internegatives (off slides) to 8x10 anymore. I think there's one in town (Fort Lauderdale) that still does but it's stinking expensive. If what you want is a copy negative (neg to neg) in 8x10, it will be the same boat. It just isn't being done anymore. DK's ortho suggestion is viable for a "3rd?" generation print. I've yet to read ED's suggestion with Lith film.

-- Wayne Crider (, April 09, 2002.

There are many ways of doing what you want to do, none are easy or, for me at least, any fun at all. In fact it's sheer drudgery IMHO. However, it helps a little if you don't go the negative - positive - negative route and instead just make an enlarged negative from your negative, eliminating the positive step in between. One way to do that is to use duplicating film. However, the only dupe film I ever tried was sold by Freestyle Sales and it didn't work well at all. Liam Lawless has come up with a way of making an enlarged negative in a single step without using dupe film. I've seen the results of his method and it was pretty impressive. His method was explained in some detail in the first four or maybe five issues of a publication called "The World Journal of Post Factory Photograpy." I believe you can purchase back issues. I subscribe to it but don't have my back issues handy so I can't tell you how to get in touch with the publisher, who is a lady named Judy Seigel (sp?). However, someone else here may be able to provide you with contact information or you could do a Google search. The simplest of all the alt processes probably is Van Dyke brown and that would be a good one for you to try. In fact you might try it with your 4x5 negatives just to see how you like mixing the chemicals, coating paper, exposing by sunlight, etc. I've seen many very nice 4x5 contact prints made with Van Dyke brown.

-- Brian Ellis (, April 09, 2002.

It is being done...what I was describing is the 2-step method for duplicating b&w negs or making enlarged negs. That method is the one that is used by most archives because you can get tonal control over the interpos to either make contrast adjustments or filter out stains in original negs (assuming they're old & you use a panchromatic film as the interpos). The interpositive then becomes the "master" that is put in safe storage. The duplicate negatives become "surrogates"...these are what you use for working prints, you can make as many as you want & if something happens to them, it's not as big a deal as losing an original. If you use the one step direct duplicating film, like SO-132, it works good but there are problems with matching up the contrast & tonality to an original earlier generations of this film have had bad storage characteristics.

For those of you who say the direct duplicating method doesn't work well, maybe you haven't tried SO-132. It doesn't work well for glass plates or old films, but it works good with modern materials. I've been using it for years for both old & modern negs. It works pretty good with the modern stuff. The main drawback I see, besides the fact that this year it will discontinued, is that in 8x10, a 25 sheet box will be about $80 or so.

here's a link to the technical specs for 2 step duplication used by the National Archives:

But it is very much still done, there are several labs in this country that specialize in this work for historical institutions and archives.MY opinions only.

-- dk thompson (, April 10, 2002.

Oh yeah, SO-132 is not the same film as fine grain direct, which might be what Freestyle is selling...I haven't ever used that or ordered that either. You can probably still get SO-132 from dealers like Calumet & B&H....Berrger makes some ortho dupe films, and Agfa used to have one that was similar to SO-132 but it's been gone for a few years now. If you don't need a panchromatic interpos, Ilford Ortho Plus is probably the best it's pretty cheap & easy to use.

-- dk thompson (, April 10, 2002.

I responded to a question as such over in the unarchived forum at Photonet and thought I would follow the idea up here for purposes of archivability. My thought was to use Scala film or reversed processd Tmax as a positive for enlarging onto (larger) neg film. A shuttered enlarger lens would be needed unless of course a ND filter was used to prolong exposure. I haven't tried it, but maybe someone can comment as to viability.

-- Wayne Crider (, April 13, 2002.

In the end you'll be dis-appointed with the time/ effort/ results equation and looking on Ebay for an 8X10 to make 1st gen. negs. Save yourself the trouble. Of course that's only my experience and opinion. 1st generation is and will always only be 1st generation.

-- Jim Galli (, April 13, 2002.

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