Black and white negatives from color slides

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by robert_bowring, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. I just picked up a very nice Nikon bellows and slide copier. I did not really need it but the price was too good to pass up. I have a lot of color slides and was wondering about the best way to make black and white internegatives from some of them. I would like to make prints from the internegatives. Does anyone have any experience in doing this? Any film/developer recommendations? My usual film is Tri-X and I use a divided developer similar to the discontinued AB55. Would that work or are there better choices? Thanks
  2. I suppose you 'll benefit from an ultra slow film's finer grain? IDK what is still around (poly)pan F? Forte? Foma? But if TriX meets your story telling needs, use it.
  3. Tri-X in ordinary development (D76 for me) is not all that coarse grained. I'm not familiar with AB55-developers, but I would think if you bracket exposure, etc., you will find some satisifying results.
    You can also use color correction, and other color filters to get different results including color separations...
  4. AJG


    When I did this many years ago I used Panatomic X and a developer from Zone VI--both long gone, unfortunately. A slower film like Ilford PanF would certainly minimize grain but I couldn't recommend a developer since I haven't used that film in ages. My usual film these days is Tri-X in HC 110, dilution B, which might work just fine if you aren't making huge prints. I would also use a macro lens like the Micro-Nikkor to insure a reasonably flat field.
  5. Panatomic-X, and Ilford's PanFplus, both have a tendency to high contrast, which is tricky to tame. Couple that with the high contrast of slide film, and you've got a game-and-a-half on your hands trying to retain both shadow and highlight detail.

    If you must make copy internegs, rather than digital scanning and a simple conversion to B&W (with the option to easily add filter effects in the process), then I'd recommend using T-max 100. The grain is just as fine as PanF, but its contrast is much softer and more controllable if developed right. HC-110 allows a wide range of dilutions and gamma (contrast) to be tried.

    To illuminate the film-copier, I recommend using flash. All that's needed is to use the camera popup flash, or a hotshoe-mounted speedlight, and a sizeable sheet of white card. Set the camera about 2' away from the card and point the flash at it. The double-diffusion of card reflection, plus the opal-diffuser on the copier, gives a very even and repeatable light. Plus the exposure is over in a fraction of a millisecond, avoiding any possibility of vibration degradation.

    I find that the 1/4 'power' setting on an SB-800 or similar speedlight gives a good baseline copier exposure with 100 ISO camera sensitivity. YMMV.

    P. S. You'll probably find that you absolutely need to use a 55mm macro lens. Anything longer and you'll run out of bellows extension between copier and lens.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
    Jochen likes this.
  6. Thanks for all of the help. I did plan on using my 55mm Micro-Nikkor lens. I was going to use available light but using a flash sounds like a good idea. I will try both. I think that I may as well start with Tri-X film and my normal developer because that is what I have on hand at the moment. If I don't like the results you have given me several different options to try. Thanks
  7. In copying of any kind, contrast is always a problem.

    Years ago, I wanted to do copying of color prints, and was told about VPS.

    First that it had lower contrast than other color negative films, but also that I didn't
    need to worry about keeping it below 55F all the time. (Even if it takes a few weeks
    or more to finish a roll.) After that, I used VPS for my usual negative film.

    As above, you should find exposure and development times for lower contrast.
  8. Increase in contrast is sometimes desirable. I used to copy images on my old Repronar just to do that (in the days before digital, of course).
  9. Here is my first attempt. It is on Tri-X. I bracketed the camera exposure and developed in my normal developer. It took some time to zero in on the contrast and exposure when I printed it but I think it is not too bad. I might try printing with a little less contrast img225.jpg img225.jpg to see how it looks. It is from a 1968 Kodachrome slide.

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