Negative photos?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by ric|1, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    How do I process a b/w negative into a positive, so that the resulting photo I print up comes out in negative please?
  2. Do you do your own processing? Do you have a film scanner? As sending a roll to DR5 would be the fastest to get a positive from B&W negative film.
    You could then print that positive as a negative print. If you have a film scanner you just reverse the image with the software. Or you could make a copy of a negative on positive film through contact printing or with a slide copier.
    Pick your poison as I did not suggest using a direct positive kit because the chemicals are pretty expensive and caustic.
  3. Thanks Larry,
    Well I develop my own film (in D-76). I presumed for a - let's say - 8 minute development I would remove the film after 4 minutes and give it 30-60 seconds of light, then return it to the developer for the remaining 4 minutes?
    Would this work please or is there something fundamental I'm missing out? :-o
  4. Sorry Ric that is not even close.... You need to research B&W Positive development. It is not that simple. Kodak makes a kit for TMX film for direct positive development but it would most likely cost you more in the long and short run than sending a roll to DR5.
  5. Thanks. Well, researching this is exactly what I am doing here :)
    Any idea who might retail the T-Max kit in Britain please?
    Thanks again.
  6. PS. I may have a compromise solution - I also develop b/w ciné film in Foma chemistry and just have a new supply: there ought to be enough spare after the ciné film for a roll of 120. How does this sound?
  7. Foma also makes a direct positive kit email them.
  8. That process of switching a negative to a positive is called, "reversal." Look up, "reversal development" or, "reversal processing." There will be a lot of info to choose from.
    Ric, light fogging by itself won't necessarily inspire a reversal. Sometimes it will just give you one big light leak. The light fogging reversals need some chemical support from the solutions. Otherwise, you're just burning up the whole roll with bulk over-exposure.
    I don't remember enough about it to give a good explanation, but if I remember right, part of the way reversal works out smoothly is to hit a change in a REDOX reaction at just the right point in the process. Idea is, you're using the other half of the REDOX to fill out the image that you would normally build with the other part. The switch has to be just at the right time and in the right amount in order to keep the image intact.
    Instead of supporting part of the drawing with reduction, you'd be supporting that same part of the drawing process with oxidation. Flip it wrong, and the whole stock of fuel (emulsion volume) burns out of control, giving you a big black blob of everything that looks like nothing.
  9. Please keep in mind that what I'm trying to say there is a really crude oversimplification; it's just how I remember understanding it.
  10. Thanks Larry and John,
    I do get confused by the word 'reversal' in darkroom photography I'm afraid. The Foma kit looks exactly like what I use for ciné film
    Light fogging - true: have done this in the past but only for solarisation. With the Foma kit I expose film to 1 minute of a 100Watt light bulb.
  11. The solarization and mackie lines are a part of it; yet, as you can see with some of those processes, the effect ends up being confined to more or less a small amount of the overall surface area; like, that thin little edge where two contrasting surfaces meet, in the case of mackie lines.
    Part of the reason why light fogging reversal is going to need support from the solution is to help carry that effect through the entire volume of the emulsion. The emulsion's thin and a small rectangle; but, still, it's a volume.
    And yet more, for light fogging reversal to work, it'll be just like adding other forms of energy (regular light or chem exposure) in that you won't want too much or too little.
    Part of the reason why that light fog works is because you will slam so much energy into that reaction, that function, that's already underway, that you zap the thing into doing something else. Well, have a look at the liquid reversals. Hey, Kodak didn't rely on one guy to hold the strip of film up to the light bulb exactly the same way every time. [Of course, there was that worldwide-famous Kodachrome exception! It involved one guy and a red light bulb if I understood that right!] They moved over to using the solutions to not only support, but do the reversing.
    Read up on those reversals. I take it you have already found that Ilford pdf on reversing PanF. It's as good as any other set of instructions I've seen as far as explaining the basic ideas go.
  12. You might also check with Freestyle Photo to see if the still sell "Print Film". I used to use this to make positives from my negatives either by enlarging or contact printing. It is great because it works just like paper in that you develop it in dektol or a develop of your choice, including soft developers, for standard times--also slow enough to regulate exposure with enlarger light source.
    Scanning prints is fine if you are going to go one to one, but over that and you start having issues. If the print film is still available you will absolutely love it for this purpose--and it is safelight safe!
  13. Your goal is a negative print, not a positive slide. By reversal development of the in-camera negatives, you are basically making a slide. The problem is that the slide will probably be too contrasty for making a good print.
    An easier approach is to make an inter-positive. This is the same approach people use in making enlarged negatives. For enlarged negatives, you start with the negative, make a very soft inter-positive, and make the enlarged negative. Basically, you can do the same thing but instead of making the enlarged negative, you will make a print.
    To do this, develop your in-camera film regularly. Pick the frame you want to print as a negative. Contact print that on to film. Develop the contact to a soft positive. You will have more control this way in that by varying the exposure of the positive and the development of the positive, you can match the density to your paper. Also, you can use ortho film and paper developer so that it can be done under safe light conditions. Just google "enlarged negatives" and you will find all sorts of information on the process.
    Also, a quick and dirty way to do this is to put your negative on a light box and photograph the negative and develop your film normally. Or use a slide duplicator as mentioned in the first response to your post.
  14. Yes, then a compromise is going to be laying the neg on a light box with a sheet of glass over it and mounting a 35mm camera on a tripod to photograph it, that should be quite good - the effect i want is sort of 'antique' anyway so ultra sharp definition is not an issue here. Many thanks for the 'think tank' guys, excellent thinking, and you have saved me wasting 800ml of Foma ciné kit on a stills experiment which probably wouldn't have worked very well!
    I know of print film because one of my ciné clips needed to be reversed from negative (teleciné) to positive and this was done on print film, deuce of a job to splice because it was quite thick stuff I recall.
    Many thanks again to all! Will update :)
  15. PS. slide duplicator - sorry I didn't twig what was meant - excellent idea, but the raw negs are 120 format: using the light box I can 'convert' them to 35mm :)
  16. Ric,
    You're on the right track with cine' reversal film, it's the same process. I recently posted my success reversing Plus X pan.
  17. Thanks Chris,
    I have no problem reversing b/w ciné film, in fact I am going to pick up a Bolex H8 one of these days, I like the medium so much!
  18. You could try contact printing the negative onto something like sheet lithographic film, process in regular film developer (instead of high contrast litho developer). This will give you a positive image on film. Now print that on regular print paper and the image will reverse once again: yielding a negative print.
  19. Thanks Mendel: these are great ideas but I have no direct access to sheets of print or lithographic film: for example, I like to use 1 litre packets of D-76 for developing but something as simple as this is virtually impossible to find in London. I am trying Process Supplies (Holborn) tomorrow with fingers crossed.
  20. You could scan it, telling the scanner that you are scanning a positive, rather than negative film, and then print it from there.
  21. Ric, you can make a full sized positive print then make a full sized contact print by placing the positive print and an unexposed sheet of photo paper emulsion to emulsion under your enlarger and exposing to the enlarger light. You will want to put a sheet of glass on top of the whole package to ensure good contact. It will take some experimentation to get the exposure correct but you can do it with the materials you have on hand now. It will take a longer exposure because of the density of the photo paper.
  22. Thanks Scott, I do have that option (Photoshop Elements) but would much rather stay with a photographic image, since it is to be randomly re-photographed as a multiple exposure. I used to have a negative scanner but basically got fed up with it (slow) and then it stopped working anyway. Also, if I were to invert the image and print it out the cost of so doing in terms of black ink jet would be prohibitive. I have a small light box and have found a mains adapter (6v) for it so I am really looking forward to photographing the negatives with an extension tube or zoom set to macro. They are 120 negatives from an old Bencini 'Koroll II' camera, using 1/100th shutter speed on FP4+ roll film ;)
  23. Nice one John, I have actually done this in the past so it is a technique I can fall back upon if all else fails, but I distinctly remember the results of doing this were slightly fuzzy, but yes, it does work! Possibly using different papers and exposure times could sharpen the secondary image.
  24. Efke makes a reversal paper that works quite well, use the same time and filtration as normal paper, but keep in mind, safelights (at least mine) will fog the paper causing it to not produce deep blacks. It is neat paper to play with though. I bought mine from Freestyle.
  25. Let see what you really want to accomplish.
    1. You want a positive film. You can simply copy the negative onto negative film and get a positive.
    2. You want a negative print but it must be optically printed. You can use the positive made from #1.
    3. You simply want a negative print made from a shot that you made on B&W negative film. You can scan it and print digitally.
  26. Hi BeBu,
    Thanks. I want a negative image I can re-photograph into a montage. The 'negative photo' will be on fibre based paper which is matt, so no troublesome glare or reflection on re-photographing. The image is ideally something I can manually manipulate ('dodge') to blend with other superimposed images: must stress this is very experimental [like all my work] and the resulting montage is random by way of passing a 35mm film (36 exposures) through a camera multiple times. I am content to use a light box to re-photograph the desired images thus transforming them into 'negative photographs' which I will then re-photograph into the montage.
  27. Cool I did it just like John and it came out nice.You may want to reverse your original print so you negative print will be like you exposed it. good luck

Share This Page