Andrew's book introduced me to new ideas about paper negatives. Surprisingly for me he moves beyond contact prints and suggests loading paper in a medium format or 35mm camera. This can then be put in an enlarger. The result while not as crisp as a film negative has its own quality that he shows suits some subjects. I was inspired to try this out. Some time ago I found a good price on ebay for a rolleiflex/cord back that takes dark slide glass plate holders along with 4 plate holders. At the time the price was negligible and I thought it might come in useful if I got into making glass plates.
It sat in the shelf for some time but I thought this the perfect venue to trying out paper negatives.
|Rollei Plate holder system|
I cut up some old Fohar paper for use in this. This version is called 'raster' as it has unique dimpling pattern and I can only think it was inspired by television at the time. I write a little about it here. I chose Fohar because 1) I have a lot of it, 2) Andrew mentions that different papers given different effects, 3) it is 13cmx18cm meaning I can get exactly 4 pieces from one sheet.
I ran some bracketed exposures on the paper. I assumed ASA 3 which is the lowest setting on my meter and exposed there, one stopover and one stop under. It was a bright though cloudy day. At f11 I ended up at 1 sec, 1/2 sec, and 1/5th sec exposures.
These are the three negatives I got. If you look carefully your can see the 'raster' pattern in the paper.
|f11 1/5 sec|
|f11 1/2 sec|
Next I made test strips. I wanted to stop the lens down a bit so the focus would be sharp. I chose f8. This resulted in no image on the #5 strip even at 64 seconds. A faint image appeared on the #0 filter at 45 and 64 seconds. I next ran strips at f4. A good range on the #0 filter but nothing on the #5 filter. (The #5 filter blocks an addition 1 stop of light compared to #0.) I next ran a #5 test strip in 64 second intervals (64, 128, 192, 256). I finally got images at 192 and 256.
I set up the print at #5 215 seconds (1/2 stop between 128 and 256 seconds) and #0 at 32 seconds.
The result is below,
|8x8" Print on Ilford MGIV|
I may persist in this approach. I was disappointed though. The difficulty of long exposure in the darkroom makes the technique a little tedious. The result is not really to my liking . I have to say the little paper negative is a gem to hold.