Getting 12" x 12" (or therabouts) enprints from AGFA RAPID film.

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Richard, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Richard

    Richard Guest

    My negatives are AGFA RAPID, which is basically 35mm film, but with a
    1:1 aspect ratio, so the negatives are 24mm x 24mm about.

    Mostly the negatives are black & white. By and by, I'm wanting to end up
    with several 12" x 12" enprints from the negatives.

    I don't know whether any amateur has the capability to do this. The
    equipment used needs to be high quality.

    The negatives need cleaning first.

    How do I achieve my objective with costs in mind? Thanks.
     
    Richard, Feb 7, 2010
    #1
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  2. Richard

    Richard Guest


    What is the best techical process that results in getting enprints
    today?

    Using a digital film scanner? Or what? Rich
     
    Richard, Feb 8, 2010
    #2
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  3. What do you mean by the word 'enprint'? It usually refers to 6x4 prints
    that most people consider the standard size they get back from Boots, etc.

    Presumably you just want prints.

    If I was doing them, I'd scan them on my flatbed scanner (Epson 1680
    with a transparency adaptor) as they're too big for my 35mm film
    scanner. Then I'd print them onto decent quality paper with my Epson
    R2400. I wouldn't expect the results to be any worse than conventional
    printing in the darkroom.

    Cleaning - anti static brush to get rid of loose dust before scanning.
    Photoshop to get rid of remaining dust.
    If they're really filthy, I'd scan them first, then consider soaking in
    distilled water with a drop of wetting agent, and redrying, but would
    avoid this unless absolutely necessary.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 8, 2010
    #3
  4. Richard

    Rob Morley Guest

    Eh? Agfa Rapid /is/ regular 35mm film (in full frame, half frame or
    square format) just with a different cartridge system than the Kodak
    one that everyone uses today.
     
    Rob Morley, Feb 8, 2010
    #4
  5. Doh! For some reason I was picturing it as 35mm without sprocket holes
    so the image went full width. Put it down to Monday morning.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 8, 2010
    #5
  6. Richard

    Paul Giverin Guest

    In message
    Which is how I ended up as a wet darkroom virgin after years of digital.
    I could make great b&w conversions in photoshop and have a great deal of
    control over the process, right up to the point where I printed out my
    photo on my printer (also Canon). I could never get a good print without
    a colour cast.

    I do love pottering about in my darkroom because its all still new to me
    but its quite time consuming and expensive, particularly for the paper.
    I do get true b&w prints though but I've still got a lot to learn.
     
    Paul Giverin, Feb 8, 2010
    #6
  7. Richard

    Bruce Guest


    I use a "full frame" Nikon D700 for wedding and portrait work and my
    experience exactly parallels your own. It's great for colour but the
    results in black and white are disappointing.

    For social photography in black and white I use a Nikon F100 and Kodak
    BW400CN black and white C41 film. The results are incomparably better
    than with "digital clack and white". I suspect the reason for this is
    that the Bayer pattern digital sensors were never designed for black
    and white work.

    It would be possible to make a digital SLR that is dedicated to black
    and white work by omitting the Bayer colour filters. Whether the
    market for this would be sufficient to fund its development I cannot
    even guess.

    I occasionally use a Hasselblad H3D-39 for portrait work. Once again,
    the colour results are very good - almost too good, as I have to use a
    Zeiss Softar filter with it. But the black and white is once again
    very disappointing, even though the images are 39 MP.

    For black and white printing I use an Epson 2400 with Epson's standard
    K3 inks (I use an Epson 2880 for colour work). Obviously I need to
    scan the 35mm film, and I use a Nikon Coolscan 5000ED at its full
    resolution of 4000 ppi.

    I also sell a limited range of "fine art" black and white prints. I
    use Leica M rangefinder lenses on a Konica Hexar RF body. These are
    hand printed on Ilford variable contrast paper using a Leica V35
    enlarger with a Schneider APO 40mm enlarging lens.

    Of course the hand made traditional prints are the best of all, but
    the digitally printed (Epson) ones are extremely good. Using the
    Epson 2400 is so much easier and quicker than the traditional
    darkroom. But for top quality and higher selling prices, traditional
    black and white is unbeatable.
     
    Bruce, Feb 8, 2010
    #7
  8. Richard

    Richard Guest

    "Michael McGrath, Portraitist ." <>
    wrote in message
    Maybe it's me, but I haven't yet got 'true' B&W out of any DSLR in
    digital darkroom , as I have out of my Bronica SQA , Mamiya 645 or
    Nikon F90X /N90S with B&W film under the enlarger in my traditional
    wet darkroom . Of course I use the best Nikon enlarger lenses, whereas
    in digital darkroom I use the best Canon printers . I have even tried
    scanning my B&W negs on a newly acquired Canon CanoScan flatbed 8800F
    scanner, but still the traditional B&W film & traditional wet darkroom
    prints work out far better, so much better that digital B&W simply
    does not compare.

    Cheers,
    Michael .
     
    Richard, Feb 8, 2010
    #8
  9. Richard

    Bruce Guest


    Paul,

    If your web site is anything to go by, you could teach many aspiring
    photographers a thing or two. Judging by your results, you have a
    talent that is definitely worth nurturing.
     
    Bruce, Feb 8, 2010
    #9
  10. How much do you want to spend?
    Give us a hint and tell us what's actually on these negs. While we're
    probably all agreed that B&W prints made in the darkroom have an edge
    over digital prints, whether it'll actually make any difference depends
    on your negs. You could spend an awful lot getting someone to hand print
    them for you, but that'll all be wasted if your images are grainy or out
    of focus.
    If they're just ordinary family snapshots taken on a cheap compact
    camera, you may as well just go the digital route.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 8, 2010
    #10
  11. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Exactly: These would be taken on the this camera:

    http://www.ken.lyndrup.dk/Engelsk/Agfa/Iso-Rapid I 1964 E.htm

    Still got it.

    So, no benefit using anything other than a digital process?
     
    Richard, Feb 8, 2010
    #11
  12. Richard

    Paul Giverin Guest

    Stop it Bruce, you're making me blush. Thanks for the compliment though,
    I do appreciate it.

    Of course all the stuff on the website is digital. You should see the
    crap that I'm pulling out of my fixer tray ;)

    Having said that, I think I might be getting the hang of it. Initially,
    I was sort of "doing it by numbers" but now I'm starting to get a feel
    for it. The trouble is that there are so many variables. Different
    papers need different exposure times. The same for the negs. I've used
    four different brands of film and they all produce negs that are
    different.

    I'm going to try and stick to two types of film in the future. One will
    be APX 100 (or Rollei Retro 100) which is nice and cheap. The other is a
    toss up between Tri-X 400 and TMY. Of course I don't help myself by
    trying to walk before I can run. I use Rodinal with the APX 100 and I
    read the other day about stand developing it for an hour so I gave it a
    go. The negs looks "different" and the prints were flat. I later read
    that you need to add a lot of contrast to bring them to life.

    All good fun though.
     
    Paul Giverin, Feb 8, 2010
    #12
  13. Not initially, but if any of them turn out to be gems, you can always
    think again later. Even simple cameras like that can turn out wonderful
    photos when everything's going right, so you might be pleasantly surprised.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 8, 2010
    #13
  14. Aye, only last week someone gave me a Durst M305 enlarger with colour
    and black & white heads and all the toys. A cracking little enlarger if
    anyone wants to wave 25 quid in my direction.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 8, 2010
    #14
  15. Richard

    Richard Guest

    What does it take to "roll my own" enlargements from developed film?
    What's the gear, and what basically is the process?
     
    Richard, Feb 8, 2010
    #15
  16. Richard

    Paul Giverin Guest

    Enlarger.... usually about £10, buyer collects, on ebay
    Enlarger lens... £10-£20 ish... again on ebay.
    Three trays for chemicals..... size depending on what size paper you
    will be using.... £5 ish on ebay.
    Safe light for your darkroom £5 ish.
    Developer, stopbath and fixer. you can buy these mail order or places
    like Jessops still sell it.
    An enlarger timer will be advantageous but at a push you can use a stop
    watch.
    Thermometer is handy for getting the chemicals to the right temp.
    Oh and an darkroom. I use my shed but others use the bathroom etc.

    The simplified process is that you put the neg into the enlarger and
    focus the image onto the baseplate. Then you put your photographic paper
    onto the baseplate and expose it to the image for a set time. You then
    put the paper into the tray of developer for a set time and then into
    the stopbath tray for a few seconds and then finally into the fixer tray
    for several minutes. You then wash the print in water and dry.

    There is a bit more to it than that but that's the basics.
     
    Paul Giverin, Feb 8, 2010
    #16
  17. Richard

    Richard Guest

    What comes to mind if the goal is to enlarge a 24mm x 24mm negative to
    12" x 12" or even 15" square?
     
    Richard, Feb 8, 2010
    #17
  18. Richard

    Bruce Guest


    You start in a dark room. You put your negative in a tray under the
    lamp housing, focus the lens, put a sheet of printing paper on the
    baseboard of your enlarger and expose it for some seconds.

    Then you put the paper in a plastic tray with some developing fluid
    for some minutes, watching the image form.

    Then you take the paper out and put it in another tray (the "stop
    bath") containing either water or water plus a chemical to stop
    development.

    Then finally you put it in another tray with yet another chemical
    ("fixer") that makes the image permanent.

    After all this, you wash the print thoroughly to remove all traces
    chemicals and hang it up to dry. It's as simple as that.

    You don't need total darkness all the time. You can use a "safelight"
    to give some dim illumination that doesn't affect the printing.

    If you're keen I have a spare Durst 35mm enlarger that you could have
    for nothing. It's in very good condition. Email with your location
    if interested.
     
    Bruce, Feb 8, 2010
    #18
  19. No way! I'm a photographic technician, which means that the first 20
    years of my career was spent in the dark. While it saddens me a little
    that many of my skills are now redundant, the move to digital
    photography has been the most liberating change imaginable and I have no
    intention of going back. Besides, I used an automated print processor
    (Durst RCP40) and fancy enlarger with a Multigrade head, so messing
    about with open dishes and filters would be doubly painful.
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 9, 2010
    #19
  20. That's worth knowing about, thanks. (I'm not too far from Dublin - as
    the cormorant flies.)
     
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 9, 2010
    #20
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