Paper negatives…

It occurred to me the other day that there were a few “basic” photographic techniques I’d never even tried.
I’m sure there are many intricacies and details in the making of paper negatives but these are just straight test images.

Relatively straight forward and everything one might need is right there in the darkroom.

I have 5×7 and 1/4 plate film inserts, so first off I tried some Ilford RC 5×7 Cooltone paper… Thanks Gwen.


Exposures were for two Interfit heads with the lens at f8. Now exposure was a tricky one as I have no idea what the speed of paper is. I guessed not as slow as wet plate so I first tried an extra two stops from my usual exposures. Then an extra four.

These are f8 from 1 second, 2 seconds, 4 seconds and 8 seconds.


After the 5×7 I tried some paper in a 35mm camera, just cut and placed inside, held in place by the film pressure plate. I wasn’t sure how accurate the shutter was on the old 35mm Mamiya. Looks pretty good.


A 35mm example… f1.4 at 1/15th.


A 35mm image out of the dirty studio window. Hand held f1.4 at 1/60 second.


Just a quick one from the “Like a…” 1/4 plate camera, the f1 lens is a right pain to work with. Exposure was very much a “guesstimate”. One Interfit head with just one bulb bounced of the ceiling for one second exposure.


The 18 inch Beseler fitted to the Hunter Penrose. The HP table doesnt have any tilt, the camera though has front rise and fall. Here it is at its full extent of fall. I was surprised to see the lens vignette as the lens seems to cover a much bigger circle.


The only paper I had at 12×15 inches was Ilford MGFB Warmtone…


A 12×15 inch paper negative. F3.6 for 8 seconds, two Interfits bounced off the ceiling.

Note to self – do not force dry FB paper on a very hot dish warmer…


The 12×15 with its positive alongside the 35mm paper neg/print…


It seems paper negs have the same sensitivity to certain colours that wet plate does, or am I just imagining that.

Really enjoyed doing these today. I’ll have to try some 12×15 portraits.

Oh and while I think about it, I’ve never even tried pinhole!