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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paper roll film, why not ?

«Early photography in the form of daguerreotypes did not use film at all. The light-sensitive chemicals were formed on the surface of a silver-plated copper sheet. Beginning in the 1850s, thin glass plates coated with photographic emulsion became the standard medium. Although fragile and heavy, the glass used for photographic plates was of better optical quality than early transparent plastics and was, at least at first, less expensive. The plates continued to be used long after the introduction of film, and are still manufactured for scientific use. Eastman Kodak marketed the first flexible photographic roll film in 1885, but this original "film" was actually coated on paper. After exposure, as part of the processing, the image-bearing layer was stripped from the paper base and transferred to a glass support to facilitate printing from it. »
In Wikipedia

The need of a transparent support for negatives is not necessary anymore, since scanners can reproduce images by reflection and the negatives can be inverted by means of software. In some of my uncontrolled experiments I also obtained positive images instead of negative and I could scan the film reflexive, instead of transparency. Now that I am involved with large format, I am using paper for the negatives and they are very easy to handle and store, not so fragile like film. There is also a direct positive paper that is used mainly for pinhole photography, a product from of the Ilford house, very expensive by the way.

It is possible that some day, we will have film manufactures offering paper film, 35 mm, 120 and so on. For the very small formats like APS or 110 it may not have the same detail as transparent films but for 120 film and maybe 35mm it can work very well. I will be trying the next with 6x6 cameras using paper as negative. Below you find two pictures, both shot with a 9x12 camera using Ilford Multigrade IV Paper as negative and scanned reflexive and inverted via software. The Ilford paper was used as ISO 25 in the first picture. In the second photo I don't know, it was exposed with fluorescent light (20W) during 30 sec. at f/5.6. It is underexposed, giving this black/blue when inverted and thus the daguerreotype look enhanced with finger prints during development.

Example I

Rxample II

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