Source for silly big film rolls.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Laird Knox, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Does anybody know of any source for B&W film in a size around 40 inches wide? I am able to get rolls of RC paper in that size but have not located any sources for film. It is a long shot but figured I would ask here.
     
  2. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

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    #2
    40" boggles the mind. Hate to think of the size of the camera it would fit in, but suspect for some sort of contact exposure printing.
     
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #3
    That's not something that probably ever existed, even at the height of film production, and needless to say we're a long way from then. Processing something like that would be effectively impossible too.
    What are you trying to do?
    I would look at using a clear inkjet media if you're trying to make a negative for analog printing.
     
  4. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

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    #4
    Getting serious...did you really mean "film", B&W or otherwise. Not only do they not make cameras to take the picture with that size film, nor do they make enlargers to expose the RC paper too, but in reality, that size film if it existed would be a direct contact print onto the paper. Even Ansel Adams did contact exposure, but he only had 8x10 plates, plus you know how large that camera was he carted through the fields! While you "can get" 40" wide RC paper, you apparently don't have it and strongly suspect the paper is not silver emulsion which would be required for direct film processing, and I would hate to think of the size of the vats of developer, stop and fixer.

    I suspect the RC paper is designed for inkjet (pro-level archival ink)printer such as the Epson SureColor P8000 (P9000 or P10000) or the Canon Prograf 9400. They print digital files so any film would have to be digitized - and no, there is not a 40" wide scanner for film negatives (the Epson 100000xl will positive scan up to 4'x6' paintings for giclée production). Really, any camera can provide a digital file, but at that level of enlargement demands high resolution and you would want a full frame 38+ mp or higher sensor such as my Sony A7rII or a medium format camera - drooling over a Phase One or Hasselblad. Not having the paper is a good thing unless you are planning to buy one of those printers that start at $5000. My local printer could probably do it and they have the Epson P9000 printer - and they are quite reasonable - but the largest print on their pricelist is 24x36 ($43 to $60 depending on paper) but they do show canvas as large as 48x72 ($257 print only, not mounted).
     
  5. jerwin macrumors 68020

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    #5
    you've missed this deadline. Maybe next year.

    http://www.ultrafineonline.com/ilorplulfpr12.html
     
  6. someoldguy macrumors 68000

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    #6
    It's a real long shot , but have you asked around at your local newspaper or big commercial printers? At one time there were some pretty big process cameras . If anyone has experience with big negatives it'd be these folks . I suspect they are all digital now , but maybe they could give you some leads .
     
  7. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Hopefully you can see it next summer if all goes well.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Nope, looking for media to load into a film holder. Film would allow for clean contact prints. Contact prints from a paper negative will show the fibers but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for this project. I was just looking into the possibilities.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    You suspect wrong.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/447077-REG/Ilford_1769450_Multigrade_IV_Deluxe_Black.html
     
  8. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Such film actually did exist at least at one time as a specialty product, but there was a lot of it made. In the 1960s-1970s, physicists used large pieces of film to record atomic and nuclear reactions from bubble chambers - think ‘Large Hadron Collider’ today. Today it’s all digital of course. I’ve personally seen film 6 feet across on an everday basis in the 1970s. I still have a number of 7 inch Panatomic X aerial film spools that I use for 7x17 inch and 5x7 inch film cameras.

    There also existed very large (20x30 inch) film cameras, and people have made pinhole cameras out of vans with even larger image sizes though those were usually paper prints not film.

    It’s also quite possible to make your own silver-based film, but it likely won’t perform the same as Kodak and other commercial films did. It’s also extremely messy and the silver compounds aren’t the safest things in the world. Also try searching on ‘liquid light’.

    Edit; here ya go: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/16581-Rockland-Colloid-Liquid-Light-Photo-Emulsion-1-2-Pint

    Out of curiosity, what would you use to expose/image 40” film?

    Cheers, Azy
     
  9. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Oh wow, great find. I wonder what the ISO is on that? RC paper clocks in at 2 or 3. I’ll have to keep my eye on it to see if the do another run. Thanks for the heads up!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    I actually worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal around 2000 and they probably still run film to make the press plates but that is only 18 or so inches wide. Great idea though. Still worth checking with them on their source as they might have other sizes.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    I do use an 8x10 field camera with Ilford film. It is actually this camera I’ll be using as a model for building the project. The planned imaging area will be 40x60 and I’m still having trouble grasping the idea of a five foot film holder.

    Wet plate would be fun but impractical and, well, dangerous.

    Initially it will be a pinhole but ultimately I would like to match a lens to it. The project will be tough enough that the lens can wait. Although I do have some lenses from a Barco projector that was used for ten foot screens in a sports book. They might one day get repurposed. As a pinhole it will be a bit over f-1000 with a six foot focal length.

    This is a long term project with a completion goal of next summer but that is not a hard timeline. First I have to find a suitable truck to strip down to use as a build platform.
     
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #10
    I wasn't talking about paper media for inkjets. Clear media intended for use as digital negatives exists and is commonly used for alternative process imaging.
     
  11. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    As for the other part of your post. A 42” printer is on my short list of gear. It will probably move up if I ever get back into a gallery space. All my past gallery work was done with a chromogenic process and standardized for display at 12x18 and 20x30. This allowed me to flip the gallery every month. The biggest print I’ve sold was a four foot pano, also a chromogenic print.

    The largest piece I’ve produced was a quadtych that measured 24x84 not counting the gaps between frames. For that project I used about 80 feet of 24 inch paper to make 15 images. They were all diptychs, triptychs and quads. Here’s one of the triptychs hanging at home:

    9C472502-3508-4787-90C5-ED9A7DA75CE9.jpeg

    These I printed myself on Epson Metallic Glossy paper and they compare well to the lab printed chromogenic prints. I actually preferred the depth of color on the inkjet prints. They were done on the last generation Epson printers, not the current machines.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Yes and I’ve done that myself. I’m talking about the 40x60 negative that comes out of the camera. If it is film then it will make a clean contact print. If it is a paper negative then the contact print will show the fiber patterns. The fiber texture is actually acceptable for this project but I wanted the flexibility of both media types if possible.
     
  12. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Well at 40x60 inch for the negative, a normal lens would be about 72” focal length. Not many that long were made and they’re expensive if you can find them. Probably the most common would be a Goerz Artar process lens or maybe a Rodenstock process lens. You’ll need 72-ish inches (6 feet) of ‘draw’ to focus it at infinity, more for a closer focus. If you don’t mind less than sharp corners/edges there were quite a few more lenses that would cover the negative but not sharply in the edges and corners. It will take more than one person to lift the camera if it’s a ‘normal’ one, and two tripods to hold it!

    People still do wet plate and it might be easier than finding film. People also still make dry plates but dry plates don’t seem as ‘trendy’, but dry plates would solve several logistical problems like developing the wet plates immediately before they dry. Ilford does yearly runs of large films, maybe twice yearly for the more popular formats, and oddly enough, Kodak still does some occasional runs of TMax though not on a regular basis I believe.
     
  13. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Yeah I expect I would not be using traditional camera lens but rather something I created myself from bits and pieces. I suspect I could get something useful out of the Barco lenses I have. They are rather simple - two elements I think. But it would be a step up from an f-1000 pinhole.

    The camera will be integrated into a vehicle so no lifting or tripods required. When it opens up I expect it will need a brace on the front but all of the "bones" will be done in steel tube. I'm still kicking around a design for the bellows itself.

    The other interesting issue is I don't expect I'll get enough light from a pinhole to be able to use the focus screen. Maybe if I sit in the dark for 20 minutes... I'm not too worried about that since the first lens board will be a pinhole focus shouldn't be an issue if I use approximately a 72" focal length.

    4060pin.PNG

    Annual runs of film would work as this is not a high volume project and it won't be ready for some time. It is good to know that option exists. This is why I asked the question. ;)

    A large part of the project is the journey. The final images will reflect the process and not just the subject. I can record a fine image with my DSLR.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    40" wide is bordering on master roll dimensions(although those vary somewhat).

    In any case, I think your only real option is to wait until next year's Ilford ULF special run and order some then. Process cameras certainly exist that would have dealt with film that size, as did some special purpose cameras(aerial photography, etc). Even 20 years ago, digital direct-to-plate was a fledgling and expensive technology. After all, 40" is around the size of a typical sheet of newsprint, and AFAIK they were(and still are) done as one plate/sheet.

    I have to admit to laughing when you mentioned "RC" paper and someone in this thread thought you were talking about inkjet paper. To me, "RC" paper is and will always be the alternative to "FB" paper, and if you walk into my darkroom you will see stacks of Ilford boxes that say "RC MG" on the end of them.
     
  15. Azathoth123, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

    Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Bravo sir and good luck! You might want to give Tracy Storer at mammothcamera.com a call or email, he knows large cameras and may have some tips, ideas, or even parts that you might use. He also rents equipment so maybe renting a lens rather than buying it might be an option.

    http://www.mammothcamera.com/

    Cheers, Azy
     
  16. jerwin macrumors 68020

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    #16
  17. Arran macrumors 601

    Arran

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    #17
    You might be able to reduce that by putting the two emulsion sides in contact, face to face and exposing with multiple light sources (or moving your source during exposure). You want light coming from lots of different angles to blur shadow edges.

    Intrigued to see how this project works out.
     
  18. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    The way we did the plates for print was with an image setter that took roll film. A laser would scan the image onto the emulsion and then the printer would cut the film and punch registration holes. This would go directly from the printer into an automatic developer. The negative would then be loaded into the machine that made the plates. It would grab the negative and plate and place them on registration pins in a vacuum frame. The exposed plates would then enter another automatic developer. The developed plates would then run down a conveyor to the bender. This would punch and crimp the plates to fit on the presses. Each plate was the size of a single page so two plates per sheet. Or eight sheets if you are doing a color run. ;)

    The do make resin coated papers for inkjet but I agree, RC will always mean photo sensitive to me.

    Also on my todo list is setting up a darkroom at home. Unfortunately I don't have water and drains convenient to any useful locations.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Thanks for the heads up. This project will be a long road but should prove to be an enjoyable experience - and probably very vexing at the same time. :D
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Yeah about five stops faster than RC paper. I might be able to get away with only three hour exposures.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    That is a very interesting idea. I'll have to remember to try that if I manage to pull this off. :)
     
  19. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #19
    You know being a noob here at MR, I must say that I’m am beyond impressed with the level of photographic expertise that I’ve seen here. Especially the depth of knowledge of traditional photography, especially large format (LF) and ultra large format (ULF), on a forum that really is about ‘cameras’ with sensors the size of a small fingernail at best. I am looking forward to participating more, and thanks to everyone.

    BTW, I am currently exploring how much quality I can get out of a phone camera (currently iPhone X) and it’s pretty impressive. I want to take a really nice image that I took with an 8MP iPhone 6 in Paris a few years ago, make a digital negative and print in platinum-palladium. It’s a dark image so maybe yes, RC silver gelatin paper might be a better choice. Anyway, an 8x10 inkjet print of this image would pass muster in any gallery.

    Cheers, Azy
     
  20. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    There are a bunch of helpful people on these forums. I know you wouldn't expect such depth photographic knowledge in a tech forum. I tell people about it all the time.

    As long as you are making a digital negative you can adjust for the dark image before you print the neg. Doing cyanotypes and similar alt processes I find that the negative that works best is often the one that looks bad to me. ;)
     
  21. jerwin macrumors 68020

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    #21
    what sort of aperture are you using?
     
  22. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #22
    Most certainly master roll territory and Ilford's ULF run would be the first thing I would check. I gotta ask though...what kinds of images are you expecting to make?

    Because after 30 years in the business of commercial and fine art, one very consistent theme I have noticed is that the larger folks go beyond 8x10, the more boring the actual resulting photograph seems to be. Personally I cap it at 4x5 and make up to 4'x5" foot silver prints in my darkroom, it's the best balance of image quality and being able to keep the subject matter dynamic and interesting.

    YMMV
     
  23. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Absolutely. In the ‘old days’ if you had multiple ‘outputs’, like paltinum, carbon, silver gelatin, you needed three negatives exposed and developed differently for three printing processes. With a digital negative of good structure, I can produce a digital negative suitable for platinum, carbon, or silver gelatin.

    This is not an easy thing in traditional photography. Platinum blocks up the shadows, carbon is lovely but can’t render highlights accceptably. A digital negative can solve many problems
     
  24. Laird Knox thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    The calculations above show f1015.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    It is as much about the process as it is about the image. The size isn’t for resolution and an uneven exposure is not frowned upon. I do like being unconventional but the primary goal is an art piece for Burning Man and beyond. I’ll be stripping a pickup to the frame for the base platform. When the camera is folded up it will look like a flatbed of sorts. The cab will ultimately be stripped down and steampunked out. The truck/camera will then be used to pull my trailer that is currently being pulled by my Jeep. Off playa it will be used for events and for fun.

    Practical? No.

    For quality film images I’ll stick to the 4x5 and 8x10.
     
  25. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Kudos to @Macrshroomer and @Laird Knox.

    There’s no reason to shoot 8x10, 7x17, 8x20, 16x20 film unless you love it. If you love it, no other reason is needed.

    Cheers, Azy
     

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29 October 17, 2018