Home-darkroom silver-gelatin prints from digital images

Started Apr 24, 2016 | Discussions thread
OP tim baker Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: Home-darkroom silver-gelatin prints from digital images

The digital enlarger demonstration happened last night. A couple of those attending were long-time film-darkroom guys, a couple had dabbled in darkrooms. The rest were digital-only shooters, most aware of the value of silver prints though. I began by showing them a 5x7 made two days ago with the Huggieflex Mark-1--a Huggies Diaper box with one lens from a pair of 99-cent store 3X eyeglasses, and an f-48 iris--a quarter-inch hole in the black plastic lid of a tennis ball container. The photo was brilliant and sharp, with the slightest Holga softness in the corners no one noticed. They were impressed with the photo, so I explained that it was made with an enlarger just made at a total cost of 85-cent. I showed them the 'Huggieflex' and how it operated. Then an 8x10 of the same shot made with a process lens which was cut-your-fingers sharp. Then how the 'adult' enlarger operated. We made a few prints, including a couple that members had sent for me to prep for the demo. One member had a $800 ipad pro, with 2048 vertical resolution. He brought a negative image up on the screen and we made an 8x10 of it... and it was SHARP! The ipad pro is fully ok as a negative source for 8x10s and a bit beyond. -- Everyone got that the prints were as good as anyone would want, that the enlargers were simple and cheap to make, that the three-tray developing setup was simple and convenient, that the process had real value, and several seemed eager to set up to do their own printing. One film guy said he would simply load his 8x10 camera with paper, etc. I'll likely do demos every couple of weeks, the hope being that the fact will spread that traditional silver gelatin wet-darkroom prints can now be made inexpensively and at home. Tim

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