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Mugshots with a Kodak 2D View Camera and Paper Negatives
Old 03-12-2010   #1
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Mugshots with a Kodak 2D View Camera and Paper Negatives

The Kodak 2D is no rangefinder. Just a plain jane wooden view camera.

Using this camera, and some PHOTOGRAPHIC PAPER (Ilford Multigrade Glossy), I tortured some of my comrades into posing for some mug shots.

Lighting was from Studio Strobes with Softboxes and Brollies. The photopaper had an equivalent in-camera speed of around ISO 6-10, requiring an f/stop of f/4,5 (the lens' maximum opening). That explains the ultra-shallow DOF.

Lens used was a shutter-less INDUSTAR-51 210mm. Open-flash exposures, with the lenscap acting as the intermediate shutter between flash pops.

The paper was developed in dektol, just like any bromide paper, but the result was a negative. The paper negative was scanned in a flatbed scanner, then reversed to a positive using an image-editing software 'invert' function.
不管黑猫白猫能抓到老鼠就是好猫。("Black Cat, White Cat, if it can catch mice, is a Good Cat"-Deng Xiaoping 邓小平 )

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Old 03-12-2010   #2
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Excellent results. Being able to scan the paper negative really improves the results from the old days of printing through the paper negative onto paper.
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Old 03-12-2010   #3
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What a lot of fun. Well done--but I would have thought the Leica T-shirt would have sharpened up the last image.
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Old 03-12-2010   #4
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The idea of multi-grade paper and some multi-grade filters make for interesting possibilities.
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Old 03-12-2010   #5
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These are nice portraits.

I've used paper negatives almost exclusively for the last decade. Some thoughts:

Contrast can be excessive in daylight (landscape) images, due to paper's UV/blue sensitivity, combined with multigrade paper's high-contrast emulsion being blue sensitive. You can either use a yellow filter to reduce contrast, or shoot graded paper. I use grade 2 paper, so I don't have to use a filter.

Tonal range is 19th century, orthochromatic-like. Flesh tones will appear darker than with panchromatic emulsions. Hence the use of white face makeup in early B/W cinema.

Preflashing of the paper, prior to the in-camera exposure, can also improve tonal range, especially helping to increase shadow detail without blowing highlights, helping to control excess contrast in daylight exposures. My preflash exposure is enough to turn an otherwise unexposed sheet of paper slightly light gray upon developing.

Contact printing RC paper negatives results in good images, the paper's texture doesn't show through, like some have claimed. I think the problem here is people repeat what they've heard, without trying it out for themselves. Using fiber-based paper as negatives will result in paper texture showing, however.

Paper's Exposure Index: I used to rate grade 2 Freestyle RC paper somewhere between 3 and 6; then I began more controlled testing, and found that with freshly mixed Ilford Universal Paper Developer, diluted 1:15, maintained at a temperature of 68f (treating it more controlled, like one would do with film negatives), I can claim a working Exposure Index of 12. I've since gotten into the habit of treating my paper developer more like "one-shot plus", meaning that I can get away with several negatives, but must ensure the temperature maintains near 68f, and I get consistent results.

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