How many prints can you get off a negative?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Shutterpug, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    Is there a limited amount? How does one get a print off a negative anyhow? I am very puzzled by this...


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unlimited. Two, four, four hundred, and if it is not damaged in some way, lots more.
     
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  3. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm sure there's a limit, but I don't know what it is. A lot.

    One way to print is to scan the negative into a digital form and use software and an inkjet printer to print the photo.

    To see the traditional process, watch this:
     
  4. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Can you answer the other part?
     
  5. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    In one part of the video it says that he was stopping the lens down to f/8. Can anyone explain this part of the wizardry? What is an f/8?
     
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    F/8 is the aperture the lens is set to. Aperture is like the iris in your eye.... it's an adjustable opening that can be changed to adapt to varying levels of light.
     
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  7. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    This is going to sound stupid but let's suppose I wanted a large photograph like a 9x12. Would I use a small aperture or large?
     
  8. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    It's not a function of the print size desired. It's a function of how much light is used to project the image, plus how much time you want to do things like dodging and burning. The sharpness of the enlarger's lens also varies with the aperture setting, just like it does with camera lenses.
     
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  9. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    OK you're really starting from scratch here...

    Have you had B&W film developed? Hold a strip of negatives up to a lampshade and you can see the negative images... Basically you're going to zap light thru the negative onto a piece of light sensitive paper - in an enlarger, in a darkroom, under a safelight. Then you run the paper thru trays of developer, stop bath, then fixer and rinse, and you'll have a positive image from the negative.

    Whatever is black on the negative will be white in the positive image on paper because the black part of the negative blocks light and the white parts let light thru. And all the gray portions in between vary in how light/dark they'll be.

    You'd probably learn better from a class and having someone show you - at least that's how I learned and found that helped so much to have it demonstrated and someone to talk thru the steps.
     
  10. Shutterpug

    Shutterpug TPF Noob!

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    I know that when shooting in low light areas you want a wide aperture with longer exposure time correct? But why does the aperture and exposure matter in a dark room after the photograph has been taken?
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The enlarger lens is typically performing BEST at about 3 aperture-clicks closed-down from wide-open. MANY enlarging lenses are f/4 lenses, some are f/2.8 lenses. CLosing the enlarger lens down allows an intermediate exposure time of 15 to 25 seconds, at around f/8 or so, on average-sized prints with most enlargers. SHORT times, like 5 to 10 seconds, are difficult to control and do not give the darkroom worker a lot of time to either dodge, or to burn-in areas. Closing the enlarging lens down to about f/8 gives a very useful range of exposure times, and at f/8, the lens is performing VERY well, from edge-to-center-to edge.
     
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  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The video gives an overview but seems to skip steps - you need someone to explain/show you the process. I don't know how he came up with using f8 other than that's a good starting point, but you need to learn how to determine aperture and exposure times to make prints from your negatives.

    Taking pictures, yes, the more you open up the lens and go to a larger aperture, the more light you're letting in the camera. In the enlarger, the larger the aperture the more light is hitting the paper.
     

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