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getting digital images to 35mm negative film

nick gannon , Jul 08, 2003; 10:39 a.m.

What option is there for getting digital images to 35mm negative film? I have many high quality (5 megpixel) Images that I would like to convert to 35mm or 2.5 x 2.5 negative film. I know most think this is backwards but I do enjoy my darkroom so much. Thanks

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Michael D'Avignon , Jul 08, 2003; 11:00 a.m.

You need a professional lab with a film recorder...

Michael D. D'Avignon

Bernhard Mayr , Jul 08, 2003; 11:41 a.m.

Most prolabs use sheet film (4x5) to print digital files and use this big piece of film to make conventional darkroom prints. From what I read here film recorders for 35mm suck big time for photographic purposes. If you want good prints from your 5MP digital files, buy an Epson 820 for $100 and you will be happy.

Jerry Litynski , Jul 08, 2003; 03:52 p.m.

Or shoot your images on 35mm film in the first place, get a film scanner for the 'digital' images you want (hi-res scans go to 12 megapixels) and you can continue to use your darkroom with the negs. I'm not sure digital-to-film is the best of both worlds...

Cy Soto , Jul 08, 2003; 04:09 p.m.

Most pro-labs have the option of creating Film-Records from digital files. Normally they give you the option of selecting 4k (2732 x 4096 pixels) or 8k (5464 x 8192 pixels) resolution. Optimally you will need a file of about 34Mb (which most digital cameras are not able to offer at this point) but, you'll be OK starting from a 5MP or 6MP camera as long as you understand that your images will have to be upsized for this process. Upsizing is done with interpolation which "softens" the image a bit. Expect to pay anywhere from $2.00 to $10.00 for each image.

William John Smith , Jul 08, 2003; 05:49 p.m.

Disregard most of the above "advice". Go to: http://www.thurston-sf.com/ thurston.htm They do this type of work and have all the info you will need. I'm not suggesting that you use them but the info on their site is indicative of what you will need to know.

Bernhard Mayr , Jul 08, 2003; 06:07 p.m.

Just to clarify a few things:

It's no problem to take a 5MP file and make a 35mm slide in a film recorder. Although it is mostly done on slide film, in theory it should also work on negative film. The problem starts when you want to use the resulting pieces of film to make conventional enlargements. The quality of the image on film is just too pathetic for the enlargements necessary form 35mm film. That's why prolabs use bigger pieces of film.

Not to mention that quality won't improve when you take some information (your 5MP file) and pipeline it through several analog reproduction steps. If you love good prints more than your darkroom, get yourself a decent inkjet printer for Christ's sake.

Ivan Coleman , Jul 08, 2003; 06:13 p.m.

Nick, I run an 8k Laser Graphics film recorder, and my workflow for what you require is this: Res up to 34mb with Genuine Fractals Print Pro, then output onto 5x4 (actually gives 6x8cm) and take it from there. The results on colour are flawless, b/w is a whole other issue... I would still rather originate B/W on neg as I am yet to find a dig solution that matches Tri-x in D76 knocked out on a De Vere 504 Cathomag.

Karim Ghantous , Jul 08, 2003; 08:38 p.m.

I seem to remember some years ago a product called a Mirus 35mm film printer. I don't have the American magazines that it was advertised in anymore but try looking for a product of that name.

Marcio Santos , Jul 08, 2003; 11:19 p.m.

Yeah, shoot film in the first place.

Or use a digital minilab to print your digital files.

Transfering the image among so many different midias can't be any good.


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