U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Paper negatives (Re: Tricolor gum, order of layers)

Re: Paper negatives (Re: Tricolor gum, order of layers)

Not to disagree with Loris particularly, but simply to expand and
clarify my own feelings about oiling/waxing paper negatives:

I find oiling much easier and quicker than waxing, and also much less
subject to subsequent damage (IME a wax coating, even when the wax is
well rubbed into the paper, tends to scratch easily, and that the
scratches print). Even when I was oiling with mineral oil, which
requires a certain amount of rubbing and heating, I did a whole batch
at once and found that it went very fast; I could oil 15-20 negatives
to completion in 15-20 minutes. With baby oil I suspect it would go
much faster.

As to messiness, the only messiness is in the oiling process itself;
there's no messiness after, if the negative is properly oiled. The
example I gave, where oil continued to ooze out of the paper, was an
obvious failure of process. A properly oiled negative will be
perfectly dry when finished; mine have a crisp dry finish after a
final heat-and-polish step. There is no oily residue and the
negatives can be stored in folders together without any oily ruboff
(although I do store oiled paper negatives separate from my inkjet
transparency negatives just to be sure). Also, there's no need, with
a properly oiled negative, to separate the negative from the coating
with mylar; I never have and have never had a problem, and there is
no need to re-oil to re-use the negative; once a negative is properly
oiled it will print the same (in my experience) from then on. I have
oiled paper negatives that I have used routinely for test prints for
more than ten years that still print exactly the same as when they
were first made.

I'm not urging anyone to do it my way, just making sure "my way" is
properly understood. Thanx,

On Oct 5, 2008, at 12:30 PM, Loris Medici wrote:

Beeswax is better I think -> because it stays on paper indefinitely
drying and not requiring the messy oiling step when you need to use
negative again later. But applying beeswax is harder and messy itself.
There was an article about (and tests on) oiling paper negatives in
Factory Photography (which issue I don't remember right now)... BTW, a
neat and effective method of applying beeswax to negatives (in
batches) is
described in Alan Greene's "Primitive Photography" book.

I'm happy with un-oiled paper negatives. I don't care about oiling
it's too messy for my liking and my exposure times are reasonable (6.5
minutes with 10% ammonium dichromate) with un-oiled negatives.
Having to
sandwich the negative between mylar sheets (to protect the paper
and the
contact printing frame's glass) is tiresome enough even w/o
mentioning "le
problematique" of storing messy oily negatives. Yuk... ;)


5 Ekim 2008, Pazar, 7:54 pm tarihinde, Jack yazmış:

I sent in a while ago info from (as I remember) LeGray on the use of
bees wax.
Would that not do the trick?
Though the ones I make have more recently been on bond copying
paper and
created with a 600 dpi laser printer, by working with an old iron,
paraffin like Guido says. I use a piece of old matte board that's
and soaks
up the extra paraffin.

On Oct 5, 2008, at 9:45 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

Hi Guido,

Could you provide a source for that "white technical oil"? I've
searched in vain with google. I use plenty of baby oil and, to
the mess detailed by Katherine, squirt a little on the negative and
then re-use oily paper towels to rub it in. Honestly, the cloying
smell of that baby oil has permeated my work area to the point of
distraction. I'm hoping the white oil might be more "neutral".


On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 10:51 AM, Guido Ceuppens <altguido@gmail.com>

Hi Laura,
Just rub the reverse side of the negative with a suitable oil.
After trying
different oils I settled on "white technical oil", it is as liquid
as water
and has the same (no)
color. I believe it is the same (paraffin) oil sold in smaller cans
sewing-machines, in greater quantities (1 litre) it is very cheap.
I usually
rub it generously in and let it sit overnight when all the oil
seems to be
completely absorbed by the paper and for gum I don't even use the
thin milar
separator sheet (between neg and coating to avoid oil stains)
anymore. After
a few days the oil may evaporate more and the paper becomes less
transparent, just oil again if you want to reuse the negative.
Another method is to use blocks of paraffin on the, heated, reverse
side of
the negative. Use an iron to heat the paper in parts and apply the
ending with rubbing the molten paraffin with a paper towel to
up excess paraffin. Takes a bit of practice but once cooled down
the paper
remains translucent and is not oily.

2008/10/5 Laura Valentino <laura@this.is>

Since I just recently paid about $150 to have 40 sheets of 11x17
OHP film
shipped to me, I gotta try the paper negative. I have a box of
this formerly
named photo quality inkjet paper. How do I oil it?

Thanks, Laura