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Category Archives: Digital negative
I just made a photo that shows how my laser printer deforms the photo when printing on transparencies. One thing I hadn’t noticed yet is that it also prints with clearly visible patterns. You can see both in the following close-up. Notice the pattern on the left side and the blacks completely messed up on the right side.
I’ve been looking around a couple of shops for laser transparencies to make digital negatives (or positives for anthotypes) with my cheapo Samsung ML-2010 laser printer (a toner costs as much as a new printer !). One shop sold boxes of 20 for €20, which I found a bit expensive. Another had a box of 100 for €18,50, so I spent the cash immediately. The brand is 5staroffice, which seems to be a brand of a group called Spicers. Not that it’s worth remembering, though. The first couple of tries on regular printer paper actually worked out better than expected: fairly smooth transitions, fairly deep blacks. Nothing to write home about, but not as bad as I would expect from a laser. And remember, all this negative has to do is to stop the light for a few days.
With the laser transparencies, though, it didn’t work out at all. The top of the print looks great, with subtle greys and the lantern in a nice deep black. But the bottom looks like hell. It seems like the transparent can only take so much toner in one area: it completely deforms, breaking up the textures and ripping white lines through it, perpendicular to the paper direction (so parallel with the roll that is heated up for printing). When I put the printer on “light” toner usage, it works quite a bit better but the photo is much too light to be of any use. I wish I could scan one to show it here, but in my most recent move, the power supply of my scanner got lost.
I think I’m going to try a negative with lots of white, but strong lines next time.