How can we print silver gelatin prints from inkjet or deskjet printers? To print 8x10 inch size.

  • 1
    Your best bet is still to take your original files to a print shop. that is the lowest generational loss you can hope for. Ref: photo.stackexchange.com/a/101145/57929
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 3, 2018 at 16:37
  • 1
    It might be helpful if you can explain why you want silver gelatin prints in particular.
    – mattdm
    Sep 3, 2018 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


Silver gelatin prints can only be made on paper that is photosensitive. Such papers are exposed by light, either shining through a negative or projected by a light emitting digital printer. Just like film, photosensitive papers must be protected from ambient light until their chemistry has been "fixed" following the exposure that burns the image into the light sensitive emulsion coating the paper.

If you tried to use photosensitive paper with an inkjet printer, the unfixed silver gelatin emulsion on the surface of the paper would turn dark by being exposed to light before being chemically processed.

Inkjet printers spray inks, dyes, or pigments onto non-photosensitive papers. The inks are absorbed by layers on the surface of the paper. These layers are not photosensitive. If they were, you couldn't open a pack of inkjet paper in a room with any light sources illuminating it or it would fog the paper in the same way that film is fogged if you open the back of a camera while the film is loaded.


You can make a contact print from a negative transparency printed on an inkjet printer.

  1. Invert the colors of your scanned image.

  2. Print at the desired size on transparency paper.

  3. In a dark room, lay the transparency paper on top of a sheet of photo paper.

  4. Lay a piece of heavy glass on top.

  5. Expose the image using an enlarger to expose.

  6. Develop the photo. This is called a contact print.

  • Also, you could flip the image horizontally, then print it out on normal photo paper, then proceed with steps 4-6 above. It'll take much longer and/or brighter exposure since the light has to go through normal photo paper.
    – Frank
    Sep 3, 2018 at 22:20

They are completely different and unrelated technologies, so you can't do this.

The closest you would be able to get with an inkjet printer would be to convert your printer to use 'pigment' inks if it doesn't use them already, those have better longevity than dye-based inks.

If you're absolutely set on silver-gelatin output then you need to find a specialist that offers 'Digital C Type' printing.

If what you're after is a more professional output than from an inkjet then you can also look at dye-sublimation printers. We'd need to know more about what you intend to use the printer for and what you want from it to offer any more useful information.

  • see the OP's other question for what he is trying to do... photo.stackexchange.com/q/101138
    – osullic
    Sep 3, 2018 at 12:14
  • @osullic - it's up to the OP to include that information if it's relevant but I'll take a look. Sep 5, 2018 at 11:19

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