Posted 09 April 2006 - 10:46 PM
Camera original material reads correctly with the base towards you. It's referred to a B-type.
A contact print made (emulsion facing emulsion) from that is a mirror image, so it reads correctly with the emulsion towards you. That's A-type.
When you screen a film, you need to project reversal original with the emulsion facing the lens: but you need to project a print made from negative, with the base facing the lens (emulsion to lamp).
With an optical printer the same logic applies to get the same results: making a print, you need to copy an original negative with the emulsion towards the lens: and the correct way to do this is by lacing the neg up tail out, not head out. (As the image is inverted in the lens, that makes sense!).
If you are copying reversal original (B-type) onto negative (which you also want to be B-type), then you need to have the emulsion of the original material facing the lamp (so that the image appears the correct way round when viewed from the camera.) Making a B-type image you normally print from the head in the obvious way.
Your hand-painted film was presumably painted on the emulsion side, so it could be described as A-type: it reads correctly with the emulsion towards you. It should therefore be laced up, as you say, with the emulsion towards the lens (once again, appearing the correct way round when viewed from the camera).