35mm glass negative carriers?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by michael_r, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Does anyone use glass negative carriers for 35mm? If so, who makes them? Can I get one to fit an old Omega B66?

    I imagine using a glass carrier in 35mm is a dust spot nightmare, but some of my film just won't lie flat enough in the carrier. Sort of lumpy or wavy Delta 100, on a small scale, but enough that it's difficult to get the whole print sharp at 8x10. I at f11 and don't want to close down any more (as it is I'd rather be at f8).

    Michael R
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I put the 35mm negative in a 6x6cm, 4x5in, or 8x10in glass carrier (depending on enlarger) with some form of masking. Diffuse light source is almost needed.

    Without a glass carrier, have you tried f11 or f16? If you are not cropping and printing smaller than 8x10 on the 8x10 sheet, the diffraction may be tolerable. Since the diffraction limit parameters are 'user defined' the only way to know is to try and see.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've used them and yes they trap dust. I also have Newtons ring on prints sometimes. But you can't beat the flatness of the negs when you use glassed carriers.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    How about putting the 35mm negs in slide mounts and using the matching 35mm slide carrier in your enlarger.
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I hadn't thought of slide mounts. I also like the idea of using a medium format carrier. I will try both.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'm already using f11. That's as small as I dare go. Not only does diffraction interfere, but even at f11 my printing times are extremely long.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Look for #423-129 2¼"x2¼" (6x6cm) Universal Glass Carrier.
    I make the 35mm mask out of the black material that paper comes packaged in. I lay the mask on top of the glass and hold it in place with a piece of tape.

    Another thing to consider is that the enlarge can focus like a view camera. If you have a grain magnifier that can see the edge, then you can focus the enlarger by moving the head on the column. So, with your existing carrier, focus on the corner of the image and note where the column is (easier if you have 429-101, Magnification Reference Scale installed on the column). Then focus on the center of the negative without touching the focus knob, by moving the enlarger head. Then set the head to the point exactly half-way between the extremes. This will optimize your depth of field at any aperture.

    If you want, you can actually calculate the aperture to get it all in focus based on the focus spread.

    N = 20/(1+M) * square root of 'dv'

    N = Aperture number
    20 = user dependent constant (circle of confusion 0.15mm for me)
    M = magnification
    'dv' = millimeters of focal depth on the enlarger column.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Omega made a glass Rapid Shift carrier for the D-series enlargers, so I'd be surprised if they didn't make one for the B-series.

    A diffuse light source helps with dust suppression.
     
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Never thought of that either. thanks.

    If I use a glass carrier, is the dust factor as bad as people say?
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have used one glass for 35mm on a Durst 605, just as an experiment. Dust didn't seem to be that much of a problem but I am not sure that the prints( I don't do bigger than 10x8) were any better than glassless prints and Newton's rings occasionally appeared.

    pentaxuser
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Pentaxuser, how big is that enlarger and what focal length lens do you have on it? My Omega B66 does 35mm and medium format (square) although I have never shot medium format. My prints are also usually 10x8. I have a 50mm f4 EL Nikkor on it. Way back when I was first taught the rule of thumb was to stop down 2 tops from wide open, which gives me f8, and that's how I printed for a long time, mostly using Plus-X when I first started. But some years ago when I switched to Delta 100 I started noticing the prints were not uniformly sharp, due to what appears to be a slight waviness in the negatives as I described above. The older films curled more, but uniformly so, and flattened nicely in the glassless carrier. So I now find myself printing at f11, which makes for long printing times on this enlarger. Sometimes the grain appears slightly less sharp to my eye at f11, which I first thought must be diffraction, but when I thought about it further diffraction shouldn't be that noticeable moving from f8 to f11. I can't focus well with the grain magnifier at f11, that's for sure. I have to focus at f8 and then stop down to f11. So I then thought maybe there was some focus shift going on, but that can't really be happening on this lens between f8 and f11, can it? Anyway even at f11 sometimes the print is not uniformly sharp, so I thought maybe a glass carrier might flatten the negative better. Now I'm even more curious to try it since you say it didn't make much of a difference for you.

    The other thing is, when you load a new negative, do you leave it in the enlarger for a few minutes to heat up before focusing and printing? I've always done that but was never sure if it actually helps. Do 35mm negatives actually buckle?
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    That lack of sharpness at f11 is diffraction. If you notice it at your normal viewing distance then you need to use f8 for what you are doing. That Nikkor lens is a 4 element lens and may not have a good of flatness of field or coverage as the f2.8 lens with 6 elements.

    A diffusion head will blurr out dust on the top and bottom glass surfaces. Dust between the glass will show up, so you need to dust off the inner glass well and make sure no dust is on either side of the negative.

    If I were you, I'd get that 6x6 Glass carrier (I think that is the only one made for your enlarger) and a 6 element lens.
     
  13. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    If I can't find a glass carrier for my enlarger that has anti-newton glass, do those sprays work? Do they do any damage to the negative?

    Incidentally, are glass carriers made from high quality optical glass (like the glass used in high quality lens filters)? Otherwise I've never been clear on why a glass carrier doesn't reduce image quality as the light passes through another piece of glass after going through the negative. It's probably not anything large format users need to worry about, but given the relatively high magnification in 35mm printing I would have thought even the slightest impurity or other flaw in the glass would adversely affect the print.
     
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  15. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Leitz Valoy enlargers had a unique (?) carrier where the bottom of the condenser forms the top pressure plate. Some of the Leitz enlargers had an anti-newton surface on the condenser. I don't remember dust being a really big problem with Valoys, but the 'glass' part of the carrier never left the enlarger. In the old days, when glass carriers were more common, it wasn't unusual to only have glass on the top surface - the glass acted like the pressure plate in a camera. I think a glass bottom plate for 35mm or normal 120 would have little effect.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It needs to be optical glass.

    You probably only need it on the top for 35mm as Nicholas pointed out, but those carrieres are not as common as the usual glass sandwich.

    I'm not sure how wide your enlarger opens up to accept the negative holder, but on my Minolta enlarger (for which the glass carrier is extremely rare) I taped together two pieces of negative carrier glass and it works perfectly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2010
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Michael It's a Durst m605 which does up to 6x6 negs but I do very few of these. My reference was to 35mm negs. It may be that the Durst glassless neg carriers do a particularly good job of holding the negs flat. By the time I am ready to expose for the print the lamp has been on for a good number of seconds i.e centering the neg, focusing at f2.8 with grain focuser, stopping down to usually f8, measuring exposure for the equivalent of zone VII and analysing the grade via a Philips analyser. Then switching off while I locate the paper into the easel - not more than a few seconds - then exposing.

    It may just be my Durst enlarger but at f8 most exposures even with dual filtration are about 10 secs. In fact if a bit of dodging and burning is required I often go to f11 to give me the kind of time I feel I need. I even have substituted the 100W standard bulb for a 75W one. This was really a means of getting my colour neg exposure into the range that a Paterson colour analyser could register but it serves to show that long exposures are not an issue. The reverse if anything is true.

    Equally it may be that Durst dichroic head enlargers prevent enough heat getting to the negs to distort them and the time to do the above with the lamp switched on is irrelevant. I don't know.

    One day I will do the best print I can glassless then do the same print with double glass and do a close examination of both to be sure but I have a feeling that my conclusion will be that any slight improvement in sharpness is offset by the chore of cleaning the glass and risking the occasional Newton ring.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I think glass carriers only make an appreciable difference with APO lenses that are used at f4.0 - f5.6. Although I can see them being an advantage with films that can curl themselves into a drinking straw.
     
  19. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well, you'd need glass slide mounts to keep the film flat. Have you ever noticed just how un-flat many slide mounts hold the film? It's not insignificant. It can be so pronounced that there are projector lenses with curved fields tailored for slides in cardboard mounts with, and others with flat fields for slides in glass mounts. No joke. So once you've got the negative in a glass slide mount, you're back to square one dealing with the dust problem. I don't use glass negative carriers for anything and I can't say that I've had the problem the OP is experiencing either. Only if I'm trying to enlarge a negative made on very thin graphic arts film, do I have a bowing problem, but this is unusual. I get around the problem by keeping some tension on the film and taping the corners down with some low tack masking tape. I'm using an Omega D series enlarger and the negative carriers are big and heavy, so maybe that's why it holds the film flat enough.
     
  20. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Yes heavy would help. The head on the B66 is pretty light weight and so doesn't clamp down on the carrier with much force. I have a smaller 35mm Durst enlarger that is in pretty rough shape (picked it up recently for free) that I use for flashing, but I've noticed on the Durst, the way the negative carrier slides tightly into the fixed head (instead of the head opening like a clamshell on the Omega), the Durst way seems like a better system for small enlargers where gravity doesn't work as hard for you.
     
  21. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    My LPL 4500 has a top glass only carrier for 35mm. I believe the LPL holders fit some Omega enlargers. I'm not familiar with the B66.
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    The B66 is a much smaller enlarger than the LPL 4500. Max negative size for the B66 is square medium format. Based on my recollection of the 4500, I doubt the carrier would fit the B66.
     
  23. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    glass carriers

    Glass negative carriers
    I use an Omega B22 for my 35 and 120 work, I have mounted slide cover glass on both dustless carriers on the underside of the top part of the carrier . A little super glue and black tape finishes the project. I use a cold light head and have never experienced any problem with Newtons rings. If I do I’ll use an old graphic arts scanner trick. The slide or negative is quickly waved through a burst of off set spray powder ( corn starch ) blown into the air Just enough gets on the film to provide separation from the glass.
    Considering that the scanner used an extremely finely focused light to record the slide detail and the powder did not reproduce it should be safe enough for an enlarger lens system..
     
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    It will not. The negative carrier for the LPL 4500 is very different - much larger than the carriers for the Omega B series enlargers. The LPL 4500 enlarger will accomodate negatives to 4x5 in. All Omega's B series enlargers max out with medium format. Some go only to 6x6 cm., like the B-66; others go to 6x9 cm.
     
  25. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    So you mount the glass under the top cover? I think that would work with my carrier, but I'm wondering, due to the added thickness of the closed carrier, are there any issues with the enlarger head? I expect it will fit in fine, but for example when you close the head down on the thicker carrier, I guess technically it means the condenser lenses are slightly higher above the negative stage than they were when the carrier was glassless. Is this a problem? Are further adjustments required? The B66 isn't really adjustable.

    Instead of slide glass, what if I used filter glass from say a B+W clear filter I have lying around? Just pop the filter out of the ring and use that. Would that potentially work? I'm thinking I could just sandwich it above the negative in the carrier without having to actually attach it anywhere. That way if I need the carrier glassless, I simply don't use the filter.

    I still wondering if using glass only above the negative will result in appreciably sharper prints. Somehow it doesn't seem like it should, but this would be a pretty easy fix and worth a shot.
     
  26. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Roll film negatives have a tendency to bulge upward in the negative carrier (support side convex and emulsion side concave), and that's why having only a top glass works. But in order for it to work, the glass and the negative must be in direct contact, so the glass needs to go between the negative and the top cover of the carrier. Otherwise it will do no good at all. I'm thinking that this will cause clearance problems with the carrier, and it won't be able to close fully. If you've ever seen a glass carrier, you'll have noticed that it's made in such a way that the glass and the underside of the top of the carrier are flush to provide that contact. I wouldn't worry about the difference in the condenser height. It's only a very small amount, and not likely to cause an illumination problem. Give it a shot if you think it will work. You've got nothing to lose.