5X7 contacts

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ronlamarsh, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Just wanted to gather some thoughts from the more wxperienced members here about 5X7 contact prints. I originally bought the camera for this purpose and to use specifically with the now defunct POP from chicago Albumen Works. But like regualr paper also. So what does everyone think?h
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Well, I think you should go ahead and find yourself a regular paper if you want. Otherwise if you want the alt process stuff, try something like albumen printing. I use a 5x7" and I really like the size. I do the prints on regular 8x10" paper. The only contact print I have up in the gallery was made on Kentona. Really nice paper but I had trouble with yellowing and flaking of the emulsion and for some reason it didn't stand any reasonable amount of washing (less than 30 min total time in water from start to final wash) so I gave it up. I've had better success with Ilford papers. But try a few papers and see what it's like. You might be hooked. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
  3. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    5x7 is my most used format and I contact print on Lodima, which I'm almost out of now. Personally my nicest images are contact prints, on Azo or Lodima.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    a 5x7 contact print on 11x14 paper looks *very* nice.
    the ones i have made were on regular graded or vc paper.
    i wish azo or lodima came in that size,
    i hate cutting paper and film down to size ..
     
  5. Ria

    Ria Member

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    I really like the proportions of the 5x7 print. I have contact printed on regular enlarging paper as well as cyanotype, Van Dyke, platinum, gum and salt prints. The only way to find out which method suits you is to try them. Apart from the platinum, most are not expensive, (relative term, of course).
    Cyanotype is probably the best to start. It's pretty easy and if you decide that you don't like blue, you can always tone it. ("How to" article on this very site.)
    Ria
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another vote for 5x7 as a wonderful contact printing size. It also makes for a reasonably compact traveling camera. I took mine to Argentina with me and came back with some great stuff. You can also double and triple up to make diptychs and panoramics. Since I started shooting larger format negatives, I've gone over almost exclusively to platinum/palladium printing. Once you get your method down, doing pt/pd is not really that much more expensive, since you don't burn/dodge with it. Usually the first print is a good working print, and often is also the final print.
     
  7. timbo10ca

    timbo10ca Member

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    x2

    5x7 is a perfect trade off between decent contact print size and portability. I would love an 8x10 system as well, but it's alot of additional $ for everything, so I would pick 5x7 over 8x10 for my purposes. I decided to skip 8x10 and put the money toward a 5x7 enlarger and eventually an Epson 3800 for diginegs for contact printing on Lodima and Ziatype. I feel the trade off in quality will probably be very low when enlarging a 5x7 to 8x10/ 8x11. It won't be apparent at all in Ziatype and most other alt pros.

    Tim
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'll add another bit of fish food for thought - if you can find a camera, and more importantly, film holders, in whole plate (6.5 x 8.5), this is about the perfect size - contact prints beautifully on 8x10 paper, is enough bigger than 5x7 that you notice it in the prints, but not so much bigger that you notice it in the camera.
     
  9. gbenaim

    gbenaim Member

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    Just go straight to 8x10 and get a reducing back, it'll save you time and you'll have the best of both formats.
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    But 8x10 cameras are just so much bulkier. That's part of the beauty of the format- reasonable image size with substantial portability.
     
  11. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    Do you mask off the paper when you do this to keep everything outside the image area white? If so do you also mask the edges of the negative so the black line doesn't show?
     
  12. gbenaim

    gbenaim Member

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    I'm curious why people prefer printing onto larger size paper and masking off over the simple and clean method of trimming and dry mounting? You can drymount on whatever size board you like, and the archival benefits alone are enough to recommend it. I for instance mount my 5x7 contacts onto 13x15 board, with an appropriate overmat, and it really sets them off well.
     
  13. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    I've always liked 5x7 contacts. I've recently started shooting 5x8 because it is slightly more panoramic. A 5x8 contact has considerably more impact than a 5x7 IMO. 5x8 is 1/2 the size of an 8x10.

    Here's a link to see the Chamonix 5x8.

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/58.html

    I don't yet have the Chamonix 5x8 camera. I've masked my 8x10 ground glass for 5x8 and use that area for composition, and shoot it on 8x10 film. After development I trim the 8x10 neg down to slightly larger than 5x8.

    Yes, it wastes some of the 8x10 neg; and I have to setup an 8x10. Just thought I'd mention the 5x8 format.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I agree about the 5x7 format. My Kodak No. 2 is becoming one of my favorite cameras to have on a trip alongside my 35s. I also agree with the fellow who stated that he likes the aspect ratio.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i sometimes just have the paper go black and to get
    the clean thin edge/line of the negative. i have also made
    a "window" to print through to get a white edge and a black edge ...
    i don't trim and drymount, ever ...
    i cut a window and overmat and use those tiny archival clean negative
    corners to hold the print down underneath.

    i never print full bleed or almost no "buffer" around the print's edge and the edge
    of the paper. even if i have the mat crop into the print a tiny bit, the last thing
    i ever want is to have too little of an edge, and the corners i use to hold the print down
    become visible in the window.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I shoot 5x7" with a Press Graflex SLR, so my 5x7's tend to be more spontaneous than 8x10" and larger, and 5x7's look great with an 11x14" mat. I print to size, either on Azo/Lodima or albumen and mat over the film rebate.
     
  18. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Thank you all for the input is has been very enlightening. I am very encouraged and must say I have always like the tactile quality of a contact print.
    I really can't justify another camera(8x10) to my wife. I have two Rollei TLR's, a nikon F3HP, a Linhof Tech III, and a cambo 4x5 monorail. Also I seem to have more difficulty composing in a more square format i.e. 4x5/8x10 just my lack of skill probably. Funny don't have the same trouble with 6x6? Most of my 4x5's end up enlarged but cropped to a more rectangular format like 6x9.
     
  19. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    Thanks John,

    Is there a reason you don't dry mount? I thought it is a process that helps the print last longer.
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Drymounting is NOT considered archival, because it permanently affixes the print to the backing board, and is not easily reversible. If something happens to the mounting board (damage, acidity, etc), it is an involved process to separate them which puts the print at risk.
     
  21. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    That may be true, but drymounting does have presentational advantages in terms of achieving large flat prints.

    Tom.
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Tom - you are correct in stating that drymounting is helpful when working with large prints. We're talking about 5x7 contacts - hardly a large print. Even an 11x14 isn't that large, and can display more than adequate flatness when properly framed.
     
  23. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Fair enough, I didn't have the size of prints mentioned in the thread in mind when I made the post.

    Tom.
     
  24. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    dry mounting can also harm prints if it is not done right.
    both over heating+nasty stuff impregnating the emulsion,
    and if non-archival tissue is used ... it will cause harm in that way as well.
    i dry mounted images when i was a college student, for 1 out of 7 semesters
    (window mounted the other 6 semesters ) ... and now, only 23 years later,
    all the dry mounted prints i had have released from the boards and the tissue is stuck to the back of the prints ....
    yes, i used archival mount tissue, and a press that was set correctly,
    and no the prints were not stored in adverse+humid or extra dry conditions ...

    i don't really see a need to dry mount ... and neither do galleries / frame shops who
    i have worked with over the years ..
    but then again ... your mileage will always vary from what is stated on the sticker in the window ..

    john
     
  26. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    John,
    thanks for sharing your experiences.