A few questions

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ajuk, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    I am new to the DR, I want to make contact sheets of all my films, Firstly what size paper do I need, and am I right in assuming I should be putting a sheet of glass over the negs before Exposing to light, Lastly do I just use the enlarger without the lens on?
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Yes, you can make contact sheets with a sheet of glass, a custom-made contact printer (Paterson, etc.) makes it easier to keep the negatives under control and stop them sliding about and getting scratched. Alternatively you can put your negatives in transparent (not paper) sleeves and contact print them with a sheet of glass without taking the negs out of the sleeves (less handling, less scratching). Paper size - you will need at least 8x10", 9 1/2 x 12" can be better, if you cover up an area at the edge of the paper and thus leave it white, you can write notes on this. Yes, use the enlarger as a light source - focus it roughly to get even lighting and of course use the contrast filters are normal if necessary. Leave the lens on - just leave the neg carrier empty! There are 2 schools of thought on contact sheets - I make them very low contrast so that I can see all the tones present on every neg - some people like to make them normal contrast so that the contact sheet looks like finished prints in miniature. Don't forget to print emulsion to emulsion (dull side of film in contact with paper).

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    Thanks, yes I was thinking of using the lowest grade filter, its a colour enlarger so I can just dial it in. Would it be a good idea to get one of these?
     
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  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Yes, but this particular example looks well past its sell-by date (perished foam).
     
  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    In this country those contact printers in reasonable condition, sell for about $15 to $25. I think the going rate, would be similar up there.

    You can go to a furniture upholsterer and get some replacement foam, which you can put in place with contact adhesive, for a very low price. Take the unit with you, so you can get foam of like density.

    I contact print all of my film, be it colour or B&W. They are one of the best ways to see how you are travelling, on top of that they give you an instant reference of what you have shot. When enlarging, you will quickly get the hang of how much extra or less exposure, different negatives require.

    I'm in agreement with David regarding making your contact prints to a low contrast, so you can see what you have on the negative.

    Mick.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use 24x30cm (9.5x12") paper, negatives in transparent sleeves, and a sheet of glass on top of that. I don't use the lowest possible contrast, just about 20Y on the colour head. Ilford MG IV RC, by the way.

    I put both negative file and contact sheet in a (slightly oversize A4) ring binder, so that when I open it up there's the contact print on the left, and the negatives on the right. Behind the negatives is the back of the next contact sheet, which is white enough that I can distinguish the negative and confirm that I put it back in the right place last time I had had it out (hasn't happened yet - they're always upside-down or back to front. But I'm hoping that if I repeat this often enough, they will suddenly and miraculously start appearing in the correct way).
     
  7. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I use one of those Paterson units for 35mm but do not bother and just use a sheet of glass on top of 120 with the negs in the transparent pocket sheet in which they are stored. Ditto 4x5 but then I use a single polyester slip per negative.

    I contact at Grade 2 (8x10 MGIV-RC) as that is the grade I am aiming at for the finished prints and can then see how far out my developing was for each roll... Some prefer to use a lower grade in order to see more of what is on the negative - strokes/folks...

    Cheers, Bob.