Adams retouching machine - help

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by andrewfrith, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. andrewfrith

    andrewfrith Member

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    I recently got an adams retouching machine. Does anyone have experience with one of these? i was hoping to perhaps use it with my 8x10 B&W negs (cos i have lots of negs that have minor imperfections that could do with some touch ups). When i turn it on, the lamp goes on fine and there is a switch that turns the 'stroke' on or off and a dial for 'stroke intensity'. When i turn on 'stroke' into the on position i can hear the machine humming and the 'stroke intensity' increases the hum when turned up but i cant see any moving parts. Basically i'm not sure how to use it. It was very cheap so i thought i'd get it. I know veronica cass has a video for $80 or so for explaining how to use it. Is that something i should get? Is there a manual that anyone knows of?

    BTW: when i spoke to veronica cass staff on the phone about a month ago they said they were going out of business. shame, their products are first rate.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The vibrating mechanism is mainly for pencil work on negs, and can also be useful for abrasive and etching work. By adjusting the vibration frequency, you can control how smoothly the pencil blends. If you touch the negative cradle, you'll notice that this is what is vibrating. Experiment, and you'll figure out what frequencies are right for different effects. Generally a higher frequency will result in a darker line.

    You should also have one or two gooseneck magnifiers or a higher power binocular magnifier attached to the machine to see what you are doing.

    It's a good idea to make a mask to hold the neg. This can be as simple as two sheets of paper with a hole in it the size of the hole in the neg cradle, so that the cradle doesn't contact the negative directly. You put the negative in the cradle, and then you can rotate it or move the neg around and rest your wrist on the hand rest as you work on the negative.

    The pencil I find most useful is HB, but you should have a few different types from soft to hard. You can start with ordinary drawing pencils, but ultimately you'll want a lead holder and thick leads, sharpened to a fine point with a stone or sanding block.

    Look for old retouching manuals, and you'll find a lot of useful information.
     
  3. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I have a similar machine which was "too good to pass up". Mine was new, so I had to remove the clamp to free the mechanism. Check to see that there is movement. If you try to run it with the clamp in place, it isn't good for the mechanism. tim
     
  4. andrewfrith

    andrewfrith Member

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    Adams retouching machine

    Thanks David,
    How vigourously does the negative holder area vibrate?...on mine, even with 'stroke intensity' turned to full, the vibratory effect seems very minimal..does that sound about right or does my machine need some repair or overall perhaps?..i can sense some kind of vibration (and a definite hum) but its pretty minimal. I tried a lead pencil and i have the maginfying binocular attachment. Resting my hand on the hand rest, the vibration of the negative stage area did'nt seem enough to have much influence on the lead pencil tip touching the negative surface.

    -andrew
     
  5. andrewfrith

    andrewfrith Member

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    Adam's retouching machine

    Tim, what does the clamp look like and where is it located?

    thanks
    andrew
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It's hard to say what you're perceiving as "minimal," and I'm a little unsure as to what to compare it to. I don't own a vibrating cellphone or any other, vibrating, ummm..., appliances. I guess the amplitude of the vibrations is less than an electric toothbrush.
     
  7. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    David and others,
    The best way to maintain the sharper than a needle point on your leads is to take a piece of fine grain sand paper and fold it into a pouch, tape the sides
    so the graphite does not get all over. Put the lead into the pouch and kind of pump it up and down while rotating the holder . This thin point something like 1 1/2 to 2 inches long serves two purposes. One to reach into the finest detail to add density, the other to tell you when your applying too much pressure with the lead. The point breaks!

    All retouching should be done on the base side. Some films have a "tooth" on the base side that readily accepts the lead. If there is no tooth on the base side you use a retouching varnish fluid made by Kodak to thinly cover the negative base. If you retouch with lead on the emulsion side, every stroke will show especially with condenser enlargers. By retouching on the base side you have the thickness of the base to aid in diffusing your pencil strokes. Crocein Scarlet and a drop of water can also be used add density to larger areas you must carefully mix the right strength, if you can see it on the neg as red, that is too much, should be a barely visable pink. Use the C.S. before
    applying the retouching fluid. Can be washed off if necessary.

    The adams is a handy tool, I usually use a tiny lite figure eight stroke and as someone else mentioned HB leads, I have practically every hardness/softness available but seldom use other than HB with my negs.

    The Adams does not have the ability to make a good negative out of one that
    has been made with poor technique. 90% of retouching can be eliminated
    with prober attention to lighting and exposure.
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    My "clamp" was a metal bar with two screws on either end. It was on the face of the box and acted to keep pressure on the moving plate from beneath to lock it down. With the clamp off, the movement is still very slight.

    I use one of our cat's whiskers for a sharp point (don't ask, no animal abuse), pencils or anything which will work. tim
     
  9. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Andrew, I have a machine also. I studied with Veronica Cass for a week in Florida. While the vibration, as David said is mainly for the old technique of leads they are still useful with dyes. I have my stroke intensity at about 15.

    I live in Santa Rosa CA, 60 miles north of San Francisco so if you'd like to leanr how to negative retouch let me know and I'll teach you. You can learn the basics in a few hours, then it is just practice.

    Michael McBlane
     
  10. andrewfrith

    andrewfrith Member

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    Michael, looks like we're neighbours..im in Santa Rosa too :smile:
    i'll PM u..i'd definitely be interested in figuring out the retouching stuff...

    thanks
    -andrew