Advice need on contact printing frames

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by PVia, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Hi all...

    Before I order a frame I wanted to run some things by y'all...

    I'm a beginner at alt processes and will be starting with VDB or argyrotype, and would like to eventually print pt/pd, mostly in small sizes to start (4x5, 5x7, etc). Should I just get an 8x10 frame or should I go one size larger at 11x14? Would the 11x14 be ok for small print sizes as well or is there something I should know?

    Right now, the B&S frames look good to me, so I'm leaning in that direction.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated...
     
  2. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    Went through the same thoughts and bought a couple of cheap small ones off ebay.

    My rationale was that the very large ones *might* be a fiddle to put your relatively small 4x5 neg in the right place to be able to open up the back and look at your developing print (I do cyanotype where this is pretty usual, dunno about pt/pd). Havent yet moved up in format past 5x7, and not planning to get into internegatives as yet so Im still pottering happily with what I have.
     
  3. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I would recommend you go with the largest size you are ever likely to use. I decided on a 10x12 frame because I knew I would not venture beyond the 8x10 format. I like a white border around the image that's why I chose the 10x12 frame. You should also consider the need for extra space around the image for handling reasons in case of damage, trimming for presentation, etc.

    If decisions like finance, storage, etc., is not an issue then a range of frame sizes is certainly an option.
     
  4. Bob K.

    Bob K. Subscriber

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    I'm fairly new to alternative processes myself, and i've already moved from 8x10 to 11x14. I agree, buy the largest contact frame you can afford and are likely to print with. I purchased the 11x14 from Doug Kennedy http://e.neilsen.home.att.net/dougkennedy.htm. Highly recommended...
     
  5. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I second using Doug, his work is great and they are very beautiful too. I'd get a 10x12, unless you want to go bigger.
     
  6. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I like my 4x5 negs on 8x10 paper. I don't have a splitback for now, just a paterson contact proofer (the kind for contact printing sheets of 35mm/120 negs onto an 8x10 paper) and I do timed test strips in 2minute increments for my UV light.
     
  7. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    When a friend of mine and I decided to first try contact printing with VDB, we went with a McGuyver/Rube Goldberg frame...we used a piece of glass, low tac tape, cardboard (split almost in 2 for a split back, and a large lightproof bag from an empty box of fb paper. We placed the neg on the glass, the paper on top, then used the low tac tape across the middle of the paper (so we could lift it without messing with the neg), then the cardboard on top...all secured with a couple of rubber bands. The whole thing went into the bag...and out we went to use the sun for UV. It was hilarious to look at...now that we've both bought print frames (10x12)...but it worked!
     
  8. Peter Spangenberg

    Peter Spangenberg Member

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    I picked up a very innovative print frame from Alan Brubaker a couple of years ago that was the size needed for 8x10 paper. I have used it extensively for 5x7 prints, but it is too small for 8x10 negatives if you want any border. I do, however, use it for my silver 8x10 contact prints as well. The frame has a piano hinge that runs the entire length of the split back and I've always gotten excellent registration. The glass is easy to replace, and the price was very reasonable (I think it was a second). You may want to give him a call and see if he has anything at a good price.
     
  9. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    You my also want to look at the frames sold by Freestyle Photographic

    Over sized 8x10=10x12
    Over sized 11x14=?14x17?

    and well priced

    Jan Pietrzak
     
  10. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Thanks, Jan...

    BTW, that was an amazing show you had down there a few months ago.

    I was also at your pt/pd discussion at Joshua Tree with Per back in Jan 2007...great stuff!

    Are you doing any workshops or lessons in the near future?
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The contact printing frames by APUG sponser Bostick and Sullivan are very well made and are of great value -- they are oversized for the format -- ie. my "11x14" frame is actually 12x15.

    Vaughn
     
  12. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    Thank you about the show. The next workshops that I do will be in Santa Fe I hope. Unless we find a way to do some thing in So/Cal.

    Jan Pietrzak
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Can only offer what I have experienced. Started with 8x10 (that I was not really happy with, PM me if you want to know why). Then picked up a 11x14 from Dan Pelland, though it seems he may not be making them anymore. The 11x14 Pelland was great, but I had to trim the paper just under 11x14 for my platinum/palladium prints and I am considering moving to one of the larger Bostick and Sullivan frames. Not sure if I will go with a 11x14 or 16x20 (most likely) because I would like to do some mulitple negative exposures on one sheet of paper.

    I did find that using the 8x10 for 4x5 and 5x7 worked well for me, but I really like having a larger border around the image area, for working with gum overs. In the end it will be a personal choice, I have seen one of Doug Kennedy's and it looked top notch to me. What ever you do, make prints and have fun, find equipment that you don't have to fiddle with...leave that to your creative side.
     
  14. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    Great Basin of Alan Brubaker are excellent. One problem with many used frames is the lack of really good contact over the whole negative. A big problem with larger negatives, 8x10 and up.

    A nice vacuum frame solves this problem well. Used graphic arts supply houses have them often now. They are worth the cost as they will save you a lot of time and effort in the future if you stay with contact printing.
     
  15. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    I made mine from a clipboard for under $5 - it has a split back - and I like it so much that I actually prefer it to the 8x10 frame I bought on eBay.