alternatives to filed down negative carriers?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by masochistic_me, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    i'm crazy new here, and i've tried searching the whole forum for an answer to this question, but perhaps i'm getting too antsy, so forive me if i'm being repetitious.

    i've set up my own make-shift darkroom in my basement- i have a Besseler 23C (i think) and print 35 mm black and white film on fiber paper. my problem? i've seen these photographs all over town, taken by the local high school here in town, and they all have this very, well, somewhat distinct black border around them that i can't get with my current negative carrier. i know some people file down their negative carriers to get this affect, but, frankly, that frightens me. last nite i tried creating a mock up of sorts, or a new negative carrier with some book board, sanded down-- but no matter what my edges aren't crisp, they just look like torn paper.

    basically, what i'm looking for is a way to print my entire photo, no cropping no zooming, with a different sort of looking black border-- not just straight lines, i do want them to be 'off' a little, just not looking like torn paper. photoshop actually has a border much like the one i wish to create in their frames section, but i'd much rather manipulate it hands on than on the computer.

    *shrug* does anyone here have any idea what i'm talking about or have any suggestions?

    thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Two possibilities occur. Get a spare neg carrier (assuming you can find one) and file that down or, if your enlarger takes larger carriers, use a 6x4.5 or 6x6 glass carrier and mask the glass with black tape. You may be able to jury-rig something with a glassless 6x6 carrier using mount board or similar.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  3. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I think you may be describing an effect that the Omega D series carriers had. There were fairly bright metal edges on either side of the film, and if you printed full frame plus, you would get some reflections of those frame edges mixed in with the black surrounding the photo. When I first started printing I had an old D2 (still have) and no neg carriers. So I cut some negative carriers out of mat board. That's right, black mat board. The 45 degree beveled edge goes right up to the film. Just make a mat board sandwich the right size for the beseler with a cut out the full frame plus size you want. You can make it big enough to have ragged perforation edges included if you want. I figured mine was going to be a temporary stop gap but 7 years later I'm still using it (them). It works so good there was no reason to buy the factory holders.
     
  4. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    Why do you think you have to do it that way? In fact, doing this causes a deterioration of image contrast because of the additional light streaming around the negative. So, I would advise against it.
     
  5. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    i completely understand where you're coming from, i just wanted to experiment with it. i've seen the resultant images around and never knew how they were created and i liked the effect. i liked having a black border around the images to separate it from the white left around the image. i also liked that the border wasn't perfect, more jagged. i'm a hands on torn paper kinda girl, so that border appealed to me. plus, i felt like it was giving more justice to the image itself if i was printing it full with no crop or zoom, and it was just more true. who knows, i may hate it when i try. :smile:
     
  6. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    thanks to both of you. i do have spare negative carrier that's larger-- it came with my enlarger. you can tell how new i am to this in that, i'm not sure what size it is. it looks like its about a 2x2 or something. its a square-- :wink: but its glassless. i tried messing around with it last nite, taping up sides and what not, but it was hard because the negative just didn't want to stay in place. i was just getting irritated because i wasn't even sure if that was the right way to get what i wanted. i'll try harder now that i've actually gotten a suggestion to do so, and that it *might* work:smile:

    as for the black mat board idea, that's much better than what i was using. i was trying to use just cardboard which was horrible, and i couldn't think of something that i could use as a template that would either not ruin the negative or fit in my enlarger in the first place (like, wood or something) so that's great.

    now that i'm talking about all this, i have to wonder-- is this a common thing? am i just copying something that is rather popular? i ask because, i am doing two things with these photographs, well, three really. 1) trying to just learn the craft more 2) creating a porfolio so i can possibly start working at a simple studio in town instead of slaving away in a cubicle all day and 3) i work at a publishing company right now that allows for one free published book per employee per year, and i'd like to publish a book of photographs and poetry-- i'd like the photographs to have a relative semblance (other than theme) and i thought the nice small black border that i'd seen around town would be nice-- but now i'm afraid that its just...kitchy? my other option would be to just print full frame, no border, other than white-- which is how i've been printing lately, and the edges are sort of faded instead of brite straight crisp lines.

    any opinions? advice?
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I cut back a nag carrier well beyond the point needed to create a verification border and then built it back up with epoxy. Prior to applying the epoxy I created a matt board template of the neg.-- exactly square and slightly larger than the image area. I poured/applied the epoxy into the space between the cut out carrier and the template. When the epoxy dried I removed the matt board by soaking in hot water and then filed the surfaces flat.

    It was/is wildly over done, except that the boarder is very interesting. There is first a neat and reasonably clean black border followed by a modeled colour border. The colour is the predominate colour in the filter pack as in a deep cyan or blue, yellow etc.. Having made prints with and without this neg carrier, the effect on the image area contrast and colour appears to be minimal.
     
  8. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    It's just another photographic fad....
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    This has a familier ring to it....
     
  10. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I've done the faded out edge and the straight edge (white).I like the fade-out look for photos that could be called classic or antique. The straight edge I use for street scenes and contempary style photos. Like you I have been (so far) unwilling to file out my neg holder to get the rebate look.
    Guess I'm just too cheap to go buy another.

    I've also done what was suggested once by some fellow APUGs. Cut a square (or rectangle or whatever shape) out of black matt board smaller than a full sheet of photo paper but larger than the image size you wish to use. Put your paper in the easel, put you cutout centered on the paper and expose the sheet to full white light from the enlarger. Remove the cutout, exposure your image onto the paper and process as normal. This will give you a black (instead of white) border.

    For class one night, I went a step further and cut two pieces. That way I got a black border with a white strip around the image. The Instructor wasn't impressed, but gave me a fair mark for the initial photo print.
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    That is the most incredibly inaccurate statement that I have heard in the past ten years, at least...perhaps if you would avail yourself of what is accomplished through some of the alternative processes, you could see that this is a result that is accomplished in hand coating paper. Considering that platinum, paladium, and carbon all are old processes, I fail to see how you could make such an inaccurate statement.
     
  12. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Don't be bullied into doing it "straight". If you feel like making a neg carrier out of black paper and ric rac scissors, do it. You're doing this for YOU, not everyone else.
     
  13. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    I got fed up with my neg inserts being a few millimeters smaller than the actual negative, thus cropping off sometimes a valueable part of the image - not exactly full frame. Now I use a glass neg insert so I can print full frame, but now i'm fed up with dust specks - no matter how careful I am, I always end up with a few.

    I'm currently filing down a 6x6 insert - it took me weeks on and off just to do one side.... now for the other side... then there's the 6x7 carrier... I'm losing the will to live...
     
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  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Naah...it couldn't be could it? Reincarnation perhaps!!!! Naaah God is kinder then that.
     
  16. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Indeed, and as usual with Mr Scarpatti, he's stating an opinion as if it was fact....

    It's not a "fad", it's a statement: "this is the whole frame: nothing cropped". I don't do it, not least because I crop the hell out of everything! :wink: but that does not make it a bad thing to do...

    Bob.
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The other thing that you could do is to make a print overlay to print in the edge after your base exposure. The overlay would be make full print size and could be made from a number of materials...lithographic film being one of them.
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I just wish that Scarpatti or Ornello Pederzoli II or whatever the hell his previous or next incarnation is and will be would develop a little creativity and get the hell away from the Italian influence...
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    It all depends on the density of the negative. Yes, white parts against the black border will easily show signs of flare. Reflections from the easel will show up more easily too.

    Many enlargers have no carrier to file, but use glass carriers and masking blades. Both of mine are of this type. I have printed both with and without black borders, and continue to do so. But it all depend on the negative if I'll even consider doing it.
     
  20. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    wow-- i've had such different experiences when it comes to photography forums. the last one i posted on (i won't name names) one person replied and that was that. here i even got drama back with my post:wink:

    thank you for all your suggestions. i've never been one to go with the fad or the old-fashioned...faux pas more like...eh:wink: i'll try anything once. i just don't like having things that look like everyone else. . . i suppose that's why people do this really, because, no border is ever really the same, especially with all the different ways you've suggested.

    how have you become so educated? class or self taught? just curious as to how i should go about becoming. . . something...
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    So ... opinionated like the rest of us? :tongue:
     
  22. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    :smile: yes, but knowledgeably opinionated? (is that even a word)
     
  23. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    and here i thought my using sand paper against cardboard was suicide:wink: i had to start on something small i suppose. perhaps its time to search the used camera stores around here:wink: maybe they'll sell me one that's already been filed down. funny that people think no one would want to buy them, and yet, people work so hard to get them that way. supply and demand baby
     
  24. masochistic_me

    masochistic_me Member

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    interestingly enough-- in my time posting here (today) and e-mailing high school photography teachers in my area-- i found out that the method the high school students are using that i've taken a liking to is simply due to ... well, this is what the dept chair of the fine arts dept at a high school near me said, "We have several Bessler enlargers with different negative carriers. A few carriers came in with a larger opening than the negative. We size the image down a bit (smaller that a 5x7) so the back edge shows up on the print. We actual started doing this so the kids didn't have to burn in the sky.
    It has become quite popular and handy."

    so, how handy is that. its great to be learning (again):wink:
    now just to find out how to get my hands on such neg carrier:wink:
     
  25. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    considering 'they' go to great lengths to get the right 'wet darkroom photo like light overspill' frame to add in PS, it's currently a 'fad' IMO. See lots of them online, not to many in galleries (that I go to).

    Sometimes, I do like printing 35mm images at about 6x9" on 10x8 paper and in my enlarger and it's neg carrier, this leaves bits of dark borders, but not right around the print. Looks Ok IMO, however, I'm not about to file it as I predominately use an easel. For 645 and 4x5 negs, I have always used an easel.

    I interpret hand coated paper differently to 35mm edge printing. The 35mm 'this is how I saw it in the viewfider' aspect amuses me in one way... not many people have 100% viewfinders :smile:
     
  26. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    Excuse me? Filing out the carrier has nothing to do with what you are talking about.