Best Light Source

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by William Levitt, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I've been using my enlarger (condenser head) as a light source for my 8X10" contact prints, together with a contact printing frame. Would I be getting better results with a cold head, or by removing the condensers? I seem to remember reading something about point light sources being the optimal choice for contact printing.

    Ideas? Comments?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    If you are contact printing you should be using Azo. Best light source is a 300 watt light bulb.

    Azo info at www.michaelandpaula.com
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    William if you check at unblinkingeye.com you will see a very good article by Sandy King about UV sources. I know this is not what you are looking for, but if we use the analogy, those sources which are "point sources" seem to be sharper for contact prints. For my pt/pd prints I have a Nu-Arc plate burner and a home made box with UV fluorescent bulbs. The Nu-Arc produces sharper images with more contrast, and it is a mercure vapor point source. I have never tried to get one of this for regular enlarging but the test prints I do for pt/pd I do with my Zone VI and the come out really nice. I would say if you remove the condensers in your enlarger you will get light fall off, maybe not. Try and see, and see if you notice any difference in the prints.
     
  4. michael9793

    michael9793 Subscriber

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    I use the UV light source from Michael Smith I got for enlarging. I just take the lens out and move my besslar up to 26" and use that time. most contact prints on Azo are running around 7-15 sec. It works good on graded paper too but very fast I have to stop way down then I use the light with Oreintal Seagul.

    michael Andersen
     
  5. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    When making VC gelatine silver contact prints I use my Multigrade enlarger head as the light source. Ideal for split-grade printing.

    For Pt/Pd printing I use ECF BLB (black light blue) 9 x 25 watts. This is a pic of my homemade UV light box.
     

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  6. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    For printing with AZO I use a 12 watt BL spiral fluorescent bulb at about 36" from the printing frame. Output is controlled with am Olix light integrator. For other kinds of silver printing (only for testing) I substitute the 12 watt BL bulb with a 5 watt night light.

    Typical exposures are in the 30 second range.

    Sandy