borderless prints

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jim4848, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. jim4848

    jim4848 Member

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    I am fairly new to b&w print making and would like to know the correct
    procedure for making boderless prints. I currently use a couple of rapid easels that make 8x10 and 5 x7 prints with a border. I have tried a cheap
    boderless easel and found it difficult to use as the paper didnt always
    lay flat. Is the correct procedure when making a 5x7 using the more expensive easels that are adjustable to use an 8x10 sheet of paper and then trim to 5x7 after. Thanks

    Jim Olson
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    All my prints are borderless, because I almost always print the entire negative and trim the borders after the prints are dry. I called it 'cutting off the chemical edge'. An untrimmed print contains unwanted processing chemicals that penetrated into the edges. Get rid of them.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    This is something I have been thinking about too. My paper usually bows in the middle putting the focus off.

    As I have the use of a CNC drill/router (the type for PCB manufacture rather than machine shop), I have been thinking about making a vacuum bed. I need to find a small vacuum pump that isn't too noisy though.

    Other options are some low tack double sided tape to hold the paper down. Ordinary double sided tape can have it's tackiness reduced with a bit of french chalk or talcum powder.

    EDIT: I was writing this as Ralph was writing his reply. That is a very good point about edge penetration of chemicals and something I had not thought about before.

    Steve.
     
  4. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    On that point - How much of the edge should be trimmed? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems to me that, if there are any chemicals left in the paper after the wash, then it wasn't washed long enough. Opinions everyone?

    Bruce


     
  5. catem

    catem Member

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    That was my immediate thought too. I never trim borders off myself, in fact I like wide borders (very min.half an inch)..

    Also, I suppose it depends what you want to do with your print - quite difficult to matt mount a print without borders...Also, difficult to handle, without damaging the print itself, unless you use archival sleeves...
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    With RC-papers, edge penetration is almost impossible to wash out. FB-papers dont have the problem. I trim both (I dry-mount) and hope (don't have the test facilities to test for chemical residue from edge penetration) that a 1/4 minimum is enough.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I dry-mount and consequently don't want borders on prints. However, I agree with the want for wide borders, which I satisfy with the size of the overmat.
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    The depth-of-field arond the easel is suprisingly large (several mm). How much is your 'bow'? You can test for it by focusing on the paper and then 'supporting' it with increasing layers of mountboard. The paper doesn't need to be absolutely flat, and there is really no need to support the grain focuser with a layer of paper, as some do.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Steve Smith]
    "My paper usually bows in the middle putting the focus off.
    ...low tack double sided tape..."

    I've a couple of borderless easels. Maybe they are for RC.
    Worthless with my FB. I like flat as in FLAT. Consider: A, a
    wet FB is FLAT; B, 3M sells a sticky back spray. I'm going to
    give the wetted and sponge dried method a try. I think one
    of those two easels may do for positioning. Dan
     
  10. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Ralph,

    I've seen a lot of threads on here (and elsewhere) regarding easel/enlarger alignment, with some recommending using laser tools to align at the start of each print session. If the depth of field around the easel is as large as you say, what would be your view of this issue?

    All the best,

    Frank
     
  11. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    off topic: Enlarger alignment laser tools seem a little overkill to me. Take a sheet of glass and put a mark on it near each corner of the projected area. Adjust your enlarger until all four corners are in focus. I did this with my d-2 and haven't had to re-align since.
    btw Ralph's book "Way Beyond Monochrome" is an excellent resource with plenty of useful darkroom tips.

    vinny
     
  12. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I find a laser alignment tool very useful. It allows aligment in all directions, both at the negative and at the lens, in moments.
    If you make adjustments for correcting verticals, or even just changing heads, getting all planes aligned can be tedious and time consuming.
    Maybe some can do it quickly and accurately, but I used all the other techniques for a long time before getting one of these and found them frustrating and often inaccurate.
    Tim
     
  13. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Decades ago, when bled off prints were the norm and RC rarely used, I used 'sticky easels'. These were low tack boards which help paper pretty flat with no border arms.
    Might look for them 2nd hand ?
     
  14. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Fair point. Sorry!

    Actually, I'm aware of how to align an enlarger (although thanks for posting it anyway!), I was just curious about how important/relevant Ralph thought it was given his earlier comment re easel DoF.

    You're perfectly correct, though; this thread is not the place to do it. Apologies for the hijack!
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I worked at a process camera equipped with a
    'sticky back'. My first post this thread mentions
    the 3M product. I'd think a good DIY project.
    Likely Valley Litho carries it. Perhaps the
    local printers supply store. Dan
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    If the paper curls, I've found that rolling it into a tube opposite the direction of curl for a few seconds does a good (but not perfect) job of cancelling the curl, at least long enough to expose a print. I'd call this the "quick-and-dirty" solution, though; double-sided tape or a vacuum easel would probably do a better job.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Well, the depth-of-field at the base-board is relatively large. I can post the equation if required. Having said that, a few degrees of misalignment can cause a significant shift in the DoF. Also of course, it is best to be in the middle of the DoF for optimum sharpness. I made a laser alignment tool for less than $35 (the plan is in my book). I use it after using Scheimpflug-adjustments to bring everything back into parallel.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    This works well. One of my tutors used double-sided tape and made it less sticky with some dust around the darkroom, before using it for the first time. Every few weeks the tape was replaced. It works well and keeps the paper well within DoF.

    His name is Monte Nagler and you might have seen his prints as IKEA posters.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Yes, off topic so ONE matter to consider. Stamped metal
    components should not to be confused with machined flats.
    I involve only two planes when making an alignment; the
    plane of the negative carrier and it's projected plane.
    I think Vinny's and my method are very similar. I do
    check for square as I'm not sure sharp at four
    corners is necessarily square.

    Vinny's or my method, the results of an alignment
    are confirmed on the baseboard or easel. Dan