Color contact printing?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by domaz, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I have been thinking about getting into large format for the purpose of contact printing lately. I like the idea of a print that is amazingly sharp and pretty much a 100% representation of the negative.

    However, I do like to work in color occasionally and I was wondering how feasible contact printing is in color. What equipment do I need to do it? Just an enlarger with a color head and contact printing frame? What paper is best to use for this purpose? RA4 or Ilfochrome?
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Whatever process you like.

    It's no different then doing a colour contact sheet.
     
  3. Dug

    Dug Member

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    I have done 4X5 Ilfochrome contact prints for one of the early postcard exchanges. Ilfochrome chemistry has been reformulated (again) and is not for the faint of pocketbook. I would do color negatives with RA4 to start. I am in Seattle so if you need assistance PM me.
     
  4. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I'd do 8x10 for size, use Fuji Crystal Archive for paper and that would lead you to use RA-4 chemistry.
     
  5. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Thanks for the replies- but just to clarify you need to contact printing under the light of an enlarger with a color head to do this?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That would be the easiest way. You need to be able to filter the light to adjust the color. I suppose you could also just use a lamp with a filter holder on the reflector, like a gel holder, if you don't already have an enlarger.
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    May be you can do it with RGB LED lamps? Build an array of these LED and control the exposure time for the red, green and blue LED's separately. Just an idea.
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    You could use a black and white enlarger with yellow and magenta CC gel filters.

    Jon
     
  9. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Wouldn't you need cyan, as well?

    Jo
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    All color neg-pos papers are very fast and therefore you can use an enlarger for both enlargments and for contact prints. Cibachrome is so slow, you might not want to use an enlarger. IDK.

    You will need C/M/Y filters for Cibachrome but only M/Y for color papers under normal conditions. If you need C for neg-pos papers, the light is improper or something else is wrong and colors will probably be degraded.

    PE
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    No, you do not need cyan, although you can use it if you want. All colors can be altered by adjusting two of three filters only. Basically stated, primary colors of light are unlike the opaque primaries in that there is some overlap. Primary in this case means those from which all others are made, rather than those that cannot be made from other color, like with opaque colors. If you want to control red/cyan, you add or subtract Y/B and M/G in equal amounts. The two can be combined equally to have exactly the same effect as the third filter, but without adding neutral density, which you would be doing if you used all three. (Equal amounts of Y, M, and C equal neutral density, AKA no color, only tone. Just stack Y, C, and M filters together to see this.) You can use any two filter colors that you like, but the common choices are magenta and yellow, which is easier to reason out in your head, as they are both warm filters. It is also convenient because they are the two used for black and white VC printing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2008
  12. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Years ago, I made a color contact printer box with an 11x14 opal glass for the surface one puts the negative on. I painted the inside of the box white, and drilled a hole in one side for a small dichroic color head-held in place with a bungee cord. I arranged white foamcore baffles inside at a 45 degree angle to reflect the light up to the opal glass. I used a common light meter to adjust the baffles to achieve even light on the opal glass. I then constructed a lid on a hinge, with foam rubber glued to the underside, and a latch. To use, the negative is taped down to the glass with black photographers tape, and then the remainder of the glass is taped off with black photographers tape, then an "L" shaped piece of cardboard is used as a corner to reference the paper to, and this is taped down. In the dark, a piece of RA-4 paper is run up against the corner, the lid is closed and latched and the enlarger timer is triggered for the exposure. Works like a champ. At one time I did fairly large quantity (100 prints) each of some product shots with a litho negative of product description type at the bottom of the image. Of course the color negative (8x10) had to be trimmed to allow for the inclusion of the type at the bottom. A composite image, made with one exposure. Worked great. I found that I had to reduce the output of the color head by taping black tape over part of the light output to get exposure times long enough to be reasonable.