Contact frame and light box

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Rick, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Rick

    Rick Member

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    Since I've been bitten by the Albumin bug, I'm trying to do some research as to what it's going to take to get into this process following a good workshop.
    As for the contact printing, there seems to be a need for a contact frame and light box. Now I see PF has contact frames at a reasonable price. As for the light box, they seem kind of pricey for what I'm seeing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to be a plywood box with a hinged front, no bottom and probably a number of light sockets wired together in parallel for some type and quantity of UV tubes.
    Do most of you folks make your own light box?
    I can't picture myself making anything larger than 8x10 prints so what size box would be required to slide an 8x10 contact frame into? As for the number of, and type of light tubes, with socket type, that would be of help also.
    Could someone speak on the subject of contact frame and light box design? It'd be a great help in my planning.
    Thank you
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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  3. Rick

    Rick Member

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    Thank you Ann. That clears up that question!
     
  4. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Rick, if you do a search here on uv lightbox you will quite a few hits. Several here have built them from the plans ann provided a link to...used it to build mine. To start, you could use the sun, while there are limits (not late night work) it will work. So if you are not sure if you will be using it in 6 months, I would go that route. while not going bigger than 8x10 myself, I still use an 11x14 contact frame and it really helps to fit it under the lights made to work with a 20x24 frame.

    If really serious get a vacuum print frame, but they are not cheap; next there are several good deals on wood frames, the formulary one you mention, Bostick and Sullivan (a good place for paper, chemicals and print frames) plus there are a few that sale frames here and on ebay. If not sure how long you want to do this, a nice thick sheet of glass will do the job just fine.
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    If you don't plan to print any larger than 8X10" you might consider buying one of the 20 watt spiral BLB fluorescent tubes and put it in a 10-12" reflector housing. I believe that if you used this bulb at a distance of about 10-12" from the printing frame you would get even illuimination over an 8X10" print, and reasonably fast printing times. And you don't have to build anything -- just buy the tube and reflector and plug it into an outlet.

    Sandy
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've got south facing windows, and I'm not planning on producing any big editions of albumen prints for the time being, so I think I'll start with those, and then eventually I'll build something once I've got everything else in place. Gotta budget first for--a Rotatrim (which I've needed for a long time), a pound of silver nitrate, and an ounce of gold chloride. Other equipment (like print frames) and supplies I already have, or they don't seem too costly.

    For Azo I use a cheap Ikea halogen desk lamp with the UV filter removed, and my Azo exposures are pretty short (usually around 20-25 sec., but maybe 4 sec. at the shortest and 2 min at the longest), so it might be worth trying with albumen (I should have taken some paper trimmings from the workshop to test it).
     
  7. Rick

    Rick Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the good advice. Things are coming together. I believe my biggest hurdle is going to be making an 8x10 neg from a 4x5 or 6x7cm.(med. format).
    I haven't read any articles on the Blinkingeye site in regards to this, but will do so.
    I'd hate to think it's going to cost me another arm and a leg to buy a bunch of computer equipment, scanners,etc. in order to get the negative I need.
    It sounds as though I'm going to have to compete against some of you for the ortho film (old outdated) found on ebay! As I've read (not much though) that it is what seems to be preferred for neg. enlargements.
    In looking around and reading on workshops, it sounds like the Zoe Zimmerman workshop is in order for a starting point?
    Thank you, Rick