Contact frames

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by 77seriesiii, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. 77seriesiii

    77seriesiii Member

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    Hello,

    I am looking to purchase a new contact frame, 20x24 in size. I am considering a large piece of glass, but is taking time to source.

    So the two companies that I know of selling contact frames, Bostick and Sullivan and the Photographer's Formulary. I have a B&S contact frame and it appears that I may have to re-glue the miter joints which are starting to separate, it shouldnt as its not that old. Has anyone used a contact frame from the photographer's formulary? If I have to make one, I'm probably better off trying to find plate glass, time has somehow turned into a commodity that keeps slipping away.

    Thanks for any ideas or tips

    Erick
     
  2. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I have read here and the LF Forum that in sizes above 7x17 you are better off with a vacuum frame. Supposedly when working properly it provides a more even pressure over all. I have 8x10 and 11x14 frames from B&S and 7x17 from Bill Schwab. Though I have not used the two B&S frames a lot, I loaned them to my Alt Process class of ten students for the last five weeks and the frames still look new. If you use the frames so much that they are damaged I would think that would point you to a heavy duty vacuum frame.

    I will start using an Amergraph 1200 watt plate burner with a 25” x 29” vacuum frame in the next month. Equipment such as this in many larger sizes is considered obsolete in the US printing industry and is available as they are thrown out or sold for scrap. I am guessing the same is true in Europe.

    John Powers
     
  3. 77seriesiii

    77seriesiii Member

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    John,

    I'll have to keep my eyes out for a vacuum frame, there are a few camera/photo markets coming up in the fall, maybe something will be there. On the B&S frame, that's the thing, I havent used it that much. Granted I got it used but I dont think the original owner used it, ever. Just surprising to be honest

    On the vacuum idea, not sure of the space required, I've never seen one. How big are these? If big I may have some serious spouse approval factor issues.

    ./e
     
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    “I'll have to keep my eyes out for a vacuum frame, there are a few camera/photo markets coming up in the fall, maybe something will be there.”

    This is not something I would expect to find at camera/photo markets. This came from a company that salvages used printing equipment from print shops that have either gone digital or gone out of business.

    I would search here and on the LF Forum for vacuum frames. This subject has come up before. I have seen links to articles on how to build one. The plate maker I mentioned includes both a vacuum frame and a 1200 watt mercury vapor light. This would make it a very useable device for at least the alt processes I have done; Platinum, Van Dyke and Cyanotype. Please research further as I profess little expertise. I plan to start using it next month. I have used UV light sources and spring loaded print frames prior to this.

    “On the vacuum idea, not sure of the space required, I've never seen one. How big are these?”

    I mentioned my vacuum frame was 25”x29”, probably the minimum size for your planned 20”x24” negative. The vacuum frame base is 7” high. There really is very little to this, a glass top, a rubber blanket and a pump to pull out the air. Many have remote pumps to remove the noise to another room. On the Amergraph, the frame for the over head light takes up space. The whole device is 31” wide, 28” deep and 31” high.

    “If big I may have some serious spouse approval factor issues.”

    This is a second marriage for both of us. Both our first spouses went off with other people. After retiring I took a few university photo courses. I wanted a home darkroom. My wife had smelled the fixer on the floors of dirty, 15 enlarger school darkrooms and said not in my/our house. I explained about cleaning up after each use, exhaust fans and got nowhere. Finally I looked at her, said this was really important to me and quoted the old saying, “The man who has a hobby at home, tends to stay at home.” She thought for a minute and said, “How much space do we need?”

    That was seven years ago. We just celebrated our 19th anniversary.

    John
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  6. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    Some months ago, I bought a very nice contact print frame on Alistair Inglis for my 8x20" negatives, it works by magnetic force, the pressure is uniform and front loading(not back loading spring).
    I think it's a very good tool in my darkroom.

    Stefano
     
  7. AgentX

    AgentX Member

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    I just got an 8x10 frame from Photo Formulary. It's not luxuriously finished, which is FINE with me. Helps keep cost reasonable, I assume. The back on the 8x10 operates in a much different fashion than I'm used to. It has 4 spring latches on the edge which snap open or shut against the split back. This is different than the normal spring arm that engages the frame presses into the spring back from the center.

    Can't comment on how well it works, as I'm only capable of doing 6x6cm contacts right now. But seems fine, if different.
     
  8. Snapper

    Snapper Member

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    Can anyone tell me where I might be able to buy a 10x8 contact printing frame in the UK? I've looked in the usual places, but can't find anyone that does them in this country.
     
  9. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Try Linhof and Studio;

    http://www.linhofstudio.com/products/fineart/contact_printing_Frames.html

    Not cheap but beautifully made to last. I use their 10"x12" frame.
     
  10. Justin Cormack

    Justin Cormack Member

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  11. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    + 1 on Argentum - they are a good business to support.