contact printing frames

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by micek, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. micek

    micek Member

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    Hello. I'm looking for a contact printing frame (16x20), and I have noticed that those sold at the Photographer's Formulary are half the price of those on offer at Bostick & Sullivan. Has anyone got any experience of the former, do they do their job properly? Are there any other that you could recommend?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Amund

    Amund Member

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    The PF frames suck, I have one for 8x10, and will buy a Pelland as soon as I can. The clips for the back wear out fast, only hold at the edges and can REALLY hurt if one snaps over your fingers...
     
  3. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I've heard bad things about the PF frames, but have a B&S frame and love it. The Pelland have a great reputation too. I don't know how the prices compare.
     
  4. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    Hi I really can recommend the Pelland one, they are like a Swiss watch or Swiss army knife just like a RR!
     
  5. micek

    micek Member

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    Thank you, I suspected that much, but I needed to know.
     
  6. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    From what I can tell those Pelland frames are sweet. Being who I am and having more time than money, I am forced to make my own. If I had a choice...I'd go with the Palland every time.
     
  7. photomc

    photomc Member

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    You do not say what format you intend to contact, but I can relate my own experience - have an 8x10 from PF and there are some problems with it, but over all I would still rate it as good for the price. Have had to do some minor work on the side locks (spring) when one came out, but that is all. Also have a Pelland 11x14 and it is indeed a nice contact frame. Well made and looks good too! But must admit to having some problems with un-even pressure (I think this is common with all contact frames BTW) and have taken to using rubber gasket and some 2 ply mat board behind everything to keep everything flat and even. If you are printing 8x10 or larger I will offer the same advice I have been given and that is to look into a vacuum print frame (this may not be correct terminology). Hope this helps....Good Luck
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've handled one of those PhotoFormulary frames and wouldn't recommend it--particularly not for any size larger than 8x10". The spring locks around the edges don't provide enough pressure in the center.

    You might also avoid Premier frames, which are kind of lightly built.

    There are some older frames that are quite good, if you can't afford a new one. I have an old Kodak/Century 8x10" frame that is excellent. My best frame is probably a Kodak frame that looks to be of 1960s vintage, with register pins (I do have the punch), that I think was made for dye transfer.
     
  9. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I agree with David that I wouldn't purchase a formulary frame above 8x10. I have the 8x10 contact frame from them and it works very well, but once you hit 11x14 I think you would start having problems with sharpness.

    On the other side of the coin is the 16x20 contact frame I purchased from Doug Kennedy which is FANTASTIC! I have no problems at all with this frame and would highly recommend anyone looking for a frame to contact Doug.
     
  10. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    I've had a PF frame and it was one of the worst peieces of photographic equipment I've ever had. Poorly designed and terribly executed. My frame from Doug Kennedy is a joy to use. My PF frame hit the garbage, so half price wasn't much of a bargain. Cheers, Richard
     
  11. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Doug Kennedy's frames are really top notch. They have a very well designed latch system. They are also relatively cheap; He made me a beautiful 15x18 frame for $135.

    http://e.neilsen.home.att.net/dougkennedy.htm

    The PF frames are junk. Don't waste your money.
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Yep, I'm even planning on having Doug change my PF frame over to his design some day.
     
  13. David

    David Member

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    They're expensive, but beautiful, well conceived and built. Lotus View Camera in Austria makes them. They have an aluminum inset on each side where the spring ends seat. The wood doesn't wear out, the glass is thicker and they seem to last forever.
     
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  15. micek

    micek Member

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    Thank you all for your replies, they have been very helpful.
     
  16. Neil Poulsen

    Neil Poulsen Member

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    What are the outside dimensions of the Doug Kennedy 16x20 print frames? What's the largest sized paper they'll take? How tall are they?
     
  17. dr__red

    dr__red Member

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    Can anybody comment on Paterson Contact Proof Printer? The one certainly doesn't look as glorious as above custom built wooden frames, but it is certainly robust. Also pivot glass construction seems more convenient than back spring load types. I'm mostly concerned of usability with 4x5 contacts so to speak
     
  18. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Just received a 16X20 contact printing frame from Photo Formulary. I already have their 8X10 which I consider barely adequate; but their latest is much improved in workmanship. The back, for example, fits properly in the frame. Except for the snaps, which do seem to loosen up over time, I think their latest version is a good deal especially at only $78.
     
  19. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Doug Kennedy Frame

    I bought an 11x14 frame from Doug Kennedy which arrived the other day. Just a fantastic piece of equipment. I realize a contact frame is pretty simple, but this is well thought out and well made. The clamping system is very strong and elegant. The joints are very fine. AND, it bears mentioning, that the packaging for shipping was very thoughtful and well done. All around a very good experience.
    Neal Wilson
     
  20. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Interesting information! Few have stated their favorite woods for these frames to be made of. I personally am a Hard Rock Maple fan! My old Kodak 8x10 Maple frame is well over 100 yes old and still looks an performs well. Are the other woods Birch etc. as good?

    Charlie......................

    I have used a Patterson hinged glass proof printer for many years, while not in the spring back category the old device has performed very well for what I intended it to do.
     
  21. Formulary/Bud Wilson

    Formulary/Bud Wilson Advertiser Advertiser

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    Formulary responds

    Well folks thanks for the comments on the Formulary frames. If any body has a Formulary printing frame that they are not happy with please let us know. We offer a full refund on any of our products if you are not happy with them.
    Just for your information we have continuously sold 1000-1100 of these frames every year for over 10 years. We apparantly need some better QC on this product, but will continue to offer the least expensive contact printing frame on the market.
    I must make one more comment for the sake of all of the companies that sell anything to anybody. If you have a problem with a product tell the company that sold it to you. Any company wants the customer happy and will strive to keep someone that way. Running down product on the internet without first talking to the producer, well you know what I mean.
    Its a Great day for Chemistry.
    Thanxs Bud
     
  22. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    What is the difference in the Kennedy spring system from the traditional springs? Is there a photo somewhere?
     
  23. Bruce Schultz

    Bruce Schultz Member

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    I had an 8x10 PF frame and got rid of it mainly to get an 11x14 frame from another maker. Before I sold it, I replaced 2 of the clips.
    The clips, even when they were intact, were a pain, sometimes literally because they snapped shut so quickly. With the PF frame, closing all 6 clips was an inconvenience, especially when working in the dark. With my new frame, I have the 2 springs closed and ready to print in just a couple seconds. I suspected they didn't provide enough pressure in the center of the frame either, but I was never certain of that.
    I had no problem with the frame itself, just the clamping mechanism. It seems like if you offered a choice of a better spring for just a little more money, you'd have a better product.
     
  24. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Kennedy clamps

    I am used to seeing 2 or 3 clamps that run across the short dimension of the frame, secured by a central screw, around which the clamp pivots. And, this clamp usually slides into a slot cut into the wood. This slot generally gets bigger and looser over time, reducing tension on the back. The clamps on Doug Kennedy's 11x14 frame are 6 in total. 3 for each side. And, each of the clamps slides under a metal (brass I think) washer-type fitting held in place with a screw. So, you've got a total of 6 clamps working for you and held in place with parts less prone to wearing out. I made my first contacts with this over the weekend. Very easy to use.
    Neal Wilson
     
  25. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Bill, I don't know where you can see a photo online, but I can take a picture of mine and email it to you.

    I'm actually having Kennedy refit my 8x10 PF frame with his style of springs as I have finally gotten tired of putting the clips back into the frame when they fall out.
     
  26. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Jeremy,
    Do the photo and put it on line so we all can see it! Sounds like a dandy frame to me.

    Charlie...........................