Contact printing paper size

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by TN98, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. TN98

    TN98 Member

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    I wonder, what size of the paper should I use to contact printing the 8x10 negative? I'm planning to order the Lodima. Should I use 8x10 or 11x14?
     
  2. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    For my 8x10 negatives I prefer to use 8x10 paper.

    Stefano
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I believe the Lodima Paper is only available in 8x10 (and a few boxes of 7.5x10) during this first run.
     
  4. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    As Shawn has said during this initial print run Lodima will only be available in 8x10 plus a few at 7.5x10. I think it's Michael's intention to introduce the larger sizes next year and to also offer it in grade 3. However I think an 8x10 neg will look good on 11x14 paper.

    I've ordered a box of 8x10 Lodima for contact printing 8x10 with the intention to trim off the black border and mount the print on an art paper then window mat for presentation. The window will be spaced to show a white border around the image.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some circles say that you should print on oversize paper and trim as this is believed to enhance the archival qualities of the print. The reasoning is that chemicals penetrate the edge of the paper more readily and that it is harder to clear, and that trimming off the unused outer edges of over sized paper eliminates a possible source of contamination to the image area. The reasoning sounds plausible in theory, but I don't personally ascribe to the principle.

    I print 8x10 on 8x10 and so on, and wash really well. I haven't experienced any untoward results, even with prints that have a white border that would tend to readily display this tendency if it does in fact exist.

    That said, it wouldn't hurt anything to follow that procedure, except in the pocket book, and having a small extra step, providing you can print square on the paper, so trimming doesn't become onerous.

    As others have intimated regarding Lomida, I don't believe 11x14 is available right now, but may be this coming spring.
     
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  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I prefer to have a border around the print. One reason is so that I am not handling the paper in the image area and if I tweak a corner it is no big deal. So one could get a package of 8x10 and 11x14 (when available) -- use the 8x10 for work prints and the final one on 11x14. Another possibility is to trim a 5"x11" piece off the 11x14 for tests, and use the remainder for the print (9x11 paper size) -- with a half inch border all the way around the image.

    It also depends on how you plan to display the print. Taping-hinging it behind a window would be easier with a larger border, while dry mounting works just as easy without a border. If one likes to show the black rebate area around the image, then a border make this easier.

    I suppose having a border also slows down the migration of air-born pollutents from the edge towards the image area. But this is probably not all that significant (at least in our own lifetimes). Having a border with RC paper would be more significant than with fiber, as processing chemicals can enter into the cut edges and will not wash out easily (because of the resin coating on both sides of the paper)...especially with the short wash times RC papers get.

    Vaughn
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I print 5x7 negs on 8x10 paper. I mask it so I have a generous rebate when I mount the print.

    If you dry-mount your photographs and don't need a rebate in the over-mat, then 8x10 paper for 8x10 negs would likely suffice. To me, if I had an 8x10 camera, I would use 11x14 paper for the final print. Since I don't dry-mount, using larger paper helps keep the print flatter in the frame too.

    So, I would oversize.

    - Thomas
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Does anyone actually try to put their signature on the front of silver gel paper. You would need a border for that.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    To get that look, I trim the print to the image area and dry mount it inside a window bigger than the image area. I then sign the matboard directly under the print's lower right corner (and within the window itself). I like to sign with a hard lead pencil, which usually does not do well on photo paper.

    Vaughn
     
  10. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    If I'm writing directly on gelatine silver paper I use a Zig Millennium 0.05mm black pen (http://store.falkiners.com/store/product/4019/Zig-Millenium---Black-005BK/) I must thank my good friend Keith Lauchbury for the 'heads-up' on this product. For everything else I use a pencil.
     
  11. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    I use 8x10 paper for 8x10 prints. There is no need to use a larger size paper. I then trim the prints and dry mount them. My article "Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage" clearly shows that dry mounting on the proper board (not just any "100% all-rag board, most of which do not do the job of protecting the print), provides far better protection from pollutants than hinging prints.

    Now, if you dry mount prints and use an overmat, or even if you hinge them, you have two choices with the overmat—you can cut it to exactly fit the print, and not show any border--or you can leave space around the print.

    It is almost impossible to cut an overmat to fit the print exactly without overlapping the print a little bit. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that the photographer is responsible for every square millimeter of the print, the way a composer is responsible for every note, and that to cut off even a small sliver of the print destroys the integrity of the picture. My photographs are seen right to the very edge, and so this is important to me.

    If the overmat allows a border around the print it is more than a little distracting to have white photographic paper surround the print. When looking at a photograph one's eye usually goes to the brightest thing. If the brightest thing is the white photo paper surrounding the print, that is a serious distraction. If the mat board, of a surface with less reflectance than the print, constitutes the border between the print and the overmat, it is not distracting, and helps to focus attention on the print itself—the place where attention should be directed.

    And yes, we will have 11 x 14 paper in the spring.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I have been using CRI's negative envelopes (4-fold) and storage boxes for 15 or 20 years...good stuff. I haven't been using their matboard, but probably should be...

    Vaughn
     
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  15. TN98

    TN98 Member

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    Thanks, everybody for your kind comments. I don't have a dry mount machine and the overmat would be the only choice. May be I'll try it with the heat transfer machine (for T-shirt).
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Michael,

    Isn't the mat board itself usually white too? If yes, the entire overmat would be distracting the eye from viewing the print.
    Just out of curiosity, I'm not trying to contradict you, I'm just speaking my opinion, how do you reason with the overmat possibly being the brightest point of the entire presentation?

    I like how a rebate around the print looks, surrounding the print inside the overmat. To me it's not a distraction at all, no more than the overmat itself.

    - Thomas

     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Thomas, I believe Michael said that since the mat board is more of a matt surface, it does not reflect as much light as the glossy white of the print...thus the mat board does not compete for the eyes' attention.

    I believe the eye also is drawn towards black if it is surrounded by white -- as much as the eye is drawn towards white that is in a field of black or darker tones. So a white mat board can help to isolate and draw the eye to the image.

    Vaughn
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thanks Vaughn for chiming in. I'm a little bit surprised. I guess I need to do more research on how the human eye works. I've never heard that before.
    But then again, I'm not usually one to find out what others do before I do it myself, I just do what I like or think will work off the bat and live with the consequences. :D
    With that said, I still like the rebate, and don't intend to start over-mating my prints differently. It does look better with matte paper, however, so I can somewhat see the point being made.

    - Thomas
     
  19. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Thomas,

    Vaughn has it right. The matt board is of lesser reflectance than the print and so the eye is drawn to the print, If the surround of the print is white photo paper, the eye is drawn away from the print because of the reflectance of the paper (assuming glossy paper is being used). I am not sure what you mean by the "rebate." Do you mean the black edge of the paper where the film was clear?

    Michael A. Smith
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thanks Michael,

    I mean to mask the print so that there is a clean white edge around it on the paper, of say 1/2" on each side, and then the over-mat.

    So if you printed an 8x10 neg on 11x14 paper, you would have a print area of about 7.75 x 9.75 (after masking the edge of the negative with ruby lith or similar), and then have an overmat with an opening of 8.75 x 10.75 so that there is a distance of 1/2" between the bevel cut of the over-mat and the actual print edge that is paper white.

    This is how I have presented my prints for years now, and it never even occurred to me that the white border was distracting. I just thought it gave the print a nicely weighted and balanced appearance in the overmat.
    It could have something to do with it that up until recently I've used mostly matte or semi-matte paper.

    - Thomas
     
  21. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Well maybe, Thomas, with matte or semi-matte paper there is not the problem there is when glossy paper is used, but I still think I would prefer to have the mat board itself surround the print. I think the entirely different surface would set off the print better than the photo paper.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  22. Bob K.

    Bob K. Subscriber

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    Thomas,

    For what it's worth, I agree with you. I leave a border and then overmat. For prints with a white border I use a mat with a black core. To my eye, it nicely defines the picture's space. Since I've started printing with Centennial POP, I expose outside the prints space to create a dark border. I now use a mat with a white core, which against the dark border gently leads the eye to the picture itself (once again, at least to my eye).

    bob k.
     
  23. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    One thing about leaving too much dark space around POP prints for large prints is that the dark border will use up a lot of toner and can be expensive. I tend to leave just enough black to use to frame the print, and then mask the outside border to use less chemicals during processing
     
  24. Bob K.

    Bob K. Subscriber

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    Good point Jamie. I do the same thing.
     
  25. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    While I agree with Michael and Vaughn about how effectively the different surface of the mat board draws the eye to the print there is an additional reason I trim to the edge of the image and mount with the over mat revealing a half inch of visible under board. I believe very strongly in making things by hand and as such in art as an object. I think floating the paper in space, so you can see thickness of the paper itself, helps to make the picture stand out as such an object....
     
  26. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Shawn, good point and it is another reason I mount silver gelatin prints that way. It is such a "clean" way of presenting a print.

    Vaughn

    I show about 1/8 inch of black around a platinum print, to show the entire negative, since I compose for the entire negative. There have been some images where the "wings" (where the image flares out to the edge of the film) becomes distracting. In these cases, I have scrapped the image off the neg to give an even border of black...mostly with 4x10 negs which only have one "wing" to begin with (using a cut dark slide in an 8x10 holder).