Contact proof prints from 120 - do you make them? :)

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by eumenius, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Hello friends,

    I just wanted to ask you if you find the practice of contact printing all your 120 negatives useful for your following print making. Do you think that B/W negative scanning could replace actual proofs (actually, that was a blasphemy :smile: )? How do you usually make your proofs, on what size and surface type of paper, and how do you choose an exposure time? What points do you consider while evaluating the proofs? Surely this can be an interesting thread for APUG people :wink:

    Cheers from Moscow,
    Zhenya
     
  2. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Proofing: Paterson proof printer on glossy MGIV RC filtered for Grade 2. Exposure is paper's min. time for max. black (which I test for once and then mark it on the box for future reference).

    Evaluating: if I got exposure and development right, I should have Zones III to VII where I expected them, if not, I can see where I went wrong.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  3. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I use cheap RC paper to get an idea of which negative I want to print. From there I do work prints, and from those I do the final one on fiber.
     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    With an adequate scanner, proofing negs digitally is easy and useful. The biggest drawback is that futsing with the histogram gives a great scan, but a totally false sense of how to proceed with darkroom work. Adjusting each slider for shadows, midtones and highlights doesn't really equate to the steps one needs to take in the darkroom. The other drawback is that the scan is viewed by transmitted light whereas the print, contact or otherwise, is viewed by reflected light. So it's a mixed bag. I try to do both a scan and, when I get into the darkroom, a contact sheet, and that applies to medium as well as large format negs.
     
  5. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    I do them on RC paper using a contrast filter of 1/2. I only want to see what detail is in the print, not what it will look like when finished. I do this with all my film.
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have been making 120 roll film contact proofs on Azo and Polywarmtone. Many are 6x7cm, 6x9cm and 6x12 cm. I have matted and framed some of them. I currently do not make enlargements.
     
  7. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    proofs

    I always proof all my negatives with a #1 filter on Oriental VC. It is only good darkroom habit to do this. You will learn from the proofs and have a permanent record of what you are doing. Don't forget to set up some sort of filing system along with this ortherwise you'll go nuts in the future.
    Best, Peter Schrager
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I proof my negatives on 24x30cm (9.5x12") Multigrade RC, with 040Y filtration. The contact print is put in an album with negative sheet on the right, contact print on the left. Then I can see which negatives are worth working on, and find the right negative immediately.

    Since I use transparent negative sheets, I just contact the whole sheet under a sheet of glass to keep it flat. So everything is just as in the album.

    Scanning takes a lot loonger time, and is more difficult to fit in a filing system:smile:
     
  9. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    what's a filing system?

    :wink:
     
  10. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Zhenya,

    I make contact sheets from negatives of any size I shoot. I use 8 1/2 x 11 Kodabrome II RC, #2 grade for all the sheets. The contact sheet not only provides a handy record for filing but also has plenty of space on the back for noting enlargement data for the individual negatives.

    Konical
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Doh! I never thought of that... Excellent idea - saves all those bits of paper falling out! Consider that idea stolen :wink:

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  12. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I make contact proofs of all negs, even 4x5s. I like to file the proof and the negs in folders along with a printout from a database I record exposure info, developing data and printing details in.

    I used to make low contrast proofs but have gravitated back to normal contrast ones as my film exposure and processing has improved and gotten more consistant.
     
  13. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I do with 35mm when i shoot it but that's it. How the hell can you make a contact proof of 10 6x7 negs when only 9 fit in the sleeve? This drives me crazy when i want to store them. Usually as soon as my 4x5 and 6x7 negs they are dry i scan them. This gives me a pretty good idea of what to expect when enlarging and i can also use the good scans for my website someday. I'd rather scan prints for that but i rarely print smaller than 11x14.
     
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  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You're using the wrong sleeves... :wink:
     
  16. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've never seen sleeves that will hold 10 individual 6x7cm negs and can be contact printed on 8x10 paper. How about a print file number?
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I can't remember the number, and I'm 300km away from home. But mine are made by Panodia.
    Besides they won't fit on 8x10" paper - as I said I use 9.5x12" paper, which is just a little bit larger than the negative pages. That way the negs show up against the white back of the next contact sheet when they're in the album.

    There are HAMA 00002289.
    And Printfile #020-0200.

    But neither will fit on 8x10"!
     
  18. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    I use RC paper to make a proof sheets of all my 120 rolls. Its a good way to evaluate negatives that might make good candidates for finished prints. Currently my filing system consists of a pile in the corner of my darkrook. One of these days I'll get around to organizing them! lol
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Proof prints!?! I do straight 6x6cm prints as final images. They look great in pd/pt matted floating on 11x14.
     
  20. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I too do all mine on cheap 8 x 10 or A4 RC paper at 1/2 grade contrast and with a Paterson contact printer. The low contrast tends to iron out any little exposure variations for the negs. I use them mostly for identification and then file the contact with the negs. I put a cigarette pack over an unused bit of the paper during exposure to leave a white area onto which I can write the film code and any other relevant information. As for exposure, I do a test strip for the first sheet out of the box then use the resulting best setting for the rest, unless there is obviously a reason to do a new test.

    David.
     
  21. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I contact print all of my 120 and 35mm negs on Ilford Perl RC paper. I tried scanning the negs for proofing but as others have stated it really does not help with printing in the darkroom. Some negs I can look at and know what I wnat to do without the contact but this is rare for me. The contact prints are a big help.
     
  22. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I need to clarify. When I contact print I put only 6 negs (three per sleeve on a full page clear neg protector.) I use glass over the top just like ole. What I do differently is I place a piece of heavy plastic that B&H sells to block out light on the portion of the neg sleeve under the glass that has no negatives in it. What do I do with that resulting white blank space? I use that area to write notes on about where I shot it, what lens, etc the trival stuff we keep records of. I also note which numbered (my system of numbering, the work print that corespondes to it. On the back of that now 8x10 RC sheet, I also write date.

    I do use a #2 filter when making the contact sheet.I don't worry about being able to get all 10 images on one page since I split it all up anyway. The way I record info on the sheet it becomes mote that I split it up since I can refer to the notes. I never sweat the small stuff like if the sheet will hold 10 images, I prefer to worry about taking the images.

    Once I have the proof sheet I can see which images are as I want them. Some times even what we preceive in our mind as the best shot doesn't look as good once shot. From the ones I look at through a loupe, I make work sheets, again with a #2 filter. I evaluate these work prints (on Cheap RC paper) to see what works, what it needs have done to it, do I need to crop to just a portion, or any other things I can see flaws or good with.

    At this point if I have a difficult work print, but I love the scene, I will scan the print in, not the negative. I work in photoshop to see what I can do with doging and buring. This is just an aide I use so I can go into the darkroom to work from what I did on the computer. Scanning the print we all know does not come out the same on the screen as what we have in the print. We all have to do tweaking to make it look the same. That same thing would hold true for negs scanned. Only problem is when you scan a neg, you have no reference with a print in hand what the actual neg would look like when printed. As for scanning the print, remember this is only done to those really difficult prints I sometimes have.

    As a result I have proof sheets with info to look at all negatives. I have work prints that are numbered and cross refeneced to proof sheet and vise versa. I mark up work prints since that is exactly what they are with things I want to do to them in the darkroom. I never worry if my camera is capable of making negatives that will fit an 8x10 contact sheet, I never work with that confining thought, I make the contact sheets fit the way I work, and use the best camera I can to get the image.
     
  23. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    eumenius,

    Excellent thread. I was "searching" for something else and tripped upon this gem. Some great insights into scanning vs contact proofing, still holds water two and a half years later.

    I'm right there, just about ready to start contact proofing my 120s. Last month I bought a Peterson contact printer, I just finish setting up my light source (my enlarger), and I was looking for suggestion on what paper to use.

    Terry
     
  24. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Terry,
    APUG is perhaps the best place on Earth now to consult about anything photographic - and I am very happy to be here. Good luck!

    Zhenya
     
  25. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've been proofing two up on 5x7. No cropping. The
    full frame image makes evaluation easy. A Speed
    Easel makes it quick. First 5x7 exposure is by
    experience and may be scraped. Dan
     
  26. haris

    haris Guest

    As 35 and 6x6 contact sheet is pretty easy and straightforward, just put stripes into contact printer(s), nothing to tell about that.

    But 6x7 is another story. As I get 10 frames of 6x7 on one 120 film, I cut film on 5 strips of 2 frames. That go into every possibile 120 film sleeves. For contact sheet I use Paterson contact printer for 24x30cm paper. Filling is somehow tricky. Because there are no sheet containing 5 strips with 2 frames of sleeves for 120 film, all are made as 4 sleeves for 3 frames of 6x6 (or 2 frames of 6x7), or other types as 4 sleeves for 3 frames of 6x7 (and two frames of 6x8 or 6x9), I put strips of film in continuity, just write same marks on every strip from same film, and put same marks on contact sheet. That mark is usually in form: dd/mm/yyyy of exposing (film number).

    On back of contact sheet I write all other informations I need (location/subject/camera/lenses/film/paper type and size for every particulat frame I print/processing of film info/processing of paper info including enlarger/lens/fhead/iltration, etc...)