Contrast masking

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by michael_r, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Hi everyone, is it possible/feasible to make contrast masks in 35mm for enlarging? Among other problems, I'm not sure how you could get the registration precise enough. But has anyone experimented with this?

    Thanks
    Michael
     
  2. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I never tried it in less than 4x5, but give it a try and post your results!
     
  3. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Perhaps someone could make registration pins that have the shape of the perforation. That would simplify things, wouldn't it?
     
  4. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've never done it in less than 4x5 either. It seems like given the high degree of enlargement it would be extremely difficult to get this to work. But I have some brutal 35mm negatives (night shots with light sources in frame) that I mistakenly gave normal development instead of compensating development. Luckily, I've been able to make fine prints with alot of work, but the printing acrobatics involved made me wonder if there is anything further I can do to simplify and improve repeatability. I had always considered masking to be pretty much out of the question in 35mm, but perhaps it is worth an experiment.
     
  5. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Enlarge your negative first? Kind of a pain but it would make things easier afterwards.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've never considered enlarging a 35mm negative before. Maybe that would help.
     
  7. Grif

    Grif Member

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    Geeze,,, Didn't we make paper negatives to do this kind of thing with back in the day? you're stretching my brain...
    Seems like we also used 4x5 lith film in a soft developer to build an internegative... big bloches in my memory...

    don't forget the sub-forum that shal not be mentioned. there are a couple of dry steps that could be added to get back to a more printable negative.
     
  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Just thought I'd experiment...
     
  9. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    For this you would almost certainly want to get a pin register setup. Alistair Inglis makes one that works very well. However I haven't tried it for 35mm. Works well for medium format and 4x5.
     
  10. Grif

    Grif Member

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    I just re-read my comment,,, wasn't meant to be that way,,, Was meant,,, Geeze,,, I seem to remember somewhere in the (yes, i inhaled) late 60's doing that sort of thing........

    Sorry about that. Not the first time I've tasted my toes,,, won't be the last
     
  11. kompressor

    kompressor Member

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  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have done it a few times. I use a cut down piece of kodalith about 2" x5" as the mask, since I masking a b&w film at the time. Develop by inspection under red safelight for an USM, or by time and temp if you are finicky.

    I made an oversized foam core 'neg holder' that mimiced my Omega B neg carrier, as a guide to show me where to use push pins, and put them where there would not be interference when the real carrier held the films.

    With the lights on, push the pins though the 35mm film in the margin between frames at a spot beyond where the neg holder will come into play, but not too far away.
    Then insert the Kodalith under red light, lay it on the baseboard with a diffuser to hold the 35mm and lith together, and use the enlarger as a controllable light source to get a repeatable exposure.

    After mask development fix and dry put the pins though the same holes,a nd then sandwich the tow together in the neg carrier. If you want to, tape the two together at the loose end if the neg to mask is at one end of the strip of 35mm negs. The mask can be cut to match the 35mm film width after it is developed. Keep it oversized to give you somewhere outside of the image area to hold it with tongs etc.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Back in the days of 35mm Cibachrome enlarging, there was a re-usable contrast mask designed specifically for 35mm. I never got around to getting one so I can't comment on how well it worked.
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I have done it with 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5. With a bit of training and even more patience, you can do it with a loupe, a needle to pivot and piece of tape to secure the arrangement.

    Take a look at a free article on masking here:

    http://www.waybeyondmonochrome.com/WBM2/TOC_files/UnsharpMaskingEd2.pdf

    and fined more here:

    http://www.waybeyondmonochrome.com/WBM2/TOC.html
     
  16. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Michael,

    Stealing Nike's slogan, just do it. I have a little jig I made for alignment, but I have a milling machine. Before that, I used a magnifier, light table, and Scotch Magic Tape. Sometimes it worked better than others. Of course if it's something you plan to do on a regular basis, purchasing a system is a lot less costly in terms of time, frustration and even possibly money over the long run.

    Neal Wydra
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I agree with Neal, because it reflects my experience with masking. I did what he explains but used a needle as a pivot point to support the alignment process. In other words, pick an alignment point on one side of the negative, stick a pin into the neg, close but outside of the image area, and then rotate around that pivot point until the opposite side aligns as well. Then, tape into place!

    If you use masking on a regular basis, get a pin registration system. I use the one made by my friend Lynn Radeka. You'll find him on the web by searching for his name.
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The contrast masks used for printing my Ilfochromes have holographic alignment strips along one edge. When the printer went belly-up, all my files, likewise all those of 30 other clients, were returned to me, and the contrast masks were the first to catch my attention.
     
  19. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    It is do-able. I've done it with no pin registration. Just a magnifying glass and some cellophane tape. 35mm film base is quite thin so place piece of clear film between the negative and masking film for slightly more pronounced sharpness.
     
  20. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Definitely agree that a pin register would be the way to go! Inglis doesn't list one for 35mm, and maybe that's a hint.... But he does say custom sizes can be made on request.
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    From what I recall the one designed for Ciba printing made the mask image in-situ. So no registration problems with 35mm. I think it required exposure to UV light through the slide. Then the sandwich was ready to use immediately. After use, the mask image could be cleared and the mask could be re-used. I don't recall the brand name of the product.
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks for this. I was actually just thinking about Lynn Radeka's systems. I didn't know it could be adapted to 35mm. Will look into it.
     
  23. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks to everyone for the input.

    Michael
     
  24. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    MinitMask(TM)

    This is the product I was thinking of.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Wow! Is this a Polaroid-type glass?
     
  26. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    That is very cool. Want.