Filing a negative carrier?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ChristopherCoy, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I did a quick search, but tapatalk isn't returning many results.

    Do any of you used filed negative carriers for those sloppy edges?

    I just ran across a blog post about them, and I've been curious about it since I first saw them in a video a while back.

    Is it really as simple as a metal file?
     
  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I used a Dremel, then a smaller file in the one I filed out. Depending on the enlarger and size neg, there are full frame holders out there, too. I have one for 35mm for my Beseler 23CIII, but had to make one for 6x6. Using a hand file will take awhile, but is less likely to take off too much. The trick is to keep checking so you don't make it lopsided and then way too big.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    not for sloppy edges but to actually enlarge the entire exposed area (omega carriers for all formats).
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I use black borders almost all the time.

    I used a jeweler's saw on mine, but the work was tedious. Dremel sounds good. File would work.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've made quite a few negative carrier masks and use a drill follwed by a file, it's very easy. I usually start with aluminium sheet. Now I have a Dremel and a clone I'd do some of the work with one of them isntead like Bethe.

    In fact I need to make 127 masks at the moment for either my Dursts or my De Vere 5108 :smile:

    Ian
     
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Filed-out carriers used to be a punishment for me. If the teacher thought you were composing on the enlarger too much instead of in-camera, he took your carrier and gave you a filed-out one. You would have to do the rest of that project using the filed-out aperture and showing sprocket holes on both sides.

    Filing out an aperture is simple in theory but can be difficult in practice.
    I have filed many apertures on cinema projectors. It's the same idea as filing a negative carrier's aperture: Just do it.

    Take an old negative and use that as a guide to know how far you want to file.
    Project an image. File a little bit. Project again. Repeat until the edges are where you want them to be.
    Work slowly. Be careful.

    Use a good quality file. Nicholson, et. al. You'll pay for good tool, many times over, buying cheap tools.
    I used a 4" Pillar file. (They are narrower and the edges are parallel.) #4 Swiss cut.
    Pillar files also have "safe" edges that have no teeth so you can file square corners without blowing them out.

    When you get the edges almost where you want them, take the file and bevel them back. That will give you a clean-looking edge when the image focuses on the screen/easel.

    Before you finish, take a fine emery board (manicure file) and polish the edges perfectly smooth.

    Okay, so filing projector apertures is a lot more critical than enlargers but the principle is just the same.

    Measure twice. Cut once. :wink:
     
  7. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I've got a Beseler 67c enlarger with a 6x7 carrier and a 35mm carrier. If I run across some used carriers on the bay I may try it out.

    I really find if the square image in the middle of a rectangle sheet I think. I've always enjoyed it any time I've seen it.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I thought that the affectation of filing carriers had finally died out. Sorry to hear that some are still considering it.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Filed edges are good, especially today. The unique one-of-a-kind marks identify the image as your own. Inclusion of the negative carrier edge in your print also identifies the print as a projection print made from film. When you present your print, you can cut an overlay mat to cover the filed edges if you subject matter so requires. But under the mat, the print retains your unique markings. As far as I am concerned the unique marks are as good as a signature.

    When making the hole, don't make it perfect. Also, thick carriers work better. I have a thin mask I filed out and when I print that it just looks like a mistake. My best one is a 2mm thick aluminum carrier that I filed out. It looks pretty good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Since the same effect can be done by photoshopping a digital image I can't see that a filed edge identifies a print made from film.

    I personally find that that the ragged edge distracts from the print. Besides the whole effect is rather a dated style concept.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some like it though Gerald and don't want to use Photoshop, it's a gimmick and I'd agree detracts from the image.

    Ian
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Yes, it really is that simple.

    IMPORTANT: It's *not* just a file...you need to get sandpaper (for metal) to completely smooth out every part of the carrier -- both plates, both sides. Otherwise, obviously, you'll scratch and ruin all your negs.
     
  13. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Just use the 35mm neg in the middle of a glass 6x6 carrier with the masking strips closed down. No filing required, and no problem with un-flat, poorly supported negs.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    No. I was given a few but never used them. My photographs stand on their own. If I need a black boarder I use a black mat.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Use of my carrier in someone els's digital catastrophe is not only unethical it is fraud.

    Personally I'd say that Black and White prints are even more 'dated' and more easily imitated in photoslop. Therefore it would be prudent to give up on B&W photography...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  17. erikg

    erikg Member

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    It doesn't have to be a sloppy edge, as some have mentioned. If you do file a carrier out don't forget to paint the edges.
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    To clarify my comment on photoshop. It was ONLY to refute the comment that the presence of a carrier edge PROVES that the print was made from film. My argument was that the same effect can be applied to a digital image and therefore negates the quoted statement. In other words a digital image can be made to LOOk as if it was a film image. Nothing else should be inferred from my statement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  19. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I make rough black borders without involving modification of the carrier. I work out the image size( normally constant for several prints), and then produce a black card mask with the border cut into it. This sits in the easel on top of the paper which is then exposed to make the border, card removed, then image exposed. When preparing the mask, I cut one side, then cover the cut on front and rear with transparent tape. Doing this one side at a time keeps the image area mask suspended within the outer frame. Depending on how you set up the image size, you may need to print the border with the easel frame raised. The whole process is easy to do. The important part is keeping paper and mask aligned in the easel. I wouldn't recommend this for producing fine black borders! Alex
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I grin when I see a black & white print with a Kodak Gold rebate or a color print with a Kodak Tri-X rebate.

    It just shows that the digi-snappers, in the words of Simon and Garfunkel,
    Just like HDR, trying to be film but can't get it up!
     
  21. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    I used a Dremel, then fine-tuned with a file (burnished the edges to finish off and avoid scratches). But before I had an extra 6x6 carrier, I just cut a neg carrier from black mat board that was slightly larger than the image.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    chris

    you can also custom make easels that have
    an edge ... its much easier with 2 or 4ply board
    to make an edge than it is with metal and a carrier ..

    have fun!
    john
     
  23. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I actually bought one already done for 50 cents at a local second hand camera store. Yup, the idea is to file the opening of negative carrier slightly larger than the image area of the negative. Then slowly smooth out the rough edges.

    Be careful and go slowly.... you'll have to do this perfectly imperfect for the best result. Once you get close, print one to see what you get - noting the orientation. Then make adjustments.
     
  24. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Here's a fairly thorough thread on the topic...
    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77024&referrerid=38808

    My post on the topic needs an update...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1009193

    Since that post I filed my 4x5 carrier (using the jeweler's saw). After sawing, I used pin files to "break" the sharp edges. Then I used steel wool to ensure the area in contact with film is absolutely smooth. I painted the edges with matt black model paint.


    I didn't plan to reveal this publicly, but sometimes facts are important to illustrate a disputed concept. Though the borders can be faked, they can also be honest.

    I dated the carrier after I cut it. A year later I made another very slight cut and marked the the carrier with the date of the cut. Anyone who inherits my equipment and prints will be able to verify vintage of any of my 4x5 prints by looking at the negative carrier. In the galleries "Dad and the twins, Laguna" shows the current cut, it's upper right near the trees. "Soccer Parade" is obviously older vintage. Though I could make more prints, I cannot fake that vintage.
     
  25. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    Shucks, you ought to trademark that one - a classic!

     
  26. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I like to have a bigger aperture on my carrier. Just enough to see the rebate, I then use the easel to either remove the rebate all together or to leave a thin black line. I don't like that carriers often crop 1mm from the neg and I've always had Newton's Rings issues with universal carriers.

    I use a Swiss file, go slow, keep checking against a negative to see your progress. Put the carrier in a vice rather than holding it in your hand.