Glass Neg Carrier Woes

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by rossawilson1, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. rossawilson1

    rossawilson1 Member

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    I have the glass neg carrier for my LPL C6700 - it's a massive, massive pain to get and keep that thing clean, i.e. free from dust etc. Is this a common problem? Am I really gaining any benefit with this carrier other than it's universal? Any ideas appreciated, including for cleaning products.
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    I use Zeiss wet cloths to clean the glass and then use a can of air to blow off any loose stuff as well as the negative.

    The carrier will keep your neg perfectly flat, and that is a big benefit
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I take from your location, Salisbury, UK (great place by the way) that your enlarger is not sitting in the basement, correct? If so, have you ever measured the humidity level of the room the enlarger is in. It still being relatively cold, your air might be too dry, and you have more than normal static and, consequently, dust. See if this problem gets less during the summer months. If yes, a humidifier may help. Some darkroom workers spread out a wet towel a few hours or so before they print to get the humidity up, but I have not tried that. I don't print without glass carrier anymore. I find it almost impossible to get a really sharp print without them. I rather dust than compromise on sharpness.
     
  4. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    Where can you get these wet cloths?

    Thanks,

    Mike Sullivan
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Are you using it with collimated light? If so, then efforts at removing all the dust may be futile. With diffuse light, small dust particles on the outer surfaces may not be seen or they will be less obtrusive. Sometimes you can get away without the glass carrier. I'd estimate I use a glass carrier 40% of the time.

    Minox: Glass always
    16mm: Glass always
    35mm: 50% glass-50%glassless
    120: Almost always glassless
    4x5: Almost always glassless
    8x10: Glass always
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, I use the glass carrier always and find it easy to keep clean using an air blower and occasionally a brush or micro fiber cloth. I think it is great for keeping the negative flat and to be able to print full frame.

    Jon
     
  7. per volquartz

    per volquartz Member

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    Always glassless!

    From 35mm to 8X10.


    I stretch the larger negs using black tape in the corners. They stay flat that way!



    Per Volquartz



    http://www.pervolquartz.com
     
  8. rossawilson1

    rossawilson1 Member

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    Thanks for all the input.

    We're in a brand new house and the darkroom is in the downstairs bathroom, used solely as a darkroom and nothing else. I think I've figured the problem now, When I installed some shelves I was too excited to clean up.. maybe there's a lot of wood dust particles about. Anyway, I'm sorting it now so hopefully that will be that.

    Thanks for the ideas, I'm definitely going to persevere with the glass considering the consensus on improved sharpness.

    Cheers guys!
     
  9. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Per

    I like your approach, but the total depth of focus for a 35mm, 10x enlargement at f/5.6 is about 0.5 mm. A 2x enlargement of an 8x10 negative is about 0.7 mm at the same aperture. A little heat from the light source and the negative will 'pop' out of focus. A glass carrier is the only way to hold a negative flat.
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I am into negative bondage also...:tongue:

    Vaughn
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I agree with all that. Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry or doing shots of the kids or something, I don't want to use the glass carrier with 35mm. I'll measure my delta v on the enlarger column ( the distance the head needs to be moved up or down from the high to the low point on the negative). I punch that number into the focusing equation and have good results at f11 or f16. The key is focusing with the column and setting the head height exactly between the high and low spot without touching the lens stage 'focus' knob. (exactly like focusing the rear-standard of a view camera). Just stopping down to f16 or f11 and focusing on the high spot (center) won't work.
     
  13. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have the ubiquitous Negaflat and for 5x7 the Zipper Glassless Stretching carrier with a cool name.
     
  14. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I really like my glass negative holders, and I haven't had nearly the problems you describe. As noted above, the light source may make the problem worse. I use dichro heads, which are diffusion sources. I also accept the fact that I have to clear the glass frequently. (I use Windex and paper towels.) You also may just be in a dusty place. There are things you can do to reduce the dust. Sealing cracks, plastic sheeting in the right places, dust trapping mats at the entrance, lower traffic, etc. come to mind.
     
  15. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    I used to print glassless and started using a universal double glass carrier in my Kaiser enlarger for two reasons. Sheer frustration at negatives popping during exposures and also it is the easiest way to print full frame without filing out a 35mm carrier.