How do I contact print Cirkut negatives?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Wade D, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I have a whole bunch of Cirkut negatives that were shot in the 50's. They are 8"x4'. I also have several 8"x100' rolls of Azo F.1. What I don't have is a piece of glass that big. Other than buying the glass in that size are they any easier ways to contact print the negs? How was it done in the past?
    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Glass that big isn't hugely expensive you want 1/4" plate. I got a cheap door panel, glued black felt to one side, for the base. I recommend getting the glass a little bigger than the largest neg, like 10-12" by five feet. I can't think of any easier way than that.
     
  3. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    The hollow core slab door panels are good bases as they tend to stay flat. They don't flex or bend much so the neg stays flat to the glass and photo paper
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A lot of people who study at the Art Center in Pasadena seem to do a project that involves shooting a whole roll of 35mm film as a single image and contact printing the whole roll without cutting it. You might ask what they use.

    With just a sheet of glass, I'd be concerned about getting enough pressure across the neg. Pano format spring back printing frames sometimes have multiple panels each with their own spring (my 7x17" printing frame has three springs, for instance) to address this.
     
  5. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    large pan format contact frames are great, but not easy to find, and take some time to make. I've made three. one @ 8x36", one @12x73", and a 18x115" frame. a lot of work. For silver gelatin negs a piece of glass is easier, though David is right you have to watch out that the neg is held tight to the paper. I've found that the felt is enough for the smaller negs, like wade has.It can help to weigh down the glass. I do this with larger negs. Also instead of felt, there is a approx 1/4" foam backed felt available from most fabric stores. A big piece of 1/4" glass on top of this tends to keep the neg in contact to the paper, assuming a pretty flat base I've gotten good results with this up to about 72" negs. weights at the edges of the glass work well for longer negs
     
  6. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Big glass and a vacuum pump set up would make sure of good contact across such a long piece of film.
     
  7. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I guess a trip to the local glass store is in order. A piece of 1/4" plate glass about 10"x4.5' should do the trick along with the felt as a backing. Thanks for the tips.
     
  8. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Stupid question: but what is the purpose of the felt with glass plate and contact printing? I always just lay a sheet of glass right on top of negs and press down on the edges while making contact sheets.
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    We used a contact printer which, to my young eye, looked as if it could have been manufactured by Matthew Brady. It had three or four handles which raised the glass and locked everything down tight as well. It was necessary to be very sure they all were locked tight so everything was sharp.
     
  10. henrysamson

    henrysamson Subscriber

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    If you are going to use a large piece of glass and a light bulb I would get the bulb as far away from the glass as possible to avoid inverse square law falloff. You don't want the distance from the bulb to the sides to be further than the distance to the center as the result will be an image darker in the center. You may want to use several bulbs to give an even light. Azo requires quite a bit of light anyway. Make sure you ask them to grind the edges of the glass to remove the sharp corners or your fingers may suffer.

    Henry
     
  11. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    OK, from what I have seen here the felt will even out the pressure of the plate glass.
    Also the sides will be ground to avoid sharp edges. The light source will be 2 evenly spaced bulbs 5 feet above the glass. Azo is slow so a few test prints will be in order.
    I'm happy I kept the old Azo rolls after all these years. Still good with no fog. I did not make the negatives. A photographer friend who has since passed gave me the negatives. It seems fitting that I should make good use of them.
     
  12. AerialPhotoLab

    AerialPhotoLab Member

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    If you are not wanting to use glass you can get some clear film type material and use a vacuum frame that is say 12" wide by 6 feet long and cut a 1/4" channel about 1/4" Deep around the outside and drill it all the way through in one corner and attach a vacuum to it and then paint it flat black to take care of any extra reflected light. Then lay paper down then neg on top for the E to E contact kick on vacuum and roll out any bubbles and you have a quick and inexpensive contact frame. I used to have one that was 4'x8' just like that that I used for duplicating very large screen mylars.

    Kevin