How do I make a filed out carrier?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by tkamiya, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'd like to try dirty border / filed out neg carrier technique.

    I have a spare 35mm carrier for my Omega D-2. What exactly do I do to make this filed out carrier? The standard format for 35mm is 24x36. The opening on the carrier is a little smaller than that.

    Is the object file it out so that it's opening is slightly larger than the standard frame size and that edges aren't even? Do I just sandwich the carrier, clamp it, and go for it with hand file? What do I need to be careful with and not do?
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Basically yes, I have never tried doing both sides at the same time. Just be careful that you don't remove to much or the negative will have problems staying in place.

    You might also take a piece of very coarse sandpaper and "sand off the bur from the file.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How much do I remove? Just before the sprocket holes and "clear" part of the negs showing on all 4 sides?
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    maybe....before you destroy a good negative carrier, you could experiment with some matt board or something like that.... :smile:
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I just use an unpainted negative carrier for 35mm and scale down a little so the edges of the inside perimeter of the carrier show in the print. The plain aluminum has a nice look.

    I agree with BradS that playing with matboard or something similar would be a good start.
     
  6. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Hi tkamiya,

    Remove to your taste. I take out just enough to barely expose the clear area all around.

    I found a saw sharpening clamp was the best way to hold the two pieces together as I worked.

    Patience and check as you go. I measured first and scratched guide lines where I wanted the cuts to go.

    You only need to do 3 sides, because you can slide the negative left-to-right.

    When done, use steel wool to remove burrs. Paint the edges with a matt black paint to reduce reflections, I used "Model Master" Flat Black enamel paint. There are probably better, flatter paints.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Mat board won't approximate working aluminum very well. If you want to pratice find some scrap aluminum sheet, or else buy a peice of aluminum extrusion from a hardware store and have a go at that. But you might as well just go for it on your carrier. Just be careful and stop well before you think you've taken off enough and check the result.
    A file will load up quickly working aluminum, you'll need to clean it often with a wire brush or a file card (a short bristle wire brush meant for maintaining files).
    You could also just work with sand paper, which would be my first choice. 180 or 220 grit will work well for the initial work, then some 320 or 400 to smooth it to your desired finish.
    The sand paper will be a bit slower than a file, but give you somewhat more control. If you want a very flat surface wrap the sand paper on a piece of wood or metal that is near the width of the side you're working. If you want to remove metal faster, 150 grit would work, but much coarser than that will leave a surface that may need a lot of work to smooth out, and it would be pretty easy to take it too far.
    Sandpaper will shape even thick aluminum surprisingly fast. For a metal, most aluminum is quite soft, with great care, you can even cut it with carbide tip woodworking tools.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you.

    I actually do have some experience working with aluminum. Here's a question. I see the goal is to have an opening larger than the frame size so that some exposure takes place through the clear part around the image. Some "filed out carrier" images have what is clearly an exposure through this clear part, then the outside edge of this black border is somewhat soft - not a hard edge I would expect from cut of aluminum. How is THIS done? Just a random reflection and diffraction from jagged edges?

    How come mat board isn't an approximate?? (not in term of honing skills but visual impact)
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Hi tkamiya,

    Yes the reflections give the soft edge. Even painting it black doesn't eliminate the reflections.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you. I'll really have to try this. I do have a spare 35mm carrier.
     
  11. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    You don't really need to practice -it takes a while to file and the change is slow and small. I start one side, file at an angle and then the other side to take a couple millimeters off at a time and use an old/destroyed negative to measure how much is enough for me. Then I file both together so that they're flush. Make sure you wash your carrier, wipe it down well and use some emery cloth to take out the burrs and sharp edges that can scratch your negative. Some tape on each side of the holes to keep the negative off the edges would help too and help clamp your negative a little better.
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a filed out 35mm carrier, dimensions are 39x28mm, it's bright aluminum and gives reflections. It does show sprocket holes, and longish exposures are needed to have them show as solid black, otherwise they show as holes. I rarely use it. When I do use it, I cut down 11x14 paper to print full frame with black border.
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    ooops...meant to send a PM...
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'd recommend a glass carrier for 6x6 :smile:.
     
  15. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    maybe these two images will help.


    i find the effect is MUCH more pronounced when using diffusion heads, or cold light heads.... condensor heads produces an effect that is much less pronounced

    mine are filed so i can see clear base film all around the neg.. probably a good 1mm all around..

    ..the image here was made on a cold light head.


    the way ive achieved the 2 solid lines was to make the bottom holder slightly larger than the top.. this matters a lot, because, from what i can tell.. you want the bare shiny metal showing after you file away at the carrier as the more light reflecting off the edge the more youll be able to see it..

    i use a variety of bastard files/hand files to achieve this, it takes A LOT of work, at least in my estimation... its hard to file away at these things...

    do a buncha test prints along the way to find out what you like, file more as needed...


    good luck
     

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  16. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    This is what I do except I use a glass carrier for 4x5.

    I spent some time one weekend making a bunch of masks for 35mm and 120 out of black construction paper that let the rebate area show. It started out as making a mask for 127 film, but I just kept on going once I had the paper and Exacto knife out.

    Like Rick I found that I don't really like it that much now that I've tried it. But if it words for the subject, then go for it.
     
  17. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    File at an angle of 10 deg. Borders will not go black because the blacks in your print are not max paper black.
    They simply look that way.

    Glass is better. I filed out the top to take AN glass from a glass slide mount. You can not cut it as it is too fragile.
    This is a long slow file operation with lots of trial fits to keep square and not go over. Do it well and it will become your favorite carrier.

    Omega 4x5 glass carriers have two locating pins where strip film would properly extend. The work arounds are masks cut at an angle or have a shop relocate the pins.
    Neither is a nice solution. On older Omegas, the carrier will not rotate to compensate for the crooked neg.