How to Contact Prints with 8x10 camera?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Kurtay, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Kurtay

    Kurtay Member

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    Hi

    New to 8x10 and making contact prints via using the camera? I have two lenses 300 f4.5 barel lens and 180 f3.5 compur shutter. I would appeciate any inputs.
    Thanks
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Contact printing doesn't need a camera.

    At most a contact frame and a light source.

    Or the low tech piece of glass over the negative paper sandwich.
     
  3. Kurtay

    Kurtay Member

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    Thanks Nick,

    Makes sense, didn't think of that. I was also refering to do enlargements but I asked the wrong question.

    I thought making a contact print or enlargement what I would have to do is that put the 8x10 exposed film on the back of the camera in between two glasses as you mentioned and use it as an enlarger and project it onto the wall to do it. Can it be done like so, too? If yes, I would like to do some enlargements rather than just contact prints?

    I have never done a print so I thougth to get some help with it before doing any experiments with it.

    Thanks
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    To enlarge 8X10 negatives usually requires an enlarger that is capable of that format. Beyond that, the use of a camera as an enlarger, poses several problems. The first is that the aparatus must be capable of both precision and rigidity that is lacking in the taking camera aparatus. Beyond that a means must exist for a light source to illuminate the negative, to focus this light projected on the negative at the enlarging lens and furthermore that the enlarging lens have capacity to be focused on the print medium.

    The rigidity issues arise because a camera exposure is normally on the order of less than one second and enlarger exposures are typically on the order of tens of seconds (any potential for movement is amplified by the time alone).

    If you have the capability of exposing 8X10 negatives, you have two choices the first is to do contact prints only. The second is to buy an 8X10 enlarger. The third choice would be to obtain an 8X10 to 4X5 reducing back for your camera and expose 4X5 film after which you can buy a 4X5 enlarger so that those negatives could be enlarged (4X5 enlargers are several magnitudes less expensive than 8X10 enlargers).

    Hope that this helps.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    In addition if you've never made prints before trying to build an enlarger is going to be that much harder. You'll never know if the issue is something with the setup. Or if you've made a mistake in making the print.

    If you want to make enlargements I'd look for a smaller camera and enlarger. Get the print making process down with that setup before trying to build your own enlarger for 8x10.

    If it was me for the 8x10 enlarger I'd look for an old heavy monorail. Some thing with two tripod mounts. Usually cheap because of the weight. Take off the back. Fix a light source. Aristo? Or home made. Bolt the two tripod mounts to a level table. Project on a wall.

    You've got all the issues. Making sure the camera and wall are perfectly aligned. Creating a negative holder system. Plus what ever else crops up during building. It's doable but it's not some thing I'd suggest until you've see how a commerical enlarger works or in some cases doesn't work.
     
  6. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I would look into contact printing at first, to see what you have on the film. There are many issues to deal with when printing, as there are when taking the image and getting it onto the film. Contact printing with 8x10 is very easy, as mentioned a glass plate, enlarging paper and the paper chemistry is really pretty basic stuff. You still need a minimal darkroom with simple supplies to make it work. You might have a look at Edward Weston's printing setup for an idea of what he used to make his prints. tim

    http://fototapeta.art.pl/2003/wste.php
    http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/4aa/4aa423.htm
     
  7. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    IIRC, Ansel Adams' 8x10 enlarger was made from parts of an old 11x14 camera. If you have an 8x10 camera already, try making contacts first. If yuo have the need to enlarge, there are 8x10 enlargers. If you really must build one and have the room to house it, I'd suggest starting off with a graphic arts camera as the 'donor.'