I got my contact print frames from Forumlary today!

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by eric, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. eric

    eric Member

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    Had to take the day off from work, my kids started school and usually I get sick the first or second week into it.
    So I'm just working away and UPS dropped off my contact frames from Formulary. It was backordered cause the guy who makes it had some equipment problems. But boy, these are really, really nice for the money. I can smell the new oil on the wood. In the back, there are clip springs (don't know what to call it). These are way better than the old ons I got from ebay that have those pressure clips that always cut into the wood.
    Can't wait to use it! Guess I'll be "working" on my negs in the bathroom today instead of real work.
     
  2. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Congrats on the frames! Perhaps a pic or two when the bug passes (ahem!)?

    Isn't it wonderful how biologically "active" kids can be when in contact with each other? :wink:
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    Pictures? Sure!
     

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  4. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Interesting; never seen that type of clip on a frame. Let me know how they work, would you?
     
  5. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I've heard nothing but bad things about those frames (from people who actually used them). I've never used one myself though I opted for the Bostick and Sullivan frame (which is a two blade pressure model) because of the bad reviews. I would be very interested to hear what you like about them once you've made some prints. Best of luck. Shawn
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The complaints are about the tautness of those clips. They hold the back very very firmly in place and snap in and out with great vigor.

    Some claim that it is hard to open and close them without catching a finger. I've personally used them and seen them made. They are sturdy and so what is a problem if you accidentally nip a finger with them? It costs a tiny pinch is all.

    It is all in personal opinion. I really don't care one way or another. I have 2 frames here of another design, and have used the Formulary frames when teaching there or taking a course. All are satisfactory to me.

    PE
     
  7. donbga

    donbga Member

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    The Formulary frames are without a doubt, some of the worst I've ever used. If I were the OP I would send them back for immediate credit.
     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    They do work well, and (knock on wood) I have never caught a finger in one, but the problem I have had with them and others as well is that the spring (clip) finds a way of working its way out of the frame. It can be put back in place but after a while it does get lose...so have to say I prefer to use the older spring style. Not knocking the design, just stating preference. However, the price is indeed nice and the 8x10 did what I ask of it. Have a nice one from Dan Pelland that I like also, but need to try one of the B&S just to give it a try....of course a vacuum easel would be better for Plt/Pld (IMHO or is that just because I want one :smile: )
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've tried those frames, and I prefer the traditional style with the leaf spring. They get more even pressure across the neg. The Formulary style doesn't always get enough pressure in the center, particularly with larger formats.
     
  10. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Sorry I asked!
     
  11. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Well... if one is a long way away sending 'em back is no small matter. I have both 8x10 and 14 x11 sizes from Formulary and they seem fine to me.

    Perhaps there is a case to made for the lack of central, rather than peripheral pressure for sizes larger than these?

    Can you tell me what faults to look for?

    The last I time pinched my finger was on my belt buckle but that was just me being dumb, the Formulary clips are pretty safe to operate.

    Regards - Ross
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    1) They don't hold the film and paper flat consistently as David pointed out.

    2) The clips come off constantly after using the frames for a while.

    3) The clips can and will pinch the shit out of your fingers.

    All of this problems are widely know.
     
  13. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I have a couple of the frames. The 8X10 was an early model from PF and the back is too loose in the frame. The more recent 16X20 frame is very nice to work with; and I don't notice any problems with my 7X17 negs. I do need to get a replacement clip for the older frame - are they available?
     
  14. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    I never tried the PF frames but I bought one of the Freestyle contact frames and they work great. The one I bought was the 10X12 ($99) and they have a 14X17 too. They use the hinge split back and the standard spring clips.

    The workmanship looks excellent.
     
  15. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    Indeed, these frames are gorgeous and work very well! I've been using one for several years and it works great. My ONLY complaint is that the clips (on mine, at least) are a little tough to pop open, but that's not a deal-killer. While I prefer the rotating wood spring clip on the Zone VI carriers (and many older ones), this one is still well worth the money . . . .
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I have one of the PF frames, and I also have a Bostick&Sullivan, and several antique frames in various sizes, to 14x17. All the other ones have the leaf-spring type closure. The snaps on the PF frame are so tight, and they make this horrible noise when opening and closing. I've been lucky enough not to get pinched, but every time I close one, I say a little prayer. I have seen, even on the 8x10 size, some softness in the center of the image from uneven pressure. It's not bad on the 8x10, and without a comparison, I wouldn't know that it wasn't just the nature of the pt/pd media, but I can tell a difference with the spring backs, having printed the same on both.
     
  17. mark

    mark Member

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    I have no issue with mine, except it warped after someone tried to burn down the school I work in and the sprinkler system flooded where I had it stored.

    Aside from that it worked great, never got my finger caught, and held the neg plenty tight. I also have a spring back one that I bought off someone here-can't remember the guy who was making them. He was a sponsor at one point I think. Very pretty, no printing difference between the two. I checked, after reading people complaining.

    Oh Yeah, it warped too. Actually warped worse the PF frame. Now I am frameless. No time to print anyway so it has not been a burden.
     
  18. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    This is why they did start making bakelite frames. I have one but it's only big enough for one (well trimmed) 6x9cm negative. They loved touting that bakelite wouldn't warp like wood would. Dunno if anyone ever made big frames out of it, though, mine's a Johnson's of Hendon frame.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Back in the early days of 'plastic', bakelite was the first real example to be commonly available. It is made from phenol and formaldehyde and then mixed with carbon black. It makes an awful stench when burned.

    In any event, it does warp and crack with age and is subject to doing this when heated. It was used as pot handles, and used to crack and warp a lot. I sure hope the current bakelite is better than what we used to get right after WWII.

    PE
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Just as a point of useless information.
    The springs used in the attachments look like the variety for holding storm windows & screens in storm doors. They're available at Ace hardware & others
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I gave a workshop not to long ago...now I know where one participant got her frame!

    No problem with it, as fas as I know, but when she was loading/unloading it, the noise made everyone jump!

    But I wonder how a combination of leaf-spring and perimeter clips would work for larger frames.

    Vaughn
     
  22. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I have been using Bostick and Sullivan frames (11x14) for some time. And they have worked beautifully. I'm in the process of ordering their 16x20 frame and am doing so without hesitation. If its not broke, then don't fix it- is how I figure. One loose registration with a faulty frame pays the difference for the good one.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, we have had a lot of opinions expressed here, but have not heard from Eric as to what he thinks of them after trying them, or if he has returned them unused based on some of the more negative comments.

    How about it Eric?

    PE
     
  24. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Eric,

    These are the only frames I have ever used.

    I bought a used one at B&H last year since I was a beginner (sorta still am actually) and bought another one this summer. They work OK for me. The clips are tight (which you have to get used to), but aren't they suppose to be? Plus they make a loud *snap* noise, but, well ... you should hear my Hassey in the middle of a sea of digicams! :smile:

    I hope you haven't returned them too. I looked at some other frames, and I agree there are some better designs out there, particularly for larger sizes, it appears, but these frames work just fine for me. None the less I hope you get to use them enough to be part of the alternative print exchange one day.

    Regards, Art.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  25. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    I see only a few negative remarks about the frames...certainly not meant to discourage anyone from trying alternative photography.

    The best thing to do, since they were already bought is try them and see.