Looking for a special contact printer!

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Chuck (CA), Jan 6, 2003.

  1. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    I’m looking for a very special 8 x 10 contact printer.

    Here’s the set up. It’s a wooden box that is about 11 x 14 x10. It’s made especially for contact printing 8x 10 negs. It’s different in a couple of ways. First, there are about 8 – 10 bulbs. I’m not even sure of their wattages. They are arranged equal distances from each other. Each light has it’s own dimmer switch. Also, each light bulb can be moved up or down. This was quite a printer. Finally, for the greatest control, we used the separation sheets in Kodak dry mounting tissue to gain the ability to perform dodge and burn functions. We tore the tissue into odd pieces and laid them over the areas that needed special attention. The stacking order was: ground glass, tissue, negative, and printing paper. I don’t think Kodak is using this separation tissue in their dry mount tissue anymore.

    I interned with Maurice Seymour in Chicago. This is how I learned to print on this kind of printer. Maurice did spectacular vivid B/W theatrical portraiture. Mostly head shots! We used a Deardorf with a brass lens. Lighting was all stage incandescent.

    Does anyone know who the manufacture is or was? Would this be hard to build?

    I could go on and on. Email me if you have any questions. I wanted to keep my post short.

    Please email me if you own a printer like this or know of someone that has one.

    Thanks much
    Chazz
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think these were made by Arkay. I used one in my high school darkroom.

    Some of the later ones were really sophisticated, with over 20 lamps and a timer that could be set in 10ths of a second.

    They come up pretty regularly on eBay, but also check old camera shops, where they can often be had for peanuts.
     
  3. Daniel G

    Daniel G Member

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    Here's exactly what you're looking for and available on ebay Chazz:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...item=1949042895

    The printer was indeed made by Omega/Arkay but do you really want to use such a beast??? There are issues with burning and dodging with such a printer (under/over coverage). I don't know of anyone using these printers for contacts but I do know a lot who use the plain wooden-hinged frames with a single bulb - far better control. As for buiding one, I reallly wouldn't waste my time as these can be had fairly cheaply.

    Anyhow, good luck with it if you do choose to go that route.
     
  4. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    I have seen these up for sale occasionally, but I use a lightbulb and 2 pieces of glass instead. Question.... wouldn't this sort of multi-bulb printer be pretty easy to build yourself? Then you could make it any size you want. You could wire in a separate micro switch for each bulb, and run the main power cord into any regular GraLab type timer.
     
  5. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    Thanks a million for the leads!

    Let me clarify: We contact printed all of your finished prints. We used 8 10 film. Made contacts with red paper. Once the print was selected we went to work getting the contrast density and tonal range on the printer. We’d print from 100 – 500 prints.

    The quality was superb and could not be equaled by any other technique. Prints were beyond sharp. Tonal range could not be expressed in words. BTW: we never used an enlarger. Funny thing we had three 8 10 enlargers.

    I want to do some 8 10 pinhole photograph and then contact print the images. I like some of the Old World techniques.

    Thanks again for the information. Very helpful

    Regards
    Chazz
     
  6. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I've heard of these. Very cool if you need a high degree of control. Although as far as I can tell they have gone the way of the dodo. Which is sad in a way.
     
  7. lee

    lee Member

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    I know a guy in Hollyweird that has one. He uses it for contact proofing for his darkroom customers. He says he cannot make a profit if he did not have that machine and an Ilford RC processor. Wooden frame and glass works for my simple needs.


    lee\c
     
  8. tintinnabulation

    tintinnabulation Member

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    Hello Chuck,



    When I was a senior in HS (1968) I worked for an aerial survey company as a photo lab technician. We had the largest copy camera in the world. But we also had a contact printer of the type you describe. I used it many times. The shipping lady that had been there since the 30s or 40s knew the contact printer inside and out. It was her favorite piece of equipment in the shop.



    The printer had a glass on top (where one placed the print paper) and on top of that was mounted a flap of heavy canvas. Mounted to the heavy flap of canvas was about 10 heavy cast iron bars, similar to gold ingots in size ( about 30 lbs). This was to weigh the cover down over the print paper so the image could lay down on an even field. There was a rheostat for bulb intensity and the bulbs were mounted in a universal ball fixture so they could be moved in two dimentions, also the bulbs had the capability of moving up and down which made for a three dimentional way to move the bulbs. One would move the black neoprene curtain in front aside and manipulate the nine or ten bulbs height and location. And yes, I do remember the name of the unit...MacIntosh. A MacIntosh contact printer!
     
  9. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    Where can I get one?
     
  10. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Well I don't know where you can get such a printer, but eventually you will be needing contact printing paper and the only type still available is Azo. It comes Grade 2 and Grade 3 and soon we'll be the only ones to carry Grade 3. Hope you will consider getting your paper from us and helping keep this last of the contact printing papers alive.

    Michael A. Smith
    www.michaelandpaula.com. Look under "Azo."
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  12. DKT

    DKT Member

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    I know what you're talking about...I worked briefly as an assistant in a furniture studio in High Point NC (where some studios still shoot 8x10 and up for catalog work)--they owned their own lab they printed the catalogs out as color contacts on longroll printers....they had lamps that moved around to vary the intensity etc. I never paid that much attention to who actually made those printers, but I think Stoufer is about the only manufacturer left who makes contact printers. Otherwise, I have used an Arkay that had about 20 some odd lamps, all switched & filters on a roll as well as movable diffusion glass.FWIW, I have an 8x10 Burke & James Rexo that uses 9 lamps, and has two glass diffusion panels that are movable. One is frosted, the other sorta like opal glass. Then there's the glass that you lay the neg on. It has 4 movable cropping blades and a hinged platen that is switched to the safelight lamp and the whitelights as well. They're not dimmer controlled, but you can lay in sheets of acetate etc to do some dodging--or to cut back on certain areas, and you can switch each lamp on or off too. I doubled up on the thickness of the glass, and have used this mostly with the b&w duplicating film SO-132 to make contact dupes of old negatives. SO-132 has the speed of Azo, and my exposures are around 10 seconds or less with this printer. I used to print 5x7s on it using Oriental Portrait, both RC and fiber. Portrait was a slooow paper and worked great this way, but I have used Multigrade IV on it and spread out filters under the glass too...fwiw, I run it off a voltage stabilizer. I paid about $25 for it and found it in the storage room of a local store...I work next door to the state archives & they had one of these same printers for years--they surplused it. So...check your surplus lots perhaps...otherwise the Stoufer printers cost quite a bit, as a commercial lab machine. There are some photofinishing resellers, like RK Equipment (think that's right?) who may have these things used--another type of thing would be a longroll printer that worked like a 1:1 enlarger, or some sort of set size printer. I have an old Kodak lab manual someplace though, that covers contact printing, and stripping in titles etc.--it's about 1940s era, and the printers are these huge , monstrous devices with bakelite dials and platens like drymount presses....

    Hope this helps--KT
     
  13. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Apr 22 2003, 09:03 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>another student used the pop paper and I did the azo thing.  We compared the results.  No comparison.  Azo is the best paper I have seen.  I just hate to enlarge the negatives where I use the darkroom now.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Comparing Azo and POP is like comparing green apples with red apples. They are so different in their characteristics, if you like one, you are unlikely to like the other. I much prefer POP.

    To each their own.

    Kerik

    ps Their are some POP prints on my website, but the scans are only a gross approximation...

    http://www.kerik.com
     
  14. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Chuck did you ever find your contact printer? I am toying with making a 16X20 one myself. Not sure how important the up and down adjustment would be if you have dimmers on all bulbs. The contact printer they have at the junior college lab I frequent has 7 white and one red bulb in it. it is for 8x10.

    Brian
     
  15. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Think of it as a set of studio lights. You can move lights in and out or reduce/increase power. Same concept. I'd be willing to teach the technique to anyone that would be interested. This is the very best way to create those 8/10 that will sanp and dance before your eyes. Blacks are black and whites are white. It's a very easy technique for the zone system. In fact you can zone areas of your image. Now, that's refinement.

    I wonder if anyone has plans for an 8/10? Can I put my order in? [​IMG]

    Let me know

    Thanks
    Chuck
     
  16. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Chuck, I found one. Picked it up this morning. It was free :smile: I can send you photos if you are interested in seeing how everything is put together.
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Someone out Calif way posted a "give away" on two of the 8X10 size printers at Photo.net earlier today.
     
  18. bmac

    bmac Member

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    He sure did :wink:
     
  19. David Vickery

    David Vickery Member

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    www.doncameron.com

    Don has a posting on that other forum and says that he has a couple of these printers that he is giving away. These things are great for making many, many contact prints that are exactly alike. But they are a little overkill if you are just making a few prints from each negative.
     
  20. David Vickery

    David Vickery Member

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    I'm a real slow reader and didn't quite get to the end there, sorry.
     
  21. bmac

    bmac Member

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    hehe
     
  22. lee

    lee Member

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    David,
    I just noticed that you are in Central Texas. Do you mind telling me what part? I know the old joke, all of me lives there. I live in FTW and travel to South Texas a lot. In fact, I am going to San Antonio tomorrow to attend a graphic arts trade show with the hopes of meeting some dealers that need a service guy to do their installs of imagesetters. Then I am off to Houston on Friday for a print sale that will benefit Houston Center for Photography on Saturday.

    lee\c