Low humidity problem?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Toffle, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been doing a lot (a LOT) of contact printing paper negatives with 5x7 Ilford Art 300 paper using a glassless printing frame. This week, with the sudden drop in temperatures and humidity, the paper curl seems a little more pronounced, and I am finding that the paper is losing contact with the negatives. Tonight I tried to duplicate a print that worked perfectly two weeks ago and I could not get a single print to hold. Is there a solution besides going to a glass frame?

    Cheers (?)
    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2013
  2. henry finley

    henry finley Member

    Messages:
    302
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Marshville N
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A contact frame. Obvious remedy. Yes, the paper can get all kinds of curly in any weather.
     
  3. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, Henry. I do have an 8x10 frame, but it's just harder to use with 5x7. The thing is, I'm trying to finish a print run for some retail sales, and I'd like all the prints to have the same look. My 5x7 frame masks the edge artifacts, and if I add a mask to my 8x10 frame, I am probably going to end up in the same position regarding the paper curl.

    I don't suppose there is any way to "massage" the curl out of the paper?

    Thanks again.
    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,378
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Tom,

    Make a mask with rubylith and tape it to the frame. You can make any window size you need. Use a piece of two-ply mat board or as thick as needed under the printing paper in the printing frame. I have used that technique when printing pt/pd and wanting sharp edges on the print as opposed to showing the coating. I have a very good printing frame but still always use the shim for insurance.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Jeffrey. I am just in the process of doing something similar. I am making a mask that is folded like a greeting card, so that it is easy to line up the negative and paper. I'm drawing a grid on the edges of the mask so that I can use them for reference points for dodging and burning paper negatives. That's just extra fluff right now... my main concern is keeping my negatives in contact with the paper.

    Thanks again.
    Tom
     
  6. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why not run a humidifier to get the air where it is during warmer weather?
     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Point Pelee,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually, I've got one... That just happened to have stopped working this year. I'm trying to delay the cost of replacing it. :smile:
     
  8. ME Super

    ME Super Member

    Messages:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Location:
    Central Illinois, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Poor man's humidifier: A pan of hot water. It might hold you over until you can get a proper working humidifier. Just be careful you don't burn yourself. It's also useful for defrosting a non-frost-free freezer.