Mural Printing question

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Chris Lange, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Hi all, as I've mentioned I'm printing 30x30" FB prints using a drop table setup and a Saunders 4500 with the color head. My one question is, how do you keep paper in register with the negative without an easel? I am using weights on the edges of the paper to hold it down, and found that I cut off about 4 inches of the image by accident last night. Any practical, easy suggestions? A strong Safelight filter over the lens while positioning the paper perhaps?
     
  2. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I used a piece of plywood that is bigger than the image. Align one of the corners of the plywood with corner of the image. Cut the paper and place on the plywood so that corner of the paper is aligned with the reference corner of the plywood. Tape the paper to the plywood. Make an exposure. Scrape off the tape and process the sheet.
     
  3. frotog

    frotog Member

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    I use a couple of segments of 1-1/2" x 3/16" hot roll flat bar covered in gaffers tape.
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Metal sheet with magnets to hold the paper, long heavy duty magnets.
    If you set it up right you will never make a mistake,
    your negative must be centered to your lightsource, condensors and lens or you will get falloff
     
  5. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I have the negative centered in a 4x5" AN glass carrier, using a EL-Nikkor 105mm/5.6, and a peak grain focuser. I'll try to track down a sheet of metal tomorrow. Thanks for the tips!
     
  6. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Magnetic whiteboard?
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    If you are using a 4x5 negative with a 105mm lens I expect you will have trouble at the edges.
    150 mm will give you better coverage.

     
  8. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Bob, I forgot to mention I'm printing from 6x6 hasselblad negs, I would of course be using a longer lens for 4x5.
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    The lens you are using is great.
    I use an Apo Rodagon 90 for this purpose 2 1/4 square and get good coverage.
    Let me know where you find the large magnets, I can draw a diagram to show you how to set up for Murals that is no brainer, repeatable and will save you
    hours of grief. I am printing right now but will try to do the drawing this weekend and post.


     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Mural setup.jpg
    Chris here you go.

    The top left hand corner Magnets are most important, you set them just outside the image area and they are braced.
    You roll up the paper and put the top right corner into the angle formed by the Magnets, they should be braced by a smaller magnet behind so they do not move and you can set up your neg once and keep printing until the neg is finished.
    the holding magnets are smaller and you can see that you set them up on all four sides and ends and they are just outside of image area.

    When exposure is done you take the right hand magnets off first and roll to the left taking off the magnets as you go but you do not move the main magnets from the left corner.

    best regards

    Bob
     
  11. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Bob: I think you decision to choose photography/printing over drawing was a wise one....
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Bob, didn't you consider a vacuum board in order not to shade any paper area by the holding magnets and thus be more efficient paper-wise?
     
  13. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I cut a mat-board mask for the borders, too, so the paper will not have any bleed-over of exposed silver outside of the image area. Thanks again, Bob, you're a life saver!
     
  14. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Vacuum Board is a nice touch , I used them for large murals in the past and have them for small register prints.
    If you had a standard setup for murals only (ie a wall enlarger setup) then a vacuum wall is preferable , but I would still set up the magnets the same way for positioning, and for very large sheets of paper the vacuum system must be sufficient to hold the paper flat without any added help which is a system beyond the scope of most darkroom workers.
    Finding a good system that is movable as I use two different enlargers for Murals and smaller prints- 11x14 with drop table and 4x5 enlargers for my work is not practical in my current space as it would really limit me.
    THerefore I have one metal board on wood which is easily moved from enlarger station and off depending on my work flow.


     
  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I never worry about the white border as I make matts for all my mural prints.
    Just one more finikiy thing to worry about getting right when printing.
    Did I mention painting the board black, this will help.
    also all the space around the enlarger should be black and you should mask out the negative.
    These steps will reduce flare.. the cut out mat-board is not a good idea as you will find flare on the edges from the white board, if you insist on the mat board mask go get Black board that when cut the core is black as well so as not to give you added flare.

     
  16. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Flat-bar will serve the same function as magnets if you're exposing vertically. All you need are two lengths. Lie them down along the horizontal dimension. Less of a hassle, easier to set up from print to print. I've never had a problem with holding the paper flat using this method, whether RC or fiber. Perfectly sharp, corner to corner with wide open apertures.

    As for aligning the paper to the baseboard... I use a sheet of 3/4" mdf cut to the width of my paper. Just line up one of the horizontal edges and you're good to go.