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Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cliveh, Mar 17, 2012.
Glass or glassless neg carrier? I would go for glassless every time.
Glassless for me, too. Assuming the enlarger condenser / head is designed to hold the film flat, and mine is. More glass means more surface to keep clean and to interfere with light transmission.
I shoot 35mm, now, so it's easy for me say all that ... when I was shooting a lot of 6x7, I used a glass neg carrier
Glass carriers are a specialized piece of equipment intended to solve specific problems. Sheet film negatives too large to not sag in the middle. Roll film negatives with a pronounced curl - especially the piping variety. Recently I have been printing from series of 35mm negatives that were stored uncut and tightly wound inside their metal film cannisters for 50+ years. That would be the definition of a specific problem requiring glass for the best results.
I have and use a full set of both glassless and AN glass carriers for my D5XL. If one can afford them, they should be a standard tool in every darkroom.
I agree with Ken.
In addition, something like a 4x5 glass carrier works fine with smaller negatives, so you can use it with odd sizes like panoramas.
Glassless for me every time, The biggest ne I print is 66, and less glass means less dust, which means less time spotting.
Glass carrier for me (in most cases). For whatever reason, the amount of dust that I have to deal with seems the same with or without the glass. However, I do do a lot of lith printing, which means extended times under the enlarger (2-5 minutes usually) -- my negs, usually 6x6, used to pop until I got the glass carrier. And as Matt has indicated, a larger sized carrier can be masked off to print unusual sizes like panoramas or ditychs, or allow me to print the rebate, without the need to file away any carriers.
I use both, glassless when I can get away with it, glass when I really need it.
I kinda hate cleaning the surfaces though, streak marks on glass really gets on my nerves.
In 120, glassless generally doesn't allow printing of the rebates, unless you file away the sides of the masks (Durst M800, Auda 70 masks). I like those rebates.
Prefer glassless unless no choice.
I switched to glass because I could not get a flat 35mm negative without it. I use a hardening fixer since the smallest prints I make are 8x10 and, at 8X, I want as much protection from negative scratches as I can get. So I put up with the negative 'piping' (nice turn of phrase!) and the glass carrier has the last word. Until I get some film for my wife's baby gray Rollie I print only 35mm. I can not speak to larger negatives and their merits in this.
Having said that I have noticed no increase in incidence of spots on my prints since moving to a glass carrier. I was worried about the extra surfaces provided by the glass and the dust problem but it was a non-issue. A couple quick puffs of canned air and it's good to go. If there's spots I spot them. (I find it relaxing.) If the grain on the print is blurry I think it looks sloppy regardless of the quality of the image, and it goes in the trash. For me it was an easy choice once I saw the results.
i have both, and am not partial one to the other.
the glass carriers are useful, but glassless is easy ..
sometimes i remove the glassless carrier in the durst
and just stick a piece of glass in there ( with an image on it ) and print that .
it makes it easy to do fun stuff when you can remove a big carrier.
I make all my negative carriers with only one glass: the top glass.
A negative placed in an enlarger in the conventional way, emulsion side down and held along its edges, will "pop" when the heat from the lamphouse hits it. But it will pop upwards. In effect the negative flattens itself against the top glass. By omitting the bottom glass two dust collecting surfaces are eliminated. In my darkroom the top glass is never turned over once the underside, the side touching the negative, is dead clean. Dust does not fall upwards. The top surface of the glass is checked in the enlarger beam and any specks are brushed off immediately before putting the carrier in the enlarger.
Glass every time for me in all formats. And I use glass on the bottom even with 35mm. I don't use anti-newton ring glass in my carriers. I don't have problems with dust.
Just regular, thin-ish glass? Or something like 1/8 window glass? I considered rigging up something with window glass but I have seen Newtons Rings before, although not in this context. So I went with the carrier. (Dammit, I'm worth it )
It depends. The bigger the enlargement, the flatter the film needs to be. Low magnification enlargements are fine with a glassless. High magnification enlargements need a glass carrier. You don't have much of a choice.
I'm OCD about stuff (and I enjoy the projects) so I've worked on my own carriers over the years, solving enlarging problems as I go. I start with empty Saunders carriers for my enlarger and go from there. My latest version is for 35mm and is pretty over-the-top. I had Schneider cut the top and bottom glasses from Multi-Coated glass out of two B+W clear filters . This carrier is also to print 35mm with masks. The glass is 2mm thick.
It is possible the coated glass is also reducing Newton Ring problems. Some say yes, some say no. Either way, my fail-safe to eradicate Newton Rings is a sheet of unexposed, undeveloped, fully fixed TXP placed between the top glass and negative. Light loss is .5 stops. However with a glass carrier I'm printing at wider apertures anyway so who cares.
What is the procedure you guys are using to clean glass carriers? I have AN glass coming for my 6x6...
You should buy an Aircraft Carrier instead.
Funny you say that. The code name for my latest carrier modification was actually Project Nimitz.
I just use the same Tiffen or Zeiss lens cleaning fluid I use on my camera lenses, with Tiffen tissue.
I use just cotton pads (avail at freestyle) and air. Not mirror clean but enough. I find that microfiber cloths bring back too much fine dust, even with cleaning solution.
I use glass carriers. It takes a little more effort to keep the dust away, but it's worth it.
I thought glassless carriers went extinct somewhere back in the dark ages. That's where they belong. Might as well throw away your enlarging magnifier too, along with the fine focus knob on
the enlarger itself.