Negative Carrier Grinding

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by yeknom02, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    State Colleg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a trusty Beseler 23C and I had heard that a lot of people used to grind out their 35mm negative carriers to allow for full-frame printing. I've seen some HCB prints wherein he shrank the image to allow for wider margins just to avoid a crop. Anyway, I figure that a larger window in the holder, allowing for a full frame, can only be a benefit.

    Has anyone done this before and have advice on how to do it? I'd really love to avoid destroying my only carrier for 35mm, and I'd like to avoid anything that leads to some sort of distortion, or leaving anything that would scratch my negatives.
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,996
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    my Leitz focomat Ic enlarger carrier leaves a black edge most of the time without grinding -- not sure if it's an HCB leftover or what.

    There is a coda -- it only leaves the edge with R-lenses (and Nikon) but with M lenses it only leaves the edge if I use a 50mm lens or wider -- M cameras use lenses that are not a reverse-telescope design, they are 35 mm (or whatever) because the lens is actually physically that close to the film, so the image must be projected more widely to fill the frame at a wider angle, which with wide angle lenses projects under the edge of the back of the camera frame onto the film.

    With my 21 mm Super Angulon lens on my M, the rear element is so close to the film I'm amazed there's room for the shutter -- and the images created by that lens projecting the light so widely onto the film to cover the frame actually touch edges on the film. I've had people tell me my camera was spacing the frames wrong, but no.

    Have you considered just drawing the black edge on?
     
  3. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    State Colleg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I really don't care about the black edge, other than to ensure that I'm getting the full 24x36mm frame onto the baseboard. The negative carrier cuts a bit of the image off the sides, and it just bugs the crap out of me.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,464
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Make a full frame mask out of mat board to see if you like the look before grinding out a carrier. I have a full frame carrier for my Omega Pro Lab and almost never use it, just don't care for the "look". It's a rare occasion that an image works with the black border for me.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How about a masking a glass carrier to see if you really like or need it?
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,050
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've filed out my 45MX 35mm carrier. I did it for the full frame and have a "dirty" edge. You can also make your own with some mat board with a cutout. I also use a Saunders bladed easel to mask out the dirty edge sometimes.
     
  7. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you just want a black line and don't want the rough edge look, just pick up an 8055 carrier from Ebay or somewhere.

    If you want to mod your current carrier (I would recommend buying another to work on - 8053 is the number), use a file or dremel tool. Someone recommended at one point using a six inch mill bastard file and sandpaper. After filing the carrier, go from coarse to fine sandpaper. I ended on 600 grit I think, though you could go down finer if you really wanted to. Once finished, I'd put in a scrap piece of film and move it around some to make sure you don't get any scratches.
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,459
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    North East U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Use a fine tooth file, or some sandpaper, maybe 180 or 220 grit and work slowly. Run the file or sandpaper along the full length of each edge, test it often with a neg you don't care about. Once you get to where you like it, there will likely be a small burr on each edge of the opening, remove this with a couple of light strokes of the sandpaper or file. Or better yet, finish things off with some 400 grit paper. Then blacken the edges with a sharpy or some flat black. Do both sides of the carrier at the same time.

    If you use the sand paper wrap it around something stiff like small block of wood, anything with clean square edges and fairly stiff, or anything at all besides your fingers.

    If you're just trying to get to the edge of the camera's frame you won't need to take off much material. But, note that every camera will be slightly different, so a neg from some other camera may still overlap, or else leave a bigger clear border.

    Most of my carriers were filed by the previous owner, I've found it's close to impossible to get the neg exactly centered in the window so that the gap of clear film is even all the way around. I don't print with the back border anyway so I always masking off a very small portion of the negatives edge, either in the carrier or at the easel, or both.

    If you work carefully it will be hard to truly ruin the carrier, but it will be hard to maintain a perfectly straight edge and perfectly square corners, but getting "close enough" won't be so difficult. If you mask at the easel to the very edge of the negative, any inacccuracies in the carrier window won't really matter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2012
  9. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

    Messages:
    688
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I made several out of properly thick cardboard and a carpenter knife, used the original carrier to get an outline.
    I've also made one out of a DVD cover, as it is more sturdy, then i fine-tuned this monstrosity with electrical tape :smile:

    A true DIY result, but it works! :D
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I would suggest finding a second carrier and have a machine shop grind it for you. They would have the right equipment to accurately do the job and usually the charge would be very reasonable. I've had a few custom things done that way and the charges were always less than I expected. Once you grind it you can't put it back to the original.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  11. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    State Colleg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had not heard of the 8055 carrier. I prefer the simplest solution, so I will try to get my hands on one of those. Maybe I will consider the mat-board solution if I need any truly oddball sizes.
     
  12. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There's one on ebay for $40 right now. No relation to the seller. If you wait around, you might be able to find one for $20 or so.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,514
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The more you file out the carrier, the less flat the negative will be. Everything is a compromise. For small enlargements that is fine. For big enlargements (11x14 and bigger) you will have some difficulty getting the corners sharp. If you don't intend on showing the filed out edges of the holder, a glass carrier can be a better solution. Also, realize that most cameras don't show all the way to the edge of the negative in the viewfinder, so you will be printing stuff you didn't see when you snapped the shutter, if that is what you want.