Plan for 2 8x10 negs side-by-side

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by ic-racer, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I just finished restoring a Century 8x10 camera (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=29267)

    I still don't have film holders yet, but they are in the mail. I would like to do some panoramas and contact on to 16x20 paper.

    To try it out I was going to get some foam (1/4 inch or so) to set on the enlarge baseboard, then I would place the 16x20 sheet of paper on this. Then place the two negatives side by side, just touching. Then put a piece of glass over this and make the exposure.

    Is it really going to be this easy? I saw another post about someone having difficulty with the negatives moving around when the glass goes down. Do you think that will be a problem?

    I stopped making "proof prints" in the early 80s so it has been a long time since I contact printed. As I recall, the negative really needs to be touching the paper for the image to be sharp.

    I see the view camera store sells a 16x20 contact printing frame for $180. Anyone use one of these? Any opinions?

    In terms of asthetics, I prefer a TRIPTYCH because the center of the whole image does not have the line going through it, but with a 210mm lens on the 8x10 camera I think the diptych panoramas can still be dramatic. My darkroom is limited by design to 16x20 max paper size. Another method would be to just do individual 8x10 contacts and then mount them side by side (of course I am still seeking a drymount press).

    I'm also looking for an 8x10 enlarger (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=25445) but it may take years to find one close to me, assuming I could even get it into the darkroom.
     
  2. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I've always used a contact printing frame, but I've just come back from a Michael A Smith workshop where he demonstrated this technique. Foam pad, paper, negative, sheet of clean glass, thick card to start and stop the exposure, and a household bulb in an anglepoise lamp. It really was that easy - for him anyway - perhaps a bit harder for me :smile:

    If your paper is on a foam pad then you can lower the glass down from one side pressing the negative against the paper as you go. That way you don't have to drop the glass the last tiny bit as you'd have to if you're on a hard surface.

    And yes, the emulsion side needs to be pressed quite firmly against the paper to get a good contact. So a heavy sheet of glass is best (or a good spring back frame).
     
  3. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Member

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    cut a thin black paper mat to surround both negs.....you can put the negs face down on the glass inside the mat, then put your board on the glass and turn the whole sandwich over;
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I lucked into a 12x20 contact printing frame as part of an ebay purchase. It has a 3-part split back with springs to provide pressure. It can be a little bit of a challenge to align two 8x10 or even worse 3 5x7 negatives on the paper. If it works though, the fussing around is worth the effort. Check on the Bostick & Sullivan site and see what size frames they offer. For doing 2x 8x10 in horizontal, I'd recommend a 12x20 frame, or even going up to a 20x24 frame, but still trim your paper down to 12x20 to avoid waste and have enough space to process it.

    I put the split back on my work table, springs down, then put my paper on top. I align the negatives, then lower my glass on top. Static and air displacement still often cause the negatives to move around, so I often have to do this repeatedly until I get a good sandwich. Sometimes I align the negs on the glass and let the surface tension hold them in place, then lower the glass onto the paper. After the glass/neg/paper/back sandwich is made and aligned, I put the wood frame on top, flip the assembly over, and lock down the springs. Then I expose away, and process as normal.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Thank you for your comments. My film came yesterday and I hope to have some 8x10 negs to print soon.
     
  6. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    Good luck - and please do remember to post your results here :smile:
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Tempered enthusiasm for 8x10

    First try at just one 8x10 neg at a time was somewhat of a disaster because the glass I used showed every dust spec and imperfection and scratch. I suspect I need 'dedicated' glass or a formal printing frame in which I can protect the glass from dust and scratches.

    Test prints were a pain because each time I lifted up the glass I am shure I introduced more dust.

    I guess I didn't realize it would be this difficult.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    You can use transparent tape (Scotch tape, sticky tape, etc) to hold the negs onto the glass -- generally the tape is transparent enough not to show up in the print at all.

    Vaughn