Printing Square

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cjbecker, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    So as of right now I am printing from a 6x6 negative to 8x8 onto 8x10 paper. I am using a 4 into 1 easel. (I have a 3 blade boarderless Saunders omega easel but the paper I am using is not flat and does not stay put on the easel, also I don’t really like the easel) Im looking into a way to print square more effectively and have the image always directly centered on the paper.

    I’m looking into getting a better easel for printing. Im looking at a saunders vt1400.

    How do you effectively print square images?
     
  2. Joe O'Brien

    Joe O'Brien Member

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    I use a "Speed Ez-el," and either align it optically or with a ruler if I need it to be very exact.
     
  3. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I use negative masks on the enlarger.
     
  4. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I trim the paper to square and use the offcut for test strips. I suppose I could use the four-blade easel I own if I thought about it.
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I'd recommend a 4 bladed easel. I usually print 7x7 on an 8x10. That said, the blades are not wide enough to cover the edges of the 10" side of the paper. I either trim to 8x8 or, more often, dry mount and float mount it in the matt.
     
  6. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I use a 4-blade with measurements on the sides, so I know that I'm making a 15x15 print on 16x20 paper and shave a bit off the end for test strips. Nothing like a 4-blade for enlarging. I'll never go to anything different after that.

    PS...that snowboard shot on your site it gold....love it.
     
  7. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    I definitely recommend the 4 bladed easel, the vt1400 is the V-Track right, I have one they're nice. So here's what I do. First I sacrifice a sheet of the enlarging paper, then on the back I carefully layout and mark my borders. Then I put the paper in the easel making sure that paper is positioned all the way in the slot and slid to the left hand side. Next I align the easel blades, with the border lines I marked on the paper. I also use the paper composing and focusing. When printing just make sure that you position the paper all the way in the slot and slide it to the all the way to the left. This method will give you very consistent borders.

    Roger
     
  8. pekelnik

    pekelnik Member

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    I use a 4 bladed easel and I standardized printing size to 28cmx28cm (about 11x11 inches). I have one sheet of undeveloped enlarging paper with sizes drawn on it and I use this for focusing and positioning of blades. (Retrospectively it seems like a good idea to develop this paper unexposed, since it yellows otherwise.)
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I also use a 4 bladed easel also. I usually go 7 3/4 by 7 3/4 on a 8x10 sheet.

    Jeff
     
  10. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Another 4 bladed here with roughly the same method as pekelnik...and fixed paper :wink:
     
  11. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I started by marking on a sheet of paper, but instead I etched marks on scale for the sizes I generally print.
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Echo most of that from another Roger, but I don't find it necessary to sacrifice a sheet. I have the V track too - possibly the best easel ever made, certainly the best I ever used. I generally print 6x6 negs to 7.5"x7.5" leaving narrow 1/4" borders on the short side. Just set all four blades by the scale on the side to 7.5 and you're good (or 7 if you want 7x7 with 1/2" borders or whatever.)

    On 11x14 paper I similarly print 10.5x10.5.

    For larger prints I just got a 16x20 two blade easel and I'll just have to trim the excess. I also picked up a rotary trimmer so it shouldn't be too bad.
     
  13. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    A combination of a four-bladed easel and cutting down paper.

    I cut 11x14 paper down to 11x11 and print negatives from my Rolleiflex at 10x10.

    I take one sheet of paper, cut it down, develop it, unexposed, then dry it and flatten it. I put that sheet of paper in the easel and center it up the way I like. Then I take a fine-point sharpie and trace the outline of the blades onto the paper. On the top corner, I write the "FOCUS SHEET - 10x10" or whatever size I am making.

    I make a focus sheet for every size that I like to print. When I change sizes, it's a simple matter of pulling out the focus sheet for 8x10, 4x5, 11x14 or whatever size, put it onto the easel then move the blades until they touch the outlines drawn on the paper.

    If you use red ink (or whatever color matches your safelights) the writing will be virtually invisible under working conditions so you can use it for composing and focusing without being bothered too much by the writing on the paper.

    My hardest problem printing square pictures doesn't have much to do with technical stuff. It's because I have a hard time finding square mattes. They either have to be special ordered or custom cut.

    (One of these days, when I get rich, I'm going to have to invest in a matte cutter. :whistling: )
     
  14. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Heavy black paper sheet cut with the x-acto knife and/or 20x24 two-bladed RRB easel.
     
  15. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Helpful: DIY with 1 or 2 ply mat board.



    ...by printing oblong, with one dimension longer than the other. :tongue: (not so helpful)
     
  16. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    tag for later reading.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Someone needs to learn about subscribing to threads :smile:

    (Hint - go to "Thread Tools" at the top corner of the post window)

    FWIW, you can use the back of an unwanted print as a "Focus Sheet"
     
  18. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Yeah. I had to run and didn't want to loose my place. Quick reply is faster than the three step subscribe process. Sorry.