Pros and Cons of glass neg carriers?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Sean, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi, I'll be getting into some MF printing soon and am wondering about glass neg carriers. In the past I was using 35mm so it didn't seem neccessary, but since the MF neg is larger should a glass carrier be considered for absolute sharpness? Is it overkill for MF? I am curious if anyone uses glass carriers for MF and what the pros and cons might be. My enlarger is a Saunders LPL C7700 Pro Color Enlarger. Thanks, Sean
     
  2. Leon

    Leon Member

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    can you get hold of a copy of Barry Thornton's book The Edge of Darkness? he devotes a substantial section to this very subject.

    I do use a glass carrier, for both 35mm and MF and find it equally as important for both. I did take the glass out for a while thinking it was unecessary and my negs popped out of flatness with the heat causing uneven sharpness etc, so I replaced just the top glass and the problem was solved. Dust isnt a huge problem as it only takes a few extra puff from my bulb blower and a quick wipe with the back of my hand (a tip learned from Barry's book).

    This is one of those subjects that people always seem to disagree on, so expect some contradictions ... but glass gets my vote.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2004
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I find glass on top to keep the neg flat, but not under to avoid Newtons Rings, is the best solution.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use one on my Phillips/Paterson enlarger.

    Pros:

    --Vastly superior film flatness. Really. Your enlargements will be sharper.

    --Flexibility. Glass carriers that have four-blade masks let you handle all sorts of formats with the same carrier, and you can use the blades to crop in the carrier, reducing light spill in the darkroom and improving contrast.

    Cons:

    --Dust. Four more surfaces to attract dust.

    --Newton's Rings. Which are still sometimes a problem with AN glass.
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    interesting replies :smile:
    I am not even sure I can find a glass carrier for a LPL C7700. The carrier I have has 4 blades that can adjust from 35mm to MF. I suppose a thin sheet of glass can be glued to it, or maybe I can find a true glass carrier for it. Have you guys had to make your own rig for this and if so any particular info would be useful, thanks
     
  6. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    OK a glass carrier isn't available for my enlarger; so some suggestions for a make shift glass carrier would be appreciated.
     
  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I use glass for both MF and LF. I found it made a noticeable difference.
     
  8. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Sean,I have the Saunders/LPL D6700 enlarger (color). I found a negative carrier made for it on ebay. The one described with glass and the 4 blades to adjust from 35mm to larger negatives. I believe the C7700 is a pro version but very similar to the D6700 so maybe both take the same carrier.
     
  9. jantman

    jantman Member

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    I shoot 35mm thru 8x10". In 35mm and MF (6x4.5) I use glassless carriers, the negatrans for 35mm and a twin-plate carrier for 6x4.5. I've never noticed a problem with film flatness, and I've done enlargements up to 20x24" from 35mm (and a test enlargement of 120x from 6x4.5 to see the grain). I've had grain problems way before sharpness was an issue.

    For 8x10, I use a glass carrier, because that's what came with my Elwood. I use regular window glass with no Newton Ring problems. However, it's a pain in the ass to clean four sides of 8x10" glass.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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  11. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    What enlarger do you use? Other brands can often be used with some enlargers, Dejurs will take Beseler or Omega carriers with ease for instance.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I never noticed a problem with film flatness until I actually tried a glass carrier, and suddenly everything was much more crisp. [p.s.: It also works in scanners. Flatbed scanners improve remarkably if you can sandwich the neg/slide between glass instead of using the stock glassless filmholders.]
     
  13. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I always use glass at least on top, preferably both sides. This is esp important when using a neg that has areas requireing lots of burning (eg overdeveloped negs or those with dense areas requiring burning in. I guess the denser the neg, the longer the exposure, the hotter it gets, the more buckling it does. Sometimes glass is essnential to getting sharp images across the whole image. It aint that hard to keep clean unless you are doing serious volume and changing negs every 5 mins. If you print each image as a stand alone wotk of art, the 2 extra minutes is irrelevant. Glass has saved more time than it has cost for me, but the again I print low volume.
     
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  15. dlin

    dlin Member

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    For my 35mm and 6x7 negatives, I use a glass sheet taken from a glass slide holder. The slide holders I have were made by GEPE and come in an anti-newton version. The glass slide holders contain two pieces, one is normal clear glass and the other has a fine texture to miminize newton rings. You can use either one according to your needs. The glass pieces are very thin (less than 1mm) so they don't interfere with the operation of my normal non-glass negative carriers, but are large enough for the holder to clamp down on the edges. I simply place a piece on top of my negative and close the holder normally. This has markedly improved the flatness of the negatives and provides sharpness all the way out to the edges. Hope this helps.
    All the best,
    Daniel
     
  16. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I have been having problems with enlarger focus/alignment- does anyone know if glass carriers are availible for a 45MRX? Or, the thin slide glass sounds great, does it come in 4x5?

    Matt
     
  17. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I've always had a nightmare time with alignment, and I recently got one of these laser alignment tools (recommended by many here). Sure it is expensive, but I don't want alignment to be the weakest link and such a massive inconvenience. With this I can be tack sharp in seconds, and check before each session to make sure. I haven't used it yet but may be using it in about a week so will report back..

    [​IMG]

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&kw=VEP&is=REG&Q=&O=productlist&sku=157407
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    My vote is for glass carrier , regular glass bottom , anti newton on top, I get the combos from focal point in florida , very friendly and quick response.
    Without glass neg popping is definately a problem with condenser enlarger.
    Bob Carnie
     
  19. dlin

    dlin Member

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    Matt, I'm not aware of any glass slide holders for 4x5. Smaller formats should be relatively easy to find. I haven't had any flatness problems with my 4x5 negatives in a glassless carrier. They seem to be less prone to buckling than the roll films.

    Daniel
     
  20. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I have an LPL 7700 Pro and use it only for 35mm. When I bought it (secondhand) it came with a universal carrier with standard glass inserts. I had immediate problems with Newton's Rings (made worse by the fact that I had *no* clue what they were!). I tried pretty much everything to get rid of them and succeeded by...

    ...getting rid of the glass! I bought a glassless 35mm insert for the universal carrier (ordered from Jessops for £17). I considered anti-Newton glass but was advised against it with people claiming that it doesn't always clear the rings and can reduce the image sharpness (I don't know how valid this is, but it's what I was told at the time).

    I haven't noticed any sharpness problem with my prints, but that doesn't mean there isn't one! :rolleyes: I'll be realigning my enlarger just as soon as I can find some laserproof OHP viewfoils (using Tom Stanworth's suggested method). Once that is done I'll run some checks; glassless vs glassed vs glass-on-top-only (but don't hold your breath!)
     
  21. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Matt,

    I'm going strictly by memory here: I think that Beseler does have a glass carrier for the 45 MCR enlarger; I seem to recall seeing one on E-Bay sometime in the past.

    May I suggest, however, that the Beseler Negatrans would probably serve equally well. It's very well-designed and puts real tension on the negative. There are also only two surfaces to keep clean instead of six with a glass carrier. In addition, I've never had a problem with negative popping in the MCR-X, regardless of the size of negative or the carrier used, and I used the standard 4 x 5 carrier for many years before I bought a Negatrans. Maybe the heat absorbing glass is just doing its job.

    Konical
     
  22. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    ok:

    The consensus is that glass is the way to go, however newton rings can be a problem, but there is special glass for this, and this glass can reduce sharpness? How does the anti-newton glass impact the quality for those here that use it? I'm trying to find the best balance to use, but may just have to try different options and see for myself. just curious, thanks :smile:
     
  23. lee

    lee Member

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    with my D2v I never use a glass carrier. I could but it is a PITA. to much dust and too many surfaces to clean. I go with glassless.

    lee\c
     
  24. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    There is an alternative glass to AN glass. Durst is using this glass on their negative carriers for optimal sharpness. I am not sure but it may be something akin to Denglas (coated anti reflective glass). I believe that they will provide this glass separately. Seems that a glass kit for my 138S was up near $85.00 US as I recall.

    On a separate note, I have used glassless carriers before. I have found that glass neg carriers provide optimal sharpness especially for condensor type enlargers.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are two types of AN glass--one is textured and one is coated. The textured AN glass is only used above the neg, so it shouldn't impair sharpness. The coated type can be used on both sides of the neg and does not affect sharpness. I have the coated type on my Philips/Paterson enlarger and in one of my contact print frames and the textured type in my Nikon LS-4500AF scanner, and I find the textured glass a bit more effective at reducing Newton's rings.
     
  26. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening,

    My post of 7-29-2004 in this thread contains an error which I suddenly realized an hour or so ago when I was in about mile 2 of my evening run. (Nothing like some warm, thick St. Louis-region air to clear the mind!)

    I commented favorably on the Beseler Negatrans. The correct reference should have been to the Beseler NEGAFLAT (4 x 5) instead. That carrier is extremely effective; I can't imagine how a glass carrier could be better.

    By the way, the Negatrans (35mm) is also good, but its major advantage is in moving quickly from one frame to another rather than improved flatness. I don't have a 120 Negatrans, so I can't comment on it from experience, but I suspect that Beseler has done as good a job on it as on the others.

    My apologies for the error.

    Konical