RA-4 colour contact prints from roll film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    What experiences do APUGers have of making contact prints from colour negatives onto RA-4 paper? Positioning negatives by feel in the dark on the paper is almost impossible without overlapping film strips. I understand Paterson sell their contact proofing frames with guides for either 120 or 135 format film but I've not seen one of these units up close.

    Tom
     
  2. fdisilvestro

    fdisilvestro Member

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    Paterson frames are ok. Another possibility is to use transparent film archival pages like "clearFile" or "Printfile" and make the contacts through them.
     
  3. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I use the 'Printfile' products, however when I have tried printing through the sleeves before the results have been variable in terms of image quality. Does the film stay in position with the Paterson frames, so that the unit can be used in total darkness conditions once the film is loaded into the frame?

    Tom
     
  4. fdisilvestro

    fdisilvestro Member

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    I have used the Paterson frame for 120 format film. The film stays in place if it is flat. Curled film will be a problem.
    If you get a used one, make sure that the foam in the base is ok. It degrades over time.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I use the Paterson frame also (35mm) for colour contact sheets. Curly film only sticks out on one side as the other is held in by the frame. So, I place the paper in by moving it slightly into the curl which helps to flatten it (not sure if that makes sense). After a few goes, it's just as easy in total darkness as it is under a safe light for B&W.
     
  6. jfdupuis

    jfdupuis Member

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    I use a really dim safe light for contact printing. I can barely see the negative strip and paper, but enough to see if there is an overlap.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Tom You don't need to do it in the dark. The DUKA 10 or 50 will give quite a bright enough safe light to enable you to contact print with clear files and a sheet of glass. Alternatively the Paterson frame either 120 or 35mm will allow you to place a piece of paper into it in the total darkness to cover the negs. You might want to practice the maneouvre a couple of times first.

    There are other safelights using LEDs which will also give enough light as well, as I understand it.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have a German Hansa contact printing frame. It is primarily designed for 135 film and allows you to clip film strips of 6 frames between a forked tongue prong at either end.

    I purchased this as the centre glass is completely clear of anything, meaning I can use any other format, which I do.

    As 135 film is my bread and butter, it was important that the unit be really fast and accurate with that format.

    When using 120 film I cut into appropriate lengths and use removable magic tape to hold the film on the glass. The same goes for 4x5 film and 8x10 film. So you can see it is very versatile.

    I contact all of my colour films, otherwise I don't have a ready and accurate reference when printing.

    If in a position where I don't have a professional contact frame, then I use glass with this method.

    Tape a big L down one long side and an adjoining short side using a cloth or duct tape type of product, this is your alignment for the paper in the dark.

    Next, tape the film to the glass using removable magic tape, removable is the operative word in the operation here. From here it is a simple thing to align a sheet of paper in the dark, turn it over and place it either on some dark foam, or layers of dark cloth.

    The Paterson contact frame thingys are quite alright, but they (in 135 format anyway) require you to slide your film under a hard plastic holder. Apart from the fact that your film really gets some vicious handling when things get hot and sticky, they cannot be used for anything else except for the chosen format.

    Paterson make 120 ones as well, I have one or two, but I haven't used those in about a decade. Whereas the Hansa was purchased about 35 or more years ago, and more or less, is the only contact frame I use.

    Mick.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Printfile makes negative sleeves that are designed to hold both the film and a contact sheet. I don't use them for that...but I do use them to obtain perfectly-aligned proofsheets! Just slip your unexposed paper into the large sleeve designed to hold the proofsheet, so that the emulsion side of the paper faces the emulsion side of the film strips. Place on the baseboard, put a piece of glass over it, and turn on your enlarger! It is one of the coolest printing tricks I have ever discovered. Saves soooooo much aggravation (and materials, even).
     
  10. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    two eff, that is a neat idea, hadn't thought of that, nor have I seen that.

    Always something to learn.

    Mick.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    for 35mm:

    CP 35-6HB (qty. 25 or 100)
    CONTACT PROOFING PRESERVER. Holds six 35mm strips of 6 frames, and one 8-1/2" x 11" contact print.

    CP 35-7HB (qty. 25 or 100)
    CONTACT PROOFING PRESERVER. Holds seven 35mm strips of 5 frames, and one 8"x10" contact print.

    for medium format:

    CP 120-3HB (qty. 25 or 100)
    CONTACT PROOFING PRESERVER. Holds fifteen frames of 6x4.5cm, twelve frames of 6x6cm, or nine frames of 6x7cm 120 film, and one 8"x10" contact print.

    Unfortunately there is nothing like this for sheet film (though it is easy enough to slide precisely cut sheets of paper underneath the negs in individual plastine envelopes).

    You are printing through plastic, of course, but the way I see it, they are just proofsheets. How good do they need to be, except on special occasions? They are more than good enough for what I need from a proofsheet, and certainly sharper than anything else I would bother to do under normal circumstances. Usually if I need a *truly* sharp proofsheet, I will go to the local rental darkroom or this one local gallery that does all their printing in the back, and load all the film into an 8x10 glass neg. carrier and make an enlarged proofsheet. A&I, the big pro lab in Los Angeles, can do this for you as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2009
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yet another reason I need to get an 8x10 enlarger! I'm getting G.A.S. :D
     
  13. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    In one of the labs I worked in, the procedure was to file the negatives in a clear plastic page (Print File, I believe), and then to place the page in an 11x14 contact printer, the kind that looks like a picture frame. The contact sheet was made on 11x14 paper, and cut to 8 1/2 x 11 in the finishing room.

    Yes, it used more paper, but none had to be redone because of misalignment of paper and negatives, when working under a very dim safelight, or in some of the darkrooms, in total darkness.

    (We actually had a customer who demanded that we dodge and burn individual frames in a 35mm contact sheet...but that is a story for another time!)
     
  14. thefizz

    thefizz Member

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  15. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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  16. thefizz

    thefizz Member

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    Of course.
     
  17. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    That safe torch is a God-send in the darkroom.
     
  18. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've the red LED model when lith printing with success.

    Tom
     
  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I' have an old proof printing frame that I use to apply pressure to the negs filed in print file, held in contact with the paper to be exposed. I have adapted the frame over the years to include a black foam core insert the size of 8x10 paper that allows the paper to be aligned in the dark. I align the paper by feel against being square to the edge of the print file papge, and then put both of them, while held together into the frame and align it against the edge of the foam core. There are occassional slight mis alognment,s but none that make the contacvt sheet unusable for my reference purposes.
     
  20. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I made a proofer so I could proof 6x7(10 frames per roll of 120) onto 11x14(or 10"x12" cut from 12" roll paper<ebay>). had some scrap plywood, sanded it, got some 1/4" glass cut at my glazier, got some felt-backed foam from the craft store, glued the foam to the board, and made a duct tape hinge to hold the glass. Total cost: about $28, not including time(about 1hr total to put it all together) to get the wood to size. I had the glass cut to 11.5x16, so there's a little bit of overhang. So now I can proof my 36 exposure rolls(6negs x 6 strips), onto the 10x12, same as the 6x7 and 645. thought about using the starfire glass(less green cast, less lead content), but with the extreme price difference, I leaned to standard 1/4" plate. and I can't see a color difference filter pack-wise from proof sheets to final prints.

    works for me, you might want to try building one yourself, it can be very rewarding :smile:

    I'm acutally in the process of making some for some of my classmates, albeit, charging $50 for them, nice little side business :smile:.

    -Dan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009