Self contained contact printing devices...

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Stephanie Brim, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    These come up on Ebay once in a blue moon and look like a good solution for someone without a real darkroom...but I know absolutely nothing about them. Is it such a good solution? I imagine that dodging and burning isn't something you can really do when using one of these things.

    Another question, though, is this: how easy would it be to convert something like that for alternative processes? I know that times would likely be longer due to having to use lower wattage bulbs, but I'm assuming that, baring that, it would work decently. There's also always the rewiring route, but in that case I'd be better off building something.
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Are you refering to the Daylab units?

    Rick
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    or do you mean an old fashion contact printer. a steel box with a light bulb and lid ?

    you could use one of these types for alternative processes if you can find the light type as a tube won't work, but sprial uv blubs can be found.

    If it is a daylab unit. no
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Yeah, I'm thinking the old metal boxes. I had a feeling that it would work reasonably well for alt process stuff (and I have all the chemicals I need for salt printing at the moment...it's just waiting to be mixed up), but I don't really think that using it for silver printing would work. I thought about it last night while trying to get to sleep (as I often do) and figured out that it would only really be useful for straight prints. If I wanted to do any sort of dodging or burning I'd be better off with the Weston bare bulb method.
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    There were some with individually switched multiple bulbs that could be used for dodging and burning, though I think it would be pretty awkward.
    A light bulb over a standard contact printing frame seems much easer.
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    So for standard silver printing, bare 15 watter it is. The general feeling for using them for alt processes, though...yea? It would be quite fun to finally get to do my salt printing. This winter has just NOT been very good for any alt process work you have to do in sunlight. :wink:
     
  7. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I have a Compco 4X5 contact printer. As mentioned above, its just a steel box with bulb and a lever press for neg+paper sandwiched over glass opening. Requires very slow paper such as AZO/Lodima.
     
  8. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Well, then it's out for normal printing for me, then, as I really can't afford to get ahold of Lodima right now. I'm still going to look at it a bit more if I can find one for a decent price for UV exposure. I wonder how high wattage I could really put in the thing.
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    you can use that for uv light, just find the proper bulb. try bostick and sullivan , i just can't remember who is selling a light for alternative processing that isn't a tube, but they are available.
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have a late 60's early 70's moulded plastic 4x5 contact printer that came with 3 7W old style outdoor christmas lighting type lamps in it. The red one is on while the lid is open, and the two white ones come on when the lid is depressed.

    I converted it to use fixed grade projection speed paper before the right deal on a 4x5 enlarger came my way to allow me to print my 4x5 negs. Iguess if I had a set of Ilford 6x6" mg filters I could print with MG papers too.

    I took the two white bulbs and wired them in series in lieu of the OEM parallel connection to drop their light and heat output, and then used sheets of .3 Neutral Density lighting gel (find a theatrical supplier, or B&H- they are the low 90 series in Rosco's line) under the glass to further trim the output to get 8-25 second printing times.
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    For my DIY UV box I bought up Noma Back Light Blue compact fluorecents. I found mine at Canadian Tire. My initial effort used 2 bulbs for a 4x5 box. I proofed the concept, and scaled up to 9 lamps to allw me to print up to 11x14. I use it with Dr Mike Ware's Cyanotype formula, and find my exposure times are between 20 and 60 minutes depending on how dense the negative is.
     
  12. CBG

    CBG Member

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    The real value of a self contained contact printer is when there are many prints to be made. One can set up dodging masks with paper tissue on a stage below the neg. It is said to take a long time to set up, but once the setup is right, contact prints can be made very quickly.
     
  13. donbga

    donbga Member

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    That's really slow, I would rather sun print.
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    So would I, but in the winter around here it can be a long wait for the sun to make itself seen. Plus most times when thesn is nice and strong I am at work, doing the wage slave thing.

    The UV bulbs were bought using Canadian Tire money, which is a script that you can use as cash at the retailer. I generated my script 3 and 4$ at a time fuelling the cars at their gas bars. So cash out of pocket for my DIY solution was almost nothing.
     
  15. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Gotta love that!