Super-sized contacts/proofs - how to do it?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by gamincurieux, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Hi, can anyone advise how to do super-sized contacts/proofs? You know, the bigger-than-normal ones some labs offer. Could this be done by me at home I wonder, does it require special equipment? I'd love top be able to do them, particularly for certain special negs. Many thanks, Paul
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You need an enlarger with a glass negative carrier. You can do some frames, but not a whole roll, with a 4x5 carrier. To do the whole roll, you need an 8x10 (or larger) enlarger.

    I suppose without this equipment, you could lay the filmstrips out on a super-clean light box, put a piece of glass over them, photograph them (preferably on 4x5), reversal process the film, and then print from that positive image of the negatives.

    I have rented a lab with an 8x10 enlarger when I have done this.
     
  3. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I remember seeing this offered a few years back by a lab here in LA, can't remember which one. It was nice though, and I guess a lot of people would use it. I believe they were using an 11x14 horizontal enlarger with a glass carrier to sandwich the negs on, then printing them onto 16x20 paper. They called them "super proofs".

    if you shoot 6x7, you can't proof all 10 shots onto an 8x10 piece of paper at once, so, therefore the 11x14 enlarger.

    -Dan
     
  4. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Super proofs, I wonder if any labs still do them. They were fairly common at the lab I worked at. They were done there in one of the mural cameras, a horizontal unit with a 10x10 glass carrier. Never saw any 2 1/4 film proofed that way, I would think that's because a normal contact sheet would be large enough for the art directors to see. They were neat to look at, the super proofs that is, not the art directors.
     
  5. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Mm, well this seems a little difficult to do at home.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Any lab with an 8x10 enlarger will do them. A and I in Los Angeles offers them as one of their services (prices listed on Website).
     
  7. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Was just hoping to be able to do it at home, myself, here in the land of Oz, you know....
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Doing them yourself might be out, but there must be a professional lab somewhere on the continent that will do them for you if needed.
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Buy a very large camera (20x24) and make contact prints, one image at a time.

    John Powers
     
  10. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    You mean take a shot with a large camera of a regular 8x10 contact sheet?
     
  11. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I think John is pulling your leg. Without an 8x10 enlarger I think you are out of luck, but there could be a dig*tal solution of which we must not speak.
     
  12. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Went way over my head.

    I don't possess anything d%@ita* anyway, but you could always personal message me with that of which you must not speak...
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Doing it without a really big enlarger will be difficult. Even with a 4x5 enlarger, you'll be able to fit only about 6 (maybe 9 if you really squeeze them in) frames of full frame 35 mm negatives into the carrier. I question the need for doing this with medium format negatives, since they're big enough to be evaluated easily with the naked eye. OK 645 might be a little too small, but just a little.
     
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  15. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    It's 35mm........... anyway it's clear I can't do it in my humble darkroom. Thanks everyone!
     
  16. pnance

    pnance Member

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    While this isn't really "contact", if you make a enlarging paper holder with windows, you can expose each negative separately, creating a large contact sheet on 11x14 or 16x20.
     
  17. jp80874

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    No, contact print in sheet film means a one to one print of one negative to one slightly larger sheet of print paper. If you want a large print you need to start with a large negative. Before there were enlargers contacts were all there was. That is why you see pictures of the early 1860-1880s American west photographers lugging those mamouth 20x22 cameras about.

    John
     
  18. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I know, the words "contact sheet" is technically in error here. It's a generic term for what is more accurately described as a "proof sheet".
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I guess it is ironic. I have the 10x10 enlarger, but I don't do proofs :wink:
     
  20. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    pnance, I think your idea might be a go-er..
     
  21. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That doesn't sound like a very practical solution to me. You have to change the negative and precisely shift the paper on the baseboard 36 times for each roll of film without making a mistake. Have fun with that! And we haven't even begun to take all the other aspects of processing that need to be addressed. The way I see it, 16x20 paper is really the smallest practical size for this. Anything smaller and you're not gaining much in size for each frame. Have you priced out 16x20 paper lately? It's not inexpensive. It's downright pricey as paper goes. Then you need big trays and large volumes of chemistry to process said paper. It's OK if you're already set up to make prints that large and do so regularly, or if you have the scratch to build out a setup that large. It's not a practical solution for the home hobbyist on a budget. So what's wrong with making a contact printed proof sheet on 8x10 or 8 1/2x11 paper and examining the frames with a good magnifier? You buy the magnifier once and have it for a lifetime. Heck, I contend that the home hobbyist would have and easier and far less expensive time simply making 4x6 inch proof prints.
     
  22. gamincurieux

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    I would not do every shot on the roll. I average 3 or 4 usable shots per roll, so what I thought was yes to perhaps use pnance's method above, but only do the usable shots, plus a couple more. Say, 6 images on an 8x10. I'll still have the regular contact sheet to refer to, but I always wanted to see the select few just a little bigger and apart from the rest of the roll. A contact sheet of the primary edit, if you will, but a little larger than normal. Should be relatively quick to do with the RH Designs analyzer pro. In any case I'll be trying something similar soon, I have a Durst Comask coming in the post, with its 4 windows I'll be trying to get 4 images on a sheet of 8x10. Mind you, I didn't really have this in mind when I bought it. Anyway, shall see how it goes. Well, call me mad, but aren't we all considered to be something like mad professors in these dark rooms of ours that hardly anybody these days understands? Paul :wink:
     
  23. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    If the idea is to find a quick way to get proof prints, it sounds like a Beseller Negatrans would speed up the process. And instead of an enlarged contact sheet, why not just do small proof prints of each negative? Pick a negative whose density is mid-range within all the images on the roll, find the (roughly) optimal f/stop and exposure time for that one image's print, then run them all at one setting, quick and dirty as they say. Start with 8"x10" paper, cut them in half and print full-frame on 5"x8". You can put the exposed proof prints back into a light-tight envelop after exposure, then develop them all in one batch in an oversized tray (like for 11"x14") after all the images have been exposed, thus saving lotsa time.

    When you get experienced with this method, you can tweak individual negatives "on the fly" for density differences, for instance adding or subtracting exposure time, to get a proof print that's "closer" to optimal.

    There's also the question of "what's wrong with an 8"x10" contact proof sheet of the whole roll?" since this method has served photographers for generations.

    ~Joe
     
  24. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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  25. gamincurieux

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    now I get it....
     
  26. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    lolol