Trimming paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by G.M.B., May 3, 2008.

  1. G.M.B.

    G.M.B. Member

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    Only recently discovered this forum, and am pleased to find such a resource for film-based photography. Until now I’ve been prowling the archives (and have subsequently developed a serious fixation on the Fotoman 617:surprised:). This is my first post.

    I am thinking of printing some Xpan shots larger than I normally do (I generally make 4” x 10 ½” prints on 11” x 14” paper), namely at 8” x 21” on 20” x 24” paper. I’m also thinking that, if I trim the paper lengthwise, I could make two prints per sheet. My question is: do I run the risk of any discoloration on the trimmed edge of the paper? For the record I’ll be using Oriental VC FB Glossy paper and have access to a rotary trimmer.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have never trimmed paper that size but I regularly cut 8x10 into two 5 x 8s under the safelight and provided it is safe I have never seen any discolouration on the trimmed edge. As the principle is the same I see no reason why your intended cutting should result in discolouration.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. Chris Breitenstein

    Chris Breitenstein Member

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    Trimming paper/prints will not effect how archival they are. As long as they are processed correctly you wont have any problems with discoloration.

    Yours:
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    You can make your job easier if you can locate your paper in 8 inch rolls and simply cut to the desired length. It doesn't have to be fancy or accurate, that can be handled after the print is dry.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've never heard of discoloration because of trimming prints. I've only been doing my own darkroom processing for about three years, though, so I've not seen any long-term effects on my own prints. The problems I have encountered are trimming precisely (a little too big or small can cause problems in standard-sized frames without borders) and rough edges (caused by dull blades or worn trimmer surfaces). Neither is a big problem, IMHO.

    One trick I use to help trim (relatively) precisely in dim darkroom light, or with color paper, is to lay down some painter's tape on my trimmer at the locations where I typically cut. That way I can position the paper by feel without squinting at the numbers, which of course are printed in low-contrast lettering on my trimmer.
     
  6. G.M.B.

    G.M.B. Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for your speedy replies.

    I was in fact inquiring about possible discoloration from the chemicals, not from the light, though it seems that there’s nothing to worry about on that account. Also, though I like the roll solution, unfortunately that’s not an option with the paper I’m using. I’ll pick up some of the 20” x 24” paper and give it a try.

    GMB
     
  7. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Welcome to the forum, glad you found us.
    All paper is trimmed, at the factory.
    Something I often do, albeit on smaller sheets, is to print two images on one sheet, one on each half by spinning the sheet through 180 degrees after the first exposure and masking. The processing time is reduced as well. Only works if you are doing multiple copies of the same photograph of course.
     
  8. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I often do that as well when printing smaller than 8x10 on 8x10 paper. In fact, I think this is the only way to get odd sizes when processing with a drum, since drums are designed to handle only a limited number of print sizes.
     
  9. G.M.B.

    G.M.B. Member

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    Also a very good idea, though it might be difficult with larger sizes of paper.
     
  10. jfish

    jfish Member

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    I have seen some discoloration on edges that re cut before exposing and processing, especially when toned, though can't explain why. Yes all paper is cut at the factory, and maybe my trimmer's blade was dull and therefore made some rougher cuts that allowed it to happen. Haven't seen it a lot, but enough over the years to remember. I have also noticed excessive swelling sometimes on those cut edges, and it dries with a little rougher that normal. To avoid this I cut when dry.

    Your results may vary.
     
  11. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I haven't had any adverse effects from trimming paper to size before processing. I do it all the time, cutting down 8x10 to 4 x 4x5 or 2 x 5x7 with a little left over for test strips.
     
  12. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I assume that you are going to print more than one final print from the negative if you are going to the trouble of using an XPan and printing this large. When you get to the final print, you can expose one half of the large sheet while masking the other half. Then turn the sheet 180 degrees and expose the other half while masking the first exposure.

    The problem of cutting the unexposed paper in the dimensions you desire is that squaring it is difficult, even with a rotary cutter. It is easier to get a good cut on printed paper in daylight. If the cut paper is even slightly off kilter you have wasted a lot of time in the end. I would use the inexact cut sheets/strips for practice prints and then use full sheets for the final prints.
     
  13. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I regularly trim 0.25mm off the edges of fibre based gelatin-silver photographs after processing. The edge is often slightly swollen or emulsion chipped after the extended wet times that fibre-base needs. The black edge that results from contacting a 8x10 neg on 8x10 paper is particularly vulnerable.

    As for exact sizes forget them. Fibre-base paper may come out of the box at 8x10 but after processing it is a different size in the machine direction.
     
  14. G.M.B.

    G.M.B. Member

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    Ok, you guys have given me some food for thought. Perhaps the best thing would be to try it both ways, i.e. trimming one sheet before printing, and another after, and see what if any differences there are. Now I've just got to figure out a way to mat half of a sheet that big.

    GMB