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ReallyBigCameras
02-06-2009, 06:05 PM
I am in the process of adding a line of high quality contact printing frames to my product offerings. The manufacturer currently makes them in the following sizes:

24x30cm (9.4" x 11.8") - This seems like the perfect size for anything up to 8x10 negatives on paper up to 8.5" x 11". I expect this size will be my biggest seller.

30x40cm (11.8" x 15.7") - Another size that seems very logical. Obviously works well for negatives up to 11x14. And, I also noticed that several types of paper stock favored by alt process printers (Arches Platine, watercolor papers, etc.) come in 11x15 sheets. This frame would work with this size of pre-cut paper.

40x50cm (15.7" x 19.7) - I'm not sure if this is a good size. It would work fine for 14x17, but it a hair too small for 16x20. Also, I know that for sizes larger than 11x14, many printers prefer a vacumm frame over a conventional contact printing frame.

So, I welcome comments on these sizes, and I'd like to hear input for additional sizes, either bigger or smaller.

One thing I've noticed about the current market is a void of contact printing frames in the banquet sizes. Do you think there is a market for contact printing frames supporting 4x10, 5x12, 7x17, 8x20 and 12x20 film sizes? The frames would be slightly oversized (an inch or two bigger than the nominal format size in both directions). Also, maintaining good center pressure should be less of a problem in the banquet formats than the standard formats as you move up in sizes. The length of the back springs would remain reasonably short, and additional springs can be added as the length of the negative increases.

All comments welcome.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

jgjbowen
02-06-2009, 07:31 PM
Kerry,

All I can speak of is my personal experience. I started doing 8x10 contact prints with a printing frame. When I moved up to 7x17 I got a vacuum frame. Now I use the vacuum frame for 5x7, 8x10 and 7x17 contact prints.

I find the vacuum frame is much more efficient then the contact printing frame.

Best,

Alex Hawley
02-06-2009, 08:31 PM
Hi Kerry,

I'm needing a new frame for 8x10 prints so I may hold off on getting one to see what you come up with.

I would think there would be a market for an 8x20 frame. It would also handle 7x17. I wound up getting an 16x20 frame for my 7x17 prints. It works fine of course but sure gives me a work out flipping it around. A smaller frame would be appreciated.

TheFlyingCamera
02-06-2009, 08:47 PM
I would think the interest for banquet sizes would lie in the larger (7x17, 8x20, 12x20) sizes. I do 5x12's in my 11x14 frame.

ReallyBigCameras
02-07-2009, 11:57 AM
Kerry,

All I can speak of is my personal experience. I started doing 8x10 contact prints with a printing frame. When I moved up to 7x17 I got a vacuum frame. Now I use the vacuum frame for 5x7, 8x10 and 7x17 contact prints.

I find the vacuum frame is much more efficient then the contact printing frame.

Best,

John,

Thanks for the input. Vacuum frames are definitely nice, but some people still prefer/require traditional contact printing frames. Some photographers still produce contact prints using the sun as a light source. Others have limited, or no, permanent darkroom space. So, having something smaller, that's easy to move around, is desirable.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

ReallyBigCameras
02-07-2009, 12:07 PM
Alex and Scott,

Thanks for the feedback.

It appears there may be a market for a frame that would handle both 7x17 and 8x20.

It could be the same height as the 24x30cm size, but somewhere between 54cm (21.25") and 60cm (23.6") in length. How much extra wiggle room do you like? The 24cm (9.4") height should be fine for both 7x17 and 8x20. Would 54cm (21.25") be long enough, or would you prefer something a little longer?

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

TheFlyingCamera
02-07-2009, 02:22 PM
I would think so long as you had at least the 3/4" border on each side of an 8x20, you'd be good - 9 1/2" x 21 1/2" exposed glass area so you can print the entire negative with a border if you choose.

Alex Hawley
02-07-2009, 08:39 PM
Would 54cm (21.25") be long enough, or would you prefer something a little longer?
The 21.25 length would be great for the 7x17, but if I was doing 8x20, I would prefer a full 22 inches. That's just my druthers though; I could get along with 21.25.

jgjbowen
02-08-2009, 07:41 AM
John,

Thanks for the input. Vacuum frames are definitely nice, but some people still prefer/require traditional contact printing frames. Some photographers still produce contact prints using the sun as a light source. Others have limited, or no, permanent darkroom space. So, having something smaller, that's easy to move around, is desirable.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

Kerry,

Excellent point. I've yet to venture into any alternative printing methods, but if/when I do, I'll need a frame that will handle 8x20 paper. Good luck with your new venture.

ReallyBigCameras
02-08-2009, 01:38 PM
It does appear there may be a market, no doubt a small one, but a market none-the-less, for contact printing frames in the banquet sizes. Or, at least a frame capable of handling 7x17 and 8x20 negatives.

A NOS (new, old stock) AWB 10" x 22" contact printing frame sold on eBay this morning for $237.50 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=330304815368). From, the photos that accompany the auction, one of the corners has come unglued and will need to be re-glued by the new owner. The frames I will be selling have reinforced (splined) corners to prevent this from happening.

The frames I will be selling are made by the camera manufacturer Argentum. They are very well made from high quality materials. The wood is white ash (the same straight-grained hardwood use to make baseball bats). The actual imaging area is 1cm larger in both direction than the nominal frame size. So, the image area of the 24x30cm frame is actually 25x31cm (9.8" x 12.2"). So, a 24x55cm frame for 7x17 and 8x20 would have image area of 25x56cm (9.8" x 22").

I'll try to get some pictures of the 24x30cm frame posted in the next day or two. In the mean time, here's a link (http://www.argentumcamera.com/_angol/catalog/cpf_eng_sm.pdf) to a pdf file of the contact printing frames page from the manufacturer's printed catalog.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

TheFlyingCamera
02-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Kerry- if you want to standardize on one size banquet frame, I'd suggest bumping it up to a 12x20 frame - that will accommodate ANY banquet size from 5x12 on up.

Alex Hawley
02-08-2009, 08:44 PM
So, a 24x55cm frame for 7x17 and 8x20 would have image area of 25x56cm (9.8" x 22").
That would be sweet.

Thanks for the pdf link Kerry. I like the way they have put the springs under another strip of stainless steel instead of capturing them with slots in the wood.

ReallyBigCameras
02-10-2009, 07:41 PM
Kerry- if you want to standardize on one size banquet frame, I'd suggest bumping it up to a 12x20 frame - that will accommodate ANY banquet size from 5x12 on up.

Scott,

I'm thinking about offering both options - one frame for the 7x17 and 8x20 sizes and another for 12x20. Another possible option is to ask the manufacturer to increase the size of their 40x50cm frame so that it can support 14x17, 16x20 and 12x20.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

ReallyBigCameras
02-10-2009, 07:44 PM
That would be sweet.

Thanks for the pdf link Kerry. I like the way they have put the springs under another strip of stainless steel instead of capturing them with slots in the wood.

Alex,

The strips, and the springs, are actually made out of extruded clear-anodized aluminum bar stock. They are strong springs and since both ends are held in place by the bar stock, you don't have to worry about wooden rails slots splitting out.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

doughowk
02-11-2009, 03:52 AM
I'd be interested in the frame for a 7X17 neg. They look well-made.

ReallyBigCameras
02-23-2009, 01:15 AM
I now have pricing information on the Argentum Contact Printing Frames:

24x30cm - $219.00
30x40cm - $249.00
40x50cm - $299.00

Banquet sizes:

24x55cm for 7x17 and 8x20 - $249.00
35x55cm for 12x20 - $309.00

These prices do not include shipping - which will be billed at standard domestic rates.

The actual image area of these frames is 1cm larger in each direction than the nominal dimensions.

If you would like to pre-order a frame (no payment due until the frames are ready to ship from the manufacturer), please send an email to sales@reallybigcameras.com and speciy the size you would like to purchase.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

Jerevan
02-23-2009, 03:35 AM
Kerry,

Good to see that some of the Argentum products are reaching the US market. I don't know if you ever got any camera for review from them, but I put in my word (whatever weight that has!) for you.

I've no experience with their contact frames but I know their cameras are well built. And they age very nicely, with the wood slowly darkening. So, anyone deciding to buy one of these frames, I believe, is going to be happy.

I am in the market for a contact frame but in this case, I thnk I'll see if I can get hold of the guys at Argentum directly, as it seems pointless to ship it over the Atlantic and back. :)

ReallyBigCameras
02-24-2009, 08:05 PM
Good to see that some of the Argentum products are reaching the US market. I don't know if you ever got any camera for review from them, but I put in my word (whatever weight that has!) for you.

Not yet, but Istvan is making me one to try out. I hope to eventually sell the Argentum cameras, as well.


I've no experience with their contact frames but I know their cameras are well built. And they age very nicely, with the wood slowly darkening. So, anyone deciding to buy one of these frames, I believe, is going to be happy.

The sample they sent me was very well made. It is made from white ash - a hard wood with very straight grain (the same wood used to make baseball bats). It is also heavier, and lighter in color, than the cherry wood they use for their cameras and holders. I like that they are matching the type of wood they use to the application.


I am in the market for a contact frame but in this case, I thnk I'll see if I can get hold of the guys at Argentum directly, as it seems pointless to ship it over the Atlantic and back. :)

Yes, definitely. The selling price is the same (within a few percent depending on the exchange rate at the time), but it wouldn't make sense to ship it back and forth across the Atlantic. The frames are heavy (the 24x30cm one weighs about 4 lb. 14 oz. (about 2.2 kg). So, international shipping x2 would be quite expensive.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

David A. Goldfarb
02-24-2009, 09:22 PM
Will the 7x17/8x20 frame have a three spring or two spring back? If three springs, I'd pre-order. If two, I'll probably wait for reports and see how others are finding them. A three-spring design also makes it possible to expose two smaller prints in the same frame and take one out before the other.

ReallyBigCameras
02-25-2009, 12:57 AM
David,

I have recommended three springs for the backs on the banquet format frames. I will confirm with the manufacturer and let you know for sure as soon as they respond.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)