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Existing Light
12-21-2010, 12:36 PM
I've been wanting to have a go with the postcard exchange for a while, but time has kept me from joining in. I still havent had time to read through the postcard threads (I have skimmed through a few threads, though), so forgive me if anything I ask has been answered.

My interest in joining in on the postcard fun coincides with my interest to move up to large format, and I've been considering a 5X7 camera, but I can find no 5x7 postcard paper (well, no analog 5x7 paper :) ). I know I can get a 4x5 reducing back for a 5x7 camera, but that causes another problem: the Ilford photo paper is 4x6.

That brings me to my questions

I'm trying to imagine what a 4x5 neg aligned on a 4x6 card would look like with a 1/2 border on each side. It looks good in my mind, but what I see in my mind doesnt always work out on paper (or canvas) as well as I want. (Why cant we have 4x6 cameras and film? Damn you film and camera makers! :D)

Could I make postcards out of 4x5 or 5x7 paper and use a ruler and a pen to make straight lines for the address and message part on the back? I might can find some stamp at Staples or Office Depot that I can use on the back (You know, like those stamps elementary school teachers use to stamp "Good Job" or "Good Work!" on papers? I never saw too many of those on my papers :( )

I dont have to work tomorrow, and I think I have the house clean for christmas, so I might actually have time to scour apug and google for answers tomorrow, unless I find something that needs cleaning or fixin', which is very possible around here. :D

thanks in advance :)

MattKing
12-21-2010, 12:47 PM
Generally I use regular RC paper (trimmed to size where required) and stick address labels on the back.

I use the address labels that are designed to go through a computer printer (Avery brand or a competitor). One label includes the addressing information, while one or two other labels includes any other information I might decide to include. I prepare my labels on the computer, but for those who prefer to hand write them, you can always stick the labels on blank, and then write on them.

I have seen postcards on fibre paper, but they are a bit less durable.

I think I have an extra card or two from the most recent exchange - pm your address to me and I'll invest 28 cents in a US stamp and send you one :).

EDIT: as you are in the US, you will want to pay close attention to the USPS specifications for postcard size, in order to take advantage of their very favourable pricing. IIRC, a 4x5 card is too small, and a 5x7 card is too big. 4x6 is just right. I certainly have received cards that consist of a contact print from a 4x5 negative on a 4x6 card.

Christopher Walrath
12-21-2010, 02:50 PM
Cards up to 4.25x6.25 are .28 domestically. Above that are .44 each. Last year Canada was .75 each and across the pond was .99 each. All the info is on www.usps.com. I always printed on RC paper and hand wrote on the back and mailed like that.

paul_c5x4
12-21-2010, 03:35 PM
I've done 4x5 contact prints on various sizes of paper, and have received prints on oddball sized paper (including on cyanotype). Just because Ilford only does one size of postcard paper does not mean you have to use it.

Existing Light
12-22-2010, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the info, guys. That gives me something to think about. Hopefully I'll be able to join in on the postcard fun soon :)



Edit:
Just checked the USPS site, and it says the minimum size for a postcard is 5x3.5, so I could make 4x5 postcards if I just wanted to. 6x4.25 is the biggest size, though, so no 5x7 postcards without paying more postage, but I probably wont ever send out enough at a time for the difference in cost to be a problem.

I'll sit around and think about it for a while. I'm trying to use this as an excuse to get a 4x5 or 5x7 camera. I doubt a few rounds of postcard exchanges is going to be a valid excuse for she who must be obeyed, though :)

Christopher Walrath
12-22-2010, 11:37 AM
Offer to do some boudoir portraiture and let here know that the look would be perfect with this camera. Besides, point out that you would be happy. And when you're happy, she's happy. And when she's happy, everyone is happy.

Nope, doesn't really work for me either.

rst
12-22-2010, 11:46 AM
Not that you should tell her, who must be obeyed, but you can make postcards from 35mm enlargements ;)

But anyway, the next round of total fun opens January 2011, so don't say you did not know ...

Cheers
Ruediger

Existing Light
12-22-2010, 12:05 PM
Not that you should tell her, who must be obeyed, but you can make postcards from 35mm enlargements ;)

But anyway, the next round of total fun opens January 2011, so don't say you did not know ...

Cheers
Ruediger

I know I can make enlargements from 35mm negs, and the format fits the 4x6 ilford paper perfectly. I guess I'm in the mood to do some LF photography that doesnt involve a box with a pinhole in it, and the postcard exchange seems quite fun, so I'm trying to bring the two together :)

rst
12-22-2010, 12:20 PM
Good! Then welcome to a new postcarder.

Cheers
Ruediger

Rob Skeoch
12-26-2010, 12:35 PM
I just mailed my postcards out. I took 11x14 paper and cut it into 5.5 x 7 pieces and made my prints. The post office didn't mention if they were too large or not. They cost me the regular letter amount of $1.00 to the USA and $1.70 International. Canada hasn't had a cheaper Post Card rate for decades.

-Rob

Existing Light
12-26-2010, 01:29 PM
Thanks Rob. I'm looking at a 5x7 camera on that auction site, so it might be 5x7 for me after all. I may do a search here for that particular brand to see if it fits my needs. MAybe i'll have a good New Year's present

Roger Thoms
12-29-2010, 09:32 PM
I just mailed my postcards out. I took 11x14 paper and cut it into 5.5 x 7 pieces and made my prints. The post office didn't mention if they were too large or not. They cost me the regular letter amount of $1.00 to the USA and $1.70 International. Canada hasn't had a cheaper Post Card rate for decades.

-Rob

Rob - I received your card yesterday so must be within regulations. Very nice paper btw and a great image for the paper.

Roger

MattKing
12-29-2010, 11:52 PM
I just mailed my postcards out. I took 11x14 paper and cut it into 5.5 x 7 pieces and made my prints. The post office didn't mention if they were too large or not. They cost me the regular letter amount of $1.00 to the USA and $1.70 International. Canada hasn't had a cheaper Post Card rate for decades.

-Rob

Rob:

You were lucky. The Canada Post specifications for postcards indicate a maximum size of 9.2 x 4.7 inches, so the 5.5 inch dimension ought to have resulted in a rejection.

I've used 5x7 paper in the past and just trimmed slightly.

Rom
09-01-2011, 05:29 AM
I have seen postcards on fibre paper, but they are a bit less durable.


Dear MattKing,

Why do you say that FB are a bit less durable ?

Was thinking to participate at the round 24 but i have only FB on stock for the next months.

Thanks for your explanation as i am a newbie in a postcard exchange.

All the best

Rom

ozphoto
09-01-2011, 07:53 AM
I actually like getting FB through the mail. Not sure if I'd use the words "less durable", but most of mine have come through relatively well. Postcards will have dings and dents - all part of the process I guess and part of the quirks associated with the PE. Sure a FB might have the corners a little more dog eared sometimes, but I've received regular postcards in worse shape than some of the FB prints I've received. :D

Guess it all comes down to the carrier you use, the time of the year, who delivers it and whether there are 31 days in the month it arrives (or maybe that you post it?) ;)

rst
09-01-2011, 08:22 AM
Getting postcards that look a bit worn out is part of the deal in the postcard exchange. After all, it is postcards. I can only speak about my experience, but I do not see that FB postcards arrive more worn out as postcards printed on RC paper. I myself switched to FB paper because I think writing on them is nicer.

Cheers
Ruediger

MattKing
09-01-2011, 12:48 PM
Dear MattKing,

Why do you say that FB are a bit less durable ?

Was thinking to participate at the round 24 but i have only FB on stock for the next months.

Thanks for your explanation as i am a newbie in a postcard exchange.

All the best

Rom

I probably should have said something like "less rugged" :).

RC is less likely to arrive torn, but I'll agree that I've certainly received a fair number of FB cards in great shape. I would think though that the old style single weight papers should be avoided.