Really? No Sticky?
I find it amazing that there isnt a sticky here on how to make contact prints. I'd like to get started doing this but the questions I need to ask probably have been asked a billion times. Am I missing the repository of basic information on contact printing?
Contact printing can be very simple or more complex depending on the route - materials and process - chosen, so there's not an article that covers all options here on APUG.
Contact printing is the most basic method of printing there is. It was the first method I learned back in the early 60's. My first dark room only had a contact printer that came with my Sears photo processing kit.
There are a lot of questions that have been posted a lot, but if you haven't found what you need to know, there is no harm in asking again.
Contact printing is the most basic print making method, but, at the same time there are a lot of dimensions. For example, are you looking for making proofs, or making prints that are intended to stand on their own? Even though both are done by contact printing, the equipment approaches are different.
So, what is it you'd like to know?
Everything. I have a contact printer for making contacts with dental film but I don't really know how to use it or if it can be used with Tri-X or T-Max which is what i have on hand. I did have a thread on it here http://www.apug.org/forums/forum55/1...ct-prints.html I also have papers to print to, but which ones will work and which ones not so good? This is what i have:
Originally Posted by bdial
1. Oriental Seagull G4 16x20
2. Oriental Seagull G2 16x20
3. Kodak Polycontrast III RC 8x10, 16x20
4. Kodak Polycontrast Rapid II RC 8x10 ("For Contact Sheets" written on this box, not sure why)
5. Kodak Polycontrast Rapid II RC 8x10, 11x14
6. Ilford Multigrade IV FB Fiber 8x10
7. Kodak P-Max Art RC 8x10, 11x14 full box 50 sheets
8. Agfa Broveria Speed 8x10
9. Kodak Polyfiber 11x14
10. Kodak Ektalure 8x10
11. Agfa multicontrast Premium MPC 310 RC 8x10
12. Kodak PolyPrint RC 8x10 unopened 25 sheets
I got the papers from a Pro-tographer that was done with his darkroom. I'm aware that some of these papers the size will not lend themselves well to contact printing but it's what i have on hand.
How long do i expose the negative to the paper for? It appears the contact printer i have has a UV bulb in it. Is that correct for making contact prints with Tri-X and any of the papers I have? I've never printed any of my negatives before and although i have enough equipment to setup my darkroom, it'll still be awhile before I can have it up and running. If i can get this contact printer up and running Io can make some prints. I also have quite a few vintage negatives i would like to print as well.
Sorry about jumping in on another persons thread but i felt these questions may be beneficial to the OP as well.
Trial and success can work for determining length of exposure in a contact printing process. Something like 30 years ago I made contact prints from 4x5 paper negatives with nothing more than a darkened room, B&W chemistry, and a 40 watt incandescent bulb. If I recall correctly, the exposure I started out with was 20 seconds or so with the bulb 4 feet above the paper negative. Doing a test print with various areas of the print receiving different amounts of exposure may make this process more efficient. http://photographytraining.tpub.com/.../14130_222.htm gives an example of how to do test strips and sheets when contact printing and enlarging.
Hope this helps you out, you really don't need lots of equipment to do contact prints of B&W negatives.
The UV bulb in your contact printer is designed for UV sensitive materials - not for the printing papers you have listed.
Those papers might respond to the UV light, but it would be hard to make them behave reliably.
And the UV light itself is potentially dangerous to your eyes.
If the bulb is replaceable with something that emits in the visible spectrum, it would probably be better for you.
The contact printer you have might be of interest to photographers who work with alternative processes (e.g. cyanotypes, Van Dyke brown), where the materials are only really sensitive to UV.
Some of your confusion may arise from the fact that it seems common to refer to what I would call a "contact proofing print" or "contact sheet" as a "contact print". As mentioned above, some people use contact printing to make final, exhibition quality prints (usually from large format negatives). Some of those contact prints are made on specialized paper (eg Azo) which is very slow, and therefore not suited to enlarging.
A lot more use a piece of glass, a light source like a bulb or an enlarger, and sheets of photographic enlarging paper to make "contact sheets" which serve as proofs for one or more negatives - frequently an entire roll of film at a time.
In place of the piece of glass, I use a "Custom Negative Proofer" like this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...m_Proofer.html
I use it with my enlarger as a light source. The combination is quick and simple. Once you determine the exposure (using test strips) for a particular paper, you record the settings on your enlarger (height, focus setting, negative carrier, aperture) and then reset your enlarger to those positions for subsequent contact sheets.
Or if you have something like an enlarging computer (eg Ilford EM10) you can use that and the lens aperture to match light intensities.
Ok. Now it's starting to make some sense. I picked up the contact print box for cheap and figured I'll find a use for it later. Maybe I'll put it up for sale and put the proceeds towards completing the darkroom.