Iím looking for a very special 8 x 10 contact printer.
Hereís the set up. Itís a wooden box that is about 11 x 14 x10. Itís made especially for contact printing 8x 10 negs. Itís different in a couple of ways. First, there are about 8 Ė 10 bulbs. Iím not even sure of their wattages. They are arranged equal distances from each other. Each light has itís own dimmer switch. Also, each light bulb can be moved up or down. This was quite a printer. Finally, for the greatest control, we used the separation sheets in Kodak dry mounting tissue to gain the ability to perform dodge and burn functions. We tore the tissue into odd pieces and laid them over the areas that needed special attention. The stacking order was: ground glass, tissue, negative, and printing paper. I donít think Kodak is using this separation tissue in their dry mount tissue anymore.
I interned with Maurice Seymour in Chicago. This is how I learned to print on this kind of printer. Maurice did spectacular vivid B/W theatrical portraiture. Mostly head shots! We used a Deardorf with a brass lens. Lighting was all stage incandescent.
Does anyone know who the manufacture is or was? Would this be hard to build?
I could go on and on. Email me if you have any questions. I wanted to keep my post short.
Please email me if you own a printer like this or know of someone that has one.
I think these were made by Arkay. I used one in my high school darkroom.
Some of the later ones were really sophisticated, with over 20 lamps and a timer that could be set in 10ths of a second.
They come up pretty regularly on eBay, but also check old camera shops, where they can often be had for peanuts.
Here's exactly what you're looking for and available on ebay Chazz:
The printer was indeed made by Omega/Arkay but do you really want to use such a beast??? There are issues with burning and dodging with such a printer (under/over coverage). I don't know of anyone using these printers for contacts but I do know a lot who use the plain wooden-hinged frames with a single bulb - far better control. As for buiding one, I reallly wouldn't waste my time as these can be had fairly cheaply.
Anyhow, good luck with it if you do choose to go that route.
I have seen these up for sale occasionally, but I use a lightbulb and 2 pieces of glass instead. Question.... wouldn't this sort of multi-bulb printer be pretty easy to build yourself? Then you could make it any size you want. You could wire in a separate micro switch for each bulb, and run the main power cord into any regular GraLab type timer.
Thanks a million for the leads!
Let me clarify: We contact printed all of your finished prints. We used 8 10 film. Made contacts with red paper. Once the print was selected we went to work getting the contrast density and tonal range on the printer. Weíd print from 100 Ė 500 prints.
The quality was superb and could not be equaled by any other technique. Prints were beyond sharp. Tonal range could not be expressed in words. BTW: we never used an enlarger. Funny thing we had three 8 10 enlargers.
I want to do some 8 10 pinhole photograph and then contact print the images. I like some of the Old World techniques.
Thanks again for the information. Very helpful
I've heard of these. Very cool if you need a high degree of control. Although as far as I can tell they have gone the way of the dodo. Which is sad in a way.
I know a guy in Hollyweird that has one. He uses it for contact proofing for his darkroom customers. He says he cannot make a profit if he did not have that machine and an Ilford RC processor. Wooden frame and glass works for my simple needs.
When I was a senior in HS (1968) I worked for an aerial survey company as a photo lab technician. We had the largest copy camera in the world. But we also had a contact printer of the type you describe. I used it many times. The shipping lady that had been there since the 30s or 40s knew the contact printer inside and out. It was her favorite piece of equipment in the shop.
The printer had a glass on top (where one placed the print paper) and on top of that was mounted a flap of heavy canvas. Mounted to the heavy flap of canvas was about 10 heavy cast iron bars, similar to gold ingots in size ( about 30 lbs). This was to weigh the cover down over the print paper so the image could lay down on an even field. There was a rheostat for bulb intensity and the bulbs were mounted in a universal ball fixture so they could be moved in two dimentions, also the bulbs had the capability of moving up and down which made for a three dimentional way to move the bulbs. One would move the black neoprene curtain in front aside and manipulate the nine or ten bulbs height and location. And yes, I do remember the name of the unit...MacIntosh. A MacIntosh contact printer!
Well I don't know where you can get such a printer, but eventually you will be needing contact printing paper and the only type still available is Azo. It comes Grade 2 and Grade 3 and soon we'll be the only ones to carry Grade 3. Hope you will consider getting your paper from us and helping keep this last of the contact printing papers alive.
Michael A. Smith
www.michaelandpaula.com. Look under "Azo."