Just wanted to gather some thoughts from the more wxperienced members here about 5X7 contact prints. I originally bought the camera for this purpose and to use specifically with the now defunct POP from chicago Albumen Works. But like regualr paper also. So what does everyone think?h
Well, I think you should go ahead and find yourself a regular paper if you want. Otherwise if you want the alt process stuff, try something like albumen printing. I use a 5x7" and I really like the size. I do the prints on regular 8x10" paper. The only contact print I have up in the gallery was made on Kentona. Really nice paper but I had trouble with yellowing and flaking of the emulsion and for some reason it didn't stand any reasonable amount of washing (less than 30 min total time in water from start to final wash) so I gave it up. I've had better success with Ilford papers. But try a few papers and see what it's like. You might be hooked. :)
5x7 is my most used format and I contact print on Lodima, which I'm almost out of now. Personally my nicest images are contact prints, on Azo or Lodima.
a 5x7 contact print on 11x14 paper looks *very* nice.
the ones i have made were on regular graded or vc paper.
i wish azo or lodima came in that size,
i hate cutting paper and film down to size ..
I really like the proportions of the 5x7 print. I have contact printed on regular enlarging paper as well as cyanotype, Van Dyke, platinum, gum and salt prints. The only way to find out which method suits you is to try them. Apart from the platinum, most are not expensive, (relative term, of course).
Cyanotype is probably the best to start. It's pretty easy and if you decide that you don't like blue, you can always tone it. ("How to" article on this very site.)
Another vote for 5x7 as a wonderful contact printing size. It also makes for a reasonably compact traveling camera. I took mine to Argentina with me and came back with some great stuff. You can also double and triple up to make diptychs and panoramics. Since I started shooting larger format negatives, I've gone over almost exclusively to platinum/palladium printing. Once you get your method down, doing pt/pd is not really that much more expensive, since you don't burn/dodge with it. Usually the first print is a good working print, and often is also the final print.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
5x7 is a perfect trade off between decent contact print size and portability. I would love an 8x10 system as well, but it's alot of additional $ for everything, so I would pick 5x7 over 8x10 for my purposes. I decided to skip 8x10 and put the money toward a 5x7 enlarger and eventually an Epson 3800 for diginegs for contact printing on Lodima and Ziatype. I feel the trade off in quality will probably be very low when enlarging a 5x7 to 8x10/ 8x11. It won't be apparent at all in Ziatype and most other alt pros.
I'll add another bit of fish food for thought - if you can find a camera, and more importantly, film holders, in whole plate (6.5 x 8.5), this is about the perfect size - contact prints beautifully on 8x10 paper, is enough bigger than 5x7 that you notice it in the prints, but not so much bigger that you notice it in the camera.
Just go straight to 8x10 and get a reducing back, it'll save you time and you'll have the best of both formats.
But 8x10 cameras are just so much bulkier. That's part of the beauty of the format- reasonable image size with substantial portability.