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  1. #41

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    I've used VC RC paper as pinholes and in my experience they benefit from taping a multigrade filter behind the pinhole to reduce contrast, however it still works fine without it. For your project I'd be inclined to get a box of 100 of whatever's the cheapest RC paper (VC or graded.. if graded make it G2 rather than G3) as you're not going to have the time or filters to start playing with that aspect anyway.

    For handmade pinholes, you need to test/measure the hole size and use the focal length of your camera to work out the working aperture to calculate exposure times for the slow (roughly ISO4) paper. You might get 15sec exposures with film, but paper will be more like 2-3minutes, maybe longer depending on light (of course!). I measure my pinholes by projecting them in my enlarger and measuring then calculating based on enlargement factor, but you can do something similar by scanning them on a flatbed scanner and doing some pixel measuring and math. Alternatively, test them in the field, although if you're using different containers as the 'camera', each combo to be used will need testing.

    Other random thoughts...

    Get a safelight so the kids can watch the developing... that's a definite 'wow' part of the process.
    You can develop multiple sheets at once, just keep them moving in the developer (and stop, fix & wash)
    An un-filtered VC paper is generally approx 2->2.5 grade equivalent
    Paper comes in different surfaces (usually gloss levels). I've always used a low sheen (Ilford Satin or Pearl, Agfa Semi-matt), not sure if that's a recommendation or maybe someone will suggest to use 'Gloss' for some reason. I personally don't like gloss for anything so maybe I'm biased

  2. #42

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    Hi Michael,

    PM me your home address and I will send the ILFORD Multigrade printing manual, it should help and is easy to follow, the principal is the same no matter who's Variable Contract Paper you are using.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Buy the cheapest RC VC Gloss that you can get enough of; personally I would suggest the 100x5x7 Arista.EDU unless the shipping makes another brand cheaper. They are all excellent quality with no risks attaching to any of them. Kentmere has a speed advantage but it's not necessary. Use red LEDs for the safelight and it will be fine for all the brands. Don't buy FB (it's harder to process), don't buy graded (no greens!), get Gloss finish because it will contact-print the cleanest.

    You don't strictly need filters. Filters are intended for darkroom printing when deciding how to interpret a negative onto the print, they allow you to adjust contrast. Exposing the paper directly to scene light is a bit of an abuse and will result in wonky contrasts but there's basically nothing you can do about it with this cheap approach so ignore it. If you want to avoid that problem, use film because that's what's designed to capture a scene.

    If your prints have too much contrast (very likely), use a yellowish filter under the lightbulb when making the prints from the negatives. If your friend has a set of Multigrade filters, try to borrow the #0 filter. You can also try using a yellowish filter in front of the pin-hole to reduce contrast a bit. Consider it advanced technique for trying once you've had a few successes.
    Hey Polyglot!

    Thanks so much for your time and the extremely valuable info you have given me. I would buy the Arista.EDU, but other freestyle supplies are not as cheap as B&H and so I will probably buy from Oriental: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Glossy.html or Ilford, which is obviously a great brand. I am considering buying 25 8x10 and cutting them into 100 4x5. Thoughts? And would gloss be the best for contact printing other than something like pearl?

    I dont want to use film b/c it is too technical/expensive + I really want the kids to understand the photographic process and film might be too abstract/ out there for them to fully grasp the concept also like I've said before the Image doesn't have to be AMAZING, just good enough for the kids to realize that a good photographic CAN be taken in an easy and makeable way without having to use some extremely techy device where all you do is press a button and a photo is "magically" recorded. However, any more tips to produce the best possible photo with the method of contact paper printing would be helpful. Would the filter idea be the best?

    My friend got back to me on his photo supplies and unfortunately he didn't have a red safelight( or developing trays(the two things I really needed). Is there any place on here where I can post to find out if someone who lives in my area would let me borrow some of their photo stuff? My friend said "I have an enlarger, filters and a couple of lenses. I have a timer (for the enlarger) and a 35mm developing tank. I have a couple of clips to hang film to dry and an easel." Would any of this be helpful in the project. I can send you a photo if you want.

    I plan on editing the original process I first posted with all the new information I have gathered. It would be great if you or any others would review the process once I have it posted to check for any flaws and add suggestions. Thanks again!

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R Galley View Post
    Hi Michael,

    PM me your home address and I will send the ILFORD Multigrade printing manual, it should help and is easy to follow, the principal is the same no matter who's Variable Contract Paper you are using.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
    Could I get the same information here: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=25

  5. #45

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    if you can affoard it, 5x7 paper will make nicer images to view/hold than 4x5.

    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    However, any more tips to produce the best possible photo with the method of contact paper printing would be helpful. Would the filter idea be the best?
    For a pinhole, getting the right sized pinhole for the desired focal length is important to getting recognisable pictures. Try playing with this to see how the ideal pinhole size will vary with focal length and 'neg' size.

    My friend said "I have an enlarger, filters and a couple of lenses. I have a timer (for the enlarger) and a 35mm developing tank. I have a couple of clips to hang film to dry and an easel." Would any of this be helpful in the project.
    the enlarger/timer (assuming it has a lens and working globe) would be handy for making the contact prints of your paper negatives.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    Hey Polyglot!

    Thanks so much for your time and the extremely valuable info you have given me. I would buy the Arista.EDU, but other freestyle supplies are not as cheap as B&H and so I will probably buy from Oriental: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Glossy.html or Ilford, which is obviously a great brand. I am considering buying 25 8x10 and cutting them into 100 4x5. Thoughts? And would gloss be the best for contact printing other than something like pearl?
    The Oriental would be fine I'm sure. If you must buy 8x10 and cut it, you probably want to use a guillotine or rotary trimmer with a fence/guide because anything scissor-cut is going to be annoyingly uneven and hard to fit into your cameras. It might also be better to cut it to 50 sheets of 5x8", if only to reduce your work by half! And don't cut all the paper at once; you don't want to discover that your darkroom was insufficiently dark and that you've ruined the whole pack, so pull a couple sheets out, cut and expose them. Then repeat, cutting paper as you require it.

    Gloss will give the cleanest result. You may get a slight texture from the lustre surface during contact printing but that's not necessarily a bad thing and it might be quite appealing. It might also make the prints look grainier and/or sharper, depending on where your contact-print light is placed and whether it's diffused.

    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    I dont want to use film b/c it is too technical/expensive + I really want the kids to understand the photographic process and film might be too abstract/ out there for them to fully grasp the concept also like I've said before the Image doesn't have to be AMAZING, just good enough for the kids to realize that a good photographic CAN be taken in an easy and makeable way without having to use some extremely techy device where all you do is press a button and a photo is "magically" recorded. However, any more tips to produce the best possible photo with the method of contact paper printing would be helpful. Would the filter idea be the best?
    Film isn't any more abstract than a paper negative, they're both negative images on a support. The film is clear and has better performance for image capture whereas paper has a bunch of additional complications (the contrast control), though I agree on price. If you talk to people here or on LFPF, you might be able to score a small quantity of cheap green X-Ray film if someone living near you has it spare (it's about $40 for 100 sheets of 8x10, you would probably do fine with 20 sheets of 5x8" therefore 10 sheets of 8x10" for about $5). I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a small donation to play with as there are plenty of people keen to get kids involved.

    I'd donate you some film but the postage from Australia makes it quite uneconomical and I don't have anything orthochromatic.

    Quote Originally Posted by clothesontheline View Post
    My friend got back to me on his photo supplies and unfortunately he didn't have a red safelight( or developing trays(the two things I really needed). Is there any place on here where I can post to find out if someone who lives in my area would let me borrow some of their photo stuff? My friend said "I have an enlarger, filters and a couple of lenses. I have a timer (for the enlarger) and a 35mm developing tank. I have a couple of clips to hang film to dry and an easel." Would any of this be helpful in the project. I can send you a photo if you want.
    Yes, borrow his filters. Try using the #0 filter for making the exposure and when contact printing. Borrow the enlarger timer and use that to get consistent times when making the contact prints. The easel might be useful for contact printing, but a slab of glass will be far better.

    Use old icecream tubs or plastic buckets for trays. I refuse to believe you can't scrounge an old red-LED bike taillight either.

  7. #47
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    In fact, you could do the whole thing using X-ray film instead of paper. Follow the exact same process and you will end up with positive images on plastic instead of paper, i.e. transparencies. The "white" bits might not be very clear though.

  8. #48

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    No you can't, although there is a huge amount of information available, the book is better as you can refer to it when working, I'll send a few extra for the kids if they want to read up after doing the prints with you.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited

  9. #49
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    Dear clothesontheline
    maybe you should consider doing lumen prints(aka sun prints). All you need is expired paper, a piece of plexi to hold it down, and a few items to lay between the paper and plexi(kids choice). Just expose in the sun for anywhere from a few short minutes to several hours. A gentle wash in water, no chems needed, and let dry to finish. If this sounds more interresting (and much easier), contact me and I will donate a large box of paper to your cause. BTW, you can visit the "lumens" group here to see some fantastic results.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Dear clothesontheline
    maybe you should consider doing lumen prints(aka sun prints). All you need is expired paper, a piece of plexi to hold it down, and a few items to lay between the paper and plexi(kids choice). Just expose in the sun for anywhere from a few short minutes to several hours. A gentle wash in water, no chems needed, and let dry to finish. If this sounds more interresting (and much easier), contact me and I will donate a large box of paper to your cause. BTW, you can visit the "lumens" group here to see some fantastic results.
    Hey Rick,

    Thanks for the recommendation! I think I'm going to stick with paper negatives from pinholes, but I think this would be great too, especially if there is some time to fill in during camp and the kids could continue to learn about light and sensitivity. If you want to donate some expired paper to the art camp for sun prints, it would be appreciated! Can you give me a little more in-depth process as to how it works, the steps, and what I need? Also, would regular glass work or do I need plexi? I'll message you some contact info if you still seem interested/ willing to donate.



 

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