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  1. #11
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Plexiglass should be OK for contacts, but it will show any imperfections on the prints, whereas glass tends to be optically much cleaner. I use a bit of ordinary glass for contacts - it's tougher than you think! If you are worried, you could always get a bit of toughened from the local glass supplier.

  2. #12

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    The only piece of glass that was big enough was from a picture frame, pretty thin stuff.

  3. #13
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    Can't offer any suggestions, but as a fellow newb, just wanted to say I'm walking the same path with you and loving every minute of it!

    Looking forward to comparing notes as we go.

  4. #14

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    Good to know that there is another new guy in the darkoom.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackesch View Post
    Here's another new guy question. Bare with.

    For contact prints, would using polycarb plastic or plexiglass be ok instead of glass? I used a glass sheet yesterday and was nervous of breaking it.
    Glass is nice as it resists scratches much better than plastics, and its weight helps to keep good contact. I find that a piece of 1/4" glass is a nice thickness. Ask the glass shop to sand the edges (you may not find this service at hardware stores) -- sanding reduces the chance of the glass breaking and makes it much easier to handle.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  6. #16
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    A consistent developing time and temp is important. I use fresh or well replenished LPD normally at 70ish degrees for 1-1/2 minutes and it works just fine with most all my papers.

    If you watch the print in the tray you get to see the image pop from blank to visible as development crosses a rough low threshold, it isn't "done to completion" there though. Somewhere after you reach that low threshold, which might be at 30 or 60 seconds or whatever, you will pull the print and stop development. Development can be allowed to continue out through 6 minutes or more if you please.

    Longer development times mean you will probably need to reduce exposure, and vice versa.

    Adams watched the print come up and applied a mathematic "factor" to adjust that specific print's time in the soup on the fly. This factor corrected for changes in developer strength/exhaustion, minor exposure differences, and temp changes. Read "The Print" for more info.

    I normally use a JOBO so I can't see the print come up, that means I need to care for my chemicals differently than Adams and mind my temps and times more closely.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by zackesch View Post
    The only piece of glass that was big enough was from a picture frame, pretty thin stuff.
    Glass shop. Ask for double weight and sand sharp corners.

    Plexiglass works but marks easily.

    contact strips are made at 8x . 8x10 prints will be around the same exposure 5 or 10 % less for no glass.

    5x7 are one stop less, 4x5 are 2 stops less, 11x14 are one stop more. Go by enlarger height , not by cropped picture size if you crop.

    If you are using exposures that short, then film development is not giving you enough contrast, ie whites in print are grey, or the safelight is fogging paper which dulls the highlights. Just move the safelight away to start. It may also be the wrong kind of safelight for the paper.

    you want to print to get detail in the whites, then look at the darks. If they are grey, then the neg has too much contrast. If they are way black, then the neg needs more contrast, develop longer. Develope RC a full 60/90 sec, fiber 2/3 min. If you jerk it out too soon because it getting too black, then it is overexposed.

    Quit printing in bursts of light. There is no advantage.

  8. #18

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    Proof sheets

    Get your self a proof sheet maker. They are easy to use and inexpensive. They are glass plates, hinged to a frame that has a foam base on it. Put your paper emulsion up put the negatives shiny side up, pointing at the light source and lower the glass. Done deal. You can either lay the negs down 1 by 1 on the felt, or be lazy like me and just leave them in the negative sleeve. Works well. Don

  9. #19

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    Plexi is also more dust-prone than glass.

  10. #20
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    zackesch,

    I've been in your boat... Still have the picture frame I used to take apart to do contact prints... The picture frame is hanging by the front door with the same print in it... But no glass because the glass broke long time ago.

    It's fragile but if you are like me it won't break while you are using it, it'll break when you put it away.


    For a nice touch, a little masking tape on the edges will save your fingers.

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