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  1. #1

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    RA-4 colour contact prints from roll film

    What experiences do APUGers have of making contact prints from colour negatives onto RA-4 paper? Positioning negatives by feel in the dark on the paper is almost impossible without overlapping film strips. I understand Paterson sell their contact proofing frames with guides for either 120 or 135 format film but I've not seen one of these units up close.

    Tom

  2. #2

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    Paterson frames are ok. Another possibility is to use transparent film archival pages like "clearFile" or "Printfile" and make the contacts through them.

  3. #3

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    I use the 'Printfile' products, however when I have tried printing through the sleeves before the results have been variable in terms of image quality. Does the film stay in position with the Paterson frames, so that the unit can be used in total darkness conditions once the film is loaded into the frame?

    Tom

  4. #4

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    I have used the Paterson frame for 120 format film. The film stays in place if it is flat. Curled film will be a problem.
    If you get a used one, make sure that the foam in the base is ok. It degrades over time.

  5. #5

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    I use the Paterson frame also (35mm) for colour contact sheets. Curly film only sticks out on one side as the other is held in by the frame. So, I place the paper in by moving it slightly into the curl which helps to flatten it (not sure if that makes sense). After a few goes, it's just as easy in total darkness as it is under a safe light for B&W.

  6. #6

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    I use a really dim safe light for contact printing. I can barely see the negative strip and paper, but enough to see if there is an overlap.

  7. #7

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    Tom You don't need to do it in the dark. The DUKA 10 or 50 will give quite a bright enough safe light to enable you to contact print with clear files and a sheet of glass. Alternatively the Paterson frame either 120 or 35mm will allow you to place a piece of paper into it in the total darkness to cover the negs. You might want to practice the maneouvre a couple of times first.

    There are other safelights using LEDs which will also give enough light as well, as I understand it.

    pentaxuser

  8. #8
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I have a German Hansa contact printing frame. It is primarily designed for 135 film and allows you to clip film strips of 6 frames between a forked tongue prong at either end.

    I purchased this as the centre glass is completely clear of anything, meaning I can use any other format, which I do.

    As 135 film is my bread and butter, it was important that the unit be really fast and accurate with that format.

    When using 120 film I cut into appropriate lengths and use removable magic tape to hold the film on the glass. The same goes for 4x5 film and 8x10 film. So you can see it is very versatile.

    I contact all of my colour films, otherwise I don't have a ready and accurate reference when printing.

    If in a position where I don't have a professional contact frame, then I use glass with this method.

    Tape a big L down one long side and an adjoining short side using a cloth or duct tape type of product, this is your alignment for the paper in the dark.

    Next, tape the film to the glass using removable magic tape, removable is the operative word in the operation here. From here it is a simple thing to align a sheet of paper in the dark, turn it over and place it either on some dark foam, or layers of dark cloth.

    The Paterson contact frame thingys are quite alright, but they (in 135 format anyway) require you to slide your film under a hard plastic holder. Apart from the fact that your film really gets some vicious handling when things get hot and sticky, they cannot be used for anything else except for the chosen format.

    Paterson make 120 ones as well, I have one or two, but I haven't used those in about a decade. Whereas the Hansa was purchased about 35 or more years ago, and more or less, is the only contact frame I use.

    Mick.

  9. #9
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Printfile makes negative sleeves that are designed to hold both the film and a contact sheet. I don't use them for that...but I do use them to obtain perfectly-aligned proofsheets! Just slip your unexposed paper into the large sleeve designed to hold the proofsheet, so that the emulsion side of the paper faces the emulsion side of the film strips. Place on the baseboard, put a piece of glass over it, and turn on your enlarger! It is one of the coolest printing tricks I have ever discovered. Saves soooooo much aggravation (and materials, even).
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #10
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    two eff, that is a neat idea, hadn't thought of that, nor have I seen that.

    Always something to learn.

    Mick.

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