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  1. #1
    yeknom02's Avatar
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    Negative Carrier Grinding

    I have a trusty Beseler 23C and I had heard that a lot of people used to grind out their 35mm negative carriers to allow for full-frame printing. I've seen some HCB prints wherein he shrank the image to allow for wider margins just to avoid a crop. Anyway, I figure that a larger window in the holder, allowing for a full frame, can only be a benefit.

    Has anyone done this before and have advice on how to do it? I'd really love to avoid destroying my only carrier for 35mm, and I'd like to avoid anything that leads to some sort of distortion, or leaving anything that would scratch my negatives.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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  2. #2

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    my Leitz focomat Ic enlarger carrier leaves a black edge most of the time without grinding -- not sure if it's an HCB leftover or what.

    There is a coda -- it only leaves the edge with R-lenses (and Nikon) but with M lenses it only leaves the edge if I use a 50mm lens or wider -- M cameras use lenses that are not a reverse-telescope design, they are 35 mm (or whatever) because the lens is actually physically that close to the film, so the image must be projected more widely to fill the frame at a wider angle, which with wide angle lenses projects under the edge of the back of the camera frame onto the film.

    With my 21 mm Super Angulon lens on my M, the rear element is so close to the film I'm amazed there's room for the shutter -- and the images created by that lens projecting the light so widely onto the film to cover the frame actually touch edges on the film. I've had people tell me my camera was spacing the frames wrong, but no.

    Have you considered just drawing the black edge on?

  3. #3
    yeknom02's Avatar
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    I really don't care about the black edge, other than to ensure that I'm getting the full 24x36mm frame onto the baseboard. The negative carrier cuts a bit of the image off the sides, and it just bugs the crap out of me.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Make a full frame mask out of mat board to see if you like the look before grinding out a carrier. I have a full frame carrier for my Omega Pro Lab and almost never use it, just don't care for the "look". It's a rare occasion that an image works with the black border for me.
    Rick A
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  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    How about a masking a glass carrier to see if you really like or need it?
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  6. #6
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I've filed out my 45MX 35mm carrier. I did it for the full frame and have a "dirty" edge. You can also make your own with some mat board with a cutout. I also use a Saunders bladed easel to mask out the dirty edge sometimes.

  7. #7

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    If you just want a black line and don't want the rough edge look, just pick up an 8055 carrier from Ebay or somewhere.

    If you want to mod your current carrier (I would recommend buying another to work on - 8053 is the number), use a file or dremel tool. Someone recommended at one point using a six inch mill bastard file and sandpaper. After filing the carrier, go from coarse to fine sandpaper. I ended on 600 grit I think, though you could go down finer if you really wanted to. Once finished, I'd put in a scrap piece of film and move it around some to make sure you don't get any scratches.

  8. #8

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    Use a fine tooth file, or some sandpaper, maybe 180 or 220 grit and work slowly. Run the file or sandpaper along the full length of each edge, test it often with a neg you don't care about. Once you get to where you like it, there will likely be a small burr on each edge of the opening, remove this with a couple of light strokes of the sandpaper or file. Or better yet, finish things off with some 400 grit paper. Then blacken the edges with a sharpy or some flat black. Do both sides of the carrier at the same time.

    If you use the sand paper wrap it around something stiff like small block of wood, anything with clean square edges and fairly stiff, or anything at all besides your fingers.

    If you're just trying to get to the edge of the camera's frame you won't need to take off much material. But, note that every camera will be slightly different, so a neg from some other camera may still overlap, or else leave a bigger clear border.

    Most of my carriers were filed by the previous owner, I've found it's close to impossible to get the neg exactly centered in the window so that the gap of clear film is even all the way around. I don't print with the back border anyway so I always masking off a very small portion of the negatives edge, either in the carrier or at the easel, or both.

    If you work carefully it will be hard to truly ruin the carrier, but it will be hard to maintain a perfectly straight edge and perfectly square corners, but getting "close enough" won't be so difficult. If you mask at the easel to the very edge of the negative, any inacccuracies in the carrier window won't really matter.
    Last edited by bdial; 02-14-2012 at 12:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    I made several out of properly thick cardboard and a carpenter knife, used the original carrier to get an outline.
    I've also made one out of a DVD cover, as it is more sturdy, then i fine-tuned this monstrosity with electrical tape

    A true DIY result, but it works!
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    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  10. #10

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    I would suggest finding a second carrier and have a machine shop grind it for you. They would have the right equipment to accurately do the job and usually the charge would be very reasonable. I've had a few custom things done that way and the charges were always less than I expected. Once you grind it you can't put it back to the original.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

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