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Thread: Neg carrier

  1. #31

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    You gotta be kidding, Thomas? Ever own even an old ordinary Ektagraphic slide projector? They made different lenses for slides sandwiched in glass mounts than for ordinary unsupported mounts
    because the film always popped with the heat. You let the rig heat up first to get things popping the correct way. Of course, everyone knew that if you wanted a crisp auditorium image rather than
    the kind of vacation shots Aunt Maud showed on her kitchen wall, you always mounted them in glass. Was that a different kind of film??? Maybe a cold light is a little "colder" than a halogen bulb,
    but in principle it's just a matter of time.

  2. #32

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    Spotting the hell outa the print? Do you always have a pillow fight in the darkroom before each printing session? ... Actually a glass carrier reduces spotting if correctly used. Here's how ... you
    very precisely align everything, use the lens at an optimized fairly wide aperture, and focus only on
    the emulsion itself. Also helps to have a longer than "normal" lens relative to format for shallow depth of field. That way minor bit of whatever even on the backside of the film, and on the glass itself don't come into sharp focus. (Yeah, I always used diffused sources)... Since I do a lot of masking for color work, life would be utter hell otherwise. But there are a lot of other tricks to working clean too...

  3. #33
    cliveh's Avatar
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    As mentioned when starting this thread, I’m with the glassless camp. For me simplicity is king and as Thomas points out he can’t see a difference in prints up to 11 X 14. I print both 35mm and 6cm X 6cm in a glassless carrier. The less air to glass surfaces the better. The comparison with slide projection does not hold up as the lamp is usually on for a much longer time generating more heat and as for popping, how long do you have the enlarger on? Surely the picture is more important than micro science considerations.
    Last edited by cliveh; 03-21-2012 at 04:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

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  4. #34
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Spotting the hell outa the print? Do you always have a pillow fight in the darkroom before each printing session? ... Actually a glass carrier reduces spotting if correctly used. Here's how ... you
    very precisely align everything, use the lens at an optimized fairly wide aperture, and focus only on
    the emulsion itself. Also helps to have a longer than "normal" lens relative to format for shallow depth of field. That way minor bit of whatever even on the backside of the film, and on the glass itself don't come into sharp focus. (Yeah, I always used diffused sources)... Since I do a lot of masking for color work, life would be utter hell otherwise. But there are a lot of other tricks to working clean too...
    The darkroom I can afford is in my basement, which is an entirely open floor plan. Concrete floors, stone walls, and rafters with floor boards so low that I bang my head if I stand up straight. Before you ask, no I can't afford to wall it in. I can't even afford to fix the broken Leitz enlarger I have, and am using a friend's spare unit for now. There are cats running around, and there's nothing I can do about it. If you ever wanted to know what a tight budget is, have a look in my wallet.

    Negs are kept in archival dust free clam shell folders. Negs are not the problem and are squeaky clean. It's the neg holder itself. Whether I use one that looks perfectly clean for either the Omega or the Leitz, I get dust, no matter what I do. Do you honestly believe that I haven't tried to clean them out? I may be poor, but I'm not an idiot. I have used Windex with a little bit of alcohol in it to remove static. I use compressed air and lint free cloths. I use camel hair brushes and I use anti-static brushes. Just about the only thing I haven't tried is an anti-static gun, but I can't afford one.

    So, back to glass or not glass. I like the added sharpness I get from my Omega when I use the glass carrier. I use a Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm lens, usually at f/5.6 to f/11 (1-3 stops from wide open, depending on the neg). The spotting sucks, but it's worth it, in my opinion.
    With the Leitz, I just don't feel like looking at my print through a magnifying glass, so I just print without glass. It's good enough for the sizes I print up to 11x14. If I print 16x20 (largest I can print in my darkroom), I use the glass carrier, because the quality difference becomes apparent to the naked eye.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #35

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    Actually, Thomas brings up very good points. Most likely the kind of enlarger and the negative holder you use makes a lot of difference on whether glass carrier is worthwhile. And if you print relatively small with short exposure times, it likely does not matter what you use. Why spend time on cleaning a glass negative if all you want is a fast 8x10 print? But if you decide to print 30x40 inch print, negative pop becomes a real problem. This is becoming a quite a lively discussion

    Speaking of pillows - my darkroom used to be a place where we raised our chickens. Talk about permanent dust cloud I always keep my glass negatives in ziplock bags.

  6. #36
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    As mentioned when starting this thread, I’m with the glassless camp. For me simplicity is king and as Thomas points out he can’t see a difference in prints up to 11 X 14. I print both 35mm and 6cm X 6cm in a glassless carrier. The less air to glass surfaces the better. The comparison with slide projection does not hold up as the lamp is usually on for a much longer time generating more heat and as for popping, how long do you have the enlarger on? Surely the picture is more important than micro science considerations.
    Well if none of the details are important, why care about the amount of air-to-glass surfaces?
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  7. #37
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    Well if none of the details are important, why care about the amount of air-to-glass surfaces?
    Good point, but I did not mean details that ditract from the final image such as dust.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #38

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    Of course, it just depends on one's objective. If you just want to have some fun, whatever. If you're serious about optimizing the output per quality and have the time and budget to do it, there are all kinds of advanced options. This includes many potential varieties of glass to put in a carrier, which specifically addresses the remark about air/glass interfaces. But if you've got precise film plane focus at I outlined, you've won half the battle already. I personally put the same fuss into a small enlargement as a big one. Bigger film wins every time
    because any specks of dust get enlarged much less. But I know all about cats ... they take over everything,
    that is, except the darkroom. But before I go in there I blow off any cat hairs etc completely, scrub down as
    needed, and when cleaning film or loading carriers, wear a true 100% dacron cleanroom smock. One of the best
    investments I ever made.

  9. #39
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    But before I go in there I blow off any cat hairs etc completely, scrub down as
    needed, and when cleaning film or loading carriers, wear a true 100% dacron cleanroom smock. One of the best
    investments I ever made.
    I take it you are joking.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #40

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    Not joking at all. We love cats, but my darkrooms are in a different building. The film itself is handled in a true cleanroom. A single cat hair could cost me a hundred bucks in a spoiled sheet of paper, esp
    if it's the last of my Cibachrome, or ruin a once-in-a-lifetime shot if it got into an 8X10 holder with
    color film. When I do critical work in that room it is totally sponged down, ceiling to floor - with a
    real clenroom sponge, which doesn't leave stuff behind like a supermarket sponge. I've come thru the
    school of hard knocks in this respect, so ain't bluffing. But when my older brother was alive and made
    his living as a pro, all he had was a darkroom in a spare bathroom in a barn, and still he made a lot
    of money from it. The color work handled by a stock agency, so he never printed color himself. I could make a joke or two about a couple of well know experts in the field who have similarly primitive
    digs. My own first one-man show of color was printed in a bedroom with a shag carpet and dev in a
    bathroom - but it's sooooo much easier now!

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