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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by jarred_mccaffrey View Post
    Has anyone tried wet mounting negatives in a glass carrier for enlarging? As far as I understand, in the *gasp* digital world wet mounting negatives is standard practice for the highest quality scanning. Among many benefits it virtually eliminates dust problems, eliminates newton rings, confirms flat registration of the negative, and leads to a sharper, truer contrast read of the negative probably by somehow reducing spurious and imperfect light reflection/refraction (I think this has something to do with the perfect surfaces created by the mounting fluid and the glass).

    Also, I haven't confirmed yet, but I believe it may slightly change the working density of the negative by swelling the emulsion and thus spreading the grain. This is the same effect that we see in a glistening wet print (which later dries down to something different than what we expected ;-) ). I'm not sure if this is a proportional, linear, or subproportional density change, but it might prove to be a useful tool for the printer's toolbox.

    Anyone tried this? Any thoughts/experiences?
    I havn't tried wetmounting in an enlarger yet, but I'm seriously going to try it out. While not discussing the howto's etc. of scanner wetmounting, the idea is to get the "hang of it" in terms of avoiding bubbles etc. The very same do's and dont's will of course apply to enlarger wet mounting.
    My main reasons for wet mounting for scanner are flatness which give overall sharpness and dust/scratch supression. I will try wetmounting for enlargers for the very same reasons. Part of my decision process is of course the fact that both my enlargers are condensor light enlargers (A Leitz Focomat IIc and a Durst 138S with a 139 bottom) where I like the quality and inherent sharpness of the light, but I know better things to do with my time than retouching. I've tried several cold-light enlargers, where size does matter. I.e. cold-light is OK for larger formats, but I simply don't like it for 35mm. And I don't have the money to just try some other cold-light solution which will work with the VC papers I usually work with, as most soft/cold light heads doesn't work well with VC papers.

    I'm sorry to say that your second idea about comparing with a wet print doesn't hold, as the wet vs. dry print issue is all about reflection. A wet (i.e. very flat and shiny) print surface reflects more light than a dry print surface. This is something which cannot easily be compensated with e.g. more viewing light. This phenonema doesn't happen when you compare e.g. wet vs. dry negatives, as you don't look at the reflection of them, you look through them.
    But I give it to you that you did at least try to find a solution.


  2. #12
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Multi Format
    So, rather than start a new thread, I'll resurect something 10 years old.

    I just got my first glass carrier, the universal 6x7 for my LPL6700. Did one RA4 print and yep, the first thing I noticed was the newton's rings on it. (I've never had them on anything before, probably because all my prints thus far were glassless 135, and all my scans were either edge-holders or wet-mounted).
    I'm well used to wet-mounting my BetterScanning holder on my v750, with Aztec mylar and Lumina fluid (can't get Kami fluid in Australia, some mailmen have a thing against delivering Petrol via airmail or something...)

    So, in the intervening years since this thread first came up (glad to see I'm not the only one who's thought of it), has anyone else tried it?
    Specifically I'm wondering about whether to just fluid both glass-holders and hope for the best in when sandwiching, or remove the lower glass and wetmount to the top glass with mylar just as I do with my scanner?
    Do you have to physically cut the negative out of the strip to stop airbubbles coming back in? (I presume so but hope not). When I scan, the mylar goes all the way around the neg strip on all 4 sides, but a neg carrier is only 7cm long, not 25 like my scanner.

    Any other pitfalls to watch out for?
    Lumina isn't explosive like Kami but I still presume I'll have to work fast enough before it evaporates, especially near an enlarger head (at least it's colour diffusion, I presume they're cooler than condenser?)
    Any other tips or experiences?
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

    f/64 and be there.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    West Midlands, UK, and Turkey
    Multi Format
    Wet mounting was first recommended for miniature formats negatives around 1927/8, you overcome some of the issues of grain and graininess caused by processing issue usually due tom temperature variations affecting the gelatin super-coat. With wet mounting the apparent graininess of the prints can be reduced,

    It's acontentious ussue not believed by one old man but surfaced recently in a post about HP5 where Ilford found slight reticulation which matched exactly what I've always said about Micro0reticulation.


  4. #14
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    İstanbul - Türkiye
    35mm RF
    I wet mounted least ten thousand slides including 8x10s to larger sizes to small diameter and large diameter quartz drums for to scan with Crossfield 656 drum scanner. I think this is forgotten art , no more slides and drum scanners for printing industry and most easy way is to use vaseline. I was using 1 liter cleaning solvent everyday and I dont know its brand. It is the most important part of wet mounting , it easily cleans the film and extemelly fast evoprates. And lots of cleaning tissue is required. Best way to stop bubbling , is to use a loupe and spreading out the bubbles with pressing and sliding your finger on film. If you want to stop newton rings and not use any wet chemical , anti newton ring spray is your friend. I dont think you would neeeded to clean it. But 20 years ago ..

  5. #15
    PDH is offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Multi Format
    I have printed from wet negatives when really pushed to meet a deadline, used a glass carrier. I dont recall differance in the quaility of the print, I may give it try just see what happens.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    8x10 Format
    It's messy. The old Carlwen carriers come up for sale relatively mauled from time to time. Any decent machine shop with CNC could make something much better new nowadays anyway. Scanning fluid. I prefer just to use Antinewton glass on both sides of the neg. Doesn't affect
    sharpness at all if you do it right and use a diffuse light source. AN sprays are a messy headache too. Basically, aerosolized corn starch. You
    spray it in a little cloud, then swipe the neg through the cloud. Don't spray it onto the neg directly. And do it under a fume hood, cause the
    propellants are not healthy to breathe. Same outfits that supply scanning fluid can sell you this too, if you choose to use it.

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