Contact Print - Van Dyke Question
Was working on some Van Dykes this weekend, and have come acorss a problem contact printing. The attached image show 2 seperate areas that are plain out of focus (blur if you will) that I really do not see on the negative. Did two different prints of this and this one is better than the other, but still a bit confused as to what is happening.
Paper is Platinotype, B&S VanDyke for sensitizer, contact print frame - split back, 12 blb UV light source.
Negative exposure was 1/8 sec @ f32 so would have thought it would be enough to keep most of the image sharp (Rodenstock 210mm lens) on 5x7 Efke PL 100, developer was Rodinal 1+50 for 11 min, at 70 f, rotary porcess.
Any ideas are welcome.
I'm tempted to say it was the Rodinal (just to see what the response would be).
Seriously, it looks like you double-coated the emulsion and that perhaps it buckled/wrinkled as it dried. This might produce wavy areas of little pressure when you put it in the contact frame. What size was the contact frame? If it was large, perhaps you should invest in one closer to the 4x5 format.
Perhaps the felt is an uneven thickness in the contact frame or the glass is too thin?
This is where a vacuum frame really makes a difference.
I had something like this happen for awhile when i was using a 16x20 contact frame with hinged back to do 8x10 contact prints. I got a vacuum frame and since then its always sharp (as sharp as the neg anyway). I think my contact frame was a doran maybe, it seemed like it had a good amount of pressure from the 3 pressure bars on the back but i had the same trouble you look like you might be having.
Looks to me like a very simple case of the negative not being in contact with the sensitized paper at these blurry areas. This is very common with contact printing frames since many of them are not able to maintain good contact between the negative and paper. You might try placing a sheet of rubber about 1/4" thick over the negative/print sandwich to establish firmer contact.
Originally Posted by photomc
Thanks guys...you are correct, the contact frame was 11x14 and the print is of a 5x7 negative so a bit small. Of course it wasn't the Rodianl Joe
Have given some thought to a vacuum easel, but the darn things are so $$. Will take a look at feebay and see if one pops up...thanks Andrew.
Thanks for the thought with the sheet of rubber Sandy, will give that a try.
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Mike, I bought a sheet of neoprene gasket material at an industrial supply house, think it was a 3/16" black mat with a (very slightly) textured surface. They cut it off of a 36" wide roll. This really helps to maintain contact with the paper, even some curled azo I have which is older. Also have a 3/16" thick piece of glass which presses well because of its weight. Don't know how float glass that is much thicker (3/8" or maybe 1/2") would do with the U.V. light for more pressure.
On a critical print, I use hand pressure after the sandwich is made on top of a black mat to make sure the contact is firm before turning on the lamp. This works pretty well without a frame.
I know this is probably wrong, but is it possible to use a dry mount press before exposure to flatten paper stock which has been coated? Would heat ruin the coating if it was pressed before the paper is exposed?
you may work as irving penn did. He uses to dry mount his paper on an aluminium sheet before coating and exposing . This allow him to make multi caoting and exposure without shrinking problem.
likely a couple things... as Ive had similiar results happen before.
is the glass adequately cleaned on both sides and especially in those areas?
is there adequate pressure throughout the surface of the contact frame (do you get similiar results or is it just with this particular negative)?
would something between the glass/negative/paper have caused any sort of "bubble" of space? random paper fibre, some sort of dirt or obstruction?
the paper buckling could indeed cause this especially if the contact printing frame is old and adequate pressure isnt happening.
and if the out of focus areas are not seen on the negative and none of the other stuff mentioned isnt happening then its a mind boggler.
I just realized you already figured it out.... didnt adequately read the thread....
disregard my nonsense above