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Thread: start smaller?

  1. #11
    mjs
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    You can contact print either size negative with simple equipment: paper, a sheet of glass somewhat larger than the negative, a light bulb, some trays and chemicals. A contact printing frame is handy but not really necessary, at this point. The same stuff can also be used to develop the film and in either case even a small bathroom will suffice. So there's really little standing in your way -- you might as well get started.

    While 8x10 film costs more than 4x5 film, judicious shopping can minimize the cost in either case. In the US, Freestyle Photographic Sales in Hollywood, CA sells re-packaged Foma 8x10 film as their Arista.edu line for $2.40 a sheet (for the ISO 100 product.) Ilford 4x5 film can be had for about half that, but initially anyway you aren't going to me making hundreds of exposures with large format so the cost of film really ends up being manageable for most of us. Shoot, every time I travel and stay in a cheap motel I think "there goes a box of film. There goes a box of paper." Good luck!

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

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  2. #12
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    thanks! I process my 120 film myself already in the bathroom. I buy from freestyle a lot and really like that source, thanks! I don't have to have a special type of glass though to prevent newton rings? I thought I'd heard that somewhere- so exciting - didn't realize how little would be required to start that form of printing so that I can get going...very fun! Thanks so much! I've used the artista film before in 120 size- I'll look at the other size they make too. thanks so much for all this great info and encouragement!
    j e s s i c a | d i t t m e r

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    hi jessica

    you might consider shooting paper negatives before you dive headlong into film
    some paper can be speedy ( asa 25 or 50 ) you just have to trim the edge
    shoot things in even light, not light with bright and shadows. it will give you a safelight view
    of loading film holders so with film it won't be as foreign ... and contact printing paper negatives
    can be fun, you just need a bright bulb or your enlarger you can use w/o a lens to get more light ...

    have fun !
    john
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  4. #14
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Without knowing the type of photography you wish to do, it is difficult to advise.

    “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

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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaDittmer View Post
    I don't have to have a special type of glass though to prevent newton rings?
    I have severe problems with Newton's rings when I use contact printing frames. The only way I found to squelch them was to put aside the printing frames and print instead using a simple glass sandwich - a large piece of inexpensive, thin glass sits on the baseboard of my enlarger, the paper sits on that, then the negative, then a thick piece of glass, larger than the paper size, on top. That's all. I have the edges of the glass beveled so that I won't cut my fingers handling it.

    I use antinewton glass successfully as the upper glass in the 4x5 universal glass negative carrier for my enlarger. But when I've tried various textured glasses in my printing frames, the texture always ends up showing in smooth-toned areas of the print. It's moot now, because the sandwich approach works for me with ordinary clear glass.

    Because Newton's rings are so sensitive to exact conditions - negative surface, temperature, humidity, paper flatness and texture, amount and evenness of pressure on the sandwich - there's a certain amount of voodoo involved in finding an approach that works. You may need to try it a few different ways to find what works for you, with your negatives, in your darkroom - don't be discouraged if you get rings at first.

  6. #16
    mjs
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    They do make glass with a special "anti-newton's rings" coating on it and I've heard of something you can spray on glass but I've never encountered the phenomenon myself. I started out with a piece of glass about 8 1/2 x 11 and 1/8" thick and have since had a couple of different types of contact printing frames and have never seen them. Good luck!

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #17
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    thanks! I do portrait work mostly and hands, feet,etc...mostly people.
    j e s s i c a | d i t t m e r

  8. #18
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Jessica- be aware that with 8x10 and bigger, if you're doing hands, feet, and faces, (moreso hands or feet), you'll be getting into macro territory and will have to add exposure compensation due to bellows extension. It is entirely possible to do a 1:1 reproduction of a single hand or both hands on an 8x10 sheet of film. At 1:1, you're talking about 2 extra stops of exposure compensation. at 1:2 (1/2 life size on film) you're at 1 stop extra exposure.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaDittmer View Post
    thanks! I process my 120 film myself already in the bathroom. I buy from freestyle a lot and really like that source, thanks! I don't have to have a special type of glass though to prevent newton rings? I thought I'd heard that somewhere- so exciting - didn't realize how little would be required to start that form of printing so that I can get going...very fun! Thanks so much! I've used the artista film before in 120 size- I'll look at the other size they make too. thanks so much for all this great info and encouragement!
    Newton rings? I started using an old contact frame, without anti-Newton glass, and switched to a very heavy sheet (almost a slab) of plate glass. I've had no trouble with Newton's rings while contact printing - it's all I've ever done with 8x10. Where they become an issue is in glass negative carriers.

    The suggestion that you make paper negatives is good, too.

    What lens are you using?

  10. #20
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I agree that diving into 8x10 is a good idea. I wish I'd done that, for all the contact printing opportunities that open up.

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