I found that the overhead light was too bright for reasonable control with enlarging paper, and marginal even with the Fomalux contact-speed paper, so I ended up bodging together a lightbox using a clamp lamp and a cardboard box, with a couple of strips of cardstock so that I can mount a filter over the "aperture" (a rough-cut hole a couple of inches across in one side of the box). That got me to where typical exposures for a reasonably-exposed negative are in the 20-30 second range on enlarging paper---enough time for a little bit of dodging, but if I wanted to do something elaborate I'd need a lower-wattage bulb or a ND filter.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
I made this gadget to make duplicate dental x-rays about 40 years ago and it still works fine. It could be used for contact printing as well. All you need are a couple of items from a hardware store and Radio Shack plus a piece of plywood. The timer could be optional. The whole thing should cost very little and is easy to store.
I do it in my laundry room, on the floor, sitting on a rug with trays around me (not even using a table). As a light source, I have a 15W bulb I picked up at the hardware store; trays are cat litter boxes ("almost" new). The bulb hangs from the ceiling, I use the kitchen timer, never check the temperature (my basement is always more or less at the same temperature). I have some cardboard on the windows which I duct taped a long time ago.
I lay the paper and negative (in printfile sheets) on the floor, put a piece of glass on top, turn the light on for 3 seconds, and that's about it, develop for 1 minute, stop for 10 sec, fix for 30 sec, then wash under the running water for not so long.
Works great, no enlarger, good results, very quick setup, cheap and great.
I don't use formalux or stuff like that, just ilford multigrade RC, much easier to find and cheap. Eco-pro as a developer (1+9) and prepare 500ml of soup or so.
Last edited by jibanes; 11-03-2013 at 12:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
May I ask, is there contact print frame available for 6x9 to print on 10x15cm? I am thinking to pick up Agfa Record soon....
I can print using thick boro-silicate glass, but a frame will be very hand.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Agfa Isolette III: Amazingly simple, yet it produces outstanding negatives.
IMHO A Printfile proofer and a used small format enlarger off Craig's are worth the investment. I used to just use a heavy piece of glass and bare light bulb " Weston Style" but didn't enjoy it as much. A string of red led Christmas lights suffices for a safelight these days (GE Guide lamps ---plug in nite lights--2 on a card for less than a buck) served me well for decades.) A old Kodak exposure guide will save time but you can use a piece of paper like they taught you in High School. I think Delta makes a Kodak type exposure guide these days. If you don't have timer I've been told you can get pretty good using a metronome, or metronome app.
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