I am attempting to contact print three 5X4 negatives together to form a single 5X12 image. I am content with my ability to align (or not) the images during the taking phase, and am fine with seeing the unexposed edges of the film in the printed image. However, I'm having difficulty holding the three sheets of film in alignment with each other as I engage the film and paper in the contact printing frame.
Does anyone know of a technique to hold the film perfectly abutted while clamping the glass on the film/paper?
Scotch tape the film together at the edges in the film rebate (not in the image area). You should be able to do it just at one edge.
Sometimes I shoot 4 (almost) identical 6x17cm exposures on a roll to make small albumen prints in quantity, and I print them on one 8x10" sheet, and I just tape them together on one edge, and I print them in a split-back contact printing frame. If they come a bit out of alignment, I can usually adjust them with half the back clamped down and half open, with the taped edge under the clamped side.
Just use a plate of glass over the top, tape the glass down over the negs and the paper. Then you can see the negs as you set the glass. I just do it on the enlarger.
I also have a piece of "water clear" 3/8" plate glass which is quite heavy, but have also used normal plate glass. It's all good.
Does the tape show in the final image as a lighter spot in the dark rebate area of the print?
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Usually the tape is not visible at all. I have noticed it when carbon printing -- the tape blocks just enough UV to make a slight change in the thickness of the gelatin that is hardened, but remains as black as the rest of the rebate.
Originally Posted by HMFriedman
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I have done similar stuff to this and I use Removable Magic Tape. You can, if you look hard enough see where the tape was/is, on the film, but a bit of shading on the paper as you expose, eliminates any trace of the tape.
It is a Scotch product and goes under the moniker 811.
Comes in two sizes small and large diameter cores for the small and large dispensers, both sizes I have are 1/2" wide.
The beauty of this product is that it pulls off easily and most importantly doesn't really leave a residue on your film.
As a side benefit, this tape is really good for lifting dust from a neg without doing damage to the emulsion. I've been using this tape for many years.
Small size is 21200 19243 bar code number.
Large size is 21200 69151 bar code number.
This is great stuff! Thanks to all.
Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
I put the spring back from the contact frame down on a flat surface, put my coated paper on top, then line up the negatives, place the glass on top, and then put the sandwich inside the wood frame of the printing frame, and close the springs. I also try to mark the negative positions on my paper with very light pencil marks, which makes it easier to line them up when preparing to print. This works fine for alt-process printing, where you are dealing with hand-coated emulsions you can work on in room light. Probably wouldn't work if you are doing silver-gelatin printing.
I tried this method, but couldn't get the negatives to stay in place. It was close, but I really want them to stay butted one up against another. A mm up or down, or separated just doesn't do what I'm visualizing. I'm going to give double-sided removable tape a try.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
I put the frame with the glass face down on a flat surface, and then put the negs face up on the glass. If I'm doing more than one neg in the frame, I orient them so that the negs will be partially under half of the spring back that will be clamped down, and partially under the other half, so that I can adjust them when the first half is clamped. Then I put the paper face down on the negs, and then clamp half the back, adjust the negs if necessary, and clamp the other side.
If you plan always to print these negs this way, there's no need to use removable tape. When I gang print four 6x17's as I described above, I just tape the negs together with ordinary Scotch tape, but not to the glass, and trim the excess, but bear in mind that I don't show the rebate in the final print. I trim it off. If you show the rebate, you'll have to test and see if the tape makes a difference.