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  1. #1
    Toffle's Avatar
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    What's the secret?

    I have recently gotten into 4x5 large format, and while I was waiting for my film to arrive, I cut down some 8x10 paper so I could practice some shooting. I have been contact printing these paper negatives on some 5x7 paper, which looks really nice. The problem is I can't get the negative to sit straight on the paper when I place the glass on top. (I don't have a printing frame, I am placing the sandwiched paper under glass on my easel and using the easel mask to define the print.) Somehow, it always moves... sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot, but whenever I print, the image is always a little bit off that perfect alignment.

    This is extremely frustrating. Is this just a problem with paper-to-paper printing, or can I expect this same frustration when I start printing my film negatives as well? What do you do to keep your prints/negatives aligned?

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  2. #2

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    Try leaving a little border and secure with drafting tape.

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I use a printing frame.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffreyg View Post
    Try leaving a little border and secure with drafting tape.
    I considered that, but I wouldn't want the tape to show on the print. I've been trying to print with a border outside the negative. The effect is quite nice, but it's frustrating to have the final print off by a bit every time.

    (AACK!!! I just realized this is my 666th post on APUG... )
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  5. #5

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    Tom,
    I also use a printing frame but thought you wanted to know what to do in your situation.

  6. #6
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    I use a printing frame.
    Seeing as I have no plans (permission) of purchasing a 4x5 enlarger any time in the near future, I am definitely getting (or making) one of those soon.

    (Whew... 667... just across the street from the beast... )

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  7. #7
    rthomas's Avatar
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    In regards to the 4x5 enlarger possibility: you might want to do what I did and check local schools to see if they have old gear they are getting rid of in order to make room for d*****l (or in the case of my school, buying better enlargers). You might find a real gem that's about to go in the dumpster! You also might find contact printing equipment this way.

  8. #8
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    In regards to the 4x5 enlarger possibility: you might want to do what I did and check local schools to see if they have old gear they are getting rid of in order to make room for d*****l (or in the case of my school, buying better enlargers). You might find a real gem that's about to go in the dumpster! You also might find contact printing equipment this way.
    Funny, thing... I am the Arts Head of a large(ish) high school in LaSalle ON. For a variety of reasons the darkroom was recently closed, (It was idle for the last decade, long before I took the position) and I was able to bring home a few things that were in not too bad shape... but no 4x5.

    (668... the neighbour of the beast... )

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  9. #9
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    When I want to accomplish this, I take a dummy negative and make very faint pencil marks on the paper where I need the negative to sit. Since the marks are just within the border outside the neg, they never show after the deed is done. Also, if you aren't using it, a bit of felt or foam at the bottom the sandwich cures a lot of ills.

  10. #10

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    Here's one method . . .

    1. Create the print as you have, with no regard for exact position of the negative on the paper.
    2. Crop the print to the appropriate size and orientation, eliminating the white border.
    3. Mount the print on a board of a color and texture that compliments the picture.
    4. Sign the board under the print in pencil, or sign the print directly.
    5. Enjoy your print for the next 150 years.
    "Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí

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