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  1. #1
    Doc W's Avatar
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    Simple Contact Frame for 8x10

    I have been making 8x10 contact prints by putting the negative and paper together then lying a sheet of glass on top. No matter what I do, the negative and paper always get a little out of alignment. It is such a PITA. I have a contact printing frame for alternate processes but it is a bit of a hassle in the darkroom. I don't really need the "trapdoor" in the back for normal contact printing.

    So my question: is there a commercially available contract printing frame that would keep my neg and paper together, or do I have to build one. I was thinking of just gluing three strips of plastic to a sheet of fairly heavy plastic. The strips would hold the neg and paper in place on three sides and I could just place a piece of glass over it without moving everything around.

    Or is there something even simpler and obvious that I am missing?

  2. #2
    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Freestyle sell contact printing frames http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_sea...rame&rfnc=1602
    Edit: Sorry just read your post correctly, and that not what your after.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    If your paper and neg aren't too curly then you can just put a pre-cut mat over the two. But I use overlaid glass with no problem and it does give better sharpness. What I do is fine-tune my alignment under red safelight.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  4. #4
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Put both the negative and paper in plastic bag like this one
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/902811...50?cat_id=2313,
    line them up properly and then put it under your glass.

  5. #5
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have a hinged glass commerically made unit. Its glass sits into a stamped channel that the paper and neg goes into.

    The original glass fell out a few years ago, since I hang it on the wall (I am perenially short of horizontal surfaces in my darkroom). I replaced it with a heavier glass I cut and de-sharpenned the edges with using emery paper in a palm sander.

    The pedestal the paper sits on I made out of a piece of 8x10 all balck foam core board that is adhered to the stamped base. There is at least 1/2 and inch all around the foam core to the return portion of the channel on the sides.

    I now place the 8x10 paper O always use to contact pint with on this platform by feel, and can then place the negs in thier print file page square to this paper. A final feel and a slow closing of the lid makes shure things stay in alignment.

    I went to this path because I contact print colur negs, so the work all takes place under too dim a siafe light to tell more than if you have the white or greem side of the paper up.
    my real name, imagine that.

  6. #6
    Doc W's Avatar
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    I should have made it clear that I am making final prints from 8x10 negatives, not just a test sheet, so the idea of plastic bag won't work. Also, the paper does curl slightly so I really need glass on top. It is a pain trying to line it up under the safe light. I always get fingerprints on the glass and the negative is always slightly out of whack with the paper.

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    How about printing to slightly larger paper and then just trimming as you wish. (I realize that this introduces extra expense) Or perhaps you could permit yourself a brighter or more amber safelight; mine isn't deep red.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  8. #8

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    Those "trap door" split back frames make it easy to keep the paper and neg in place. Line up the neg and paper and put it on the glass and hold it with one hand while you take half of the split back and put it on the paper opposite your hand. Keep pressure on the split back and put the springs in place - it works like a charm.
    regards
    Erik

  9. #9
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik L View Post
    Those "trap door" split back frames make it easy to keep the paper and neg in place. Line up the neg and paper and put it on the glass and hold it with one hand while you take half of the split back and put it on the paper opposite your hand. Keep pressure on the split back and put the springs in place - it works like a charm.
    regards
    Erik
    That's the process I follow, simple and repeatable. Works great. Definitely worth buying a nice frame.

  10. #10
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    how thick is the glass you've been using? try something thicker.

    I've been having good luck with 1/4" plate from my local glazier.

    or try 3/8"

    are you working in color or b/w?

    -Dan


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