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  1. #1
    Wade D's Avatar
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    How do I contact print Cirkut negatives?

    I have a whole bunch of Cirkut negatives that were shot in the 50's. They are 8"x4'. I also have several 8"x100' rolls of Azo F.1. What I don't have is a piece of glass that big. Other than buying the glass in that size are they any easier ways to contact print the negs? How was it done in the past?
    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Glass that big isn't hugely expensive you want 1/4" plate. I got a cheap door panel, glued black felt to one side, for the base. I recommend getting the glass a little bigger than the largest neg, like 10-12" by five feet. I can't think of any easier way than that.

  3. #3

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    The hollow core slab door panels are good bases as they tend to stay flat. They don't flex or bend much so the neg stays flat to the glass and photo paper

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A lot of people who study at the Art Center in Pasadena seem to do a project that involves shooting a whole roll of 35mm film as a single image and contact printing the whole roll without cutting it. You might ask what they use.

    With just a sheet of glass, I'd be concerned about getting enough pressure across the neg. Pano format spring back printing frames sometimes have multiple panels each with their own spring (my 7x17" printing frame has three springs, for instance) to address this.
    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

  5. #5

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    large pan format contact frames are great, but not easy to find, and take some time to make. I've made three. one @ 8x36", one @12x73", and a 18x115" frame. a lot of work. For silver gelatin negs a piece of glass is easier, though David is right you have to watch out that the neg is held tight to the paper. I've found that the felt is enough for the smaller negs, like wade has.It can help to weigh down the glass. I do this with larger negs. Also instead of felt, there is a approx 1/4" foam backed felt available from most fabric stores. A big piece of 1/4" glass on top of this tends to keep the neg in contact to the paper, assuming a pretty flat base I've gotten good results with this up to about 72" negs. weights at the edges of the glass work well for longer negs

  6. #6
    CBG
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    Big glass and a vacuum pump set up would make sure of good contact across such a long piece of film.

  7. #7
    Wade D's Avatar
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    I guess a trip to the local glass store is in order. A piece of 1/4" plate glass about 10"x4.5' should do the trick along with the felt as a backing. Thanks for the tips.

  8. #8
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    Stupid question: but what is the purpose of the felt with glass plate and contact printing? I always just lay a sheet of glass right on top of negs and press down on the edges while making contact sheets.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  9. #9
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade D View Post
    I have a whole bunch of Cirkut negatives that were shot in the 50's. They are 8"x4'. I also have several 8"x100' rolls of Azo F.1. What I don't have is a piece of glass that big. Other than buying the glass in that size are they any easier ways to contact print the negs? How was it done in the past?
    Thanks for any suggestions.
    ************
    We used a contact printer which, to my young eye, looked as if it could have been manufactured by Matthew Brady. It had three or four handles which raised the glass and locked everything down tight as well. It was necessary to be very sure they all were locked tight so everything was sharp.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  10. #10

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    If you are going to use a large piece of glass and a light bulb I would get the bulb as far away from the glass as possible to avoid inverse square law falloff. You don't want the distance from the bulb to the sides to be further than the distance to the center as the result will be an image darker in the center. You may want to use several bulbs to give an even light. Azo requires quite a bit of light anyway. Make sure you ask them to grind the edges of the glass to remove the sharp corners or your fingers may suffer.

    Henry

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