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Thread: General contact printing question:

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    rthollenbeck's Avatar
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    General contact printing question:

    Is anyone here contact printing with just an overhead lamp?
    Do you feel you have achieved even illumination?
    I've heard of using an overhead light but have always contact printed in the past using an enlarger for illumination.



    No Doubt this question has be posed somewhere else on the web, so please except my apologies in advance for not doing an exhaustive enough search

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    Re: General contact printing question:

    Edward Weston did, is that good enough?

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    Re: General contact printing question:

    I do all my contact printing on Azo & Lodima with an overhead lamp..... My darkroom looks funny... a Beseler 45 MX w cold light , A Durst 5x7 138.... & a spun aluminum reflector with a light bulb. Even illumination with all of them...

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    rthollenbeck's Avatar
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    Re: General contact printing question:

    Greg

    I have had several darkrooms in the past, but I don't have room for one now. In particular I don't have room for an 8x10 enlarger. Fortunately I have access to a L.F. darkroom for printing. Keeping as much of the process at home is desirable. I want to set up to rotary process my B&W negatives by use of dark bag. I was looking at an Inglis Contact Frame and an overhead lamp to contact print in my bath or closet.

    A little assurance from someone actually doing contact printing that way, that they get good results, is valuable! Thanks

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: General contact printing question:

    Mine are with overhead lamps...about 12" above the glass of the contact printing frame. The lamps are 750W self-ballasted mercury vapor lamps. I have a few of these set-ups...Mogul bases (picture a huge floating red eyeball with that name...Mogul!) -- over-size lamp fixtures firmly attached to a 1x4, or 1x6, four-foot long board, switches on top. Just prop the boards between two somethings (my favorite are stacked chairs), plug them in and all's ready to rock and roll. A mobile UV - alternative printing exposarama! I try not to hang out in the same room as the lamps. And since exposure times range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, I do not do any burning or dodging. I have to print alone now -- ever since I got busted for operating an unlicenced tanning salon.

    I am (slowly) setting up my own darkroom...and I will have more sofisticated ancient UV beasts -- plate-burners (NuArc).

    I am quite happy with the even results. The below is a 11x14 carbon print. I think I went with an extra chair up in the stack to lift the bulb a little, going from 8x10 to the 11x14's: two stacks of 4 chairs each, board suspended between the stacks (board-ends resting on the chairs' seats) and over the printing frame on the floor, and there is a large fan blowing air across the top of the printing frame to keep the glass (and carbon tissue) relatively cool during the long exposures (otherwise the gelatin gets runny...and it happens to be in contact with the negative)

    PS...I have used a clip-on lamp (with general round silvery reflector) with a low wattage bulb for Azo (contact silver paper) paper. I clipped it onto the enlarger (D5-XL) and could raise and lower the lamp easily, as well as being hooked into the enlarging timer. The reflector kept the light from bouncing all over the room and in my eyes. Exposure seemed even enough.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fern_Cayon11x14.jpg  

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    Re: General contact printing question:

    For silver contacts I just use a low wattage bulb in the ceiling light fitting, at night. My exposures are usually 4 to 8 seconds. Just use a contact printing frame for the paper and negative. Very quick and easy compared to scanning and printing digitally or making alt prints.

  7. #7
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: General contact printing question:

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    Edward Weston did, is that good enough?
    yup, and he did it well too! Despite his "limitations: :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: General contact printing question:

    How do you apply contrast filters then.

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    Re: General contact printing question:

    You can use graded paper. It's possible to win one grade with Azo paper and a bath of water.

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    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: General contact printing question:

    Quote Originally Posted by C_Remington View Post
    How do you apply contrast filters then.
    Normally if I contact print onto variable contrast paper I use an enlarger, but recently while visiting my folks I set up a temporally darkroom in their laundry. For a light source I ended up with a clamp light from Home Depot, the one they sell with the small reflector and a small 7 watt frosted bulb. I made a filter holder out of card board to hold Ifford VC filters. Here's a couple pictures of the reflector with the filter holder.

    Roger
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg   image.jpg   image.jpg  

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