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Thread: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    Acrylic in a contact print frame???? Not only is it electrostatic and attract dust, but can bow. Guess somebody always has a new idea.

  2. #22

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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    Once upon a time I had a shooting buddy who insisted that 35mm cameras can resolve 135 lpmm; medium format cameras can resolve 80 and lf cameras can resolve 40, thus it was pointless to shoot the larger camera. I refuse to argue with folks like that. Let them believe whatever they like.

    Image Clarity, by John Williams is the best treatment on every phase necessary for sharp images I've ever read. No wonder I'm frustrated. Read that book and then go make pictures with a Pinkham Semi Achromatic. Doh!
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  3. #23

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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    It was a really thick piece of acrylic...but the thing was ridiculous! Funnier still was that multitudes of these were sold as a product launch with promo-pricing at a very well known workshop in mid-coast Maine - and it seemed that everyone (myself included) suddenly had one! At any rate...I've long since re-purposed the printing frame's various parts - and I sometimes wonder what became of the multitudes that were sold.

  4. #24
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    I've been contact printing 8x10 and 8x20 directly on the baseboard of my enlarger with a big 10x22 piece of P99 acrylic that I bought primarily as a hold-down plate for scanning. I use some steel bars that I bought in 3" lengths, 3/4" square superglued on the edge of the acrylic plate to weigh down the plate, and have extras to place around as needed for weight, especially with the 8x20 negatives.

    Inspecting the contact prints it's clear to me the prints are uniformly sharp, with no issue with uneven contact. I have seen that issue on occasion with an actual 8x10 proof printer I have. The acrylic, for me, works perfectly. I do have to be careful with dust - I usually wipe the whole thing down with lint-free, 100% cotton wipes and Eclipse fluid, the same stuff I use on scanner glass, lenses, and digital camera sensors. The eliminates all the dust. I have been thinking I need to find a nice thin box that has a good seal on it to store it in, and perhaps dust will be less of an issue. Right now it's just in a cardboard box with some bubblewrap when not in use.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Image Clarity, by John Williams is the best treatment on every phase necessary for sharp images I've ever read. No wonder I'm frustrated.
    +1

  6. #26
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I've been contact printing 8x10 and 8x20 directly on the baseboard of my enlarger with a big 10x22 piece of P99 acrylic that I bought primarily as a hold-down plate for scanning. I use some steel bars that I bought in 3" lengths, 3/4" square superglued on the edge of the acrylic plate to weigh down the plate, and have extras to place around as needed for weight, especially with the 8x20 negatives.

    Inspecting the contact prints it's clear to me the prints are uniformly sharp, with no issue with uneven contact. I have seen that issue on occasion with an actual 8x10 proof printer I have. The acrylic, for me, works perfectly. I do have to be careful with dust - I usually wipe the whole thing down with lint-free, 100% cotton wipes and Eclipse fluid, the same stuff I use on scanner glass, lenses, and digital camera sensors. The eliminates all the dust. I have been thinking I need to find a nice thin box that has a good seal on it to store it in, and perhaps dust will be less of an issue. Right now it's just in a cardboard box with some bubblewrap when not in use.
    I found big hunks of thick glass on Amazon a while back. $100 delivered got a very big thick piece. Sure it's not optically perfect, but it would attract less dust than acryic and not need steel weight. Like this. https://www.amazon.com/Rectangle-Tem.../dp/B004E61XFM

    I want to contact print 14 X 36" X-Ray.

    That project is still on the list...

  7. #27
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    I've got a piece of coated Zeiss optical glass in my contact frame. But I rarely use it. Prefer my Condit 8X10 masking frame which is pin registered.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    Incidentally, I paid less for a whole box of that special glass from a scientific liquidator than a polished thick sheet of acrylic would cost from the local plastics retailer. I have my own acrylic fabrication gear, but jes sayin', apples to apples.

  9. #29
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    FWIW, I paid a whole $15 for the piece of acrylic, cut to my exact specifications. Plus shipping. To reiterate, it was primarily purchased as a scanning solution - P99 is or acts like ANR material so I do not have Newton Ring problems, and I have to be mindful of size and thickness to fit in the scanner. The acrylic + steel bars exactly fit under the scanning lamp - important since my scanner is an X-Y scanner. Using it to contact print was a secondary function that ended up working perfectly for me, as long as I'm mindful of the dust, which cleans off easily.

    Whatever works. I'm not in the mood to deal with a piece of glass that is, according to Amazon, 36 pounds, unless it was built into a dedicated unit of some sort. Actually my dining table top is a large 8x4 foot piece of clear glass and that was literally the worst thing to move in the house!
    Last edited by Corran; 30-Jan-2018 at 18:33.
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  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Lenses for shooting 8x10 and making contact prints

    It can warp. Believe me. I've worked with plenty of that particular acrylic. But if it hasn't given you trouble yet, that's great. One less thing to shatter.

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