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Thread: contact frames

  1. #21
    Eliseo Pascual
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alicante Spain
    Posts
    11

    Re: contact frames

    I use my enlarger as light source, print 8x10 and 11x14 negatives and have nice printing frames. But since many years ago I found that the weight of a simple clear glass of some thickness - 3 or 4 mm placed on the negative and paper flatten them perfectly against the enlarger board. I have used it for years without any difference from the copies I make with the presses. And the clear glass is much easier to keep clean and to use, and much, much cheaper and easy to find.

    Eliseo Pascual

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    83

    Re: contact frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliseo Pascual View Post
    I use my enlarger as light source, print 8x10 and 11x14 negatives and have nice printing frames. But since many years ago I found that the weight of a simple clear glass of some thickness - 3 or 4 mm placed on the negative and paper flatten them perfectly against the enlarger board. I have used it for years without any difference from the copies I make with the presses. And the clear glass is much easier to keep clean and to use, and much, much cheaper and easy to find.

    Eliseo Pascual
    This (the simple piece of heavy glass) sounds like a great idea. I just dropped $218 on a Bostick & Sullivan 8x10 frame, only to figure out that I don't know how the heck you're supposed to line up the negative and paper perfectly when the frame is too big for both (I think their 8x10 frame is actually 9x11.) I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I can find no videos on Youtube that show how to contact print 8x10, let alone use this frame.

    Seems like the glass method would be way faster too? Just slap down the paper, the neg, and glass and voila! None of this screwing around with lining up the neg and closing those very-hard-to-push-down springs only to find its not perfectly lined up and I have to take the neg out again and do it all over.

    Also, no matter how much I clean the glass, and the neg before hand, the neg always ends up with little particles stuck in the negative after the printing session. I love the idea of contact printing but if I'm gonna permanently scratch/screw up all my negs by contact printing, I will think twice. Or at least get them all drum scanned first (the ones I care about). Again, I'm SURE I'm doing some steps wrong. Problem is, The thing (B&S frame) doesn't come with instructions and there's no Youtube videos about 8x10 contact printing n a frame I can find...

    Did I just waste $218 (plus shipping!) ???


  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    555

    Re: contact frames

    Set the back of the frame down on its springs.
    Place the paper and negative on the felt in proper alignment.
    Place glass on top of negative, paper, and back.
    Carefully place frame on top of the back.
    Hold onto the complete assembly with both hands and flip over.
    Lock springs into place.

    The B&S frames are very well made.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    83

    Re: contact frames

    Quote Originally Posted by karl french View Post
    Set the back of the frame down on its springs.
    Place the paper and negative on the felt in proper alignment.
    Place glass on top of negative, paper, and back.
    Carefully place frame on top of the back.
    Hold onto the complete assembly with both hands and flip over.
    Lock springs into place.

    The B&S frames are very well made.
    I tried that! That was the first way I tried. Getting the frame over the glass without bumping things must be a skill that is learned over time then, because I bump it every time!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    555

    Re: contact frames

    How many cups of coffee are you drinking a day? :-)
    Really, it just takes a bit of practice. I have the 11x14 B&S Frame, which I used with 8x10 quite regularly. It works very well, and makes good contact between the paper and negative as long as the they are similar in size.

  6. #26
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    4,013

    Re: contact frames

    Dan - Place the back down on the springs as Karl suggests. Next place the coated sheet on the felt in correct alignment. You may have made tick marks on the paper indicating where the negative is placed (I do). Then place the negative on the paper. Pick up the glass with the thumb and forefinger of each hand and carefully guide the diagonal sides so that each corner is flush with the back. Make sure that all 4 sides of the glass are flush with the sides. Finally carefully pitch up the top of the frame, tilt the front that's toward you up and guide guide the opposite side of the frame onto the body keeping a finger on the bottom of the glass preventing movement. When the top of the frame is seated, turn the whole frame over and lock it down. Check it to be certain the emulsions are facing each other and the positioning is correct. That's it!

    Thomas

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    83

    Re: contact frames

    Karl- 1 cup
    Thomas - I used 8x10 paper and the negative is also 8x10. Iím not sure where there is room for tick marks, unless Iím misunderstanding what youíre saying?

    Thank you both for attempting to help me get this right, I really appreciate it!


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  8. #28

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    83

    Re: contact frames

    Ok, I just tried this for a full hour and Iím beyond frustrated, not to mention my back is killing me from bending over, squinting to try and see anything in the dark red light.

    (and yes, I eventually went and got a stool)


    1. Itís near impossible to see if the negative is perfectly lined up to the fraction of a millimeter in the red light. I can barely see anything itís so dark. I have 3 safe lights on and still canít see exactly. How do you guys do this?
    2. The negative tends to stick to the glass through some sort of static energy or something. It is also literally impossible to put the glass down perfectly flush on the felt, Itís always Going to be off by a millimeter or less and needed to be nudged with a finger this way or that to be perfectly flush. It is at that point that the negative moves because it is slightly stuck to the glass, And during this nudging process that is where it gets off from the paper.
    3. Even if I managed to get this far without starting over, (which I donít even know till after I make the print because itís so dark I canít even tell) putting on the frame inevitably will nudge the glass a millimeter or two, further messing up the alignment of the negative on the paper.

    Does anyone have a VIDEO of this being done? (with the increased sensitivity of modern digital cameras Iím sure someone can easily make a video of this happening in the dark room on a camera like a Sony A7S or similar)


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  9. #29
    Between here and there
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Sweden & Germany
    Posts
    339

    Re: contact frames

    Why do you need to work in red light? What sort of paper do you use actually?

    A passepartout can hide slight imperfections when mounting it in a frame.

    I prefer to work with 5x7 negative on a bigger 8x10 paper - putting the negative on a 5x7 paper would be a ticket to the looney bin for me.
    ... unless you have to show the whole 8x10 paper and print a 8x10 negative on it ... then you're up the creek with no paddle.

    EDIT: just re-read your original post - sorry, saw that the contact frame is indeed 8x10 (or 9x11). I've always worked with "one size up" frames.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    8,410

    Re: contact frames

    For 8x10 negs on 8x10 paper I use a Print file Proof printer on the base board of an enlarger (for the light source.) Works for me, anyway
    No alignment issues. No finger prints on the glass. Quick to load. Less costly than a frame.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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