View Full Version : Use of unsharp mask when contact printing

S. Preston Jones
13-May-2004, 19:55
I recently took a workshop on the use of unsharp mask. Every one I know who use such mask enlarge their negatives. I asked the question as to how well the mask would work when you are printing your Large format negatives by contact printing and the instructor said he did not know since he only enlarged his negatives. I assume it should work fine but I wonder if any of you who do contact printing have used unsharp masks and what results have you had?

Andrew O'Neill
13-May-2004, 21:05
I contact my 8x10 negatives with an unsharp mask quite often. Beautiful!

Donald Miller
14-May-2004, 07:19
It would seem the use of an unsharp mask would be of some benefit in some cases. However an unsharp mask would also be a hindrance in other cases. For instance if one were contact printing Azo or Pt-pd the effect would be counter to the building of density range (contrast) on the camera negative by virtue of the compression of density range that must occur with an unsharp mask.

I think the same parameters that are involved with the use of any printing tools would apply. Masks would be beneficial in certain instances and with certain materials. It is knowing when to use them that is to be the primary consideration. In other words unsharp masks are not a "one size fits all" type of tool in my opinion and experience.

Andrew O'Neill
14-May-2004, 11:56
Never thought of that, Donald....I guess I should have said that I contact print on silver gelatin, VC papers.