View Full Version : stupid question: RA4 contacts

30-Dec-2013, 23:50
Hi all,

I generally scan all my film and use the scans as contact sheets, then wet-print the ones that I like. I do both B&W and C41/RA4 in my darkroom.

My problem is that my ancient LF scanner is horrible, it has a dirty CCD or something so I get what looks like big yellow curry smears on my C41 images. The smearing is of very slight density so doesn't really show up on B&W or E6 scans, but it's unusable for C41. I tend to shoot C41 because I can wet-print it (ain't no way I can project 4x5 chromes!), which means I need a way to quickly make contact proofs.

How the hell do you make a contact proof in total darkness? I don't have a 4x5 contact frame but all the ones I've seen seem to assume that you're doing B&W and can therefore tell what is going on in the frame. Am I missing something?

I could "enlarge" them 1:1, one at a time, but I'd much rather have the means to slap 4 negs onto an 8x10, stick them under the enlarger and be done with it in one pass. And no I don't have an 8x10 enlarger, the space or means to acquire one ;)

30-Dec-2013, 23:59
Take a look at the Jobo Vario-Format easel. I've not tried it but if you cut a piece of glass to the right size, you might be able to print 4 contact images on an 8x10 print one at a time. Just a thought...

31-Dec-2013, 07:11
Juse leave them in 4up sleeves and contact. if you want the whole thing you might consider using 11X14 paper...

31-Dec-2013, 18:43
4-up sleeves are a possibility but won't I lose the edges?; I think I have some here but I've been storing all my 4x5 in individual sleeves (with frosted back) that live in little boxes.

31-Dec-2013, 20:40
I have a print I made of seven 6x9 color negatives (someone had given me a 200 foot roll of 5" RA paper). I used scotch tape to hold them on a piece of glass, then put the glass on top of the paper. No problem.

31-Dec-2013, 21:54
You will not loose the edges, but depending on the sleeves you have they might have some (slight) density or color shift around the corners... Nothing major and many of my 4X5 shooting students used to do that (as i did when i was a student), to save time in proofing large amounts of film. The results are totally usable for proofing and even matching when needed.

1-Jan-2014, 22:36
Cool. Sounds like I'll have to try sleeves and/or taping to glass.


Larry Kellogg
2-Jan-2014, 01:13
I've contact printed 5x7 color film in total darkness, you do it by feel and then you trim the edges. After printing in a color lab in total darkness, printing under safe lights for black and white feels like high noon to me.