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RodinalDuchamp
17-Jun-2015, 11:41
I've started contact printing certain images and just want to see how common this is amongst other forum members.

What I like is the fact that they become these small artifacts, like jewels if the image is right.

However I am not aware of any other benefits contact printing has in general well besides of course any losses that might occur in enlargement which are probably negligible at most common print sizes.

Randy Moe
17-Jun-2015, 11:44
Small is the new big.

RodinalDuchamp
17-Jun-2015, 11:45
Is it a current trend really?

Oren Grad
17-Jun-2015, 12:07
I contact print all of my sheet film negatives, from 2.25x3.25" up to ULF sizes. That's where the magic is for me.

I have no idea whether there's a trend.

jnantz
17-Jun-2015, 12:12
I've started contact printing certain images and just want to see how common this is amongst other forum members.

What I like is the fact that they become these small artifacts, like jewels if the image is right.

However I am not aware of any other benefits contact printing has in general well besides of course any losses that might occur in enlargement which are probably negligible at most common print sizes.

yup, since about 1988 :)
paper negatives, glass negatives ( hand coated dry plates ) and film ..

not sure what paper you use to contact print with, if you look for azo paper,
even if it is 50 years old+ , you can get some beautiful prints ... you need a bright light though ..

check out michaelandpaula.com for some details about printing on azo ... i think it is in their "writings" section

DannL
17-Jun-2015, 12:18
I contact print 4x5, plus other formats (5x7, half-plate, 8x10). Film, paper negatives, and plates can all be contact printed. In fact I recently sold off all my enlarging equipment. I wanted new challenges, and I found them. I love the process. I don't know about the trend thing, but I heard last year that a photographer had a showing at our state capital where the images where tiny contacts. That supposedly was her thing. Sadly I missed it.

BrianShaw
17-Jun-2015, 12:18
Always, and always have.

Michael R
17-Jun-2015, 12:25
I do sometimes make finished prints (as opposed to contact sheets) by contacting 4x5. More often I enlarge, but I rarely enlarge 4x5 negatives to more than 8x10 print size, so I guess overall I'm in the "small" camp. Always preferred it.

From a trend perspective I don't think small is the new big just yet.

Randy Moe
17-Jun-2015, 12:28
I think some of us love 4X5, 3-1/4X4-1/4 and especially 2-1/4x3-1/4 sheet film for many reasons.

I use a lot of all 3, 4x5 film is cheapest of them.

Cheapest camera is the middle size and the handiest is the smallest size.

Since we included 4x5, this is an OK topic discussion. I think...

RodinalDuchamp
17-Jun-2015, 17:05
4x5 is still a relatively small print size. Images with isolated subjects or small amounts of information I think tend to work best.

RodinalDuchamp
17-Jun-2015, 17:05
As far as print technique how do you guys do it? Straightforward? Special tricks you don't mind sharing?

jp
17-Jun-2015, 17:51
Yep. Mostly cyanotypes and sometimes normal silver prints.

I do a lot of soft focus, and that doesn't scale to different sizes nicely; it's ideal for contact printing. Some soft 4x5's print fine at 8x10 but no larger. Images without great detail work well at smaller sizes. I use a split back printing frame for all my contact prints.

Here's a little video where I bleach and tone 4x5 cyanotypes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTD-y_2TVvI

Sirius Glass
17-Jun-2015, 17:53
On occasion I will make 4"x5" contact prints.

Oren Grad
17-Jun-2015, 17:57
As far as print technique how do you guys do it? Straightforward?

An enlarger baseboard. On top of that, a thin piece of glass. On top of that, a sheet of variable-contrast enlarging paper. On top of that, a negative. On top of that, a thick piece of glass. Hovering above all that, the enlarger's color head, which serves as a handy variable-contrast light source. That's all.

DG 3313
17-Jun-2015, 17:57
The 4x5 contact print is how I display my old favorites and new stuff around the house. I have some rustic iron hangers with film clips on them and rotate my 4x5 contacts. 4x5 contacts are great to stick in the snail mail to family members and to have ready in the camera bag to show the police what I'm up to.......you bet, I contact print on 8x10 RC paper cut into 4- 4x5 (ish.) prints.

DannL
17-Jun-2015, 18:02
If you don't have this book, you might try this link (https://manualesdecine.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/the-print-ansel-adams-series-no-3.pdf).

Page 67 onward explains what would take me an hour to type.

Pete Roody
17-Jun-2015, 19:01
If you enlarge you are using enlarging paper. If you contact print, it opens up many more possibilities. Don't compare a contact print on enlarging paper to an enlargement. That is not a true comparison. Look at the alternative prints here to get an idea of what you can do.

ShannonG
17-Jun-2015, 19:15
I contact 4 x 5 sometimes for refrance,,but have recently been contacting with another neg in the enlarger and turing it and doing photograms with objects on top,,,,,,just for fun....

cuypers1807
17-Jun-2015, 19:32
I went to the Lewis Hine exhibit at ICP a few years ago and the photos were all 5x7 contact prints. It was a big show but the small prints provided an intimate experience. It was a bit weird seeing small versions of the photos I have seen blown up all over the place. I didn't care for the giant frames they were in.
I have made 4x5 contacts but don't do it much mostly because 4x5 is an odd size to frame. I do contact print 4x5s on the Ilford postcard paper to send to friends though.

dave_whatever
18-Jun-2015, 00:35
I have contact printed 5x4" in an improvised setup in the bathroom - towels hung over the window to make it dark, landing light turned off, using a D-cell Maglite with the reflector head removed, about 6ft away from the paper as a light source with normal Ilford RC 5x7" paper - exposures were of the order of 30-60 seconds. Used an old picture frame as a contact frame. Got some quite nice results. Moving house this year (hopefully) so there's every chance of a less heath Robinson setup on the cards.

steveo
18-Jun-2015, 02:25
I've had a "back of my head" idea for years of contact printing some of my 6x7 mf shots and binding them into a tiny little book never had time to actually execute it though. Glad to see its not totally stupid...

mathieu Bauwens
18-Jun-2015, 03:30
I love that, from 4x5 and now 8x10.

koraks
18-Jun-2015, 03:31
Yes, I do a lot of 4x5 contacts. Cyanotypes (new) and Van Dyke Brown. Never silver gelatin though. Yes, these small prints make very nice little artifacts!

Pete Roody
18-Jun-2015, 06:37
I have seen many great 4x5 contacts. Edward Weston did them. Try using a larger mat with them to show them off. Mounting them with an 11x14 mat if you have the space. I have been shooting more 4x5 recently because I like the look of the small contacts so much.

BrianShaw
18-Jun-2015, 06:39
I've had a "back of my head" idea for years of contact printing some of my 6x7 mf shots and binding them into a tiny little book never had time to actually execute it though. Glad to see its not totally stupid...

That's not stupid at all. I've had as small as 6x6 cyanotypes framed and on the wall. I'm looking forward to the day when I can do it all over in another alternative printing type but time does not currently permit. People are fascinated by them.

Kimberly Anderson
18-Jun-2015, 06:59
I'm working on a portrait project right now that is shot all in 5x7. I am contact printing with a frame I made in the mid-90's. I just yesterday in fact scraped off all the original duct tape and replaced it with Tyvek. It's 3/16th tempered plate glass top and botton with a Tyvek hinge, the top has a 1/4 inch lip so I can lift it up easily when changing paper.

All of these prints are contact printed on AZO ranging from grades 1-5. I inherited a huge stash of 8x10 AZO and it's all still good...some of it is over 50 years old. I wasn't a fan of single-weight paper, but after printing over 100 prints so far...maybe pushing 150 on this project I've really come to like it.

5x7 contact prints are rather lovely. 4x5's are also. I have an entire portfolio of 4x10 pt/pd contact prints and I rather like that size too. I like that there are many printers who are enjoying the smaller medium-format contact prints as well. I have taught alt. processes and we used the Holga camera entirely one semester. Those prints had a look and a feel when viewing that was very interesting. One other person here used the word 'intimate'. I would agree completely.

Corran
18-Jun-2015, 07:38
I bought some 5x7 fiber paper some time ago to experiment with and I found that 6x17 negatives contact printed were pretty nice. I can't enlarge them right now so it was the only thing I could do. Tried some 4x5 too and they look good.

That said I am addicted to the bigger prints. 16x20 is my favorite.

Bruce Barlow
18-Jun-2015, 07:45
4x5 PT/Pds are lovely.

I also want to PT/PD some of my Holga negatives. Now THOSE will be little jewels in an 8x10 mat.

MIke Sherck
18-Jun-2015, 11:45
I contact print 4x5 for salt prints and cyanotypes and occasionally in silver. Now that I'm moving to 5x7 everything will be contact printed.

Mike

RodinalDuchamp
18-Jun-2015, 12:13
I have contact printed 5x4" in an improvised setup in the bathroom - towels hung over the window to make it dark, landing light turned off, using a D-cell Maglite with the reflector head removed, about 6ft away from the paper as a light source with normal Ilford RC 5x7" paper - exposures were of the order of 30-60 seconds. Used an old picture frame as a contact frame. Got some quite nice results. Moving house this year (hopefully) so there's every chance of a less heath Robinson setup on the cards.
Depends on your goals for the prints. I think that's a fine method. If you can achieve consistent satisfactory results then it works. Above everything its about having fun I think first and foremost.

Bruce Barlow
18-Jun-2015, 12:45
I'm working on a portrait project right now that is shot all in 5x7. I am contact printing with a frame I made in the mid-90's. I just yesterday in fact scraped off all the original duct tape and replaced it with Tyvek. It's 3/16th tempered plate glass top and botton with a Tyvek hinge, the top has a 1/4 inch lip so I can lift it up easily when changing paper.

All of these prints are contact printed on AZO ranging from grades 1-5. I inherited a huge stash of 8x10 AZO and it's all still good...some of it is over 50 years old. I wasn't a fan of single-weight paper, but after printing over 100 prints so far...maybe pushing 150 on this project I've really come to like it.

5x7 contact prints are rather lovely. 4x5's are also. I have an entire portfolio of 4x10 pt/pd contact prints and I rather like that size too. I like that there are many printers who are enjoying the smaller medium-format contact prints as well. I have taught alt. processes and we used the Holga camera entirely one semester. Those prints had a look and a feel when viewing that was very interesting. One other person here used the word 'intimate'. I would agree completely.

5x7 portrait contacts! Go ahead, make me drool.

Howard Tanger
18-Jun-2015, 17:51
...All of these prints are contact printed on AZO...
Which developer do you use for your Azo prints? Howard Tanger

Kimberly Anderson
18-Jun-2015, 21:16
D-72 (Dektol) 1:3

Kimberly Anderson
18-Jun-2015, 21:21
5x7 portrait contacts! Go ahead, make me drool.

Ok. ;)

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RodinalDuchamp
18-Jun-2015, 21:22
Ok. ;)

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Fantastic! I am a father of twin girls, I love this kind of content.

DannL
18-Jun-2015, 21:55
If you don't have this book, you might try this link (https://manualesdecine.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/the-print-ansel-adams-series-no-3.pdf).

Page 67 onward explains what would take me an hour to type.

Probably not in the book, Polycontrast filters can be used when contact printing. I print on VC papers for the most part, so I've been working with an old Kodak safelight housing and 15 watt bulb as the light source. It's cheap, I know. With the OC safelight filter removed, I've taken a set of 6"x6" Polycontrast filters and cut them (round) to fit the housing. The Polycontrast filters can be swapped when needed. It is connected to a timer. This has worked fine for my purposes, but I am curious how different bulb types would effect the contrast. Before this, I was using an enlarger as the light source. In either case, Polycontrast filters can be used when printing from film, paper negatives and plates.

Bruce Barlow
19-Jun-2015, 03:41
Kimberly,

Success. Drool all over the front of my shirt. Well done, you!

Rick Olson
19-Jun-2015, 13:46
Ok. ;)

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Beautiful!!