PDA

View Full Version : Enlarger Contact Printing is Good Bad ugly?



Randy Moe
21-Jun-2015, 21:11
I noticed in another thread a conversation starting about using bare bulb, enlarger heads and any other combo we can think of, for contact printing.

I have been using 5x7 Elwood with 250 watt tungsten big bulb, without a lens, but added diffusion gels to cut output and diffuse...using the hole where a lens would screw into.

I use the Elwood because it's right there over my vacuum table and figured why not...

Works for me, but watt (couldn't resist!) is your prefered method?

And why?

Oren Grad
21-Jun-2015, 21:35
I like contact printing on variable-contrast enlarging paper, so my enlarger with color head is ideal as a light source - it's hard to imagine anything more convenient. And I already owned it, so nothing to buy.

But one of the nice things about contact printing is that you really can do it with an ultra-spartan, ultra-cheap setup if taste or budget dictate. All's fair!

Wayne
21-Jun-2015, 21:36
Super Chromega

Liquid Artist
22-Jun-2015, 01:57
I've only made contact prints under my enlarger, and rarely at that so I'm no expert.
However I can say that it works and appears to do a good job. So I'll continue to do the same thing until I have a reason to change.
Which may be coming soon, if I get the 11x14 I want.

pdh
22-Jun-2015, 02:11
I like contact printing on variable-contrast enlarging paper, so my enlarger with color head is ideal as a light source - it's hard to imagine anything more convenient. And I already owned it, so nothing to buy.

me also.

no problems experienced. I'm of the "defocused" school, though there are adherents of the "focused" school who also seem to get perfectly good results.

Bruce Barlow
22-Jun-2015, 03:11
I'm a triple-threat: enlarger for VC, stronger bulb for Azo, UV box for PT/PD.

PT/PD is my favorite, because I can do it with the lights on, and multi-task with the longer exposure times.

cdholden
22-Jun-2015, 04:18
No enlarger here. Just contact prints exposed with a bulb in a circular reflector (some call these work lights). Developed, stopped, fixed and washed in trays. It sounds primitive because it is. I can move this setup and be productive anywhere it's clean and dark with running water.

William Whitaker
22-Jun-2015, 06:02
I like using an enlarger for conventional contact printing because of the control it gives me over the light. But in the past I have done contact printing on a bathroom counter (at night) and made my exposure by simply flipping the vanity light on for a few seconds using the wall switch. Pretty crude, but it worked.

DannL
22-Jun-2015, 06:08
I posted this elsewhere, also. Nothing special, that's for sure. A 15 watt bulb in a Kodak safe-light housing. 6" Polycontrast filters cut to fit. A plastic coffee-can lid cut to fit, and is used as a diffuser. There are also several stops cut from black paper, used to control exposure.

jbenedict
22-Jun-2015, 08:04
I prefer the enlarger method because it is consistent and repeatable.

cdholden
22-Jun-2015, 08:15
I prefer the enlarger method because it is consistent and repeatable.

As opposed to what? Contact prints are consistent if using the same bulb, chemicals and techniques.

Bob Salomon
22-Jun-2015, 08:16
If you want to do a lot of highly controllable contact printing try to find one of the Fairchild boxes with the controllable multiple lamps. Easily the best way and the most controllable way to contact print. I have used them with up to 9x9 aerial film.

Robert Langham
22-Jun-2015, 15:48
I use an Omega E with a Modern Enlarger Lamphouse and filters. Same enlarger I enlarge with and I am contacting on the same paper, so few surprises.

135864
Barn Owl.

jp
22-Jun-2015, 16:55
My enlarger has a color head for vc paper, timer, table, just perfect.

jbenedict
22-Jun-2015, 19:12
As opposed to what? Contact prints are consistent if using the same bulb, chemicals and techniques.

For me, having an aperture and a timer and an easily set distance from lens to base allows me to figure out the exposure and routine and use the same routine again in the future. I suppose I could do the same with a bare bulb or one with a reflector but, as I said, I prefer using an enlarger.

ic-racer
22-Jun-2015, 19:20
I don't contact print. I 'proof' my 8x10 with projection prints; much easier.

Drew Wiley
25-Jun-2015, 12:23
If you do contact print with VC papers, an enlarger with a colorhead is ideal for contrast control, just like enlarging onto these same papers.

blueribbontea
25-Jun-2015, 14:28
I use silver chloride contact printing papers under a worklight. Sometimes I use a 40 watt bulb for a thinner negative (or for a negative requiring some dodging and burning) but normally a 200 watt. I count using a metronome.

Maris Rusis
25-Jun-2015, 15:48
I've done thousands of contacts, some with a light bulb in a big can fitted with diffusing glass, and some with an enlarger as a light source. The only significant difference I've seen is that the near point-light source delivered by the enlarger tends to image dust on the upper surface of the contact frame glass. The bulb in a can with diffuser, a broad light source, makes the shadows of dust particles on the glass so diffuse that they don't show. Clean contact frame glass is best either way.

Ironage
26-Jun-2015, 04:25
Bruce,
You use a UV light source in an enlarger for Platinum printing. I never heard of this being done, and doesn't seem possible. What bulb do you use, and how long are your exposures?

pdh
26-Jun-2015, 04:56
He didn't say that, he said he has 3 setups, one of which is a uv box for ptpd

Doug Howk
26-Jun-2015, 05:04
Most of my contact printing is either silver chloride or Palladium. Two setups for the former depending on size of negative: bare bulb at 30" for 8X10 or for 7X17 a bulb at 48". Both setups utilize Bessler audible timers. For Palladium, BLB bulbs in staggered configuration. When using enlarging paper for contact printing, just use an enlarger with lens.

John Jarosz
26-Jun-2015, 06:08
When I contact print onto silver it's with a 4x5 cold light enlarger & lens (defocused). VC filters are placed on the neg carrier. Vacuum print frame for 8x20.

This is probably not the optimal setup. I do this because it's the way my darkroom was setup at the time I started 8x20. Now that I also enlarge 8x10 I have been thinking about using that enlarger for contact printing as I'll get shorter exposures. But that means that I have to change my thinking in the darkroom. Not easy.

Paul Metcalf
26-Jun-2015, 07:37
blacklight for Azo
sun for salted/van dykes, etc.

Bruce Barlow
26-Jun-2015, 07:50
He didn't say that, he said he has 3 setups, one of which is a uv box for ptpd

Yeah, it's a plywood box. We had a building party at my house one day and made them. Richard Ritter supplied the design and procured the components. UV fluorescent tubes, hinged door, cooling fan, the whole bit. Friend Mike Przybyla brought 3 kinds of home-made pierogi for lunch. It was a good party. All-in cost per box was a little over $200. We saw something comparable elsewhere for $1,100, if I remember.

Randy Moe
26-Jun-2015, 11:24
blacklight for Azo
sun for salted/van dykes, etc.

Is BL better for AZO?

I ask as I will be using plenty of AZO soon and would prefer to use it wisely.

As I have 8x10 AZO most likely I will only contact print 8x10 film.

Thanks for any advise on AZO contacts.

John Kasaian
26-Jun-2015, 12:47
No problems here with using an enlarger.

blueribbontea
26-Jun-2015, 14:08
Is BL better for AZO?

I ask as I will be using plenty of AZO soon and would prefer to use it wisely.

As I have 8x10 AZO most likely I will only contact print 8x10 film.

Thanks for any advise on AZO contacts.

For AZO and other silver chloride papers I always use a tungsten bulb. The chloride emulsion is sensitive to visible light, much slower as you know than bromide, but prints very well with a light bulb. I don't know why UV light would be better but then there are many things I don't know.

Randy Moe
26-Jun-2015, 14:49
For AZO and other silver chloride papers I always use a tungsten bulb. The chloride emulsion is sensitive to visible light, much slower as you know than bromide, but prints very well with a light bulb. I don't know why UV light would be better but then there are many things I don't know.

My initial tests 2 years ago did show fine results with tungsten, but I am open to advice.

sanking
26-Jun-2015, 15:12
Is BL better for AZO?

I ask as I will be using plenty of AZO soon and would prefer to use it wisely.

As I have 8x10 AZO most likely I will only contact print 8x10 film.

Thanks for any advise on AZO contacts.

AZO is sensitive to both UV and Visible Blue light, and both give curves of about the same shape. So, use whichever source is convenient for you. However, light sources designed for alternative printing put out too much radiation for AZO.

Sandy

Randy Moe
26-Jun-2015, 15:21
AZO is sensitive to both UV and Visible Blue light, and both give curves of about the same shape. So, use whichever source is convenient for you. However, light sources designed for alternative printing put out too much radiation for AZO.

Sandy

Thank you Sandy. I trust your opinion.

Paul Metcalf
26-Jun-2015, 15:51
Well, pick your light source as you please, the paper will tell you what it likes.

Randy Moe
26-Jun-2015, 16:22
Well, pick your light source as you please, the paper will tell you what it likes.

I see, that is interesting, perhaps UV does act faster. I did notice in my initial tests with a Time-o-Lite contact print box AZO was very slow compared to RCMG and I compensated with time.

Since AZO is fixed grade would there be any advantage to using UV light source?

Thanks for the chart and input.

Obviously I will need more testing.

Drew Wiley
26-Jun-2015, 16:26
You can even enlarge onto Azo given a reasonably powerful colorhead or alternative strong source and a fast enlarging lens. That merely refers to its speed and
spectral sensitivity. Tonality is always a bit different between enlargements and contact prints.

Paul Metcalf
26-Jun-2015, 16:54
So now you match your light source with the paper sensitivity, and you can see where the overlaps are. With an incandescent light, it's the blue end of it's spectrum that Azo paper is the most sensitive to, but it's the least available component frequency from that light source, hence long exposures. For some (and I surmise quit a few Azo users) these longer exposures are not an issue. You'll have to try some different approaches and see what you like. From my experience, I can't tell any difference in tonality between the different light sources as long as there is sufficient coverage of the image, and that coverage has a significant amount of parallel light rays (i.e. the light source isn't really close to the contact printing frame). I believe Michael Smith uses a 300 watt incandescent a few feet above the contact frame and typical exposures are in the tens of seconds (his negatives, not yours though). I didn't like a 300 watt bulb in my small darkroom because of the heat (and brightness). A 100 watt bulb put my exposures in minutes. Out of curiosity I tried a black light (spiral) and with it mounted on the ceiling of my darkroom (7-1/2 ft ceiling - can you say parallel light rays?!) my typical exposure is less than 20 secs, sometimes as short as 10 secs. Which can challenge dodging and burning. I've stuck with the black light for my main exposure, and I do occasionally use a pen flash light with a black cone (to make a pencil light) to paint low density areas when I screw up my exposure LOL. Good luck, contact printing on Azo is very satisfying.

cdholden
26-Jun-2015, 16:54
For AZO and other silver chloride papers I always use a tungsten bulb. The chloride emulsion is sensitive to visible light, much slower as you know than bromide, but prints very well with a light bulb. I don't know why UV light would be better but then there are many things I don't know.

Is your choice of tungsten light source on silver chloride papers based on something you can describe in the print visually or just a time control?

DG 3313
26-Jun-2015, 17:16
+1 with VC paper


Super Chromega