View Full Version : vacuum frame options (11x14+)

michael Allen
13-May-2005, 13:01
Can anyone point me in the correct direction for printing 11x14? I understand I need a vaccum frame for this size negative therefor I have been researching my options. I would like to configure a setup to accomodate both AZO and then later down the road other alternative processing, carbon, platinum.........
I have things narrowed down to two types of units. The first is a Nuarc SPVF-22 vacuum frame I located on e-bay, this is a frame only with no bank of lights.
The second is also a Nuarc, a 26-1k mercury unit which has a bank of lights. This appears to be a widely used unit in alternative processing.
Can I use this unit in some way for AZO as well?

13-May-2005, 13:16
You can use the same vacuum frame with AZO and alternative processes but the light source itself needs to be different because AZO, though much less sensitive than silver papers intended for enlarging, is much more sensitive than alternative processes.

The NuArcc 26-Ik platemaker, which comes with light source, vacuum frame and integral light integrator, is an excellent unit for alternative printing, but your times with AZO would be ridiculously short.

However, since AZO is sensitive to both UV and white light you have a couple of inexpensive options. A R40 flood lamp, from 65-150 watts is one option, and a very common one. Another option, especially useful if you happen to have some very dense negatives, is a small BLB screw-in fluorescent tube. . These are special coiled tube fluorescents, available in 13 and 20 watt sizes, that screw directly into a standard socket. By way of comparison, a 20 watt screw-in BKB tube puts out more effective printing radiation for AZO than a 150 watt RH40 flood.

michael Allen
13-May-2005, 13:31
Thanks Sandy,
I was hopeing I would recieve a reply from you. I think I'll start out with just the vacuum frame alone and hanging light set up, experimenting with AZO for the time being considering this is my first venture into contact printing anything above 4x5. By the way the S&S holders I purchased from you are holding up and performing nicely I will be needing another set very soon.

Brian Ellis
13-May-2005, 18:19
Are you certain you need a vacuum frame for 11x14 contact printing? I would have thought a good wood frame with strong clamps would be sufficient to hold the paper and negative in the necessary contact and you could then easily use whatever light source you wanted (e.g. household bulb for Azo, appropriate lighting for alt processes). I haven't contact printed 11x14 but I've contact printed both Azo and alt processes (mainly gum) in 8x10 with a 16x20 or so frame from Doug Kennedy and it's worked fine at that size.

Bruce E. Rathbun
13-May-2005, 20:26
A vacuum frame is a best first choice yet do not give up on good frame. I currently use a contact print frame for my contact printing of both 8x20 and 11x14 on Azo. The results are amazing for a print frame. Any larger and I would use a vacuum frame for sure. If you are interested I can send a sample of a print pulled from a frame. I will say that due to the ease of a vacuum frame that will be my next choice. If you can do a vacuum frame by all means do so now. Until that time a farme just might be an option.


14-May-2005, 04:42
I have used both , an Edwards Engineering Light source and A NuArc 26-1K plate burner with vacuum frame. The Edwards unit works excellent and I used a Bostick and Sullivan 11x14 print frame. I picked up the NuArc on epay for 50 bucks complete with vacuum frame. A point light source like a plate burner really shines when it comes down to dodging and burning. Either will work well for alternative processes.