View Full Version : Wow!! 8x10 Contact Print. Awesome!!

Vui Shin Chong
10-Aug-2005, 10:36
Hi All,

I am new to this forum and had benefited from reading all useful tips from the wiser ones. I did my first b&w 8x10 negative last night and contact printed the negative. Awesome!! (when I eventually got exposure right). I don't own an enlarger, so my only light source was 8x6 light box. Best exposure was achieved at 2 feet from the contact printer and exposed for 2-3 seconds. Will try some more tonight again.



Kevin M Bourque
10-Aug-2005, 10:50
Does your light box have flourescent lights? They would not be my first choice for two reasons. First, they sometimes take time to come to full power. Second, the spectrum of these lights is not continuous like an incandescent bulb. Its fine for graded paper but you might get unexpected contrast with variable contrast paper.

You don't need an enlarger. A low-wattage light bulb suspended above the negative will also work.


Vui Shin Chong
10-Aug-2005, 11:04
Hi Kevin,

Yes, I think the light box is day light balanced fluorescent lights. I have spoilt quite a few papers before I was happy with the result (and chemicals too). Very tricky to use and obviously hard to control exposure too. I read some thing about using light bulb as the main light source for contact printing. What wattage would be recommended? How long would you expose the paper? And how far from the contact printer? I am using some old kodak polymax II RC (F) papers. Don't mean a thing to me actually. Won it on ebay. I am still very much a 'greener' to LF photography. Only started 3 months ago and processing my own b&w negatives just 2 weeks ago.



John Berry ( Roadkill )
10-Aug-2005, 12:45
If you think that was a wow, wait till you use Azo with Amidol.

Daniel Grenier
10-Aug-2005, 16:59
Good for you, Chong. Exciting isn't it? I can remember my first 8x10 contact print back in the early 80s. It was a painfully disappointing experience! Tottally wrong, it was! Wrong film speed, major mottling, exposure issues, depth of field issues..... etc... what a downer! But then, things got better and better. I now use Azo and Amidol from negs done in Pyrocat. MUCH better!

Anyway, nice to see you are enjoying the process. Have fun with it.


Brian Ellis
10-Aug-2005, 19:56
A standard household light bulb suspended above the contact printing frame will work fine for contact printing. The wattage of the bulb depends on how far above the frame you hang it. I used a 100 watt household bulb and hung it two feet above the frame. My exposure times with Azo paper were in the 30-45 second range. Azo is a very slow paper, that wattage bulb at that height might make your exposure times too short if you use enlarging paper. I'm sure you realize that your exposure time with your present system is way too short because it won't allow you to do any dodging.

In hanging the bulb you need to srike a balance between getting it high enough to cover the entire paper but low enough so that your exposure times aren't inordinately long and yet are long enough to give you time to do some dodging if needed. I put the bulb in a reflector of the kind that can be bought for a couple dollars at any hardware store.