View Full Version : Texture Screens for LF

Petzval Paul
7-Jul-2019, 18:52
I was just wondering if anyone is using texture screens for contact printing LF negs? Presuming that the diffusion of having a layer of acetate (or whatever) between the negative and paper isn't an issue, is there any reason not to use a screen? I'm aware of them having been used when making enlargements (I experiment with them myself back in the day) but have never heard of them being used in contact printing.

7-Jul-2019, 19:07
Having something between the neg and paper will definitely affect sharpness -- contact printing a negative upside down (having the film base between the emulsion of the neg and the paper will affect sharpness, too.

7-Jul-2019, 19:10
William Mortensen manufactured texture screens back in the 1930-1960 period. they were then produced by a different company, but I heard that those were actually the negative of Mortensen texture screens. I tried to make my own but couldn't figure if I needed black with white marks or more Zone 5ish with white or black marks.

7-Jul-2019, 21:20
You can change the overall contrast by using a harder or softer printing light... (Harder light = harder print/softer light = softer print) Observatories would contact print large glass plate negs with diffuse light to bring out more faint detail...

The "texture" screens once sold were just diffusers that spread the light differently, as direct light leaves a harder shadow as edge effects, but diffuse light tended to "wrap around" these edges...

You can experiment trying different translucent papers and films hinge taped on your printing frame and see the differences...

I think it was Julia Margaret Cameron who would put thin glass between neg & paper to create that dreamy soft look...

Steve K

Jim Jones
8-Jul-2019, 06:05
In a printing company we could copy halftone negatives through a thickness of the film base as long as the light source was small and fairly distant. Large light sources close to printing frames demanded intimate emulsion to emulsion contact.

Petzval Paul
8-Jul-2019, 06:23
Thank you for the interesting replies! I'm reading through these carefully, trying to get there most out of them. Fortunately, I am mostly using Wollensak Verito these days, so sharpness isn't really a goal of mine ��