View Full Version : Anyone have the Beseler Nega-flat carrier?

brian steinberger
16-Feb-2006, 13:33
I just bought a 4x5 Negaflat carrier off ebay. It looks like it will work great for flatness, but I tested it with a discarded negative and it leaves scratches on the edge of each side when it grips. I was wondering if this is normal. Could I put something soft on the grips to minimize the scratching? I know the scrathes won't be in the image, but just wondering. Thanks!

Steve Feldman
16-Feb-2006, 13:47

Must be normal. Mine does the same. Works great too.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2006, 14:56
The scratches are necessary, but I have never seen them impact the enlargement area. I've used one for over twenty years.

16-Feb-2006, 15:44
it might depend on how much of the negative area you print. i've never used one, but i have two different friends who have bought and gotten rid of the thing. they called it the Nega-Scratch.

too bad, because it's such a perfect idea. i worked in a lab that had a giant HK horizontal enlarger. it had beautiful machined film holders that grabbed the corners and stretched the film tight as a drum, without leaving a mark. but they were proprietary to that machine, and they cost a fortune. it would be nice if someone could make holders that worked the same way for other enlargers. and for scanners! i'd much rather have a setup like that than to have to endure wet mounting.

Jay DeFehr
16-Feb-2006, 16:03
I don't know why anyone would want to print the clear borders of their film, where the marks are left, but if they did, they might prefer another holder; probably a glass holder with all the attendant problems. For "normal" work, I don't think the negaflat can be beat.


16-Feb-2006, 16:12
in your experience do the scratches stay consistently within the area of the borders?

it might be that my friends were making full frame prints and so even this would be a problem for them.

16-Feb-2006, 16:21

the Negaflat is one of the best peaces I have. I use it on a Durst Pictograph, even with smaller 9 x12 cm negatives (with the help of small peaces of ScotchType). No dust, no Newton-rings. I am happy with it, and the scratches are only at the border, if any.

Richard Boulware
16-Feb-2006, 16:37
The Bessler Nega-Flat was designed for use when enlarging negatives from film pack magazines. ..common for the press corps who used them. The magazines held negatives so thin and flimsy, it was like holding a piece of SaranWrap. THAT is what they were designed for. They work well with more modern and firm films.

Kirk Gittings
16-Feb-2006, 23:22
Thanks for reminding me Richard. That was why I bought mine, because I shot thin base Tri-X film in packs for many many years, but I continue to use the NegaFlat because it helps prevent heat buckling on long exposures when the humidity is high.

Ken Lee
17-Feb-2006, 05:03
I use their Anit-Newtons-Ring Glass carrier: it keeps the film very flat, and doesn't scratch anything.

See it here (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=4677&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation" target="_blank).

I just got mine back from S.K. Grimes, who enlarged the area for me, so that it no longer crops the negative. I can now get the full frame. Grimes did a great job.

Ken Lee
17-Feb-2006, 05:04
Sorry - Anti Newtons Rings

Kirk Gittings
17-Feb-2006, 10:39
You want frustration? Use a glass carrier in New Mexico with 6 surfaces to collect dust. Give me a NegaFlat anyday.

Ken Lee
17-Feb-2006, 12:05
Kirk - You're supposed to use those things indoors.

I miss those New Mexico skies. :-(

Richard Schlesinger
17-Feb-2006, 12:16
My only complaint re: the nega-flat(I have used one for years) is that there is not one for 2 1/4 and 35mm!

David Kaufman
18-Feb-2006, 21:16
To solve the problem of the negaflat scratching the edges of your negatives, tape some 3M premium scotch tape (the white "magic" stuff) to both sides of the gripping metal pieces. You'll have to cut the tape to the right width before taping it on the grippers and use only a single layer, folding the tape over the gripper so it covers both sides. I did this some ten years ago and have never had a problem with scratching since. The grippers exert enough pressure to work with the tape in place--there's no loss of flatness or holding power.