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terry_5379
24-Oct-2007, 00:48
Who makes the best contact printing frames.

Vaughn
24-Oct-2007, 02:50
One excellent maker of frames (or perhaps they market a line made for specifically for them) is Bostick and Sullivan. I have two 12x15 frames (for contact printing 8x10 negatives in both platinum and carbon processes. Actually they sell them as 11x14 frames, but they are actually fit paper that is 12x15.

http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/cart/home.php?cat=38

Vaughn

Scott Squires
24-Oct-2007, 08:00
I also have the B&S 11x14 Contact frame for 8x10 prints. It is a very well made frame! Not cheap, but I am sure it will last a lifetime!

Scott

www.scottsquires.com

matthew blais
24-Oct-2007, 19:40
Freestyle carries a very nice frame, which I have one of. I made another first and realized it was more cost/time effective to purchase the next one..

I had a formulary one but didn't like the clamping sytem so returned it.

Rick Moore
25-Oct-2007, 07:44
Alan Brubaker (www.filmholders.com) makes very nice contact printing frames.

neil poulsen
25-Oct-2007, 09:44
For a 16x20, I would purchase a frame made by Doug Kennedy. Specifically, I would avoid the frames made by Photographers' Formulary. I've used one. They might be OK for 8x10, but not for 16x20.

You can see a photograph of Doug Kennedy's print frame here on the right:

http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4501&d=1144105880

There's a good Apug discussion of different frames available here:

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum55/21815-contact-printing-frames.html

You can see his prices and reach Doug Kennedy here:

http://e.neilsen.home.att.net/dougkennedy.htm

SAShruby
25-Oct-2007, 10:32
Best frame is a sheet of glass 1/2 inch thick with low iron (it is so heavy). I used frames before and I'm not satisfied with them. I contact print mostly 8x20 and I have 1/4 inch regular glass on the bottom, black paper, photo paper negative and 1/2 inch low iron glass 12x24 inch.

Crisp sharp image. The most important is to sanwich it as much as possible. Springs on 16x20 won't do. The pressure accros entire glass will no be sufficient. Frames are OK up to 8x10, after that you won't get enough pressure to properly sandwich it.
The result is a soft image.

Scott Davis
25-Oct-2007, 12:53
Actually, I've been getting quite satisfactory results with contact frames up to 12x20. For modern frames, I have a Bostick & Sullivan 11x14 frame. Just about the best frame out there you can buy. I would avoid the Formulary frames- their snap-clamps (aka fingerbreakers) don't provide adequate pressure, especially across the middle. They're also noisy as hell and even if you've used one for a decade, you'll scare yourself every time you open or close one. I've got a bunch of antique frames that I got in my best ever Ebay deal - including a 14x17 and a 12x20 frame. The 12x20 is a three-part back, which I rebuilt recently because the original hinges were shot, and the felt was just nasty-looking. It seems to work just fine when I do my triple 5x7s on 12x20 paper, and I don't have loss of sharpness on any of the three frames. I could see, however, how you might not get adequate pressure across the entire frame with a larger spring-back style contact frame- I'd be reluctant to try it with 16x20 or bigger frames, but I did see one on Ebay once, an antique, that had a spine down the back of the back, and used two leaf-spring sets, one on each side of the spine, to give even pressure.

rippo
25-Oct-2007, 13:19
two sheets of double-thickness glass (i.e. not all that thick...3/8"?), with a layer of felt below the paper. office-supply binder clips on the edges. the key is to rest all of this on a pedestal of sorts, so the center is supported but the edges are not. keeps the center from separating and getting fuzzy.

works up to 11x17 on kallitype printing, no fancy contact printing frames necessary.

downside: if you're doing printing-out processes, you can't fold back part of the frame to check the actual print. never been an issue for me.

John MacManus
25-Oct-2007, 13:59
Terry:
Doug Kennedy also gets my vote. He made me a 11X14" frame. Beautiful carpentry, split back with even pressure from 3 very sturdy springs, built to last. If I ever needed another one, I'd give him by business again.

Check him out ... John

Keith Pitman
25-Oct-2007, 15:24
I had one made by Dan Pelland that is well made.

dschwa8059
25-Oct-2007, 15:40
I use one made by Lotus Cameras -- very nice indeed.

john dean
25-Apr-2017, 17:19
I have a nice vacuum frame with motor that goes to 16x20 but I am contemplating doing some 20x30 or 30x40 monochrome gum prints ( one printing per sheet only, no registered emulsion layers) . Does any one know if paper sandwiched between two sheets of heavy thick glass would work for that? I'm probably not going to make or buy a giant vacuum frame.

Ron McElroy
3-May-2017, 15:15
Unfortunately John the larger the print the more imperative a vacuum frame becomes.

john dean
6-May-2017, 13:34
What about 20x24 wooden spring loaded contact frames? Are they worth fooling with? From what I've been reading, the only way to do 30x40 contact prints is with a vacuum frame. Is this correct?

john







I have a nice vacuum frame with motor that goes to 16x20 but I am contemplating doing some 20x30 or 30x40 monochrome gum prints ( one printing per sheet only, no registered emulsion layers) . Does any one know if paper sandwiched between two sheets of heavy thick glass would work for that? I'm probably not going to make or buy a giant vacuum frame.

koraks
6-May-2017, 13:53
I made a frame with a glass plate measuring approx 18x24"; the presume system consists of 4 crossbars (wood) with a total of 8 threaded rods through them, pressing down on the split back plate. The concept works and can be scaled up, adding more crossbars and pressure points as you go up in size. However, I feel that beyond the size of the one I made, it all gets quite impractical.
Frankly, anything loaded with simple springs at this size I wouldn't trust. Either the springs aren't strong enough to keep the contents pressed together well enough, or you need an unpractical number of springs, or the springs are strong enough to form a serious health risk (imagine one popping out uncontrolled - one could easily lose an eye).

There's probably a fair number of conceivable architectures that may work for larger frames apart from a vacuum system. But the spring loaded concept of the smaller frames doesn't look like a very good candidate to me.

Barry Kirsten
6-May-2017, 14:13
Is ANR glass important in a printing frame? In my limited experience with contact printing I never had a problem with Newtons rings, but it is often a problem with glass negative carriers in enlargers.

Sal Santamaura
6-May-2017, 15:33
Is ANR glass important in a printing frame?....Yes, unless you're contact printing sheets of 320TXP. It is the only film left I'm aware of that's still heavily back coated, ostensibly to enable retouching on both sides. I haven't heard of anyone doing that type negative retouching lately, but the coating sure does eliminate Newton's rings completely!

koraks
7-May-2017, 01:48
I never saw anything resembling newton rings in my alt process contact prints despite using regular glass. The possible exception is in photopolymer gravure where I used to have an issue with light spots, but that seems to have gone away as a result of other process changes. So no, I wouldn't say that for processes such as gum bichromate you need AN glass.

seezee
7-May-2017, 11:57
Alan Brubaker (www.filmholders.com) makes very nice contact printing frames.

I haven't used it yet, but I bought one of Alan's frames & it very nicely made. Contacting them can be tricky ó it's a one-man operation, so be prepared for email & phone tag to place your order & arrange payment.

Eliseo Pascual
26-May-2017, 07:34
I use my enlarger as light source, print 8x10 and 11x14 negatives and have nice printing frames. But since many years ago I found that the weight of a simple clear glass of some thickness - 3 or 4 mm placed on the negative and paper flatten them perfectly against the enlarger board. I have used it for years without any difference from the copies I make with the presses. And the clear glass is much easier to keep clean and to use, and much, much cheaper and easy to find.

Eliseo Pascual

Dhuiting
11-Nov-2017, 11:33
I use my enlarger as light source, print 8x10 and 11x14 negatives and have nice printing frames. But since many years ago I found that the weight of a simple clear glass of some thickness - 3 or 4 mm placed on the negative and paper flatten them perfectly against the enlarger board. I have used it for years without any difference from the copies I make with the presses. And the clear glass is much easier to keep clean and to use, and much, much cheaper and easy to find.

Eliseo Pascual

This (the simple piece of heavy glass) sounds like a great idea. I just dropped $218 on a Bostick & Sullivan 8x10 frame, only to figure out that I don't know how the heck you're supposed to line up the negative and paper perfectly when the frame is too big for both (I think their 8x10 frame is actually 9x11.) I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I can find no videos on Youtube that show how to contact print 8x10, let alone use this frame.

Seems like the glass method would be way faster too? Just slap down the paper, the neg, and glass and voila! None of this screwing around with lining up the neg and closing those very-hard-to-push-down springs only to find its not perfectly lined up and I have to take the neg out again and do it all over.

Also, no matter how much I clean the glass, and the neg before hand, the neg always ends up with little particles stuck in the negative after the printing session. I love the idea of contact printing but if I'm gonna permanently scratch/screw up all my negs by contact printing, I will think twice. Or at least get them all drum scanned first (the ones I care about). Again, I'm SURE I'm doing some steps wrong. Problem is, The thing (B&S frame) doesn't come with instructions and there's no Youtube videos about 8x10 contact printing n a frame I can find...

Did I just waste $218 (plus shipping!) ???

:)

karl french
11-Nov-2017, 12:46
Set the back of the frame down on its springs.
Place the paper and negative on the felt in proper alignment.
Place glass on top of negative, paper, and back.
Carefully place frame on top of the back.
Hold onto the complete assembly with both hands and flip over.
Lock springs into place.

The B&S frames are very well made.

Dhuiting
11-Nov-2017, 19:13
Set the back of the frame down on its springs.
Place the paper and negative on the felt in proper alignment.
Place glass on top of negative, paper, and back.
Carefully place frame on top of the back.
Hold onto the complete assembly with both hands and flip over.
Lock springs into place.

The B&S frames are very well made.

I tried that! That was the first way I tried. Getting the frame over the glass without bumping things must be a skill that is learned over time then, because I bump it every time! :)


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karl french
11-Nov-2017, 19:40
How many cups of coffee are you drinking a day? :-)
Really, it just takes a bit of practice. I have the 11x14 B&S Frame, which I used with 8x10 quite regularly. It works very well, and makes good contact between the paper and negative as long as the they are similar in size.

tgtaylor
11-Nov-2017, 21:17
Dan - Place the back down on the springs as Karl suggests. Next place the coated sheet on the felt in correct alignment. You may have made tick marks on the paper indicating where the negative is placed (I do). Then place the negative on the paper. Pick up the glass with the thumb and forefinger of each hand and carefully guide the diagonal sides so that each corner is flush with the back. Make sure that all 4 sides of the glass are flush with the sides. Finally carefully pitch up the top of the frame, tilt the front that's toward you up and guide guide the opposite side of the frame onto the body keeping a finger on the bottom of the glass preventing movement. When the top of the frame is seated, turn the whole frame over and lock it down. Check it to be certain the emulsions are facing each other and the positioning is correct. That's it!

Thomas

Dhuiting
11-Nov-2017, 21:35
Karl- 1 cup :)
Thomas - I used 8x10 paper and the negative is also 8x10. Iím not sure where there is room for tick marks, unless Iím misunderstanding what youíre saying?

Thank you both for attempting to help me get this right, I really appreciate it!


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Dhuiting
11-Nov-2017, 22:19
Ok, I just tried this for a full hour and Iím beyond frustrated, not to mention my back is killing me from bending over, squinting to try and see anything in the dark red light.

(and yes, I eventually went and got a stool)


1. Itís near impossible to see if the negative is perfectly lined up to the fraction of a millimeter in the red light. I can barely see anything itís so dark. I have 3 safe lights on and still canít see exactly. How do you guys do this?
2. The negative tends to stick to the glass through some sort of static energy or something. It is also literally impossible to put the glass down perfectly flush on the felt, Itís always Going to be off by a millimeter or less and needed to be nudged with a finger this way or that to be perfectly flush. It is at that point that the negative moves because it is slightly stuck to the glass, And during this nudging process that is where it gets off from the paper.
3. Even if I managed to get this far without starting over, (which I donít even know till after I make the print because itís so dark I canít even tell) putting on the frame inevitably will nudge the glass a millimeter or two, further messing up the alignment of the negative on the paper.

Does anyone have a VIDEO of this being done? (with the increased sensitivity of modern digital cameras Iím sure someone can easily make a video of this happening in the dark room on a camera like a Sony A7S or similar)


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Jimi
12-Nov-2017, 06:50
Why do you need to work in red light? What sort of paper do you use actually?

A passepartout can hide slight imperfections when mounting it in a frame.

I prefer to work with 5x7 negative on a bigger 8x10 paper - putting the negative on a 5x7 paper would be a ticket to the looney bin for me.
... unless you have to show the whole 8x10 paper and print a 8x10 negative on it ... then you're up the creek with no paddle. :D

EDIT: just re-read your original post - sorry, saw that the contact frame is indeed 8x10 (or 9x11). I've always worked with "one size up" frames.

John Kasaian
12-Nov-2017, 07:10
For 8x10 negs on 8x10 paper I use a Print file Proof printer on the base board of an enlarger (for the light source.) Works for me, anyway
No alignment issues. No finger prints on the glass. Quick to load. Less costly than a frame.

adelorenzo
12-Nov-2017, 17:23
I just hold the paper and negative in registration with one hand. Put it into the frame still holding on to it, clamp down the other half of the paper in the split back to hold it in place before you release your grip.

Dhuiting
12-Nov-2017, 19:05
Why do you need to work in red light? What sort of paper do you use actually?

A passepartout can hide slight imperfections when mounting it in a frame.

I prefer to work with 5x7 negative on a bigger 8x10 paper - putting the negative on a 5x7 paper would be a ticket to the looney bin for me.
... unless you have to show the whole 8x10 paper and print a 8x10 negative on it ... then you're up the creek with no paddle. :D

EDIT: just re-read your original post - sorry, saw that the contact frame is indeed 8x10 (or 9x11). I've always worked with "one size up" frames.

I work in Red light because Iím using normal enlarger paper (Ilford Multigrade RC) to make my 8 x 10 contact prints. It was suggested to me on another thread about contact printing that before blowing a bunch of money on some vintage AZO or Lodima paper, I should learn what the heck Iím doing with normal paper first. Make the mistakes with the cheap stuff before going up to expensive paper....

I guess I could sell the 8x10 frame, buy an 11x14 frame and 11x14 paper and then just cut the sides all the time to crop down to 8x10.

But it just seems silly that someone hasnít yet made a contact frame where there are spring-loaded retractable guides on 3 sides of the paper (coming out of the felt or whatever) that simply push back down below the felt and retract when the glass is pushed down. It would be such a nice effortless thing to not even have to think about lining it up and have it perfect every time.

(When I use my yellow metal easels and my enlarger that principle is there (having guides), so why not design a contact print frame that works the same way? )


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Jimi
13-Nov-2017, 10:49
Dan,

I see your points - obviously there are always ways to make things better - even contact frames. Some of them (older ones) have cropping rulers (like an easel) which also could help getting things looking nicer.

With multigrade RC paper you don't have to use red light - you can use the orange filters (can't remember the designation at the moment) for this. That would definitely make things easier to see.

Dhuiting
14-Nov-2017, 00:01
Dan,

I see your points - obviously there are always ways to make things better - even contact frames. Some of them (older ones) have cropping rulers (like an easel) which also could help getting things looking nicer.

With multigrade RC paper you don't have to use red light - you can use the orange filters (can't remember the designation at the moment) for this. That would definitely make things easier to see.

Thanks! Iím very interested in the orange filters.

Iím reading Angel Adams ďThe PrintĒ for the second time through now, and I noticed he says on page 68 that he has long since abandoned contact printing frames in favor of contact sheet proofers, as they are faster and easier, and he says: ďthe whole reason for the contact frame with hinged back originally was for use with printing-out papers, which require that the user be able to check periodically on the effect of the exposure. For contact printing with developing-out paper however I discarded these years ago in favor of a simple ďsandwichĒ of negative, paper, and heavy cover glass, supported on a sheet of sponge rubber...I am presently using the HP Film Proofer, which consists of a hinged sheet of heavy glass, foam pad, and base.Ē

Well Iíll be! If itís good enough for old Ansel...

I just saw an HP film proofer on EBay for $20. Looks like my brand new $218-plus-shipping B&S contact frame is going to be showing up in the ďfor saleď section of this forum very soon :)




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Jimi
14-Nov-2017, 08:16
Dan,

The specific filter that I was thinking of was a Ilford SL1 filter, useable for multigrade papers. Dear old Ilford has buggered up ("re-made") their homepage so I can't find the safelight information that used to exist there. Perhaps an Ilford 902 could work too for the multigrade papers.

When you continue onwards with the silver chloride paper, you may have to switch back to the red safelight, but by then you probably know how to put things straight with ease.

karl french
14-Nov-2017, 08:20
Yes, for 8x10 with smooth RC or Fiber silver paper the proofer will produce sharp results with less trouble than the frame. For Alt printing on watercolor paper and for the option of checking on your exposure without losing registration, the frame wins.

Sal Santamaura
14-Nov-2017, 10:45
...Angel Adams...Interesting. Saint Ansel is an angel now. Wonders never cease. :D

Jerry Bodine
14-Nov-2017, 12:51
Here (https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/763/product_id/613/) is the link to Ilford's Safelight Filters & available models. Please note that none of the housing models are available in U.S. voltages and use bulbs with non-U.S. standard base types. The filters are made of glass and Ilford MAY supply them cut to size, if requested, to fit properly in an existing U.S. housing. Here (http://www.bulbs.com/learning/shapesandsizes.aspx) is a website showing standard U.S. bulb sizes.

Many years ago I started using the HP Film Proofer and after several years the foam began to disintegrate into a sticky gooey mess, so it went into the trash bin. I also experienced Newton Rings with it, because the glass wasn't able to "float" at the hinge pin and allow uniform pressure against the negative. Live and learn.

Leigh
14-Nov-2017, 15:48
I work in Red light because I’m using normal enlarger paper (Ilford Multigrade RC) to make my 8 x 10 contact prints.
Get a Thomas Duplex safelight.

Hang it from the ceiling. It's very bright monochromatic yellow sodium vapor. Bright enough to read small print on a bottle label anywhere in the darkroom, even when shaded by your body.

I too use Ilford Multigrade RC, and have never had any kind of problem with the Thomas.

- Leigh

tgtaylor
15-Nov-2017, 12:48
Initially I used a Print File Custom Proofer that I found used for $5 and replaced the worn foam. But IMO the glass is not heavy enough so I picked-up a split back 8x10 frame for $20.00 that was hardly, if at all used. The blades on the back apply sufficient force as required for a sharp print and the resulting contact print shows that tell tale part of the rebate that indicates it is a contact print. When using oversized paper, I use the 8x10 B&S frame for prints that I will trim-off the rebate when mounting and the 11x14 frame for prints that I want the brush over coating to show. The main difficulty when using a frame that is larger than the paper is seating the glass onto the sandwich which I found to be easily accomplished by using the method I set-out above.

Thomas

bgh
16-Nov-2017, 08:00
For 8x10 negs on 8x10 paper I use a Print file Proof printer on the base board of an enlarger (for the light source.) Works for me, anyway
No alignment issues. No finger prints on the glass. Quick to load. Less costly than a frame.

Same here. I just printed a boatload of HABS contact prints yesterday with the thing, and it moved quickly and easily. The glass is heavy, and keeps things as tight as I need. Plus, the Print File proof printer is not very expensive. Its only limitation is size--it doesn't do much more than 8x10. Since I don't do anything more than that, it works great for me.

Bruce

Dhuiting
16-Nov-2017, 09:26
Same here. I just printed a boatload of HABS contact prints yesterday with the thing, and it moved quickly and easily. The glass is heavy, and keeps things as tight as I need. Plus, the Print File proof printer is not very expensive. Its only limitation is size--it doesn't do much more than 8x10. Since I don't do anything more than that, it works great for me.

Bruce

Thanks all! Iím thinking Iíll by one of those Print File proof printers. Thank you for sharing your experiences.




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