View Full Version : contact printing

James Olson
27-Dec-2007, 06:10
I recently purchased an 8x10 view camera and have been making contact prints with
a Printfile Custom Proofer that I originally used to make contact prints using their
printfile products. Would I gain a lot by using the contact print frames sold by
Bostick and Sullivan and other merchants.

Jim Olson

Turner Reich
27-Dec-2007, 06:42
Yes, prestige, but just a sheet of glass is plenty.

Tim Curry
27-Dec-2007, 07:20
A local glass company can cut and seam the edges for a sheet of plate glass. Make it thick enough to help flatten the paper. tim

John O'Connell
27-Dec-2007, 07:27
I use the same printfile proofer for contact printing. It's handier than the printing frames I have.

27-Dec-2007, 09:30
Hinged contact frames let you check your work during exposure and keeps your paper/neg in registration when you do so...

Colin Graham
27-Dec-2007, 09:31
If the paper has a lot of curl to it out of the box you may get better contact and sharpness from a contact printer with good springs. I was using 1/4" plate glass by itself for awhile and it was always a little soft in the center with some papers. A good design has leaf springs that span the whole back, not just attached at the edges.

Brian Ellis
27-Dec-2007, 11:05
Can't really say. What are the problems with your present method?

Jim Fitzgerald
27-Dec-2007, 21:35
Jim, 12"x24"x1/4" glass and a foam pad to put everything on and you are ready to go. Use Azo or another single weight paper and it will stay flat.


Oren Grad
27-Dec-2007, 22:13
Every spring-back printing frame I've ever tried has given me Newton's rings. For contact printing on double-weight enlarging papers, I like using a sandwich of slightly larger size glass, with 1/4" glass on top and whatever's handy underneath. So, for example, I'd use a piece at least 11x14" for printing 8x10. The extra weight does wonders for paper flatness and even contact.

In the same vein, I've found the glass from the PrintFile gadget makes a nice upper glass for contact printing 5x7 and smaller.

But if the PrintFile device is working well for you - no Newton's rings, and uinform contact across the negative for good sharpness all across the print - don't feel compelled to change. Depending on environmental conditions, there can be a certain amount of voodoo in achieving good contact without inducing Newton's rings, so when you find something that works for you, stick with it.

Oren Grad
27-Dec-2007, 22:16
Hinged contact frames let you check your work during exposure and keeps your paper/neg in registration when you do so...

...which matters only if you're working with printing-out processes.

al olson
28-Dec-2007, 07:20
I make my 8x10 contact prints on 11x14 paper, exposing them with the enlarger light. I do this with a piece of 11x14 matte that has a centered 8x10 opening.

The matte is placed over the paper with the beveled edges opening upward. It is very easy to drop in the negative and cover it with an 8x10 piece of acrylic which will align with the bottom of the matte.

This prints the entire negative, including the rebate, and leaves a nice white border around the image.

Christopher Breitenstein
28-Dec-2007, 16:03
Contact printing frames are unnecessary. You can sandwich the negative between a thick, over sized, piece of anti-newton glass and dense foam (or another sheet of glass). your prints will be sharp edge to edge, loading the paper/negative sandwich is quicker, it occupies less space, and is much cheaper.

I purchased one of the Formulary's split snap back frames and found that my prints were less sharp then when using two pieces of glass.

The only draw backs to using two pieces of glass are that the back doesn't hinge for printing/developing out processes, and it doesn't look as nice as a $200 handmade cherry wood printing

To each his own. Try using a frame it may be the best fit for you.