View Full Version : 4x5 contact sheet question

25-Nov-2008, 14:29
I asked my local lab to make me a contact sheet of my 4x5 negatives. This was the first time I've had this done. They didn't remove the negatives from the plastic sleeves....you could tell from the contact sheets. They said they do this so as not to scratch the negatives. Is that right? I guess I could specifically ask them to take them out...or is that a bad idea? The girl at the counter seemed to suggest they would not take them out even if I asked them too, which kind of made me wonder if I should go to another lab. Lay some of your experience on me guys!

Erik Larsen
25-Nov-2008, 14:34
They probably just thought that you wanted some proofs to see what was on the negatives. I'm sure that if you want a nice print, they will do whatever you require of them to make you happy within reason.

Louie Powell
25-Nov-2008, 14:44
I generally do not remove my negatives from their protective sleeves when making ordinary contact prints 'for record'. These aren't finished prints, and serve only as a means to index images.

But if I'm making a contact print for display - a Pt/Pd print for example - then I will remove it from the sleeve.

25-Nov-2008, 14:51
thanks for the replies guys. what you're saying makes sense. i thought it was odd that the lab didn't trust itself to handle the negatives directly...you'd think that they would do it

25-Nov-2008, 15:59
My lab proofs through the sleeve too, in all formats In terms of production, I can't blame them. Like others have said, it is intended to be just a proof. If you ordered a print rather than a proof, it is likely that they would remove it from the sleeve, scan it and make a digital print. ;) There aren't too many labs making prints the "old fashioned way" any more... at least not around where I'm living.

25-Nov-2008, 16:08
We used to do this a lot, before the D...... revolution.
I always liked to have my guys take them out of the sleeves, but it takes more time, for what is really a cheap print. Some customers used to use the contacts as a proof to show THEIR customer, and wanted it to look good, so that's the real reason we did it. When we processed the film as well, the processing folks wouldn't sleeve the negs, we'd do that after the contact was made. It's not just the time it takes to re-sleeve, but every time you handle the neg, there is the risk of something going wrong, fingerprints, a chunk of dirt getting in and scratching the emulsion, even being dropped! Even with professionals this is a risk and when you handle many, many, sheets that small risk comes up to bite you once and a while.
Who wants to damage a neg whilst making a contact!?

25-Nov-2008, 22:53
The lab I worked at in Arizona had a policy to do contact sheet in the sleeve 135 thru 8x10 to protect the negatives. Negs are louped to check focus, and the more costly CONTACT PRINTS or enlargements are removed from the sleeve for best quality.

25-Nov-2008, 22:57
well that makes sense...i guess what i really wanted was contact prints...however the lab i went to didn't offer them.