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Thread: How to contact print without showing the rebate?

  1. #1
    Randy's Avatar
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    How to contact print without showing the rebate?

    When contact printing, I am not particularly fond of that clear, unexposed area around my 8X10 negs - that border area that doesn't get exposed due to the way a sheet of film has to be held in it's film holder. If it was perfectly even and symmetrical, the same dimensions all the way around the neg, I probably could tolerate it.
    Contact printing 8X10 negs onto 8X10 paper is no problem because the area can be covered when framed, but I am about to start coating my own paper for doing cyanotypes and very likely I will be leaving the border area of the print showing, brush strokes and such.
    From my mind, the only way for that negative border area to not show up in the print is for me to cut it off with a razor knife.
    Am I not thinking clearly about this?
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing

    Showing the film rebate (the area that remains unexposed) is a personal choice. However this is the first time I have heard of someone wanting to show their brush marks but not the rebate. If it is important for how you see your images, go for it! But you may find that the rebate sort of disappears when showing the brush strokes -- the rebate becomes a non-issue.

    Cutting off the rebate is easily done. I have sliced 8x10 negs down to 4x10 (exposed two 4x10s images on an 8x10 sheet of film) with no problem.

    Another avenue to explore would be film holders that do not cover the film (no rebate). They are rare, but there are holders out there that use an adhesive to hold the film in place (very flat) instead of the rails. Or perhaps glass plate holders could be adapted to hold film.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3

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    Re: Contact printing

    You could create a mask slightly smaller than the negative to prevent exposure through the rebate area.

  4. #4
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing

    I got this off the web (hope I don't get sued). This is kind of the look I am going for - I think the picture would be more pleasing without the notched rebate area (upper corners) showing.



    Vaughn, if you look at the many cyanotype images on the web, there are a lot that are showing the brush marks outside the border of the image area. Not sure why, but I kind of like that.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  5. #5

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    Re: Contact printing

    Well, a possible solution is to do one exposure for the image itself including the border, and then mask the image area and expose the remainder. When done right, this will at least make the rebate and edges of the film much less apparent. The major drawback especially with cyanotype would be solarization occurring in the area that is exposed twice, but with a little bit of care in estimating the second exposure, this needn't be a big issue.

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing

    You could cut a mask as large as the printing paper with an opening slightly larger than the film, and use lithographer's tape or any opaque tape to mount the film in the window.

  7. #7

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    Re: Contact printing

    That would leave the brush marks unexposed.

  8. #8
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing

    Usually people who don't want film borders also don't want brush marks, so a border printed/taped on an acetate/mylar sheet is the usual answer.

    Another option would be to fully mask it, print it, wash and dry it, then add some chemistry for brush marks, expose, wash, dry some more.

    You also don't have to coat out to the borders either. A coated rectangle slightly smaller than the border can work if the negative isn't cropped too tight or doesn't need to be the normal rectangular shape.

  9. #9

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    Re: Contact printing

    Rebate area shows that it is a full-frame contact print.
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  10. #10
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Contact printing

    You can trim the boarder with a paper trimmer [http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Trimmer.html] or cover it with a mat.
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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