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Thread: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

  1. #41

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Thank you Michael and I will read more about this technique.

  2. #42

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    For someone who doesn't use an enlarger and contact print only, does this unsharp masking technique worth the time and trouble to learn? Most of my negs are 8x10 sizes.
    If you need it...

    Steve K

  3. #43

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Iuse ortho/lith film to make masks. Not difficult, but it takes practice to get to the point of them not being difficult.

  4. #44

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Much of John Sexton's 2nd workshop, Fine Tuning the Expressive Black and White print, is about masking techniques, both for the negative and the print. It took me a while, but after the workshop, I finally found a punch for 4x5 (and 5x7) and a nice setup for 8x10 negatives.

    But somehow, I need to find a way to set up a negative carrier with pins that align "perfectly" with the holes in a punched negative. Any suggestions? Is there a resource out there that can do this for an Omega D5 negative carrier . . .

    And, as soon as I ask, I'm wondering about S.K. Grimes?

  5. #45

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Even with pin registration, you don’t necessarily need pins in the enlarger negative carrier. Align the negative and masking film on pins to make the mask exposure. Then when the mask is done, align it with the negative on pins and tape the negative-mask sandwich together. Then that goes in the enlarger carrier (no pins required).

    If you’re interested in pin registration along with enlarger carrier registration, while it isn’t all that difficult to DIY, Lynn Radeka’s masking/carrier systems might be an option for you. They fit into most enlargers, are quite straight forward to use, and allow for a wide variety of mask types. Radeka does a lot of masking and in designing his system he solicited feedback from John and others. It works well. The system uses large pins (holes are punched in scrap film strips using a standard hole punch and these are taped to the negative and mask(s)) rather than small pins with holes punched in the negative.

    If you’ve already spent money on other stuff, this might not be the best option, in which case DIY might be the way to go.

    Of course you can also do masking without pin registration.

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    Much of John Sexton's 2nd workshop, Fine Tuning the Expressive Black and White print, is about masking techniques, both for the negative and the print. It took me a while, but after the workshop, I finally found a punch for 4x5 (and 5x7) and a nice setup for 8x10 negatives.

    But somehow, I need to find a way to set up a negative carrier with pins that align "perfectly" with the holes in a punched negative. Any suggestions? Is there a resource out there that can do this for an Omega D5 negative carrier . . .

    And, as soon as I ask, I'm wondering about S.K. Grimes?

  6. #46

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    A simple question to those who have used this technique: How this masking/carrier system, let's say 8x10, be used with an 8x10 contact frame, not an 8x10 enlarger? My understanding is the pins make the masking positive and the negative prefectly lined-up and one can't just put the masking sheet on top the negative and then on the photopaper. Is that correct?

  7. #47

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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    A simple question to those who have used this technique: How this masking/carrier system, let's say 8x10, be used with an 8x10 contact frame, not an 8x10 enlarger? My understanding is the pins make the masking positive and the negative prefectly lined-up and one can't just put the masking sheet on top the negative and then on the photopaper. Is that correct?
    You need a way to keep the negative and mask film in alignment when making the mask and when printing the negative/mask combination. This can be done without pins but it is often easier with pins. On the other hand, the larger the format, the easier it is to align things without necessarily requiring pins. This can work ok with unsharp masks.

    If you want to use pin registration with 8x10 contact prints, generally there are two approaches:

    1. Modify your contact printer with pins

    2. Make a separate contact printer with pins for making the masks. You will also need a separate flat surface such as a piece of glass or plastic with pins in the same locations as your mask contact printer. Call this an “alignment jig”. The way this would work is as follows:

    Step 1: Punch negative
    Step 2: Punch masking film
    Step 3: Place them both on the pins in your mask-making contact printer/frame
    Step 4 (once you have your processed mask): Place the mask and negative on the pins on the alignment jig and tape them together. The registered negative-mask sandwich can now be removed from the jig and printed in a regular contact printing frame or enlarger negative carrier.

    Michael

  8. #48
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Unsharp Masking…Would I/Could I/Should I?

    If contact printing 8x10, I simply use the same masking registration frame as I used for making the mask in the first place. The only difference is that's there's a piece of paper in it, along with the original neg and its mask, all placed on the same set of pins.

    The smaller the neg, the more difficult it is to register without proper punch and pin gear. As far as Eliot Porter goes, he was trained as a machinist during the War, so at first made his own registration gear. It was later that he purchased a better system from Condit. There is simply no way dye transfer printing can be done without some kind of precise registration system workflow; he had that all along, in one form or another. That process often involves a dozen or more sheets of film - various masks and separation negatives - that all need to be precisely aligned, plus the aligned and often enlarged dyed matrices afterwards, requiring its own dedicated punch and peg system.

    Kodak had their own very basic Eastman punch and register system for 8x10 DT contact prints; and then later, their Pan Matrix film was pre-punched in two sizes for sake of matching transfer boards. Amateurs sometimes used ordinary 3-hole paper punches; but those tended to be far better made than the cheapo office supply versions of today. And others made use of pre-press registration gear, just like many carbon printers today.
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 7-Jun-2021 at 11:48.

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