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Thread: contact printing ??

  1. #1

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    contact printing ??

    Tried my first contact prints today with no luck, using Ilford multigrade RC paper and multigrade developer at 1:9. All the prints went totally black except one where i could see a faint image of the 4x5 negative border but not much else. I did use a amber safe light and this is a brand new box of paper(just opened) exposures were 5-10 seconds using a 40 watt light bulb. Any suggestions on what i'm doing wrong?

  2. #2

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    Re: contact printing ??

    I think your bulb is much too bright. Try a smaller wattage bulb (5-10 watts), move it farther from the paper, and maybe add some diffusing material under the bulb to reduce the brightness further. The paper you are using is very sensitive and you don't need or want a great deal of light.
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  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: contact printing ??

    I like the lower wattage and diffusion material idea/s.

    Moving the light a lot further away will help, too. (3 to 4 times further away?). If you are using a contact printing frame, you can print from any direction...horizontally if that works better in your space.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

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    Re: contact printing ??

    Paper is a high contrast material with a very short exposure scale, so getting the right exposure can be challenging. A dimmer light source will help, but you'll also need to do some test strips to determine the best times. Having the light on an electronic controller will help with consistency.

  5. #5

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    Re: contact printing ??

    Thanks, this is my first attempt; I was worried that the amber safelight caused issues. Found a 7.5 watt light so am giving it another go

  6. #6

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    Re: contact printing ??

    OK tried the a 7.5 watt bulb and that worked better, got a workable image but that was at 3 seconds with the light about 3-5 feet above. Need to go dimmer or try to get the light farther away

  7. #7

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    Re: contact printing ??

    I can't help but wonder, MAross396, if you had seen images of Edward Weston using a set-up similar to your initial one, or, perhaps, alternative process artists doing something like that. The paper that Weston used, if I am not very mistaken (and I'll undoubtedly find out soon after this is posted), was much, much slower than Multigrade. There are a few similar papers today, I understand, but with Multigrade and most modern papers, enlarger light passed through a lens with an adjustable aperture is more often the source for contact printing.

    Good luck with your set-up! Experimentation will get you where you want to be.

    Keep in mind that you can, with the small bulb you have now, confine it's light in a carefully home-made enclosure of black foam core with a cutout in the bottom, allowing the possibility of easily inserting diffusion in one, two, or more layers to give you a workable contact printing time if you wish to fine tune your exposures and/or doge and burn some areas.

    I'm sure I don't need to say that proper caution is needed to ensure that the lamp does not get close to close the foam core; it would need to be suspended in the enclosure. Please note also, that little LED bulbs are also available. How they may affect contrast, given the tendency to have a green spike, you'll have to discover, but the heat issue would practically be eliminated.
    Philip Ulanowsky

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  8. #8

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    Re: contact printing ??

    RC paper is very fast, and at those short distances exposures can be very short, even fractions of a second...

    Getting the light source a further distance, using lower wattage light sources, and using an enlarging timer that can be set for fractions of a second help...

    Try and test...

    Steve K

  9. #9

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    Re: contact printing ??

    Here is what you need, ADOX Lupex Contact Paper FB

    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/58925...8x10-25-Sheets

  10. #10
    multi format
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    Re: contact printing ??

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsydog View Post
    Here is what you need, ADOX Lupex Contact Paper FB

    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/58925...8x10-25-Sheets

    that's like Lodima / Azo and needs like a 300 watt bulb, I think Maross396 might have equally as much trouble with a dim bulb and negatives that might not be suited for the paper.

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