Got my materials in yesterday so I can try to contact print my 4x5's. Any advise and/or suggestions on how you contact print to get the best results from the process?
Oct 24 12 04:15 am Link
Ashford, England, United Kingdom
Put the paper on the enlarger baseboard, place the negative on top, cover with a sheet of spotlessly clean glass and do a test print as normal.
Oct 24 12 04:21 am Link
Buffalo Grove, Illinois, US
One way to make a contact test print is what I used to do...Using a 4 x 5 enlarger, I shined the image on the photographic easel at the 4 x 5 magnification for focusing and turned off the enlarger.. I placed a sheet of enlarging paper in the easel, making sure the blades of the easel were set for 4 x 5 and the paper was contained within them. I then took a large white cardboard and exposed sections of the paper for 1 second or whatever I determined would be a good starting time. Each section of the paper received an increase in exposure. I would then make sure I had done this enough times to cover the whole piece of paper within the easel blades. Developed it and then looked for the strip that gave me the best image quality and that was the time to make the final print. BTW, used a Thomas Sodium Vapor safelight that made the darkroom look like daylight. If I recall, Kodak used to make a step wedge that you would place upon the paper that would do the same thing as the cardboard: give you the correct exposure as seen in one of the wedges. You could also buy a contact printer. Mine would allow you to put multiple 4 x 5 negatives in it and you could use the cardboard step exposure time technique to determine the best exposure if the negative density was consistent for all the ones put in the contact printer. BTW, my enlarger is a Super Chromega D5XL, Color Head, Chromegatrol, 4 x 5 mixing box, and Schneider 150mm lens. I use the Omega 16 x 20 adjustable easel for larger prints, and smaller adjustable easels for 8 x 10, 4 x 5.
Oct 24 12 08:09 am Link
Portland, Oregon, US
have you done any darkroom printing yet?
Oct 24 12 08:33 am Link
Walnut Creek, California, US
If you have an enlarger use that as the light source as it will be even. Don't be afraid to stop the lens down to reduce the light. Modern photo papers are meant for projection printing and are very fast. So reducing the light will help in getting decent exposure times to enable you to dodge and burn if needed.
Oct 24 12 09:11 am Link
are you using "contact" or "enlarging speed" paper?
are you using VC or graded?
when you put your negative onto the paper, can you see through shadows to paper?
-- generic stuff:
3 sec steps for contact sheet ... from 3->15 seconds.
soup 2mins, if image comes up in 30sec, you're fine; if sooner, then back off on light.
Photography in two aphorisms:
To make a negative: expose for the shadow, develop for the highlight.
To make a positive: expose for the highlight, develop(or change contrast) for the shadows.
Remember: what you do to make a negative, you reverse to make a positive.
annie -- all covered in red, that smells like fix
Oct 24 12 09:13 am Link
appreciate all this info...
My first venture printing anything, especially with film.
I haven't picked up my enlarger yet, due to my schedule ;(
I have Arista Paper Developer, and Fomalux b/w contact paper [5x7] which I bought from FreeStyle.
I'm getting tired of shooting and scanning. I want to see what the neg's will produce. The next thing I have to find is a safe light.
Patience is one of my virtues ...
Oct 24 12 10:41 am Link
La Quinta, California, US
If you're contact printing 4 x 5's, you will be facing a couple of different challenges.
1 - dodging and burning on a 4 x 5 will not be easy. It's not easy to see the minor differences in the denser parts of the negative as the exposure is going on unless your safelight is right near your enlarger (not really the right place for it to be). So, expect your contact prints to be test/sample prints that you will adjust for exposure/contrast when you make enlarged prints.
2 - rather than making multiple test exposures on a single 4 x 5 contact print, try this. Take an 8 x 10 piece of cardboard and cut a 4 x 5 square out of one corner. When you make your contact print, make 4 different exposures on one 8 x 10 sheet of paper moving the negative to each of the four quadrants and using the "L" shaped peice of cardboard on top of the glass to sheild the rest of the paper. This way, you're getting four different test exposures on one 8 x 10 sheet of paper that give you a much larger area to view the different exposures than doing multiple test strips on one 4 x 5.
3 - If you are using a 4 x 5 enlarger to do your contact printing with, adjust the enlarger head height to the same as it would be if you were doing an enlargement. That way, when you do the enlargement, you'll already know the approximate exposure time to use.
As others have said, just put the negative on top of the paper and put a piece of glass over the top.
Oct 24 12 10:45 am Link
for Fomalux -- development will be complete in 90seconds
exposure (contact, under typical light green frame glass) will be around 30 seconds under a 150 frosted white bulb about 3-5 feet above print frame.
suggest test steps of 10.20.30.40, to check your windage.
Oh, OC safelight at least 8 foot away.
this for 4x5 HP5 in ID11 N dev.
-- does it seem light in here?
Oct 24 12 02:23 pm Link
Olney, Maryland, US
Oct 24 12 04:35 pm Link
La Quinta, California, US
Mark Salo wrote:
No - you don't need anti-newton glass.
Oct 24 12 05:06 pm Link
Mark Salo wrote:
Dan Dozer wrote:
The "contact" is between the film right onto the paper, there should be no glass between the emulsion and paper. I got an old 5x7 contact printer where I replaced the bulb in the bottom with a nice diffuser LED setup.
Oct 24 12 05:16 pm Link
Portland, Oregon, US
if it is an option for you, honestly I would think about signing up for beginner darkroom classes at a community college or camera store etc....you are all going to get a shit ton of info on this....some of it not that good.
Oct 24 12 05:38 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
Get one of these ...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-x-10-Contact- … 4abd9fba6e
Nice strong pressure between film and paper is important.
Oct 24 12 05:51 pm Link
Memphis, Tennessee, US
Fred Greissing wrote:
This is the right way to do it. Nostalgia, my heart just swelled a bit, haven't heard that term (contact print) in a long time
Oct 24 12 06:04 pm Link
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
I sent you a PM on the subject. I contact print all the time. My avatar is a contact print from an 8x10 negative made a couple of weeks ago. Craig
Oct 24 12 06:20 pm Link
New York, New York, US
Hey Phill why no9t just scan the negative directly into your computer so you can study it.. zoom in n out as you please, try different looks in photoshop before you print finals?
I make all my contact sheet now on the computer. got too lazy and it also saves on paper cost.
I just picked up a 250 sh box of paper.. $260 at B&H.. not as cheap as it use to be.. and I can't find single weight paper anymore!
Otherwise if you insist on doing contact prints.. flash em under a sheet of glass. 60W bulb at 24" above. If you want.. you can put your VC gel filters to control contrast right on top of the glass.
Oct 24 12 06:57 pm Link
I do have a V700 scanner, btw, and have been scanning. I'm wanting to contact print some to see if those results are better than my scans. I think I "may" be picking up my Enlarger tomorrow in Nashville
The local college doesn't offer photography.
I did order the 8x10 contact printer...Thanks Fred.
One step at a time I guess. Should prove to be interesting...
Oct 25 12 03:59 am Link
Orlando, Florida, US
Eh. Who needs an enlarger for contact prints? Just get this old beauty. Ha!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Photography-His … 0396178655
Oct 25 12 04:23 am Link
Cleveland, Ohio, US
Kent Art Photography wrote:
This is the way to keep it simple... Make a test print and let it rip...
Oct 25 12 04:32 am Link
Mike Collins wrote:
I bought the enlarger approx a month ago, so I could print from my negs. Just haven't had the time to pick it up. Hopefully. Tomorrow.
Oct 25 12 04:43 am Link
contact paper is SLOW; particularly for an enlarger bulb.
use a regular 150 watt frosted white bulb.
===== sheet of glass, from glazer. 10 in sq, polished edges
+-+-+-+ your negative, base side UP (toward light)
###### your paper, emulsion side UP (toward negative)
oooooooo old paper, or smooth rubber (soft, but solid)
-- annie. proof about 2,000 rolls of film a year.
& makes about 500 8x10 contact prints year, using this crude system
Oct 25 12 08:51 am Link
Did my first one
Looks a bit rough, but then again, I'm not sure how sharp the neg is.
I exposed it for 5 minutes with a 100watt light approx 6 feet from the neg, and developed it for approx 2 minutes
Hanging right now to dry.
Can't wait to get my enlarger in here tomorrow... I have to order some 8x10 paper now.
Oct 25 12 12:06 pm Link
move light closer --> less time
(inverse square almost works)
6' == 5min
3' ~ 2min
1.5' ~~ 1 min
Oct 26 12 07:50 am Link
Mike Collins wrote:
Looks like the 5x7 one I have.
Oct 26 12 09:19 am Link
100 watt at 5 mins seems a little intense, might be overexposing and under developing.
Oct 26 12 09:20 am Link
If you're just starting out, get variable contrast paper, and a set of filters.
If you're contact printing with just a lightbulb, don't have it 6 feet away. Try two feet. If it's too bright, go to three feet.
Five minutes is completely absurd. Exposure times should be around 15 to 45 seconds, in that ballpark.
Oct 26 12 03:27 pm Link
Karl Blessing wrote:
Pretty sure this is irrelevant, Karl. He's contact printing so the room could be bright white and it wouldn't make a difference.
Oct 26 12 03:31 pm Link
Appreciate all the tips..
I was just anxious to see something on paper since I have this pile of film building up.
Anyhooo, I've been trying this stuff in the bathroom. The 100 watt'r is in the ceiling of course, and I'm developing on the throne.
That paper is Formulux or something like that. Developer is Arista. FreeStyle told me is was a slow developing paper, so that's why I went with 5 minutes out of the gate. I may try some more tomorrow, but right now, I'm wanting to play with the enlarger I got today.
It's a Omega enlarger. All he had was 35mm film carriers... which does me no good, but I'm bid'n on a 4x5 film carrier on FleeBay. I may try to make my own carrier until I get mine.
I also ordered some 8x10 paper today from FreeStyle. I think the next thing I want to get is a timer to integrate with the enlarger.
Oct 26 12 04:41 pm Link
Oct 26 12 04:47 pm Link
Richard Klein Photo wrote:
Oct 26 12 04:51 pm Link
Reading your last post, It appears I misunderstood your op.
Five minutes for development of the paper is about right.
Are you using RC paper, or fiber paper?
Oct 26 12 05:28 pm Link
Carlos Occidental wrote:
I believe it's RC. I ordered 10x8 pearl today to be used with my enlarger.
Oct 26 12 06:00 pm Link