8x10 contact printer

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Any recommendations for a manufactured contact printer to use on 8x10 negatives? Any easy home made options (large sheet of glass, hinge material, baseboard, etc.)?

Thanks - Bill

-- bill youmans (bill@greatgrips.com), April 23, 2000


Large piece of glass, black matboard, light source. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), April 23, 2000.

I have purchased old split back printing frames for as much as $25.00. I don't care how good the new ones are, I don't think the $75.00+ they charge for 'em is going to show up in the print.

My preference, however, is for the hinged, glass, foam & plastic contact print frames usually sold as "proof" printers or whatever for the smaller formats. I'm refering to the ones without the tracks or slots to keep the rows of negatives parallel.

The hinged ones are easier to use, and don't put little wood chips or metal flakes on the negative (or paper). You're not constantly turning them over and back and you can align the negative perfectly on the paper and they seem easier to clean to me.

Unless you're making Platinotypes or Kallitypes or Calotypes or whatever, I think the plstic hinged ones are the way to go. Unless you can afford a vacuum frame, that is.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), April 23, 2000.

Bill: I went to my local glass company and had them cut me a 14"x14" piece of 1/4 plate glass. I told them what I wanted it for and told them it must be a pristine piece of glass with not scratches. They rounded off the edges with a sander. I then used duct tape to cover the edges and made a wider taped edge on one side to handle the glass by. I got a rubber pad at the office supply store of the kind that used to be placed under typewriters. It works better than any manufactured contact printer I have ever used. Just lay the paper on the rubber pad, place the negative, and lay the glass on top. I marked my enlarger column so the light source will be the same height everytime to make exposures more constant. Hope this helps.

-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alanet.com), April 23, 2000.

For the 1/4" glass, you can also get U-shaped aluminum channels in the hardware store that finish it off nicely. If you're careful you can mount some handles too.

If you are going to do production runs of one neg in any quantity, a chest type or cabinet type is the way to go. It wouldn't take too much to build one. The commercial photog I used to work for built one for printing 8x10 color negs, complete with filter tray and dodging glass. It worked fine.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), April 23, 2000.

Hi Bill, you might want to avoid the split back wood ones. I've got one, and I often find little pieces of wood or finish from what the factory coated the wood with. I've got it under control now, but with a metal contact frame or a piece of hinged glass you would avoid this whole issue.

I wonder what people do to eliminate the static charge from glass that attracts dust particles???


-- david clark (doc@ellensburg.com), April 23, 2000.

You might take a look at: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll? ViewItem&item=310916397

-- Tom Keenan (tmk@earthlink.net), April 23, 2000.

I've used the flat sheet of glass method, which is quick and easy, and now I have an ancient Kodak split-back printing frame that I picked up for $25, which I prefer because it applies more pressure and holds the film and paper flatter and in better contact (though I suppose one could also use a bigger, heavier sheet of glass for similar results). I haven't had a problem with particles of finish coming off with this particular frame.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), April 24, 2000.

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