View Full Version : Contact Printing Frames

5th August 2011, 11:44 AM
Hi all,
does anyone know of a UK sourse of Wooden Contact Printing Frames? There are some nice ones out there (Bostick-Sullivan, Lotus, Ebony etc.), but i'd rather source one in the UK if possible...alternatively has anyone had any made recently by a skilled joiner/ carpenter?

Many Thanks,

Paul Mitchell
5th August 2011, 02:36 PM
The ready made frames can be quite expensive (but extremely well made) so might be worth trying to make your own. www.alternativephotography.com/wp/darkroom/diy-contact-print-frame

I bought my 2nd hand 10x8 frame from the States for about 60. Will try and dig it out and takes some pics.


5th August 2011, 02:39 PM
Ebay? does it have to be wood? I got mine, which is a paterson clone, off the bay for a fiver. If you need one with a split back this is not the route.

5th August 2011, 06:35 PM
Linhoff Studios list them on their web site, but quite expensive. I needed a large one for use under an enlarger. I found it easy to make with a sheet of 1/4 inch glass, a piano hinge araldated to one edge and then screwed onto a wooden back, using foam to cover the back to get good compression when closed. A couple of metal swivels were used to secure the frame tight shut. Works fine for me when preparing 10 x 8 contact prints.

Trevor Crone
5th August 2011, 07:05 PM
I've got a Lotus 10x12 printing frame (expensive) which I purchased from Linhof Studio; nicely made, very robust, so much so that the springs (bars) on the back were too strong so I fashioned my own out of thick brass strip. I'm getting a bit 'weedy' in my old age:o

Sadly it seems all British made contact frame makers have gone away:(

5th August 2011, 09:55 PM
Nigel Dear used to list them. Maybe Martin Reed will see this thread and know something.

My 5x4 frame was sold to me on eBay as a "camera back".

5th August 2011, 10:12 PM
Fotospeed do a 16x12 double hinged one for around 55.

Tony Marlow
6th August 2011, 11:48 AM
I have a Johnson Plastic Printing Frame 2 1/2inches by 3 1/2 inches which you are welcome to, it is still in its original box. If it is any good to you PM me your address and I will post it.


6th August 2011, 12:10 PM
Somewhat outside the UK ;-) but Doug Kennedy produces great frames at reasonable prices. I have 11X14 & 8X20 frames from him that are a pleasure to work with.
Doug Kennedy
PO Box 3433
Lake City, CA 96115

Martin Reed
7th August 2011, 08:47 AM
Nigel Dear used to list them. Maybe Martin Reed will see this thread and know something.

I haven't got the stomach for this particular fight any more. In the past we tried many times to get a regular well made & reasonably economical printing frame going & it always came to grief. The potential sales are never enough to push down the unit cost to what the majority would consider acceptable, so the project always gets left high & dry.

The Lotus frames are very good, & it is after all a one-off purchase, so I reckon grit your teeth, open your wallet & say 'help yourself!'

8th August 2011, 11:27 AM
Thanks All for the replies - I had forgotten to subscribe to the thread, so didn't know there had been any. I'd love to support Lotus, but perhaps when I am more flush - kids get the first refusal when I open my wallet, and usually leave me dry :-). A plus is that I do have access to a full woodwork shop at work, so may look at making my own at some point. Paddy I took a look at Fotospeed, and the price is great, but no picture - possible for you to take a few and post them?

Many Thanks,

8th August 2011, 05:14 PM
Remove the metal pieces......

Dave miller
8th August 2011, 06:46 PM
What size do you need?

9th August 2011, 04:48 PM
Thanks again all,

to clarify am looking to contact 8x10, but may want to print on larger paper. Fotospeed have sent me a pic. of theirs, and it looks great for the price, so will prob invest in one at some point soon.

Dave miller
9th August 2011, 05:45 PM
The requirement for a contact printing frame is obviously to maintain very close contact between negative and printing paper. This requires thick plate glass and substantial pressure and even pressure on the back plate, hence the rapid increase in price as the size is increased, especially beyond the popular 10x8 size. So beware of converted picture frames.

10th August 2011, 06:16 PM
The problem with the Fotospeed one is that it only has little twiddly bits around the edges so no pressure in the middle of the frame, doesn't it? Unless they've changed this since the last time I looked into them.

I don't think any of my smaller frames have particularly thick plate glass. My small frames are all antiques. I use one big enough for my 4x5 negative to figure out exposure time under the UV light and then I can use that time and a paterson contact printing frame to transfer to 8x10 paper. One day I might try to make my own 8x10 (or a bit larger) frame but those flat springs are always awkward, as is the routering to hold the glass in place.