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  #11  
Old 11th September 2021, 07:50 AM
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Miha Miha is offline
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I agree 8x10 is a good compromise, shows all that 35mm can deliver, can be exhibited, or stored in an album. However, on most occasions, I feel a small contact print looks more exquisite. Often time I print much larger 12x16 and up, although my limit is 20x24, quite exhausting (and expensive!) I must admit. Maybe 4x5 just pleases me because I can reach the goal - an artefact in my hands - with the least of effort?
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  #12  
Old 18th September 2021, 06:31 PM
Molli Molli is offline
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Miha, I had the pleasure earlier this year of making three albums of contact prints from whole plate glass negatives. They were from a studio, circa 1940s, all of military personnel and their brides. Aside from one that was over exposed and just too contrasty to get the detail in her dress to print, they were the most effortless prints I've ever made and I really do think whole plate is the best of all sizes for contact prints. The albums aren't unwieldy, they're still small enough to be handed around individually and you still get all of the detail and lovely tonality of an 8"x10".
I do love my little palm sized prints, though, aand my little niece loves getting letters peppered with individually cut 35mm contact prints.
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  #13  
Old 22nd September 2021, 07:30 PM
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Miha Miha is offline
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Hi Molli, whole plate negatives might indeed be the perfect size for contact prints, although smaller negatives work as well IMO. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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  #14  
Old 23rd September 2021, 08:57 AM
MikeHeller MikeHeller is offline
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This thread is really inspiring. I contact print all my negatives as a matter of routine and form a record if relatively selective and an alternative to diary writing.

I have done some poor quality contacts from some MF negatives my sister picked up in a jumble sale. They were interesting but I could/should have done better.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 24th September 2021, 11:50 AM
Molli Molli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHeller View Post
This thread is really inspiring. I contact print all my negatives as a matter of routine and form a record if relatively selective and an alternative to diary writing.

I have done some poor quality contacts from some MF negatives my sister picked up in a jumble sale. They were interesting but I could/should have done better.

Mike
At risk of boring you all with yet another "Oh, I did that" story... I did that 😁
I was asked by someone to print his father's photos from WWII. He was enlisted and his photos were primarily from the southern end of Africa, up the Nile, through to Malta. Included were photos taken at Abu Simbel before the temple was moved back to accommodate the building of the Aswan Dam.

I only had a 6x7 enlarger at the time and they were individually cut 6x9cm negatives. So, contact prints only. At any rate, the owner had never seen them before so, regardless of the fact that I (hope) I could now do far better, at least he was able to see the content. At the time, my ability to judge contrast to group as many of the same range on one 8x10 sheet of paper was lacking and also easily fooled by what I now think was probably pyro stained negatives. Live and learn.

When I moved to 4x5, I offered to print them properly, but it seems I was more fascinated and enthused than he was. I wish they were my photos to show a few of them (for their content, obviously, my skill set most definitely needs to be kept hidden! &#128513.
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  #16  
Old 25th September 2021, 08:00 AM
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PanFrank PanFrank is offline
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Hi Miha,
Thanks for this interesting subject. I did some 6x9cm in spring with the idea of overlays. Here a result: http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/2863.
For 6x6cm I think about sth like a comic strip, telling a very short story. Just one image is ok for me from 4x5" like a postcard. Old Kodak formats 616 & 620 work also well.
Kind regards, Frank
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  #17  
Old 25th September 2021, 08:21 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Lost art? or not a requirement.

Have we, or others, lost the art, or is it because the digital do everything apart from fry a full English breakfast camera phone has taken over and people are quite content with squinting at a tiny screen in full colour and in 2 months deleting them all.

Another product of the 'I want it and I want it now' mentality. A family or friends picture printed onto paper by whatever method has far more value to me than any digital image from a phone. I have thousands of negatives, some going back as far as the late 1960's. They were of me, my friends and where I was and a reminder of what I was doing. Now they have true worth.

No it is not a lost art, it is a loss of a sense of values.

It has been said time and time again that more pictures are taken each year now than were ever taken in the 100 years of the 20th C, but current ones are lost, deleted or when the device fails, that's the end. Family, Friends and places recorded but not printed are lost for ever.

(I am in a grumpy mood this morning)

Last edited by John King; 25th September 2021 at 08:26 AM.
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  #18  
Old 27th September 2021, 02:15 PM
MichaelJ MichaelJ is offline
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Contact printing is great. I started messing about with 4x5 and haven't got the enlarger for the gurt negatives (or the space in my flat to set it up even if I did) so I found an old contact frame with a hinged back and springy clips. I'd previously done a bit of work on 6x6 & 35mm contact proof sheets as they make you an infinitely better photographer if you execute and evaluate them thoroughly, and so making contact prints from 4x5 is dead easy and a total blast. They are lovely little things of jewel-like finesse, and you can make them with a flashlight to show off, or if you can't be bothered to set up an enlarger.

Next stop salted paper prints contact-printed from my 4x5 negs... I've got the stuff for it, just need to get around to it.
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