Filing a negative carrier. Words of wisdom?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by chloe1, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. chloe1

    chloe1 Member

    Dec 21, 2006
    Medium Format
    Hello fellow analogers. I have metal femomasks and I want to file them down a bit on the edges so that the negative borders appears in the print and I get a nice bit of diffusion fall off to white (ie no, i do n't want to use a larger masks and have perfectly straight edges). Before I butcher my enlarger, does anyone have any tips such as what kind of file to use etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated. And happy New Year everyone, stear clear of the megapixel in 2007!
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    May 17, 2006
    Northern Aqu
    35mm RF
    Depends on how rough a bodge you can put up with. Some of the edge filing in is at the limit of my tolerance. I used a triangular file, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch or 6-8mm on a side.

    Draw the new margins carefully with a pencil and DO NOT GO BEYOND THEM. File knife-edges (diagonals on the opposite side from the negative) and clean up CAREFULLY with the same file and emery cloth before using the holders: you can feel rougher edges than you can see. Use matte black paint if needed, but a flat near side and diagonal far side are better:
    ________________________________\ Holder
    _______________________________/ Holder

    But generally, any filing and the negative all-in is better than no filing. After all, you can always use the masking frame to lose the filing and still get everything in.

    Hope this helps


  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    Downers Grov
    I would recommend a glass carrier before enlarging a cut out. The bigger the hole, the less flat the neg.