Heat absorbing glass or one-size-fits all glass carrier for 23CII negative popping problem

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Phil Glaser, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. Phil Glaser

    Phil Glaser Guest


    I just spent the better part of yesterday trying to print from a 35mm
    negative in my Beseler 23CII. I had already noticed some focusing
    problems with this print but had attributed it to the negative itself.
    After a rather long and involved burning and dodging sequence (I'm
    still recovering from it), I noticed when I removed the negative from
    the carrier that it had sort of protruded a bit through the carrier.
    It was rather striking.

    I gather that this is the infamous "negative popping" problem that has
    attracted much discussion on this group (see for example
    I am in some ways relieved to have an explanation, because I had been
    going crazy figuring out why I had to constantly refocus for _every_
    exposure. It also explains why the focus never seemed quite right.

    So here are my questions.

    First, does the Beseler "heat absorbing glass" (Beseler # 8042) occupy
    the space in the filter drawer where the filter frame itself goes? If
    so, how would I use my VC filters? Having shelled out some odd $20 for
    those filters, I am loathe to have to buy below-the-lens filters.

    Second, can anyone share their experience in using Beseler universal
    glass negative carriers (either the plain 8074 or anti-Newton 8072)? I
    find this option very intriguing for a couple of reasons. I plan to
    start doing medium format sometime in the not-to-distant future, and
    have limited space in my closet darkroom. The idea of having a
    one-size-fits all carrier appeals to me. Also, my reading of the
    archvies on this topic is that a glass carrier is the only sure-fire
    solution to the popping problem because even with the heat-absorbing
    glass the problem occurs. There was one post that went so far as to
    say that, even without popping, any unevenness in the negative results
    in loss of sharpness. If so, this is a compelling argument. I am
    resigned to living with having to clean the extra surfaces.

    If I were to go for the glass negative carrier option, is the
    anti-Newton carrier worth the extra money? Are there other solutions
    to Newton rings?

    Finally, since it's going to take me a bit of time to make this
    decision and/or convince my wife of why I'm spending more for an
    enlarger accessory than I spent for the enlarger itself, I am looking
    for interim solutions. One suggestion I saw was to tightly tape the
    negative to the carrier so as to stretch it out. Any other ideas?


    Phil Glaser, Jun 1, 2004
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  2. Phil Glaser

    Nick Zentena Guest

    On top of the glass? My bigger Beseler has a sheet of glass put into the
    filter slot. That way the filter doesn't fall down the hole-) Obviously it
    helps to keep things dust free. Or pretty close to it.

    Looking at the pictures this is just a normal glass carrier. It's the max
    size your enlarger will take. I've use a 4x5 one masked off for smaller
    formats. Or for strips of negatives. If you're willing to make up some
    simple masks [mat board nothing fancy needed] then it works fine.

    I think the design of the enlarger must play into how much heat is
    created. I don't get any popping with any sort of carrier. It's not because
    I'm doing anything special so it must be the enlarger.

    Buy it used. Maybe consider the negtrans [I think that's the name]. It
    pulls the negative taut. Also buy it used. Buy some thick glass from the
    glass shop and slip it into the enlarger. Maybe that will cut the heat down
    enough. Wait until the negative pops before you focus. Pick which ever one
    works for you.

    Nick Zentena, Jun 1, 2004
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  3. Phil Glaser

    Mike King Guest

    Negatrans is just a transport mechanism, does a little better holding negs
    flat that the standard carrier since the edges are in intimate contact with
    the rubber drive band. Beseler also makes (made) a Negaflat for 4x5, great
    for holding 4x5 negs flat but very format specific (originally made for film
    pack?) and could tear up the edges of your 4x5 negatives.


    Mike King, Jun 1, 2004
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