Black Border Prints!

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Does anyone know how to make prints with a black border!

This may seem a very silly question but, I read some where that one could make a 'negative border' and overlay this onto the image you want to border,if you understand what I mean, does anyone know

how to do it!


this question is all but silly.

The easiest way to get prints with a black border is to use a negative carrier that is slightly larger than the frame, i. e. 25mm x 37mm for 35mm film.

Hi Niall,

another way is to use a piece of cardboard. How to use it? [url=""]Zoepfl Versamask[/url] (PDF, some download time required, needs Acrobat reader.)

Replace "Abdeckblech" with "cardboard" and you know how to do it. First two steps are done with white light, third step with negative gives the picture. I recommend to use two-four seconds of white light by open aperture. It depends on the paper you use. Be sure cardboard is stable, rectangular and in close contact to the paper.

This technique doesn't recommend any special enlarging easel/frame and will give "sharp" black borders. Ferdinand's technique will give "soft" borders like some HCB or "modern fine art printer's" prints.

Third technique is to use a MF negative carrier and its stripes together with a 35mm negative. Use the stripes to give a frame around your negative. This will give "very soft" borders.

Best regards,

I can't read pdf files on my 'computer' so if anyone knows

of a site that will advise let me know!

Hi Niall,

okay, here we go: [url=""]Bordering Your B&W Prints[/url] (in English).

What he wirtes about hair line borders is what I mean: You don't need a special easel, just cut a pice of cardboard slightly smaller than your print:

Zitat:After your basic print exposure, you place the mask directly on the paper, effectively shielding it from further exposure. By shoving the mask toward one corner, the opposite two sides of the image are left slightly uncovered. You then expose the print to white light from the enlarger after removing the negative from the carrier.

Following this exposure, you shove the mask toward the opposite corner of the image and expose again. As a result, all four edges of the picture have now been exposed to bare light from the enlarger. All you have to do next is remove the paper from the easel and develop normally.


...can you get negative carriers 25mmX37mm??


Btw Franz and ferdinand I have a meopta enlarger, with a 50mm lens

and a 24X36 carrier! But when I try to make an 8X10 print

I seem to lose some of the image on the negative is this normal!!

Hi Niall,

no "24x36" carrier will give you fullframe prints. That's because of tradition: First Leicas were lacking a defined film exposure measure, it was given by focal length of the lens.

So, carriers were constructed for the minimum measure to give sharp borders.

If you want to get fullframe prints, you'll have to do some handcrafting on a plastic carrier or better ask someone who has access to a laser device to do it for you (will fit much better).

But, be sure to order exactly that size, your camera gives. My experience is: Zorki/FED/Canon/Olympus/Pentax/Zenit differ from 24,5x35/23x37 to 22x33. This will affect "natural" black borders.

My Meopta carriers are 23x35 (metal ones for Opemus-5) and won't work without any unwanted frame if I use my 4.5/105 Bonotar on my Zenit.

Next thing is: Due to the US market, many papers/easels don't correspond to classic german measurements of photography. Like 24x36. Try to get any paper with border ratio of 2:3 unless 20x30cm... And even 20x30cm is cut approx. because of the imperial system having won WWII:-)

Best regards,

Sorry, I've forgotten to post something.

Try out a glass carrier. This will give you fullframe prints. Or Try to use the "upside" carrier frame "downside" and put in an AN-glass upside. "Upside" carrier frame on my enlarger is 25,1x37,2.

Try it out. On my Opemus it fits but I lose focus help, need brute force to get the whole carrier into my enlarger and have to put it out to get to the next negative.

"Upside carrier frames" are a bit thicker than "downside" ones.

Best regards,


(Mirko: Can you switch off this annoying feature please? I have no need to wait before posting again.)

p.s.: Any errors in my english postings result in a lack of knowledge. Corrections will be gratefully appreciated.
I'm still a bit confused,Franz!! if I put a negative in my negative

carrier,the full negative can be seen, but, when I enlarger the negative,

it either underfills or overfills a 10X8 piece of paper,thus some of the negative is lost!!

Well, for histrocal reasons, not all paper sizes have the same proportions as a 35mm negative - you either have to crop something away from your neg, or you leave a bit more room on yur print, e.g. on the bottom.


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