Contact screens for making halftone prints
Old 07-23-2016   #1
welpertne
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Contact screens for making halftone prints

I'm looking to try my hand at lithography. While I've managed to find many different books on the process of making analog halftones, it's proving rather difficult to get the contact screens themselves. I'm making this post to ask if anyone might know where I could find some. They had to have been abundant 20 years ago, and yet now, they seem impossible to find.
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Old 07-23-2016   #2
Steve M.
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You could try printing out your own on an inkjet printer on clear mylar. I'd be surprised if a screen printing outfit couldn't help you on this. The first link apparently below sells them. Good luck w/ this. Fun process.

http://www.caprockdev.com/camera.htm

http://www.edmgr.com/advisor/advisor/line_screen.html

http://t-biznetwork.com/articles/scr...ots-made-easy/

http://www.metropostcard.com/techniques6.html
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Old 07-23-2016   #3
welpertne
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I talked to Caprock. They wanted a ludicrous fee for something that I assume was common not long ago. I figure there have to be, in basements and store-rooms, plenty of these things left over from an age where they were valuable. They can't have all been thrown out. If that is the case, I don't see why I should pay some folks 50$ a sheet or more.
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Old 07-24-2016   #4
Roger Hicks
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As far as I recall they were always expensive: $50 sounds quite cheap for a new one, far from "ludicrous".

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-24-2016   #5
Dralowid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
As far as I recall they were always expensive: $50 sounds quite cheap for a new one, far from "ludicrous".

Cheers,

R.
Indeed they were very expensive and of varying qualities too. There were also screens with various alternatives to dots that were often used for press ads etc. I cannot for the life of me remember any manufacturer's names though I spent quite a few years as a designer of full colour glossy books for a well known publisher. I have screens for film make up, they are grids, 6pt, 12pt etc which can still be useful.

Can't remember much actually (we usually went to the pub at lunchtime) but do remember using line screens as opposed to dot screens for light (ie 20% yellow) background tones behind text. Very clean.

Saw a Grant projector sell on Ebay the other week for 5. Young digital wippersnappers don't know what they missed, anyone got a set of smelly Ozalids in the attic? Or even some sheets of Ozocling?
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Old 08-07-2016   #6
welpertne
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Yeah, what I'm looking for are magenta screens. Though they are magenta in colour, it is far more than that. The frustrating feature of most of the technical manuals for the process I've found so far is the partisanship. Each book is dedicated to the use of a specific brand, and it seems that each company had carved out equally specific turf.

I'm desperate, though. It seems like a great way to eat up my spare time and have some cool products for it. I just have no idea where these things are hiding.
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Old 08-07-2016   #7
lukitas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welpertne View Post
(snip) I just have no idea where these things are hiding.
In the bin. Along with all the companies that used to use and produce them.
Photogravure died in the Oughts. I was a contributor to their demise: first, we stopped using typographers, and then we stopped sending slides to the photogravure, and we sent photoshop, illustrator and QuarkXpress files. Once we realised that we were practically doing the pre-press in house, and we could go direct-to-plate at the printers, we stopped using the photogravures altogether. People I had worked with for years got the sack, companies went bust. It was a tragedy. I suppose few had the presence of mind to store the films, and who wants to keep a camera that is larger than a small bathroom.

Line and dot screens were always eye-wateringly expensive. Some of the highest tech of it's day.
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Old 08-15-2016   #8
welpertne
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Dang, Lukitas. All in the garbage, then? I'm holding out for the few that were maybe sealed away in someone's estate or basement.
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Old 08-16-2016   #9
sevo
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I still learned halftones at art school, but by the time I was publishing anything, all my clients used scanners. There will not be that much that survived in the corporate world, in a profession that died for good more than 25 years ago.

And as you found out, halftone kits were systems, bought in from a maker - you essentially had to buy into the entire kit of screens, chemicals, processors, test kits and consulting (and in many cases even cameras and lenses) from one manufacturer, and meticulously stick to the process or the results would be very underwhelming. You can't buy it in bits and pieces, but need a matching kit - and would have to figure out which kit still has films and processing chemistry around.
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Old 08-16-2016   #10
Rick Waldroup
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Back in the 80's I used to make halftones at home for a very small publishing company in Dallas. I used Caprock screens, and they were very expensive back then. I wish I could help, but sadly as things moved into the digital world, my process became obsolete and I trashed all of those screens I owned.

Have you looked on ebay? Maybe someone there still has some stored away....
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Old 08-27-2016   #11
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Quote:
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And as you found out, halftone kits were systems, bought in from a maker - you essentially had to buy into the entire kit of screens, chemicals, processors, test kits and consulting (and in many cases even cameras and lenses) from one manufacturer, and meticulously stick to the process or the results would be very underwhelming. You can't buy it in bits and pieces, but need a matching kit - and would have to figure out which kit still has films and processing chemistry around.
I could just use any brand, at the proper distance, partially guided by a manual, and then do it improvisationally in the dark room, no? I talked to a guy on APUG who suggested that I could do it without a lot of extra equipment.


Right now there's only one guy on eBay, looking to sell a set of five screens for about 150$ CAD, which I think is obscene for outdated equipment like this. I lobbied him to sell me a single one for one fifth the price and he wouldn't do it. Didn't even dignify my request with a response. Doesn't help that the stuff he has up is quite fine, with no sheets close to 100 lines per inch (I think that's the right metric) or lower. According to a different fella on APUG, for my intended purposes, I need a lower resolution screen.
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Old 08-27-2016   #12
Ronald M
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I remember doing a litho with a college buddy who went to RIT. His family owned the company.

We walked into the camera room/darkroom which was around 10x15 feet or bigger.
Lens was in a hole in the wall. Lights at 45 deg to subject that was on a track outside.
My friend hung a 16x20 or bigger sheet of film plus halftone and made the exposure. Developed and fixed in the room.

Circa 1964 .

Facility was at 47 and California in Chicago. They had a huge 4 color Webb press.

And now we use a computer?
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Old 08-27-2016   #13
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welpertne View Post

I could just use any brand, at the proper distance, partially guided by a manual, and then do it improvisationally in the dark room, no?
For fun, anything goes. And black and white is more error tolerant - it will get muddy or contrasty but not off-colour.

Once you want to get into accurate colour, you'd be pretty much SOL with the current state of process materials. There are a few art silkscreen printers around that still make do extending the life of past processes with DIY chemistry and lots of experience, but short of an apprenticeship with one of them it would be incredibly hard and expensive to collect that knowledge.
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