These carriers work almost the same way as the normal carriers. The main difference is that these do not have a metal hinge and so it is best to get the negative where you want it in the carrier and put the two halves together before inserting into the enlarger. Likewise the mounting pins are on the top half and mount through the bottom half. Apart from that, use it as you normally would.
Place the film, emulsion side down on the bottom half (the half without the engraving). Depending on which carrier you are using, you may also want to rotate the film upside down (where the top of the negative is pointing towards you, not towards the enlarger). This is so photographs made in a landscape orientation are correctly oriented when projecting the negative onto the baseboard.
Adjust the negative to where you want it then place the top half on top making sure the pins go through the bottom half (they will stick out). Though these carriers have the handle much like the OEM carriers, picking the carrier up just the handle can cause the two halves to open a bit at the other end. To avoid this, I recommend lifting the enlarger head first, and then grabbing the carrier more by the sides when placing into the enlarger and finally lowering the head. You can do this with the enlarger lamp on to get an idea of how your negative looks before lowering the head.
Generally speaking these do not require much more maintenance than the OEM carriers.
- Do not store these in a hot environment, especially if stacking something heavy on top of them. I often say store them with your lenses (you shouldn’t store your lenses in a hot attic, don’t store these there either).
- If dirty, wipe with a cloth, optionally with some alcohol. Do not use acetone based cleaners as this will chemically melt the plastic.
- It is also a good idea to make sure the enlarger is clean, particularly where the carrier mounts onto the enlarger.
- Do not sand the carriers! This is a recipe for scratched film! Instead, if you need a custom size, just contact me and I can produce something to your specifications. If you must sand, you will likely need to apply some paint afterwards to prevent scratching.