But there are several alternatives to having the exact negative carrier that you want. First, several enlarger companies made variable-mask glass carriers, with special blades that can be moved to allow for a variety of format sizes. Another approach is to find a carrier that uses the same size film, but has a smaller opening. For example, let's say you want a carrier for the 12x17mm Minolta format on 16mm film. If you can find a 16mm carrier with a smaller opening, such as 8x11, you can take the carrier to a local machine shop and have the opening bored out to 12x17mm. Even if the film size is different, you might be able to use the carrier.
A more common situation is where you have a negative carrier with a larger opening and you want to use submini film. If the opening is just a little larger than what you need, opaque tape will fill the bill. For example, if you have a 110 carrier (13x17mm), but you want a carrier for Minolta film (12x17mm) just run a strip of photographic tape along one edge -- one millimeter out. Put one strip on the top and another on the bottom so that you don't have a strip of sticky adhesive exposed -- it collects dust that will show up on the edge of your images. Actually, it's best to put a 1/2 millimeter strip on each side of the carrier, as opposed to a one millimeter strip on one side -- to help keep the image in the middle of the lens.
If the carrier that you have is too large for tape, try the exposed film trick. Let's say you have a 35mm carrier and want to use Minolta 12x17mm film. Take a one foot strip of 35mm Black & White film and over-expose it outside the camera. Then process it -- it should be completely black. Cut two strips about four inches long. You'll notice that the film has a slight curl to it -- the emulsion side will be inside the curl. Place the two pieces together -- back to back -- so that the emulsion sides are facing away from each other. Glue or staple one edge of this sandwich. Place the sandwich in the 35mm carrier and find the exact center of the film strip. Using an Exacto blade, and a scrap 12x17mm negative, cut a hole in the 35mm sandwich for the submini negative. Now when you want to make enlargements, slip your submini negative inside the 35mm sandwich and then put the sandwich inside the 35mm carrier. When the sandwich wears out, ust make another one.
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