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Carrier info Masking Kits info

Precision negative carrier systems for optimum masking results

Now available for 4x5 and 8x10 enlargers!

The Precision Carrier System was first introduced in 2003. Since those early beginnings, major improvements and upgrades have been made in design and function. Registration is extremely accurate allowing prints exceeding 30" x 40" to be made using any masking technique, retaining registration so precise that errors cannot be seen even on close visual inspection. Precision machining and ultra-smooth flat-black anodizing contribute to the look, feel and function of every carrier system.

I would like to thank a multitude of generous and gifted photographers for their valuable feedback and suggestions in helping me fine-tune and improve this carrier system throughout the years, including John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum, Dennis McNutt, Dave Frieder, Gerard Sheridan and Steve Francis. These and so many other outstanding talents have helped assure the long term continuance of traditional methods and materials in the world of fine art photography. Lynn Radeka, 2005

"Beautifully designed, elegantly simple, gorgeous in its precision and repeatability--Radeka's combination registration printer and negative carrier will greatly simplify the masking process. It will delight persons dedicated to the epitome of photographic art." - Dr. Dennis McNutt - photographer, author, teacher

"Every now 'n then there is an incident in life that seems to change ones direction for the betterment. 'Ansel Adams: 'The Negative' book was one incident, contact with you and your process has evolved as another. You have given me a lot to work on, with new meaning. Your manual reads of logical applications and presents methods for the results that I could mever before have achieved. It's exciting stuff." - Tony Gardiner - photographer

More testimonials at www.RadekaPhotography.com

Precision Pin-Regsitration Carrier System. Pictured here is the "complete 4x5 system" which includes the Contrast Masking Kit.

The Precision Pin-Registration Carrier Systems work accurately and efficiently with all masking techniques detailed in the Contrast Masking Kit including Unsharp Masking. It's unique accuracy makes it ideal for precision multiple-exposures with SCIM masks, Fog Masks, separation negatives, special contrast masks, and special effects requiring double-printing. Each Precision pin-registration glass negative carrier is individually hand-crafted and calibrated to work perfectly with the accompanying Precision holder/frame. Made of hard anodized T-6 aluminum, the system will easily fit the majority of 4x5 enlargers as well as some smaller and bigger enlargers (see below). The new 8x10 systems will fit most 8x10 enlargers including Durst, Devere, Omega and Beseler. Designed for speed, ease of use and repeatable accuracy. The standard system includes the Precision metal holder/frame, pin-registration glass carrier, matching registration punch, black paper base for mask-making and black foam pad (to facilitate mask-making). All Anti-Newton glass versions also include a sheet of textureless diffusion material to facilitate mask-making. No other hardware is needed for mask-making and printing with or without masks. Also includes complete instructions for use and calibration (the system is calibrated before it is shipped) and a 100% size template to use as a guide for attaching pin-registered leader strips to the original negative. Complete system includes Contrast Masking Kit also.

For more information, please visit RadekaPhotography.com.

Anti-Newton Ring Glass Carriers are now available as an upgrade option in the 4x5 systems and are standard in the 8x10 systems. Many modern thin emulsion films, such as Kodak T-Max, are sometimes prone to Newton ring problems when using clear glass carriers, even on the emulsion side! Some "sandwich" masking techniques, such as Highlight Masks, Contrast Reduction Masks and Unsharp Masks can also increase the chance of Newton rings appearing in skies and other smooth areas of the print. These premium quality Anti-Newton Ring carriers are made with special high quality single-side acid etched glass (both top piece and bottom piece, or mixed if you prefer), reducing or eliminating the possibility of Newton Rings. These upgraded carriers will yield beatiful, finely detailed crisp images without impairing the sharpness and smoothness of the image in any way, regardless of the degree of enlargement. Absolutely NO texture whatsoever will show on the print, regardless of the degree of enlargement. Furthermore, they can be used for making masks as well. These upgraded carriers are available in both standard and complete systems (see table below) for a small additional cost. If you prefer, you can choose clear glass for the bottom glass and Anti-Newton glass for the top glass, at the same cost as the complete Anti-Newton version. Simply order the Anti-Newton version and add a comment to request clear bottom glass. 8x10 systems come only with Anti-Newton Ring carriers (clear glass not available).

* Anti-Newton Ring carriers are highly recommended for use in all enlargers except those using a "point source" light head. For mask making with Anti-Newton Ring Carriers, a sheet of Duratrans (textureless) diffusion material should be used under the top sheet of glass in the carrier. All Anti-Newton Ring Carriers come with a punched sheet of Duratrans diffusion material specifically for this purpose as well as an instruction booklet explaining how to use these carriers for making masks.

Leader strips (strips of film cut from your scrap negatives) are taped to the extreme clear edge of your original negative (not the mask!) using non-residue, non-drying red lithographers tape. This tape is easily removable if desired, leaving no residue. It can remain attached to your original negatives for decades without adverse archival effects and without becoming brittle. Your original negatives are NEVER PUNCHED or subjected to potential damage. The large 1/4" diameter punched holes increases the accuracy of pin-registration. The images shown here are rotated 180 degrees for illustration purposes. When inserted directly into the enlarger, the image will be projected right-side up.
Example of original 4x5 negative with punched leader strip (cut from scrap film) attached. Original negatives are NEVER PUNCHED with this system.
Example of SCIM mask made from an interpositive
(on punched 5x5 sheet of litho film cut down from a 5x7 sheet).
  Masks are made using the actual glass carrier as a contact printer placed on the enlarger baseboard. A separate pin-registration contact printer is not needed!
Oversize litho film is recommended for all kinds of photographic masks including unsharp masking (camera films can be used if desired for unsharp masking, but litho film works exceedingly well). This means registration holes can be punched directly in the masking film prior to making the mask without the need to attach leader strips to the mask. The large pin size results in more precise registration compared to smaller pins and the punched holes do not wear out as quickly, even after decades of use. In this example, 5x7 sheets of litho film are used for the masks and then cut down to an appropriate size of 5x5 after developing and drying. Litho film is extremely cost effective, easy to work with and easy to obtain.
Example of type 1 Fog Mask made from original negative (on punched sheet of 5x5 litho film cut down from a 5x7 sheet).
Example of a typical CRM made from original negative (on punched sheet of 5x5 litho film cut down from a 5x7 sheet).
  Detailed procedures for making and using these masks and many others are included in the Contrast Masking Kit (available separately or bundled with the "Complete" Precision carrier system).


  • Accurate - This system was designed primarily to assure repeatable registration accuracy, particularly with masking techniques, even at very high image magnifications. The pin-registration glass carrier will land in precisely the same spot each time it is slid into the holder frame, assuring perfect and repeatable registration. This is essential for some masking techniques as well as double-printing special effects and multiple-exposure separation negatives. Using a very accurate "wedge" design, a magnetic catch inside the holder assures that the carrier is pulled and locked into a solid and perfectly registered position every time. Because this system does not use any levers, locks or latches to press the carrier in place (which could cause movement), and the enlarger head is never raised or lowered when replacing negs or masks, greatest possible accuracy is assured. The Precision Carrier System has been tested on several different enlargers by making enlargements as high as 30" x 40" from a 4x5 original negative with no perceptable registration errors even at very close viewing distances.
  • Easy to use - The holder frame remains in the enlarger throughout the printing session. The carrier easily slips into and out of the holder frame. Negatives and masks can be easily and quickly placed in, and removed from, the carrier under safelights or even in total darkness without fumbling, speeding up printing time with masks considerably and far reducing the danger of breaking the glass carrier or damaging the original negative. Other systems, such as Condit, require very careful and delicate handling of the glass and make changing masks and negatives far more difficult while increasing the chance of damage to your valuable negatives.
  • Contact printing - The new 8x10 Precision systems can be used as an 8x10 contact printer as well as for enlarging. Precise pin-registration on the glass carrier means that practically any kind of masking technique can be used when contact printing your 8x10 negatives. Achieve remarkable, richly detailed 8x10 contact prints by using various kinds of contrast masks!
  • Sturdy - The holder is made of black anodized hard aluminum with black Sentra spacers and is designed so that it cannot easily be damaged through standard use. The glass carrier is made with a hinged float glass, eliminating the possibility of dropping the float glass when replacing negatives or masks.
  • Versatile - This system allows for easier making and printing of masks. The holder can be used in a front-loading position or can be rotated 90 degrees allowing side loading of the carrier. Also, the carrier can be used both to make masks and to print with masks. Comes with a punched sheet of 5" x 5" duratrans diffusion material for mask making and printing certain types of masks. With most enlargers and light heads these carriers will allow you to print your entire negative area without cutting into important areas near the edge of the film (limited only by your enlarger's light head design). Separate contact printing frames are no longer needed to make masks. Making masks and printing with masks has never been easier.
  • Adjustable - Should they be needed, replacement carriers and holders are available individually. The photographer can make fine-tuned adjustments which may be required when using a replacement carrier or holder.
  • Cost effective - The cost of the entire system - Precision holder frame, Precision pin-registration glass carrier and accompanying two-hole punch, costs less than the former Condit registration systems yet is far easier to use and more accurate!
  • Universal - The Precision Holder/Carrier system will easily fit most 4x5 enlarger types and light head combinations (see below). It will also fit some bigger and smaller enlargers. The 4x5 version holder frame is 7 1/2" square, and 7/16" thick. The 8x10 version holder/frame unit is 13 1/4" wide, 13 7/8" deep and 7/16" thick (depending on specified enlarger). Simply determine if this size will fit in your enlarger's negative stage with the head raised (with the negative stage open).
  • Photographers using the excellent but more costly Condit registration systems (no longer available) will find this system is easier to use, more efficient and more accurate, particularly when replacing negatives or masks in the glass carrier - even in total darkness! The glass carrier allows printing your entire negative without cutting into the edges (limited only by your enlarger's light head design).

    One of the major benefits of the Precision systems is that your original negatives are never punched (unlike small-pin designs such as Condit). Only a leader strip of scrap film, taped to the extreme edge of your original negative using red lithographers tape (recommended), is punched. This actually facilitates handling of your original negatives and allows all masks to be stored separately from (not taped to!!!) your original negatives. Leader strips are never taped to photographic masks. Instead, masks are made using oversized, inexpensive and easily obtainable litho films (not included) and are punched prior to exposing and developing the mask. Using litho film also allows all masking work to be done under red safelights. If desired, camera films can be used for making unsharp masks. Inkjet dodge masks require a transparent inkjet compatible substrate such as Pictorico OHP Film.

    The 4x5 Precision Carrier System works great for 4x5 and smaller film formats and is primarily designed to fit 4x5 enlargers. The new 8x10 Precision Carrier System works great for 8x10 and smaller film formats (such as 5x7, 4x5 and smaller) and is designed to fit 8x10 enlargers.

    The 4x5 Precision Carrier System has been tested by photographers on the following enlargers and found to be equally precise on each: Saunders 4x5 (all models), Omega 4x5 (all models), Beseler 4x5 (all models), Durst 4x5 (except L1200), Durst 138S and Zone VI 4x5. Photographers have also reported that the system works perfectly on Zone VI and Durst 5x7 enlargers as well. The 8x10 Precision Carrier System will fit most 8x10 enlargers including Durst 8x10, Devere 8x10, Omega 8x10, Beseler with 8x10 conversion heads and Kostiner among others. Please specifiy enlarger type during the ordering checkout process.

    See Precision Carrier System booklet for dimensions and more details

    If ordering by check or money order, you may print out and fill in our order form. Please make all checks payable to Lynn Radeka. If paying by check or money order, please inquire first by using the e-mail links on this site.


    Express Checkout
    Precision Pin-Registration Carrier Systems- 4x5 and 8x10 orders
    Select product:
    Glass carrier type: Clear Glass Version Anti-Newton Ring Glass Version
    Shipping To: Within USA Outside USA
    Note: If you prefer clear glass for the bottom glass and Anti-Newton glass for the top glass, simply order the Anti-Newton version and add a comment to request clear bottom glass during the ordering process. All 8x10 systems come only with an ANR glass carrier. When ordering an 8x10 system please specify enlarger type during the checkout process.
    Express Checkout
    Contrast Masking Kits-Expanded - $94.95 plus shipping
    Shipping To: Within USA Outside USA
    * Shipping cost $10 within USA, $25 outside USA. All payments must be made in US funds

    - Contrast Masking Kit and Carrier Systems price list -
    Contrast Masking Kit (for any enlarger size or contact printer) $94.95
    4x5 and 8x10 Precision Carrier Systems
    Enlarger size
    Clear or ANR Glass
    Complete Carrier System - Includes Precision pin-registration carrier, holder/frame, two-hole punch, solid foam base and Contrast Masking Kit*
    Standard Carrier System - Includes Precision pin-registration carrier, holder/frame, two-hole punch and solid foam base (does not include Contrast Masking Kit)
    Precision Pin-registration glass carrier only **
    Precision Holder/Frame only **

    Please add appropriate shipping cost:
    Carrier systems - 4x5 - $20 within USA, $60 outside USA, 8x10 - $40 within USA, $85 outside USA
    Contrast Masking Kits - $10 within USA, $25 outside USA
    All 8x10 carrier systems: Please specify enlarger type during the checkout process.

    * The extra set of registration pins that normally come with the Contrast Masking Kit are not included in the Contrast Masking Kit that is bundled with the Complete Carrier System, since registration pins are already attached to the glass carrier. All other Contrast Masking Kit items are identical to purchasing the Contrast Masking Kit separately.

    ** Glass carriers and holders are offered separately here only for use as replacement parts. Please note that each "holder/frame" unit can have only one carrier calibrated to it at a time. You cannot switch freely from carrier to carrier without re-calibrating the holder/frame matching that specific carrier.

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    All photographs on this site are copyright © Lynn Radeka. All rights reserved.
    Precision Pin-Registration Carrier System copyright © 2002 Lynn Radeka. Patent pending.
    Contrast Masking Kit copyright © 2000 Lynn Radeka.