dyi enlarger.

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by mysteryscribe, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I just saw a blurb about making a working enlarger from a 35mm camera... Now I have no use for such a thing but.... I wouldn't mind making a med fromat enlarger just to say I did it. Here's what I'm thinking please point out the flaws.

    Start with a cheap polaroid folder from the sixties (ebay cheap) The back is in two pieces remove the film cover part. build a negative holder probably cardboard done a hundred of them.

    replace the battery so the shutter works again. Cover the sensor with black tape... That will make the shutter stay open as long as the button is down. That's not more than a rubber band over the button.

    rig my fishtank light over the back of the camera use press board to build a light tight enclosure. Probably want to use a florescent bulb to keep the heat down.

    That should make me an enlarger head. I have a copy stand i can hang it on to get movement.

    Can anyone see a flaw in this... thanks for looking
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Biggest problem may be in achieving even lighting. The good ol' fix was opal glass.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    i forgot to mention the sanded plexiglass difuser.... The only thing i see now is that it probably wont allow for close focus without changing the focus rail system or going with a close up lens.
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I would probably find something else to DIY. Nobody needs them anymore, I've gotten an omega D2 for a smile cause they were throwing it out.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Like Hilary (sir edmond not clinton) said, I done it cause it was dere. Truth is it was far too easy, and I don't even want to do darkroom again. It was a silly half hour project. I honest thought it would be fun to play with but then I got to thinking about all that darkroom work and I suddenly remember why I closed mine down. I know that is heresy for a retro kinda guy to admit.

    Of course that and I fall on my but in the total dark, and I have double vision making it hard to focus an enlarger. Also why the semi view ground glass focus is so hard for me.

    Any way the Why Bother's have won the day.
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    You must have one heckuva smile. I keep seeing them for sale, but never come across one for free :lol:
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't see any flaws in what you've mentioned. I think it would be simpler to actually go more DIY than trying to convert an old Polaroid camera. Steal the bellows, maybe the lens (does it have aperture control?), and just mount them on a box that holds the lamp and the neg holder. The big issue is getting everything parallel (lens plane and paper plane), and making sure it doesn't wiggle.

    Graflex made the Graflarger which was a stand that turned a Speed Graphic into an enlarger.

    Fluorescent lighting will probably have to be filtered for optimal results with variable contrast papers, but the cold light heads I've used were fluorescent.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    the polaroid frame kept everything aligned. Actually I used one of my re lensed ones for the test and it all worked fine. the polaroid frame also had the groove to hold the cardboard film holder in place so it was a good choice.

    I didnt go through with it because I would have needed close up lenses and I didn't want to only print at night which in my situation is papamount to suicide. or at least serious bodily injury from falls. I didn't want to go though building it with a film holder used for paper at the base either. I just decided I really would rather have a lab make the print from a digital file. It was intellectual persuit and once I realized it could be done I lost interest.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I've looked into building them also; if I want to enlarge from negs larger than 4x5 I'll probably have to build my own enlarger. The last time I looked for 8x10 enlargers the nearest one I could find for sale was over 1000 miles away, cost a whole lot, and would need a semi-truck to move. It was an old Navy floor mounted enlarger that was originally used to blow up 10"x10" sheets of film from an aerial spy camera.

    If you've ever seen photos of Ansel Adams standing next to his enlarger, it's about the size of a compact car, and projects horizontally.
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I think in the very early days it was 8x10 cameras and contract prints. shoot the size you want kind of thing. The cabinet prints of civil war (as if it could be civil) were contact. I know there were 11x 14 cameras so I wouldn't be surprised if they were contact prints as well. I can guarentee you they were very careful with the eposure of so expensive a piece of film.
     

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