Lots of enlarger questions...

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ashli, May 30, 2006.

  1. ashli

    ashli TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys! I am such a newbie when it comes to the darkroom. I've never done anything in one, but I am attempting to teach myself. I was talking with my photojournalism professor and telling him how I wanted to build a darkroom and the only thing really holding me back was that enlargers are so expensive. It turns out that another professor in the journalism school had an enlarger and GAVE it to me. That made my year! It's old, but it still works! It didn't come with a manual, and I delicately played with it until I got it working fully. However, I have a few questions...

    1 - What is your opinion on the enlarger that I have? It's a 1970s model Omega (I think it's B&W) B600 Condenser Enlarger.

    2 - There is a piece that slides in above the big lens at the top, what is that for?

    3 - Can I make B&W prints from a color negative with a B&W enlarger?

    4 - I have some pictures scanned in/digi pics that I would like to make prints of. Could I print out a negative image onto clear (projector) sheets and make a print from that?

    Thanks guys, any advice/answers are appreciated! :heart:
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    It is a beginner type enlarger, but will work just fine. I have a C700. Just an updated version that works just fine. It is really the lens that makes the difference.

    That should be for contrast filters.

    Yes you can, but they won't come out that good. You will have issues with contrast.

    Good question. Theoretically, yes you can. You would be making a contract print. Never seen it done. Let us know how it works.
     
  3. ashli

    ashli TPF Noob!

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    I haven't set up my darkroom yet. I'm still absorbing everything I can/trying to get some money and cheap supplies. (Anyone that has some supplies they'd like to get rid of, PM me!! :lol: ) I definiately will try this though. The Amish pics I posted I want to make prints of, and the negatives were thrown away by my professor...

    Also, I don't have an enlarger timer. Is it neccisary?
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    To get chemicals and supplies check out Freestyle at the top of the page. Their Arista line is good stuff and really cheap.

    I feel a timer is needed. Can you print without one? sure. But I am really picky, I will redo for a half second change.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Ashli, I would also recommend Freestyle (click the banner) to get good quality, inexpensive chemicals and paper to get started. Once you've made several prints, you'll want to try other chemical/paper combinations.

    Also - don't forget good old ebay to look for "lots" of darkroom equipment. People will scoop up trays, timers, tongs, focusing aids, etc and put it out as a lot. Very cheap way to get tons of stuff. :)
     
  6. ashli

    ashli TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thanks! I've never seen a timer, are they complicated pieces of equipment? I found the plans to make my own, and have shown them to my fiance. He's considering making one for me...
     
  7. ashli

    ashli TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking on Ebay on and off. I'm not exactly sure exactly what I need and what I don't. Can any of the equipment be substituted for things around my apartment?
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sure! When mixing chemicals, you can spend big bucks on graduates OR just head to Kmart or some such place for plain old kitchen measuring cups (like Pyrex). And when you clip your film, you can spend money on "film clips" or just use clothes pins......etc.

    All kinds of ways to save a few bucks. Think about what the item is used for, and look around. :)

    Keep in mind cleanliness is godliness in the darkroom AND the kitchen, so don't cross-use anything. ;) Just a word of caution!
     
  9. ashli

    ashli TPF Noob!

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    Is there anything special about trays? I was thinking about substituting them with aluminum baking pans, or something of the like...
     
  10. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Hi Ashli. I won't answer all your question unless I get time later.
    [1] Kodak make a photographic paper [at least they used to] called "Panalure" which you can print colour negs to make B+W prints. You process in normal print developer using the time/temperature method, but it's a bit fiddley. Problem is, it's a panchromatic paper not orthochromatic [now I'm confusing you], which means you have to print & process in complete darkness. Printing on normal B+W paper will affect the reproduction of the tones. If you try it, notice the eyes. [you'll understand this comment if you try it.]
    [2] You can use any dishes you like, but you should be able to pick up dishes cheap on Ebay.
    [3] I for many years never used a timer, I used to adjust my print exposure to about ten [10] seconds, and count in my head, though again on ebay youshuld get one cheap. I wouldn't even try to make one !!
    [4] "The piece that slides above the big lens at the top" Sounds like it has two lenses. It may be the condenser you're talikng about. If it's between the light source and the lens, it could be for a diffuser, as, if the enlarger is very old, and prior to multigrade printing, it wouldn't be for filters. Trust this helps. Philip.
    www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    I print 35mm negatives on 4X5 sheets of paper (cut from an 8X10 sheet). I cut the bottoms out of some one-gallon plastic milk jugs, and use them as chemical trays. Plus the tops of the jugs can be used as funnels with a handle. I've heard, I think, that BW chemistry can react with metal; it's probably best to avoid them, unless they're stainless steel (since the good tanks are stainless steel, it should be allright).

    Regarding making BW prints from color negs. Kodak no longer manufactures any BW papers, so any Panalure that's out there is probably being hoarded. I know I was given a box of 100 sheets, and I'm saving it for my paper negatives. I might use it for printing a color negative as BW someday, but I doubt it.

    It's possible to make a positive on sheet film (instead of paper), then contact print that onto another sheet of film (making an enlarged negative). You'd them contact print that negative onto paper. I've never done it, but I plan to try it eventually. It would take some experimentation to get the exposure and everything right, but it'd be a good learning project. You'd probably have to use a very slow panchromatic sheet film. You may also have some contrast issues and detail loss. Like I said, I haven't tried it yet, so I don't really know.

    But, try it with paper first. You might like the result.

    As for timers... before I had my timer, I counted the ticks on my watch. I still use that method for developing. (At least until I get around to ordering a new safelight bulb).

    Improvising is a great way to save money on stuff. Probably half the stuff in my photography and darkroom outfits is stuff I've adapted to the purpose. You might be surprised about what can work. Plus, it's a good way to learn useful things without having to spend gobs of money.

    Good luck, and enjoy!
     
  12. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've read about people using kitty litter trays for darkroom chemistry....brand new, of course. :lol: And I wouldn't bother filling them with chemistry, but you get the idea.
     

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