Enlarger Fogging Help


TPF Noob!
Oct 26, 2011
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I'm having some darkroom trouble with fogging on two enlargers. Both enlargers are Beseler 35's and are producing images that are consistently 2-3 stops lighter on the edges. I've adjusted the condenser lenses, played with the negative holder alignments and changed bulbs, even consulted Beseler to no avail. Anyone have remedies, suggestions and/or solutions? Dodging and burning works for advanced students but doesn't help the new ones, and the dept. can't afford new equipment.
Odd that both enlargers have the same issue? If it is not humidity or dirty lenses?

Try a different (longer) lens. I used to use Beseler 45mcrx's. They covered the 35 negs way over. Used to use 85 or 105 Nikkors (?) to print the 35mm with for super sharp center res.

But why is your dept still stuck in film land to start with? You kicking a dead horse me thinks?
I'll check into the lenses next.

On the second point regarding a film program, the proof is in the images. A student who learns on an analog camera will readily adapt to digital with exceptional results. It never seems to work the other way around. It's a niche market, sure. But you'll find many silver gelatin photographers and collectors feel analog is still the preferred way to paint with light. Digital is great for what it is, but it's not a substitute for film, just as acrylic paint is not a substitute for oil paint.

For every new advancement in medium/technology, the one it replaces will find a new context by which it can be used. Apply the same rational to other mediums. With that said, both used vinyl records and analog cameras saw a 30% growth in sales in 2012, and both the digital and analog classes continue to have a waiting list every semester.
But why is your dept still stuck in film land to start with? You kicking a dead horse me thinks?[/QUOTE]

Because film isn't dead, Kodak's film sales are up 20% this past year, too bad the rest of their company isn't,

Which beseler's, it sounds like an alignment issues, uneven fall off is not fogging. What do their negatives look like. Density build up on the edges of film can be a problem and are a result of uneven development agitation practices.
Good advice from ann.
How many enlargers in total do you have in use? Is it only 2 out of a group that have gone wonky, or do you have 2 in total and now both have a problem?
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The fall is occurring regularly on two of the eight enlargers. One is a Beseler 67 and the other 35 printmaker.

Thanks for helping me think through this.
Those are a bit harder to get out of alignment, I would take a serious look at the negative and the edge densities.
I'm thinking along the same lines as Ann.

Have you tried printing the same negative on both the enlargers that have issues and the ones that don't, to see if there's any difference?
And, do you have the ability to scan a sample negative and/or print to show us what you're working with?
Try setting up for a print with the neg (focus, frame etc) then remove the neg and expose some paper (or simply take an incident light reading with an enlarging meter or an exposure meter with a flat disk or a shaded dome, if you have a meter). Do you still have the fall-off in illumination?

Tell us exactly how you adjusted the condensers. Are you absolutely sure that the condensers are installed correctly? Which lamp are you using?

Good luck,
Ran 16 prints today, 2 on each machine, after making very small adjustments in lenses, condensers and the frame that holds the bellows. Basically just taking things apart or out and reinstalling them. And so far no fall off. I'm crossing my fingers these adjustments will last. For now I know that a good negative will produce a consistent result on each enlarger.

Thanks for all your suggestions! It made me start back at square one.

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