Enlargers, Lenses and Filters.

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by jackcollings, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. jackcollings

    jackcollings TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys,

    Still very new to TPF and I am currently in the planning and gathering stages of building my darkroom! I have no idea what I am looking for when searching for the heart of the darkroom - the enlarger.

    What brands should I look out for? Which brands should I avoid? If developing 35mm film which lenses should I be looking to buy and why?

    Just looking for some very basic questions answered and hopefully a little advice on how to choose the right combination of enlargers, lenses and filters.

    Thanks,

    Jack


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think I've only owned two or three enlargers, but used only one at a time, so I wouldn't know now what brands to look for, but the good news is that prices are quite low now, so even the formerly-high-priced enlargers are within reach.

    Since the 35mm film format was considered the smallest practical size for film, nearly everything will accommodate standard 35mm negatives. It is when you start looking for medium and large format the prices will probably be higher.

    Normally the enlarger would project the image to cover 8 x 10 size at a reasonable height, but you can make larger prints by projecting onto a wall or the floor. I presume there are differences in lens quality, but I couldn't tell you which ones to watch for.

    In my rather limited reading on the subject is that the size and design of the light source will be quite important as well.
     
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  3. jackcollings

    jackcollings TPF Noob!

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    Are there enlargers that do both medium and 35mm? I'd be looking for something that could handle up to 220mm.. So if making a bigger print then 8x10 a different lens would be required so the projection could be blown up?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Jack
     
  4. jackcollings

    jackcollings TPF Noob!

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    Looking for second hand, just mainly reliable brands. Is the lens or the enlarger more important? If they were sold separately which would you spend the most money on?

    I'm in Australia so I'm hoping that these are the same prices there!

    Thanks for the help,

    Jack
     
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    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Certainly! What you would look for then, is an enlarger that has a medium-format negative carrier, and you probably wouldn't even have to go looking for the 35mm negative carrier, because it will most likely be included at no extra charge.

    I'm not 100% sure, but in my limited reading about it, you just make the distance between the head and the paper be longer. I seem to remember that with some enlargers you could swing the head out over the edge of the counter and place your larger size paper on the floor to make large prints. Or aim the projection at a wall, whatever you want to do. The projected image just gets bigger with more distance. And of course you will have to expose for a longer time, but that's why you have a timer.
     
  6. jackcollings

    jackcollings TPF Noob!

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    The wall mount seems like a great idea! Did you have it on a moveable arm or just in a set location? How did you adjust the height of the enlarger once it was mounted?

    I thought it might have been the same principle as photography so I will definitely look into 120mm enlargers and make sure they have anti-newton! Thank you so much for you help, I really appreciate it!

    Jack.
     

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