View Full Version : Homemade Enlarger

01-08-2013, 01:36 AM
One of the project I'm working towards is a exhibition of pinhole pictures that will part of the WA Art Trail.

By the way one of my homemade cameras and prints won the Viewpoint $2000 prize in last years art trail.

Now I have been going round in circles.

The photography isn't the problem, the way I will print the negatives has changed .

My original thought was Salt printing or splash out and buy the chemicals for the Platinum-Palladium process.

For both these processes the negatives would need tweaking, the easy way would be expose and process as normal , them make digital negatives.

Easer said than done. getting the transparency film and printer was just the start. The program I use for photo editing (PSP) hasn't the type of curves required. Then purchasing the chemicals was another problem.

So plan 'B' make silver bromide prints . I can but paper and chemicals from a supplier in NSW.

Okay it's plan 'B'... but contact prints are a tad on the small side.. Why not do enlargements.

Do some eBay searching for a 5x4 enlarger.. bugger way out of my price range.

And what really is a pity about 12 years ago I sold 2 large format enlargers.. Oh I guess that's life.

So now it's plan 'B/2' The maximum size of image I'm thinking of will be about whole plate (8x6 ins) .

I have a old Russian 210mm lens and tools in the shed.. YES that's correct.. Make my own enlarger.

01-08-2013, 01:40 AM
Rather than spend many hours making bellows, the focusing be done by a sliding inner box.

Stage one : make a mock-up and test print.

http://s9.postimage.org/93stezm2n/DSC01993.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

http://s13.postimage.org/bo42k0zc7/IMG.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

I exposed a very rough test print with the cardboard enlarger, it's just under 5x7.

01-08-2013, 01:42 AM
Production starts.
When cutting the negative holder my router slipped. So the gap will be filled with epoxy resin

http://s1.postimage.org/6dd8f3ln3/DSC02006.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
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01-08-2013, 01:50 AM
if you were in Melbourne I would give you a 4x5 enlarger.

01-08-2013, 02:07 AM
Oh how I wish I was in the east:)

01-08-2013, 10:07 AM
I bought a complete Besseler 4x5 enlarger setup for $40 US. They are out there, you just have to keep your eyes peeled.

01-08-2013, 06:54 PM
Hi Earl I did see one the other day omega super chromega for $US100 the down side was he wanted $US2900 freight.

Since I started this project I have been thinking both my homemade pinhole camera and the enlarger will be part of the exhibiton.

01-14-2013, 04:08 AM
I've got a spare Beseler 23C II, no lens or lens board, that will do 4 x 5 with a home made base board, no neg holders (cheap on ebay) if you were to pay for shipping and packaging, it's yours......contact me if interested......I am in Sydney

Hi Earl I did see one the other day omega super chromega for $US100 the down side was he wanted $US2900 freight.

Since I started this project I have been thinking both my homemade pinhole camera and the enlarger will be part of the exhibiton.

01-14-2013, 04:19 AM
ooopppsss I think that I got this wrong...........the 23 C II cannot do 4 x 5 if memory serves me well. Sorry. But if you still want it – it is yours.....

01-15-2013, 02:22 AM
Sam That sounds great I will check the shipping out Colin

01-20-2013, 03:18 PM
interesting project colray. i want to see the progress of your project. like me i had problem with 4x5 contact prints. it's a tad small. plus i'm doing my printing in the diy darkroom (toilet) getting 4x5 enlarger here would be impossible plus we are living in a condo type apartment my wife would kick me out if i bring a large enlarger at home :D.

01-20-2013, 05:05 PM
Jefrey it's not 100% finished but good enough for making some prints.

A Draw for multi contrast filters
B Negative holder
C Lamp House
D Bogging ... will look okay after sanding
E I'm lazy shouldn't have use the on-board flash

http://s8.postimage.org/qi1sgpkth/enl.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Because of limited space in my home ( small A frame cottage) and I will not be printing over whole plate. I have gone for a very early design of enlarger. The head will be fixed in the top of a three sided box and size adjustment will be by the baseboard the can be moved up and down.

This is the basic layout ,not like the modern enlargers, but on the lines of what the photographic pioneers would have used. Addes some colour finish I think It's replicated that aged look

A is the lens
B the paper will go here
Now I must work out some runner system.. thinking cap on!

http://s13.postimage.org/xcq3l4d7b/DSC06441.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
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01-20-2013, 05:08 PM
I have just made the first couple of test prints.

Conclusion :

On Foma multi grade ( G3 filter) The tonal range is far better that those digital scanned negatives .

Sharpness the results look better a than the DS.

Because the enlarger is using soft light ..zero dust spots

Couple on downsides:

Focusing isn't that easy . I'm thinking about adding a geared wheel.

Didn't get the magnification quite right. The size range I wanted was from just under 5x4'' - just over 10x8'' . It ended up okay for 5x4 but a tad under 10x8.

At the momet I change the prit size by placing a few books on the baseboard.

http://s8.postimage.org/4im48nnh1/IMG.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
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01-20-2013, 06:04 PM
wow.... this is amazing. 5x4 enlargers are thin on the ground here too, i may have to make something like this one day! brilliant work!

01-21-2013, 08:06 AM
wow thanks for sharing colray!

01-21-2013, 12:57 PM
Nice work on this. I'm thinking of a horizontal version for 8x10 inch negatives.....

04-16-2013, 07:24 AM
The other day I made some 1/2 plate size prints and the enlarger worked just fine.. I'm very happy