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View Full Version : Anyone making Enlargers (DIY)?



jml
06-08-2006, 07:06 AM
Hi all. I am just wondering if anyone is making their own enlargers? I will be putting a darkroom together soon, but i only have a 35x24mm enlarger. Its a very basic model..

Anyway, I hope to be shooting 6x6 and 6x12-18ish negatives. And rather than just contact printing everything, I would like to eventually have enlargements for the better results..

So this is basically a cry for help.

Any/all/crazy/dont try this at home ideas/warnings welcome..

Thanks (and if this is in the wrong place i can re position it accordingly!)

Jim Jones
06-08-2006, 10:36 AM
With enlargers so inexpensive on ebay and elsewhere, making one is more a labor of love than a money saver. Long ago the Graflex Corporation made enlarger adaptors for Speed Graphic cameras. You might design a similar pinhole camera and enlarger system, although you'd need a lens for practical enlarging. Most available used enlargers are smaller than you'll need for 6x12, but there are plenty of 4x5 enlargers at bargain prices. You could also scan and digitally print negatives. The modest Epson scanners with a 4x5 transparancy unit certainly suffice for pinhole images.

timeruinsbelief
06-08-2006, 11:43 AM
i'd bet the hardest part would be finding a lens big enough to project the 6x18 negs, but after that all you would need is some sort of light source, film holders, and a clamp or two...
sounds like a fun project!

moot
06-08-2006, 12:52 PM
i'd bet the hardest part would be finding a lens big enough to project the 6x18 negs, but after that all you would need is some sort of light source, film holders, and a clamp or two...
sounds like a fun project!

It will probably be easier to find a process lens on eBay that will cover 6x18 than it would be to buy a regular enlarger lens. I would think a process lens would work well for an enlarger.

Tom Persinger
06-08-2006, 03:59 PM
some links i had lying around

http://www.philsan.com/8x10_enlarger.htm

http://panoramacamera.us/m_enlarger.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Livestock_and_Farming/1976_January_February/I_Built_A_Complete_Photo_Darkroom_In_a_Remote_Moun tain_Cabin

Andrew
06-08-2006, 07:21 PM
if you can build a camera you should be able to build an enlarger.
sounds like a great project
how about an older lens from a large format camera...? they come up on ebay from time to time
condition won't be that critical and esp if you could spot a lens with a broken shutter [or no shutter] it would be pretty cheap and you'd rip the shutter out anyway.

by the by... does anyone know what this lens would do?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/11-x-14-Perigraphic-Triple-Convertible-Lens_W0QQitemZ7627960047QQcategoryZ15248QQrdZ1QQcm dZViewItem

Jim Jones
06-08-2006, 09:34 PM
if you can build a camera you should be able to build an enlarger.
sounds like a great project
how about an older lens from a large format camera...? they come up on ebay from time to time
condition won't be that critical and esp if you could spot a lens with a broken shutter it would be pretty cheap and you'd rip the shutter out anyway.

by the by... does anyone know what this lens would do?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/11-x-14-Perigraphic-Triple-Convertible-Lens_W0QQitemZ7627960047QQcategoryZ15248QQrdZ1QQcm dZViewItem

That lens might do well enough on an 8x10 camera. For enlarging 6x18cm negatives it would be impractically long, and probably not as good a performer as so many other lenses. Most lenses intended for cameras sacrifice close-up performance for other qualities. Those camera lenses that are fairly well corrected for enlarging are apt to cost more than the more suitable enlarger lenses. The last lens I bought that might work well on an enlarger was a f/9 210mm, probably from a process camera. It, and a similar f/9 305mm lens, cost $10. On an extensive market like ebay it might have been more expensive. Copy machine lenses are another possibility. I used one, an 8.25 inch f/4.5 B&L, for 5x7 negatives. It wasn't very good in that application, though.

murrayatuptowngallery
06-09-2006, 01:24 AM
I have heard process lenses are quite good at enlarging in a magnification range comparable to their process use, some where in thw 1:3-5 ato 3-5:1 (average 1:4 thru 4:1).

You may have too many bidders to fight if you go for Schneider or Rodenstock.

There are a host of Agfa and Staebel sourced process lenses that goe for no tmuch, mainly Repromaster and Helioprint,

murrayatuptowngallery
06-09-2006, 01:29 AM
That lens will do some serious illumination.

Seller is describing it as 11"x14" format lens. Shortest f.l. is 16" so it might even be too long for a 4x5 Graflex style camera...probably 8x10 & up or homebrew long 4x5.

'Convertible' lenses provided reasonable performance in their various confiigurations determined by which elements were put together.

Sorry to see the 10 day duration...it may get bid on for a long time...

jml
06-09-2006, 04:02 AM
It might be gone by the time any of ye have a read, but how do this guys lenses weigh up "Wray"
http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7625832629&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

I hear they are link the lomo/holga of process lenses...

Anyhow, thanks for all the replies. I figure I will have to just ge tthe 35mm enlarger up and running, see what way I can use it as is, then modify it if i can, then start looking again.. I probably need a lot more darkroom experience to be doing any building that will be of any real use...

Either way its nice to know that its not just a crazy idea, at least not in f295 anyhow....

Andrew
06-09-2006, 07:36 AM
also keep an eye on the second hand market generally because as people are moving to digital there's a trickle of quite good darkroom equipment coming onto the market at low prices because it's rapidly becoming unfashionable old technology.... I'm not saying that I agree but I would take advantage

Tom Persinger
06-09-2006, 08:46 AM
where are you located jml?

jml
06-09-2006, 03:41 PM
where are you located jml?

A lonely little Island just off the East coast of the States.... Ireland..

greyhoundman
06-12-2006, 11:02 AM
I built my own 4X5 enlarger. You might be able to use some of my ideas. Here is a link to the blog page. If you have any questions, drop me a line.

http://greyhoundman.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_greyhoundman_archive.html

earlj
06-13-2006, 08:13 PM
I am hoping that my 8X10 camera will serve as a 4X5 to 8X10 enlarger. I am specifically interested in making enlarged negatives from my 4X5 pinhole images for use in alt process printing. Based on my foamcore pinhole enlarger experiments, I think that I can get acceptable results with a pinhole and a bright light source. I intend to use my 12 bulb spiral fluorescent exposing unit with a diffuser for the light source, as I already have the cool white bulbs from the pinhole enlarger. But first, I have to complete construction of the camera. I am waiting for the glue to dry on one part of the front standard while I type this.

Tom Persinger
06-14-2006, 09:37 AM
hmmm, one could consider building a foam core enlarger! use geenos idea for the foamcore field camera add a light source, a lens and a way to raise and lower it over the easel and you're set

http://www.f295.org/DIYforum/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?b-cc/m-1150156688/s-new/

jml
06-14-2006, 10:42 AM
Thanks everyone, I think it will be a while before i get started, but i know that if i have the ideas in my head, it will make the design and building easier, especialy with the kind of experience art and craft available at f295..

Basically I need a bellows, so i suppose i should start with a bellows camera...

Baby steps for now though.....

Thanks again...

Jim Jones
06-14-2006, 11:01 AM
. . . Basically I need a bellows, so i suppose i should start with a bellows camera...
Thanks again...

While most enlargers use a bellows, a few used a helical lens mount or sliding box arrangement. An enlarger is less critical in this respect than a camera.

murrayatuptowngallery
06-16-2006, 10:25 AM
I thought Wray made some well-respected process lenses, from my reading.

I guess Lomo/Holga could be interpreted two ways...popular? or sub-standard?

Oh, you can pick up Ilex process lenses pretty cheap too...their in-shutter, faster (.e., f/5.6, 6.8) ones are not as cheap.

Murray