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Thread: reflective enlarger

  1. #1

    reflective enlarger

    Recently I've become enamored with paper negatives and have started trying to shoot portraits with some success but find I must increase the power of my soft box as the negatives aren't sharp due to long exposures. Wanting to have larger prints without paper texture showing I rigged a reflective enlarger and to demonstrate the fact that this enlarger will create sharp prints I stepped outside and shot a storage building in my yard.The result is sharp but could use some burning/dodging as I left it straight for demonstrating the enlargers ability.To house the enlarger I have a severely small darkroom for it to reside in...
    Here are some pics.....




    Let me know what you think...
    Don

  2. #2
    I saw reference to this project on another site (APUG?) and think it's a wonderful idea. Honestly, if I had access to a reflection enlarger for paper negatives, I'd be shooting and printing more. This year, I should pursue building such a head that'll fit on my Besseler 4x5. Thanks for the inspiration, and I'd like to see more print examples if that's possible. Also, more details about design and construction, if you care to share.

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  3. #3
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Don,

    Great to see you here, welcome! I think this is the best place to get the best answer to the PM you sent me... And I'm glad to see that print, it looks sharp! I could not see it well in the photobucket link you posted at APUG.

    It's funny, Joe replied to John Nanian's "paper negative" thread on APUG today and said something like "making contact prints is just satisfactory, but an opaque projector for enlargements would be great", and it immediately made me think of you. Now here you both are in the same thread.

    Joe, Don posted some really great photos and details of his project in the paper negatives group at APUG:

    Enlarged Prints from Paper Negatives

    I hope I didn't mangle paraphrasing what you wrote. I have mixed feelings about contact prints from paper negatives. I love the way they look and some of my small ones are like little jewels, but I have to admit that wanting to make bigger contact prints is what really drove me to building bigger cameras. I think this is just a really neat idea.

    ~Ned
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  4. #4
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
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    Hi Don - welcome to F295! Great to have you join us! Love the opaque projector.

    Feel free to upload your images directly to F295, we have file size limits but there's a reasonable amount of storage space. I only suggest it as that way the images permanently reside with the post. We've had more than one instance of where an offsite file storage changed URLs or went off line and these sorts of (wonderful) threads without images aren't nearly as compelling.

    I look forward to seeing you around the forum!

    Onward!
    tom

  5. #5

    reflective enlarger

    Joe,thanks for the kind words.I'd be happy to answer any questions and help you might need when/if you build a reflective enlarger.
    Ned, thank you for the kind words also and the link to the enlarger (should have thought of it myself,getting old I think).
    I've discussed an idea with Ned and think I'll share some of it with you all. The cardboard/coffee can prototype enlarger is working well but think a metal one would last longer so am working on the design.I have a friend that's in the sheet metal fabrication business and has access to a CAD operated laser cutter and breaks along with other equipment and think I'll send him a pattern.Here's my hesitation,He can make it up except for wiring and attachment parts etc.or in cut to size folded parts for assembly, allowing attachment to different enlargers. The latter would probably be less expensive and being frugal(read cheap)might be a better way to go.In the past I've made aluminum castings for him and might be able to barter this job(cheap remember) any way I'd like to hear any suggestions you all might have....
    Don

  6. #6
    Thanks for the welcome Tom.
    How can I directly load images? Not really well versed in 'puter...
    Thanks,
    Don

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Don, thanks for sharing this. I'd not heard of reflective enlargers before you posted, now have another job to add to the list of things to do in future. Sounds like you're like me - retired and too much to fit into your days. What fun! Can I ask one thing: I imagine the distance between negative and lens aperture is critical for focus; how do you achieve this? Is the lens on a helical mount, or did you carefully calculate spacing in the construction? Thanks for the inspiration,

    Barry

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    Thanks for the welcome Tom.
    How can I directly load images? Not really well versed in 'puter...
    Thanks,
    Don
    Don,

    To cross-link an image from another photo-sharing website (like Flickr, for instance), first grab the URL of the image - making sure it's the URL that begins with "http" and ends with " .jpg" - and enclose it within blogger image code, like such:

    [ img ]image URL here[ /img]

    But do so without the spaces in the brackets.

    There's also a way to upload an image directly to the f295 server, but then image sizes are limited to 100k in size.

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  9. #9

    reflective enlarger

    Barry,since I've only two sheet film cameras,4 X 5 and 21/4 X 31/4 both Graphics, my enlarger format is 4 X 5 and uses a 150 mm focal length lens (which by the way might be necessary because of the depth need in the box part of the enlarger in order to cover the 4 X 5 surface evenly with the lights).The lens is attached to a third coffee can which is cardboard rather than steel like the two light reflectors and has a black felt light trap/bearing around it which allows it to slide up and down for focusing.The reason for choosing the cardboard coffee can is that it doesn't have the rings pressed into it like the steel ones and therefore slides easily.There is a wooden ring around this can which is split with a bolt/wing nut attached for tightening it's grip on the can when the proper size/focus is achieved.
    I'm sort of planning to make another enlarger or rather a head for existing enlargers out of metal for longevity compared to the cardboard/coffee can prototype but that's down the road a bit.....
    If I may be of help for your build let me know...
    Don
    Last edited by blindpig; 06-08-2014 at 07:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the help Joe.

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