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enlarger question



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 2nd 06, 12:38 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default enlarger question

Gunnar

Depending on the size of the enlarger but contact classis-enlargers.com
.. He sells rebuilt Omega D2s. Rebuilt to better than Omega ever built
them. They will last forever.

Lenses are biggies.

Bob AZ

  #2  
Old January 2nd 06, 01:02 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default enlarger question

Gunnar Mallon spake thus:

Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?


I'll take a crack at this and say the lens is most important.

As you suspect, the enlarger is basically just several hunks o'metal
that support the lens, negative, lamp, condenser, etc., and hold them in
alignment. Nothing rocket-science about it: basically, the elements in
the optical path (light, condenser, film and lens) need to be in a
straight line with the components aligned perpendicularly to the light path.

So what a guy would want is a solidly-constructed unit which can be
accurately aligned. Most enlargers that are above the El Cheapo class
fulfill these basic requirements. And of course, with the Great Takeover
of Digital Photography, enlargers are much cheaper and easier to acquire.


--
The only reason corrupt Republicans rule the roost in Washington
is because the corrupt Democrats can't muster any viable opposition.
  #3  
Old January 2nd 06, 02:02 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default enlarger question

I would say both are equally important up to a point. You need a good
strong enlarger with a sturdy base that is light tight especially if you are
having alot of different people using and abusing them. An enlarger that
shakes will negate the best enlarging lens. Start with this type of
enlarger and the best lens you can buy and then focus on what exactly you
will be using them for and look for the extras that will help you.

Been away from the darkroom for ten years and that felt great. I miss it


"Gunnar Mallon" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society darkroom.
i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more important
lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not just a bit of
metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?

Many thanks,
Gunnar



  #4  
Old January 2nd 06, 02:04 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default enlarger question

Only thing I would disagree with is a Democracy gets corrupt when the peopel
get lazy and selfish.

"David Nebenzahl" wrote in message
.com...
Gunnar Mallon spake thus:

Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?


I'll take a crack at this and say the lens is most important.

As you suspect, the enlarger is basically just several hunks o'metal that
support the lens, negative, lamp, condenser, etc., and hold them in
alignment. Nothing rocket-science about it: basically, the elements in the
optical path (light, condenser, film and lens) need to be in a straight
line with the components aligned perpendicularly to the light path.

So what a guy would want is a solidly-constructed unit which can be
accurately aligned. Most enlargers that are above the El Cheapo class
fulfill these basic requirements. And of course, with the Great Takeover
of Digital Photography, enlargers are much cheaper and easier to acquire.


--
The only reason corrupt Republicans rule the roost in Washington
is because the corrupt Democrats can't muster any viable opposition.



  #5  
Old January 2nd 06, 02:32 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default enlarger question

In article ,
Gunnar Mallon writes:

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?


I agree with others that, above a certain level of quality, the lens is
more important than the rest of the enlarger in terms of producing a
quality image. I would, though, like to point out some of the areas where
the quality or features of an enlarger are very important:

- The enlarger design determines what negative formats you can manage
(sub-miniature, 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, etc.). Many enlargers can handle
multiple formats, but you may need different negative carriers,
condensers, mixing boxes, or other accessories.

- Enlarger heads vary in design, and this can affect the images you get.
Condenser vs. diffusion, the presence or absence of built-in filters for
color or B&W variable contrast papers, etc., can be important
considerations.

- Most enlargers accept lenses with 39mm threads. A few require other
types of lens mounts. Many use "lens boards" for mounting the lens, with
multiple lens boards available for different lens types.

- The column height determines the maximum size image you can create,
given a particular film size and lens.

- In part as a consequence of column height and supported negative
formats, enlargers vary in size and weight. Measure your available space
and check on load limits in your darkroom, particularly if you're
tempted by any really large enlargers.

- Some enlargers -- particularly high-end models -- have extra features
such as heads that can tilt for wall projection and/or Scheimpflug
effects, autofocus, coarse and fine focus controls, built-in timers (vs.
separate timers), etc.

- Popular models from major manufacturers are likely to have parts
available for years to come. It may be hard to find parts for obscure
models in the not-too-distant future (or already for used enlargers).
Pay particular attention to bulbs; some models (especially for used
equipment) require bulbs that are no longer available or that are very
expensive.

- The minimum level of quality is important. An enlarger can be out of
alignment, difficult to focus accurately, etc. Even if it works OK
today, a poorly built enlarger may suffer more as entropy takes its toll
than a better built machine would. This is likely to be particularly
important for a communal darkroom such as the one for which you're
buying.

- The preceding point goes double (or more) for used gear. Used equipment
could be banged up, missing parts, badly misaligned, etc. Even if it was
the best enlarger available when it was new, it could be junk today --
or it could still be in like-new condition.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend buying a cheap enlarger (in the pejorative
sense; an inexpensive enlarger could be a great bargain) for a communal
darkroom, mainly because it's likely to suffer more from heavy use or
abuse than would a better built enlarger.

One other point: A well-built enlarger is pretty tough and should be able
to handle communal work pretty well. An excellent lens, OTOH, is just as
delicate as a poor one. You might consider buying as good an enlarger as
you can afford and two or three used lenses (even if you buy a new
enlarger). Even excellent used lenses are pretty cheap ($50 or less for
most). You can use the best of the lot as the primary lens and relegate
the worst to backup duty.

You haven't said what your price range is or what sorts of requirements
you have for features (supported formats, color or B&W, etc.). Given some
of that information, the people here might be able to offer more specific
advice, including how much of your budget to devote to the enlarger vs.
the lens.

--
Rod Smith,
http://www.rodsbooks.com
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
  #6  
Old January 2nd 06, 02:36 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default enlarger question

Creeker spake thus [regarding sig]:

Only thing I would disagree with is a Democracy gets corrupt when the peopel
get lazy and selfish.


No disagreement from this quarter.


--
The only reason corrupt Republicans rule the roost in Washington
is because the corrupt Democrats can't muster any viable opposition.
  #7  
Old January 2nd 06, 03:35 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default enlarger question

Gunnar Mallon wrote:
Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?

Many thanks,
Gunnar

I am agreed with the folks that say a minimum of both is required.
I think in your environment the wear resistance and design that the many
users cannot screw up during use is more important than having the best
lens.
For most users a 4 element tessar design lens is quite adequate. If you
are doing huge enlargements a fancier lens would yield visible differences.
gr
  #8  
Old January 2nd 06, 08:15 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default enlarger question

Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?

Many thanks,
Gunnar
  #9  
Old January 2nd 06, 11:24 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Default enlarger question

Creeker wrote:
Only thing I would disagree with is a Democracy gets corrupt when the peopel
get lazy and selfish.


Could someone point me to a Democratic government ? I don't remember
ever seeing one.

JD
  #10  
Old January 2nd 06, 11:30 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
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Posts: n/a
Default enlarger question

Gunnar Mallon wrote:
Hi all,

we have a couple of very bad enlargers in our university society
darkroom. i am looking to buy new gear now. what would you say is more
important lenses or enlarger? how does the enlarger matter? is it not
just a bit of metal that passes light through the negative onto the lens?


The best lens ever made can't make an out-of-focus image sharp. A good
chassis with good alignment should be the basis for any enlarging. I'll
take a well-aligned Durst with a triplet over a poorly aligned Beseler
with an APO lens every day of the week.

JD
 




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