Enlargers and filters

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Matthew Del Buono, May 18, 2004.

  1. According to my darkroom book that I'm reading, I (supposedly) need color
    filters to adjust the color balance on a print on a condenser enlarger. How
    important are they and where could I get them? (As far as I can tell, none
    of the enlargers I've looked at come with these filters, but they come with
    a filter drawer....)

    Oh, and is a negative image supposed to be exposed to the paper? From what I
    see, light passes through the negative, producing a negative image on the
    paper. Then the paper reflects back and produces a positive visible image?

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Matthew Del Buono, May 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. Matthew Del Buono

    Zebedee Guest

    Filters are available. Gel filters from Jessops. Simply trim them down with
    a pair of scissors if they're too big.

    Downside of a condensor enlarger is that the bulb colour fluctuates a bit.

    Paper is like film. Put a negative image on it, develop and you'll have a
    negative of the negative - or in other words, a positive :)

    --
    Yours

    Zebedee

    (Claiming asylum in an attempt
    to escape paying his debts to
    Dougal and Florence)
     
    Zebedee, May 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. Matthew Del Buono

    Diluted Guest

    According to my darkroom book that I'm reading, I (supposedly) need
    color
    filters are very important as they are used to control the contrast of your
    image if you have a black and white enlarger. if you have a colour enlarger
    you can use the magenta dial to achieve the same effect on black and white
    prints.

    if you are printing in colour, a colour enlarger will have 3 dials, magenta,
    yellow and cyan. these are used to control the colour balance and make the
    image look "normal".
    assuming you're doing black and white, I wouldnt get the jessops own make
    filters, better to spend the extra and use the Ilford ones. Admittedly I
    havent used the jessops ones, but everyone ive spoken to has said they are
    crap. handle the filters carefully and they will last AGES.
     
    Diluted, May 19, 2004
    #3
  4. Matthew Del Buono

    Zebedee Guest

    Oh yes. for B/W if you use ilford multigrade paper, use ilford multigrade
    filters.

    I have a dial-filtration head on my enlarger :)

    --
    Yours

    Zebedee

    (Claiming asylum in an attempt
    to escape paying his debts to
    Dougal and Florence)
     
    Zebedee, May 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Quick correction: Only dichroic heads have dials. Condensers use physical
    layers of filters.
    Thanks for the advice, you two!

    -- Matt
     
    Matthew Del Buono, May 19, 2004
    #5
  6. Matthew Del Buono

    dadiOH Guest

    But only if you are using a variable contrast paper.

    --
    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
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    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
    ____________________________
     
    dadiOH, May 19, 2004
    #6
  7. One more thing, everyone: What's the expected price range for these things?
    (And none of you ever answered my question on where to buy them.)

    Thanks for the help!
    -- Matt
     
    Matthew Del Buono, May 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Matthew Del Buono

    dadiOH Guest

    From $100+ to thousands. You buy them at a camera store. Google will help
    you.


    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
    ____________________________
     
    dadiOH, May 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Matthew Del Buono

    Chris Guest

    You pay for quality, so expect to pay $100 or so at the low quality end,
    maybe $300 or more for a "decent" unit.

    Where to buy them....have you never been to a camera store? As a rule, when
    I have the name of a part, I tend to look it up in a search engine online.
    That usually gives me several stores, as well as prices.
     
    Chris, May 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Matthew Del Buono

    dadiOH Guest

    Before you go rushing out an buy an enlarger, you should educate yourself
    about the differences among them. Just as you would a camera.

    For example, there are two basic ways to get light from the light source to
    the lens: one is via condensers which are simple lenses that concentrate the
    light, the other is via a diffusion head. The first way gives you a
    contrasty, collimated light - one which will render every piece of dust on
    the negative as a sharp white spot on the print. With a diffuser enlarger
    the light is coming from many directions and sort of wraps around bits of
    dust rendering their images less distinct. It also results in a softer,
    less contrasty print.

    If your primary purpose is to print color - an endeavor that gets very old
    very quickly IMO - you may want to consider a dichroic head. Basically,
    these have a way of changing the light color by turning little knobs. The
    alternative is acetate filters and for those you need a way of inserting
    them twixt the lens and light source.

    You need to size the enlarger to what you use. If you never use other than
    35mm there is no need to get an enlarger capable of using 4x5 negatives.
    That doesn't mean you *couldn't* use one though. My favorite enlarger was
    the Beseler 45 and I used it for everything from 35mm to 4x5. One does, of
    course need a lens that will cover the largest negative used. That same
    lens can be used all film sizes but has a limited degree of enlargement;
    thus, for smaller negatives it is useful to have several lenses. One of the
    nice things about the Beseler is that the condensers can be easily focused
    for lenses of different focal length thus assuring maximum light for each.

    It goes without saying that a good enlarger needs a good lens. I was always
    partial to Schneider Componon lenses but there are many others. Regardless
    of manufacturer, it should have click stops...stops that have a detent so
    you can feel when you hit it. Why? Because you open up to focus then
    normally stop down to print...easy to count the clicks to the stop you want.
    Even better is a pre-set aperture arrangement

    You will also want an enlarger that is rock steady. If it wobbles or
    vibrates, forget it. It is also very convenient to have one with a head
    that can be rotated so that it can project on either floor or wall thus
    allowing a larger degree of enlargement.

    Finally, also check out easels and timers. A good one is a joy; a bad one
    is an endless frustration. My favorite easel was always the Saunders
    4-Bladed easel...easily adjusted borders and - important - keeps the paper
    in the center of the easel for various print sizes. I preferred Time-o-Lite
    timers, others like GraLab.

    One last thought: you will be using a darkroom but please don't paint it
    black. Paint it white or other light color so you can see what you are
    doing. People paint darkrooms black out of ignorance and lack of thought or
    because they are afraid of a light leak bouncing around. Well, a darkroom
    shouldn't *have* light leaks.

    --
    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
    ____________________________
     
    dadiOH, May 19, 2004
    #10
  11. Matthew Del Buono

    Zebedee Guest

    Schneider Componon S - my lens :)
    Ilford Exposure Meter comes in handy too - for B/W printing (saves paper)
    A Meopta Colour Analyser's useful for colour printing too.
    Yes. Check for column rigidity and fixture rigidity. Movable heads can
    become sloppy over time.
    Easels - not really needed unless you have curly paper. Timer - I used to
    use my wristwatch :)
    Interestingly, sodium street lighting does not fog b/w paper. Out of
    interest, at night, I removed the window blind and let the darkroom flood
    with sodium lighting. Perfect prints :)

    Nothing needs to be black in a darkroom. All that's needed is that no
    extraneous light comes into the room and reflects or shines on photo
    sensitive materials. I've used darkrooms where it's been possible to read
    the headlines in the paper. No problems there. Remember paper is about 3 ASA
    so it doesn't fog that readily. Having said that, absolute darkness is what
    you should be aiming for.

    --
    Yours

    Zebedee

    (Claiming asylum in an attempt
    to escape paying his debts to
    Dougal and Florence)
     
    Zebedee, May 19, 2004
    #11
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