Got my new enlarger set up (Hurray for Digital!)

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by ???, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. ???

    ??? Guest

    I mention prices to show how far things have come and what can be done on
    eBay; not to brag (well, maybe a little).

    Earlier this year I lucked into a Beseler 45MXT ($80). Last nite I
    replaced the lamp in the cold head I purchased separately ($60) with the
    new VC54 hi output lamp ($130) and purchased a second condenser housing for
    $45, took out the condensers to make a permanent home for the cold light.
    Masked off the edges of the filter carrier a little (to mask off the width
    not covered by Ilford 6 inch filters), and taped a full and partial cut set
    of Ilford filters to make filters that were cut to fit the Beseler housing
    (what WAS Beseler thinking anyway?). Was in the darkroom until 1:30 this

    What a difference! I was printing shots from the Junior Olympics Fencing
    Tournament and had used Tmax 400 pushed to 800 and developed normally.
    It took a while to figure out that like a good telescope, either it is in
    focus or it is not; the grain just snaps into focus (using a Nikkor 2.8).
    Plus, the grain is not so pronounced. Using the grain focuser, I spent
    several minutes going right through focus and never knowing it.

    And the dust issue is almost non-existent. Clean the negatives, hit with
    the static brush and go on. Blow out the lens once per session.

    As you may know, fencing can be tricky. Uniforms are white, masks are black
    and you try to see the shadow of the face behind the mask and not lose the
    detail in the white uniforms.

    The 8X10 prints show very little grain and printed out with a number 2
    filter. So damned easy after "struggling" for almost two years with a small
    condenser enlarger. I was happy with the results, but I had to work for it
    and the grain was part of the package.

    I figured I had gone this far so I purchased a Negatrans ($45). Now THAT is
    a nice thing to use. Quick neg changes, plus it displays the neg number so
    you don't have to hunt for it for your records afterwards. Just put it on
    the chart as you print.

    Whole thing (including the replacement lamp straight from Aristo) is under

    I figure now I will pull out my color negs, put the condenser housing on and
    run the color negs through to pick out which ones to send to the lab for

    Huzzah for the digital revolution!

    Dewey Clark
    Restorations, Parts for Hamilton M21s, Products for Craftsmen
    Makers of Historic Timekeepers Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution
    ???, Mar 4, 2005
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