Old 10-27-2009   #26
climbing_vine
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i could understand if you wanted a LF/8x10, but 35mm! they are everywhere it really is a waste of _time_ and __money IMO, your time could be better spent on making a rocking horse or wooden mobile for the child or a jewellery box for your wife, something you can keep an cherish, or a few hours at work to pay for the enlarger, or spend the time with your wife!...
In fact, the project I want it for a series of prints for my wife's birthday of a trip to Yellowstone. She's extremely excited about it, particularly the homemade enlarger part. She, like me, often prefers things that have the individual character of a DIY project. I like all the walls in my metaphorical "cabin" to keep out the rain, but I don't need them to have the same dimensions and drywall that the contractor uses for everyone else.

I repair cameras as a hobby, I've rehabbed boats and houses, I used to make furniture by hand for rent money when I was unemployed after 9/11. I understand everything you're saying, but it's entirely beside the point. If my enlarger is a little out of whack, I'll just shim it... it won't fall over and kill someone. I want it to be perfect *for me right now*, not Platonically perfect. That's the point.

(Incidentally, any dedicated enlarger will inherently take up more space than something that, when taken apart, is pieces of things that I already had going back into their cubbyholes. This busted Durst M600 I have in front of me currently-- that someone passed off as "perfectly working"--is supposedly one of the more compact units and it's still a pain in the ass.)

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Old 10-27-2009   #27
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For the Brits, what Brian is describing is known as "Blue Peter" - a long-running kids TV programme where the presenters regularly make things from ordinary household items - most famously, making Tracy Island from Thunderbirds!

In other news, I've got a very elderly (c1910) Kodak guide to making better pictures with a diagram in it of how to set up your folding Brownie as an enlarger. I don't think the binding will let me scan it but if I get a mo (and can find it...) I'll see if I can post a photo.

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Old 10-27-2009   #28
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Or you can do contact printing and/or alt. processes like cyanotype, ziatype, etc.

You don't need an enlarger, but you do need to DIY a UV light box (simpler than building an enlarger).

Another matter, if it were myself, I'd put off dabbling with chemicals with a baby around. Wait until he/she is a little bit tougher (a toddler perhaps ).
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Old 10-27-2009   #29
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Here goes, if we are really lucky they might even be in the right order...

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Old 10-27-2009   #30
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That is MOST excellent. I thank you and salute you.
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Old 10-27-2009   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by climbing_vine;1175737[SIZE=3
][/size]In fact, the project I want it for a series of prints for my wife's birthday of a trip to Yellowstone. She's extremely excited about it ...
That's a pretty worthwhile project, I'd say. If you have access to good libraries in your town, check out photography books from the turn of the last century, up to the 40's - home built enlargers and cameras (and really, an enlarger is just an inside-out camera) were more popular back then. The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography has an article in how to make bellows, and I see some other good examples have been posted by Adrian.

Home-made field and view cameras are not uncommon, even today. If you're going to take the trouble, why not make a 4X5 camera with a detachable light source ( like the Graflarger attachment for the Graflex camera) and have both?

Regardless of how you proceed, I hope you'll post pictures of the machine when you finish it.


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Originally Posted by climbing_vine View Post
Incidentally, any dedicated enlarger will inherently take up more space than something that, when taken apart, is pieces of things that I already had going back into their cubbyholes.
Actually those clever Soviets built a portable enlarger that fit neatly into an attache case, the Zenith UPA5M (http://www.submin.com/general/manual...th_upa5m_2.jpg)
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Old 10-27-2009   #32
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Glad climbing_vine eventually did get the information he was looking for. Sometimes you have to persevere to get through the well-meaning but OT responses here...

Just one more tip, as much for him as for others in the thread who are/were looking and don't live in strong Craigslist areas: Try church sales. There's this one in my town where I swear for the last three years I've seen one or two enlargers every time. (And not the same kit three years in a row, either.)
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Old 10-27-2009   #33
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Another matter, if it were myself, I'd put off dabbling with chemicals with a baby around. Wait until he/she is a little bit tougher (a toddler perhaps ).
Yeah, that' a good consideration. There's a spare bathroom, no windows, in the basement (for workmen, etc) that the landlord is going to let me use, and I'm storing the chemistry in our little storage locker on-site (making room for them by getting rid of a small boxful of parts spotmatics that I'm realistically not going to do anything with anytime soon). So the chemistry will be external to the apartment.
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Old 10-27-2009   #34
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I have a book called "Build your own enlarger" by A. C. Stevenson, Fountain Press, second ed. 1942. One of the chapters is A simple enlarger for Leica Lenses.

Building is certainly possible, and fun if that's your bent, but as suggested above I've collected three excellent enlarges up to 4x5 for no more than $50 each, from flea markets.
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Old 10-27-2009   #35
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Originally Posted by batterytypehah! View Post
Just one more tip, as much for him as for others in the thread who are/were looking and don't live in strong Craigslist areas: Try church sales. There's this one in my town where I swear for the last three years I've seen one or two enlargers every time. (And not the same kit three years in a row, either.)
)and how is that more on-topic?
amazing
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Old 10-27-2009   #36
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You know, you can purchase glass blanks and grind your own lenses also.
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Old 10-27-2009   #37
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You know, you can purchase glass blanks and grind your own lenses also.
A person certainly could, but it doesn't meet any of the objectives I was talking about in the original post (or subsequently).
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Old 10-27-2009   #38
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12 years ago I had an exhibition for which I produced big enlargements from negatives that I made in a self built/modified panoramic camera. I had access to a school darkroom without suitable enlargers for the format and size. I managed to use a 4x5" camera mounted on a tripod projecting onto the wall. I made a film holder from a piece of black acrylic/plastic with an aperture cut into. I filed down the edges, painted it black and fixed the negative in place with photographic tape. Using tape for the negative is probably superior to the clamping systems most enlargers have, it is just more cumbersome. My light source was a 5x7" lightbox, the flat kind which were newish then. I blinded the top and bottom with black paper and then strapped it to the back with elastics. The lens was a good enlarging lens mounted on an improvised board. The building and preparation took an afternoon (after a week of planning). The printing of the whole project took a whole morning. The developing, washing and drying were comparatively larger nightmares, given that the sheets were 50cm x 2m. After the first rinse, I took them home (while wet) and washed them in my bathtub, and then dried them by running clothes lines through out the apartment. My flat mates were a little surprised. The prints turned out great. The fact that I managed to do very clean splices proved that I succeeded in getting everything aligned well.

Since you are enlarging 35mm and you seem to have done some camera repair, why not use a 'dead' body that takes your chosen lens (the pentax?). Open/remove the shutter, remove the back, and you are half way there. You will just need to improvise the light source, and a support system.
Sounds like fun.
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Old 10-27-2009   #39
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)and how is that more on-topic?
amazing
I think my contribution was more on-topic than yours is well-meaning.
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Old 10-27-2009   #40
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Since you are enlarging 35mm and you seem to have done some camera repair, why not use a 'dead' body that takes your chosen lens (the pentax?). Open/remove the shutter, remove the back, and you are half way there. You will just need to improvise the light source, and a support system.
Sounds like fun.
Yes indeed! That's what I've started working with now for this project.

In the future, when I have a proper workshop and space again, I'm thinking of trying something like this:

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/200..._make_pro.html

and/or the Kodak example above. Good times
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Old 10-27-2009   #41
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Hi Brian,

I did build the first enlarger I ever used. Luckily I learned to print 2 1/4 square negatives from my sainted old Rolleicord Ia. I don't recommend using a homemade enlarger for 35 mm negatives. I wish you good success in finding an inexpensive or free enlarger that will do a much better job than my creation ever did.
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Old 10-28-2009   #42
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Originally Posted by climbing_vine View Post
Yeah, that' a good consideration. There's a spare bathroom, no windows, in the basement (for workmen, etc) that the landlord is going to let me use, and I'm storing the chemistry in our little storage locker on-site (making room for them by getting rid of a small boxful of parts spotmatics that I'm realistically not going to do anything with anytime soon). So the chemistry will be external to the apartment.
That's good that you have a basement. I missed that from when I was in college in Iowa.

Here in Texas we don't have basements, and the attic is either way too hot or too cold depending the season.

Another consideration on making your own enlarger is how quickly you'll want a bigger one

It took me by surprise how fast I went from 35mm negatives up to 6x7 now. And I still have that secret project still to be completed to get a 5x7 large format enlarger going.
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Old 11-03-2009   #43
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Well, the first experiments last night worked out just fine. I need to amp up the contrast but other than that... looking good so far. Worked by the light of the moon in the bathroom. Pictures of the contraption and the prints will show up soon. Thanks to everyone who had helpful suggestions.
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Old 11-03-2009   #44
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Please correct me if I'm wrong (it's been some 25 years since I build my own)!
For best sharpness and contrast try if you can find an over sized double condenser.
Focus the point-source light at the optical center of a stationary enlarger lens and
move the negative up and down for focus.

A quick sketch
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File Type: jpg enlager.JPG (7.3 KB, 50 views)

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Old 04-01-2010   #45
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... an over sized double condenser
Here's the one I used

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