View Full Version : enlarger; optical or mechanical solution

el pescador
9-Jul-2016, 09:32
weathers not been very good today so spent the afternoon converting an old beat up devere 5x7 monorail camera into an enlarger for my 6x17 printing. The "mechanics" of the thing worked out ok, but my problem is this, using a 210mm rodagon lens with the head of the enlarger touching the ceiling I can only get a 550mm long image on the bench in the darkroom from a 6x17 neg. Do I use a shorter enlarger lens to get a longer image (i'd like to print at least 900mm long, possibly 1200mm eventually) or should I remove the bench top and project the image onto a base board set on the floor. Which would be the best solution? or would the results be the same from either method?

Jim Jones
9-Jul-2016, 10:04
A shorter lens would have to be optimized for wider coverage to work well in this application. To determine how much space between the top of the enlarger and the easel you need for the print size you desire, set the enlarger horizontally on the floor of a large enough room and measure it.

9-Jul-2016, 10:53
Use a 180 mm lens; depending on your magnification, you may even be able to use a 150 esp if you use a 150 G-Claron, it will do the 600 long and probably the 1200mm long also. L

Randy Moe
9-Jul-2016, 11:10
I was just checking this on my vertical Fotar.

Using a 6x17 neg which is 6.5"/165mm long yields 36" or 914mm wide prints.

Baseboard to lens board is:

150mm Rodagon 38.5" Actual. Made a print with it last night.

210mm Rodagon 55" Actual measurement today.

By calculation my EL Nikkor 180mm should do 47"

I need to make a mount for the 180 as I think it will be the best size for 6X17mm.

Carsten Wolff
9-Jul-2016, 22:02
yes, a 180mm lens is of course a solution, but there is no reason why your enlarger has to be vertical; if you wanted to go really large, you could look into horizontal options as well, if your room is much longer than it is high......

Dan Dozer
11-Jul-2016, 15:17
Did you consider making your monorail camera into a horizontal enlarger? Build a simple track table, put it on your counter, and project onto the wall. That's what I did with my old Kodak 8 x 10 camera for making enlargements from 8 x 10 negs and the camera is still perfectly workable as a camera (didn't have to remove anything from it).

Either way, one thing you may encounter is if the negative carrier gets too far away from the paper easel (too long of a lens) you won't be able to reach to adjust the negative carrier and look through your focusing loop on the ease at the same timel.

el pescador
12-Jul-2016, 09:08
thanks everyone for your replies. I've had a reshuffle of my darkroom and moved the monorail/enlarger to a different wall so I can project the image onto the floor. With my 210mm lens with the head of the enlarger touching the ceiling I get an image 51" long projected onto the floor, which is as large as I think I will need at the moment. I'm going to keep an eye out for a 180mm lens but can make do with the 210mm lens for now. I did think about mounting the enlarger horizonally but my darkroom is only 9 foot x 6 foot and would have taken up the whole of one long side, in effect my whole wet bench. keeping it vertical, means I use only approx 400mm of wall space, and I can rack the head up to the ceiling so its out of the way when not in use