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Thread: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

  1. #21

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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    My personal take on ULF is after a certain format size, the choice of format is dictated by the size that one would desire to contact print, but for enlargements, a smaller LF format one has (or access) to the proper enlarger to use... (The old reason for ULF was before enlargers and electricity, cameras were chosen for the max size they could contact print, as enlarging was super hi-tech + $$$, so to offer that size to their clients, you needed the big camera for it...)

    Even 8X10 was usually retouched for portraits (easy on the big neg), and contact printed, but enlarging shrunk the camera needs (when enlargers became cheap and available), but I agree finding an Elwood is a start, but for very large blow-ups, the greater precision of the better enlargers is more needed, as little enlarger alignment issues will blow up more the bigger print you get, where you get a nice print (except for that soft edge etc)

    Hope you find a nice one!!!!

    Steve K

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    I've seen used Dursts going from everything from free to $75,000, depending on features and sheer luck. The 5X7 138-series is much easier to transport, and requires less ceiling ht, but equally good. You can also build a nice solid cabinet, put that on sheave rollers, and jerry-rig a horizontal unit that way. I did that once. But supending the easel? It might work, but it's kinda like having a stationary locomotive and pushing the warehouse to it. I also believe in using gravity, but call that a vertical enlarger. Takes up less floor space, though I do have a 16ft ceiling in the particular room my 8X10 color enlargers are.

  3. #23

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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    All the options mentioned are good---I think it depends on what is available and how much moving one of these behemoths will add to the price as the OP mentioned being on budget. Offset camera---sure thing! Durst---first class! Homebuilt---Ansel went that route!---Beseler conversions---neato benito!---Elwoods---wood to match your camera! Zone IV---well, I've never run into one of those but probably just fine. Each will have an individuality (just like 8x10 cameras) that will drive some guys crazy unless you are serious about making it work.
    I have a Elwood but haven't used it in quite awhile because I enjoy making B&W contacts more and more. I still keep it just in case I get a neg that demands the effort of going 16x20 or larger, but that's very rare----that I need long arms like a gorilla to fine focus the Elwood has nothing to do with it
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  4. #24
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    Don't forget to check our AI (Artificial Intelligence) at the bottom of threads. In 2012 this was offered as an enlarger. http://www.largeformatphotography.in...l=1#post906408

    Also a must read for any LF issue is my friend, http://www.glennview.com/

  5. #25
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    Can't really add much. 8x10 enlarging really depends on your own skill level or the resources ($$) you have available.

    Just some notes about things that make 8x10 enlargers different than the smaller enlargers you may have used:

    BIG SIZE. No matter if one is converting a smaller enlarger to 8x10, nothing can get around the massive bellows extension needed to print the typical small reproduction ratio prints.

    ILLUMINATION REQUIREMENT: Compared to 4x5, the inverse square laws tells us that FOUR times more light is needed. Even more light is needed if your 300mm enlarger lens performs best at F22.

    FOCUS CHALLENGES: The grain may be too small to see with your grain magnifier. The focus knob may be too high to reach with your arm.

    A LITTLE BIT GOES A LONG WAY: When enlarging at the short end of the spectrum 1:1 to 1:2, 1:3, etc, a little bit of enlarger head height has a very big effect on the size of the print. The works AGAINST you if you lose, say 4in of head hight from a low ceiling. You think "4 inches is not that much" but you actually lose a lot of your enlarging power.

    FULL FRAME (REBATE SHOWING) DOES NOT GET ANY EASIER: Even with the top-of-the line DURST, the negative frame and light box are JUST 8x10, so to print full frame with the rebate there is almost no wiggle room.

  6. #26
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    Durst mixing boxes are oversized. For instance, 8X10 colorheads have 10-1/4 x 10-1/4 inch mixing boxes to evenly illuminate either square aerial film or 8x10 film in either orientation . The early 2000W colorhead was intended for 5X7 film at the most, and wouldn't evenly illuminate 8X10. There were a lot of models over the years. But cold lights are a different topic, and you really need at least 12x12 to evenly cover 8x10 film.

  7. #27
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    Saltzman heads started at 12X12" and got bigger. I have one that is 17X17" of lamp in a 20X20" box. Not set up. Yet.

  8. #28

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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    OP - Have you thought about overall darkroom space? Do you have trays or a method of developing, stopping, fixing, and washing these 8x10 enlargements?

    I'm going to bring it up again, if you are near Los Angeles I would recommend checking out Contact Photo Lab (www.contactla.com) because they have darkroom rentals where you can rent space on their 8x10 enlarger. Everything you need is already provided and set up. No maintenance needed on your part and there is even space to dry your prints. Not only can you print 8x10 b/w but they have a color processor as well so you can enlarger 8x10 b/w or color. IMO, seems like less of a headache then trying to find an enlarger, repair it, then making darkroom space for all the trays you will need along with finding or building trays that will work for your process.



    If you do decide to get your own enlarger then I would suggest trying to find one of these...might help with the space issue when it comes to the print development process.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/6ozSDDFr...-by=eric.omori



    edit/ Just to be clear - I'm not trying to persuade you to not get your own enlarger but after all the costs of getting everything set up and ready to use will you have any money left over for film/paper? If you do then right on man! Go for it!

  9. #29

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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    Hi axs810:

    Thanks for pointing out those practical considerations! That's why I post my question here.
    I used to have a darkroom for medium format but I imagine everything scales up quite a bit for 8x10 (including cost for paper/chemical).
    So, my plan is to gather information and think carefully before setting up the darkroom for 8x10 (probably in 1-2 years).
    I am not in LA area but will try to go look at the lab when I have a chance.
    Thanks again!

    Jerome



    Quote Originally Posted by axs810 View Post
    OP - Have you thought about overall darkroom space? Do you have trays or a method of developing, stopping, fixing, and washing these 8x10 enlargements?

    I'm going to bring it up again, if you are near Los Angeles I would recommend checking out Contact Photo Lab (www.contactla.com) because they have darkroom rentals where you can rent space on their 8x10 enlarger. Everything you need is already provided and set up. No maintenance needed on your part and there is even space to dry your prints. Not only can you print 8x10 b/w but they have a color processor as well so you can enlarger 8x10 b/w or color. IMO, seems like less of a headache then trying to find an enlarger, repair it, then making darkroom space for all the trays you will need along with finding or building trays that will work for your process.



    If you do decide to get your own enlarger then I would suggest trying to find one of these...might help with the space issue when it comes to the print development process.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/6ozSDDFr...-by=eric.omori



    edit/ Just to be clear - I'm not trying to persuade you to not get your own enlarger but after all the costs of getting everything set up and ready to use will you have any money left over for film/paper? If you do then right on man! Go for it!

  10. #30

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    Re: Where to start for an 8x10 enlarger?

    In my opinion finding the proper size trays might be one of your biggest concerns. You can buy 30x40 plastic trays for around $160 new and stainless steel 30x40 trays for around $270 new. If you plan to print any larger than that you might have to have something custom made...but if you do get something custom made, say out of plexi, then you would want to test it out for leaks before ordering a full set. Trays 30x40 or larger filled with chemicals gets pretty heavy. You'll also want to plan out your space to make sure you have enough room in your darkroom sink. It's not impossible but it will take a lot of pre-planning. To give you an idea of the amount of space you would need just for the trays check out this video of Clyde Butcher developing in his darkroom.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCN_WQeEKnc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP2WZbo2Lv0


    After you get the tray situation figured out the next step would be to figure out a way to adequately wash the prints and lay them out to dry. Then after that would be finding a way to flatten the prints (assuming you are printing larger than 30x40)



    I'm unsure of your space situation but if I were you I would check out any industrial areas near you and see what the cost is to rent a large studio space (think of those roll up garage doors). I've heard rent can be a lot cheaper in those areas for the amount of space you would get but I'm unsure if you would have access to running water. I know it would be an on-going expense but it could offer you more freedom with your work area.

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