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Thread: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

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    Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Has any one tried using their 8x10 camera to make simple prints from 120 film? I donít have a darkroom but have drum style processors I could process th print in. Thought if I get a medium format enlarging lens, I could try making a simple holder and light source, load up the film holder with an 8x10 sheet of enlarging paper (would they be too thick/mess up plane of focus?), and Voilŗ, up to 8x8 prints without a darkroom. Granted no ability to burn/dodge/mask, but beggars canít be choosers.

  2. #2

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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Well, I use my 4x5 enlargers to make prints from Minox film (8x11mm) -- that is a much more extreme situation. Use it or lose it!!

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    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    It is possible. In the past complete basic enlargers have been marketed that functioned much as you described above. It might be easier in some areas to find a traditional enlarger than to improvise an adaptor for the 8x10. Also, the paper has a minimum dimension of 8x10, while film holders have a maximum dimension of 8x10. The paper may require a slight trimming to fit the holder. Depth of field in an enlarger accommodates variations in the thickness of the paper.

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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Reading the OP, it seems that the plan is to put paper in the film holder, have the focus set on a 120 negative (presumably on a window or light table), and make a positive print. Sounds more like a copy camera approach than an enlarger.

    It would likely work, at the expense of dodging the print. If you wanted to do this as a regular thing, some minimal darkroom and a true enlarger would be less effort. Drum processing is fine if you can only make a small space dark.

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    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Yes, by placing the paper in the 8x10 camera, your bellows will be in the correct location for a "daylight enlarger". However, medium format enlargers (off topic here) can sometimes be obtained for free.

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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    This is basically what Kodak did when they built their printer for the Brownie. Shine your light (sunlight usually) through the 6x9 Brownie negative at paper loaded in the bottom of the tube. The Kodak Brownie "enlarger" does work but the quality of the prints are very dependent on the quality of the negative. I think these were also made for the Vest Pocket Kodak.

    Flip it around and project the image through the lens onto paper taped to a board, like they did with the graflarger, and you have a simple enlarger. These are pretty well described in some of the older Kodak pamphlets and books.
    The Viewfinder is the Soul of the Camera

    If you don't believe it, look into an 8x10 viewfinder!

    Dan

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    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Old process or "stat" cameras also turn up cheap to free, and are a lot more stable. But with the abundace of free actual enlargers out there, it seems like a clumsy option.

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    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    Polaroid made a day-lab machine like this. Very inconvenient compared to an enlarger. Drums are inconvenient compared to trays.
    You're better off just setting up a card table, trays, and a yardsale enlarger, in a dark room at night and calling it a darkroom.

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    Re: Using 8x10 camera as enlarger for 120 film?

    "Could" does not mean you "should"... Yes you can, but why re-invent the wheel when (as suggested by our other poster friends) enlargers are little to no cost these days...

    You would have to find a way to hold a neg right in the optical axis flat, be able to insert the (held flat) neg easily and correctly placed in the carrier, light source, camera aligned correctly (on copy stand or internally), lens mount for enl lens, and the bellows of the camera may not compress enough for proper focus and the enlargement ratio (to mention just some of the issues for enlarging), or you will build an fixed enlarging box (where you can't see what's going on setting up)...

    Find a 6X? enlarger and save the hassle...

    If you can't get dark, maybe a box or cover over enlarger to use in roomlight...

    Steve K

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