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Thread: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

  1. #11

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    Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Scott: A few observations and suggestions...do test. I think you'll find it doesn't make any difference. But if it does, I have found a 3M product very handy for totally stopping light from seams/joints which don't need to move. It's called autobody clay and it is black clay used in autobody work to fill joints. It comes in strips about 1/8" wide. It was very useful to stop massive leaks when I converted a B22 to a cold light. It scrapes off easily, which is more than I can say about silicone sealant. It really sticks to anything. For light skirts as discussed in previous posts, bicycle handlebar tape is very useful. Lots of these are adhesive backed on just one side of the tape, so they make good light skirts if you put them on just right. If you put it on just right, the unstuck side toward the negative carrier, for example, it will just touch and shut out the light without enough being there to fold under and cause a fit problem. Finally, painting the darkroom walls, ceiling, etc. makes sense but if you're enlarging wearing a light colored shirt the biggest source of stray light is you, because it reflects off you and you're the one standing right over the paper.

  2. #12

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    I realize that this thread is VERY old but I thought I would mention something for the benefit of anyone reading it in the future.

    I am surprised by the responses that recommended doing a fog test as described early in the thread. That is, to place a sheet of paper on the easel and let it sit for five minutes. Such a test is invalid and almost useless. I am surprised that this myth never seems to die. You must bring your paper up to threshold before doing a fog test. Without doing that, the test may not reveal fogging even though it will be present in the high values of a print. To do this, first make a series of non-image exposures on a sheet of paper just as you would when printing except that, in this case, you will use a very small aperture and increment your times by one second. Develop and find the strip that just shows slight tone above paper base white. Now your paper is above threshold and will show any additional exposure including fog. To do your fog test, expose a sheet (or small piece) of paper for the length of time determined in the above test and then place the paper on the baseboard for however long you want to do your fog test but cover up about 1/2 of it. Develop and inspect. If you see a difference in the side that was covered compared to the side that was uncovered, you have fog.

    If you are just testing for light leaks from your enlarger, you should do these tests in total darkness.

    If you are testing for safelight fog, there are many variations of this test but keep in mind that if you just leave the paper on your easel, you will not be checking the safelights over your developing trays. There are several very good methods for testing them both and, in fact, there is an excellent and clever way to check for safelight fogging under the enlarger AND in your developing area at the same time while determining which area has a fog problem in the same test.

    The important thing to know is that when doing any fog test (with the exception of paper fog - bad papers), you must bring your paper up to a very light gray (just over threshold) for the test to be valid.

    I am always suprised that people still recommend doing a fog test without bringing the paper up to threshold. Even experienced printers who should know better often recommend this. It's really a useless test. Paper has a threshold. Before it reaches that threshold, it does not respond to small amounts of exposure by producing a print value above paper base white. If you do not bring your paper up to just over threshold before doing a fog test, it may not show any exposure at all but it may show fogging in prints because the highlights are over threshold.

  3. #13

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    I have the very same enlarger and have had it for years and it does leak a lot of light.

    It is absolutely NOT OKAY to allow the enlarger to leak light - any where for critical printing. Do what you need to to block the light. If you look carefully you will also notice you have light leaking from the lens cones. And from the exhaust fan and as originally mentioned the negative carrier.

    Definitely check your safe lights for leaks as well.

    The quality of your prints will jump once you clean up ALL white light leaks - what ever there source.

    Don Bryant

  4. #14

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Zone III is right on,just finished a printing workshop with Mr. Sexton in which he talked about light leaks and demonstrated the affects. It was an eye opener for sure.
    Mike

  5. #15
    Dave Langendonk's Avatar
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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    I had the same learning experience attending John Sexton's workshop. An additional test that's an eye opener is to put a mirror on the baseboard, 12"x12" will do, put the lens cap on the lens and turn out the lights. Get used to the dark and then fire up the enlarger. If you can see light from the mirror then so can your paper. Look at the mirror from all sides. I also have the LPL 4550 enlarger. 4 of them. They leak light like crazy. If they weren't such a good enlarger I'd use something else. I have the skirt around the negative carrier mentioned above except I use velcro to attach black felt cloth around the negative stage. I had a Chromega D5 and it leaked just as bad. Even my high end Durst 2501 horizontal leaks light. It's amazing the designers allowed this when they created these things.

  6. #16

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Every enlarger that I own leaks light around the carrier. Unless you're manipulating the light greatly during your printing, it isn't going to have a detrimental effect on your prints wether they be colour or B&W.

  7. #17
    Scott Walker's Avatar
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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Langendonk View Post
    I had the same learning experience attending John Sexton's workshop.
    It's nice to see that the fundamentals are still being taught. It does not matter what level you are at, if your tools are working against you, your results will suffer.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Langendonk View Post
    Even my high end Durst 2501 horizontal leaks light. It's amazing the designers allowed this when they created these things.
    My Beseler's both leak light like a screen door, I use skirts to contain it.
    My Durst 184 however, does not. There are a couple of very faint leaks at each corner of the negative carrier slot that can only be seen when standing beside the unit, absolutely nothing from below.

  8. #18

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    I will also add that wearing a black long sleeve T-shirt to be a good idea too. When one gets into making large prints every possible remedy to reduce flare is important. I know this may sound very anal to some but it really works to the benefit of highlight rendering and over all print quality.

  9. #19
    Dave Langendonk's Avatar
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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Quote Originally Posted by WayneStevenson View Post
    Every enlarger that I own leaks light around the carrier. Unless you're manipulating the light greatly during your printing, it isn't going to have a detrimental effect on your prints wether they be colour or B&W.
    John Sexton disagrees with you.

  10. #20

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    Re: Eee Gads! My new enlarger leaks light...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Langendonk View Post
    John Sexton disagrees with you.
    Yes Dave. Thank-you for repeating yourself. I did read your post above with your experience with John Sexton.

    And I stand by my afirmations, as does John, and yourself.

    And it also stands to reason that of the half dozen enlargers that I currently own and use, and three to four other enlargers that I have passed on, every single one of them leaked light. From Beseler, to Omega, to no-name / Royal. If those leaks of light were that much of a detriment to print making, these products wouldn't continue to be manufactured with these serious design flaws.....

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