View Full Version : Marking height of Enlarger

brian steinberger
22-Feb-2006, 17:13
I'm wondering how most people mark their enlarger height on the column. I currently have a Beseler 45M enlarger base and just stripped the tape from the base that the previous owener put there. Is there a sticker you can buy that will go up the column? Or should I just put a piece of tape up the colum and mark it myself. Thanks

22-Feb-2006, 17:24

I don't know my enlarger has a permenant set of numbers on it but something like the above sounds like what you want.

Eduardo Aigner
22-Feb-2006, 17:55
My Omega D5 has the heights on the column but I can see no use for it...

Ralph Barker
22-Feb-2006, 18:28
Nick suggested exactly what I was going to suggest - the self-adhesive shop-type rules.

The question is whether you plan to use it for simple repeatability of enlargement factor, or to position it such that it relates to lens or negative-stage position for relatively-precise calculated enlargement factors. ;-)

brian steinberger
22-Feb-2006, 20:34
I would use it to keep notes as to enlarger height, as in my notes. This will help when reprinting a negatives months or years later, not so much as exposure, but cropping to a certain size.

neil poulsen
23-Feb-2006, 00:01
If you don't have markings, keep a tape measure handy and measure to the negative stage. (Don't measure to the lens stage.)

My tape measure has a 2 inch width, which I add to the measurement indicated by the tape measure to get a true height. (Better a 2" width than say a 3 3/8" width for easier addition.) I have markings on my enlarger, but I prefer the height of the negative stage as measured by the tape measure.

Richard Schlesinger
23-Feb-2006, 11:08
How about a tape measure - either a smallish one from hardware, or like a tailor uses. Cement it to the vertical support where the old one used to be and use the elevation switch handle as in index?

Scott Walton
23-Feb-2006, 11:50
Glow in the dark paint works for me... just a few dots with sizes next to it.

Nigel Smith
23-Feb-2006, 16:59
I have two marks pencilled on my column, for what height to set it for contact sheets (one for 35mm the other for MF). It does have a inbuilt set of markings (enlargement factors I think) but I find the pencil markings to be quicker to locate. Can't remember if I've done the same for my 4x5 enlarger, so long since I used it :(

To repeat enlargements (cropping, etc) I measure the projected image and record that in my notes.

Stephen Willard
23-Feb-2006, 20:44
My 8x10 enlarger has two shop retrackable metal measuring tapes attached to it. Both tape measures are in mm. The housing of both tapes are attached to the enlarger table and the other ends are attached to the colorhead and to the lens board part respectfully. As the head moves up and down the tape will extract or retract accordingly. This way all readings are take at the table level and a measurement can be taken for the head height and the lens board height.

I record both height measurements for each print size I make for every image I have and store that information in my database for every image I photograph on my desktop computer. This is way off topic, but some of you may find this very useful. The actual record for each image is created in the field on my Palm Pilot when I take the photograph including a GPS reading and a point-n-shoot photo of the scene. All camera settings, movement settings, tripod settings, site orientation, site location info, and many other things are recorded in the field. The database on my Palm Pilot is a subset of the database on my desktop. All of this information from the field is then merged into the database on my desktop including the point-n-shoot picture with a push of a button. Furthermore. the GPS is also uploaded to my map software so I can actually see exactly where the photograph lives.

My desktop database has additional fields for characterizing the nature of the image as well as fields for recording all printing information. Some of you may ask why I do this to this extent. In most cases I never get the light I need to take the picture. This system consolidates everything about the composition in one place and lets me monitor it over a period of years. I curently have over 350 compositions I am watching. I then revisit the composition again and again until I get the right light and take the photograph. Eventually when I final make a real print of the image, I then replace the point-n-shoot image with a scan of the real print in the database.

I use FileMaker Pro 7 and FileMaker Mobile 7 for my databases that I have designed to fit my needs.

When I go into the field to revisit a composition, I download the information and point-n-shoot photo onto my Palm and GPS. Sometimes many years go by before I get a chance to revisit, and with my GPS I can find it very quickly and set up my camera in minutes from the information stored on the record in my Palm.

This approach has increased my yields in the field significantly. With a database I can query it with many questions, like list all the compositions in a particular area that I have not photographed. Or list all images with a western aspect. It also as helped me in the darkroom by consolidating everything about the image in one place.

Way to much info, but I hope this may be relevent to some people (but not all).

Nicholas F. Jones
25-Feb-2006, 03:11
The 60 inch column on my Zone VI enlarger has a top to bottom rule by inch, half inch, and quarter inch. Since I print with both the 8x10 and 5x7 heads (the latter for 35mm as well as 5x7, and I may add 120's at some point) and have found it impossible to remember the settings for each format, I spent a little time measuring and recording column heights and bellows extension for a given format at a given standard print size. Saves a lot of time (and frustration) as I switch back and forth.

Besides exposure, paper, chemistry, etc. I always note in my darkroom log the column height for a given print. Since many of my prints are enlarged and reoriented sections of a negative, this measurement allows me to more easily repeat (or modify) the original composition if and I when I return to the negative.