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Thread: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

  1. #1
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    My 4x5 LPL enlarger does not have the red filter unit. I can buy one, but ouch on the price. Any suggestions on using a red camera lens filter with a swing mechanism so it can be used to fine tune the focus? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    Pay the price, or don't use one. That's what I did. I never felt one was necessary. L

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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    A cheap red filter that works well is the red ruby flower wrapping from the florist's... It's lucky that red is a longer wavelength so even cheap red filters pass this without much distortion... Or a piece of rubylith from graphic arts... Not too hard to figure out how to make a holder that swings out or covers the lens...

    Steve K

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    Whatever you are using, test it first with the standard 'safelight' test; flash a piece of paper, etc, etc...

    I used to fire up the lamp, watch the negative pop with the grain focuser, fine tune the focus, then swing the red light out of the way and start the exposure. But I eventually obtained or made glass carriers in all 5 of my enlargers and don't much use the red filter.

    I have been experimenting a little with watching the red image as I burn highlights with a pen-light, however.

  5. #5

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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    Does your enlarging lens have a filter thread? (EL-Nikkors come to mind). If so you could directly attach a filter, or use a stepping ring to mount a holder.

  6. #6
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Wilson View Post
    using a red camera lens filter with a swing mechanism so it can be used to fine tune the focus? Thanks.
    I fail to understand how a red filter will help in fine focusing. Explain?
    A blue filter would be more effective but still unnecessary.
    What is your focusing technique? Are you using a grain focuser?

    Aside: some multi-contrast filter kits include a filter holder that fits
    over the lens to hold a filter in front of the lens and the kit
    includes a red filter.

    Here is just one of them. Others include a red filter.
    Last edited by Jac@stafford.net; 2-Feb-2017 at 18:17.

  7. #7
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Attaching red filter to enlarger swing mechanism

    I appreciate everyone's insights, recommendations, and observations. I typically have used a grain focuser, but thought I would try it with a red filter while fine tuning image on the photo paper.
    As fortune would have it, I must put this on the back burner having had yesterday an emergency surgery for a retinal detachment. It will be at least 6 weeks before I heal completely and determine the decree of success. At least my other eye is strong...20/16

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