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Thread: B&W Contact Printing Enlarger/Head

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    B&W Contact Printing Enlarger/Head

    Just curious: what enlarger/head combinations are you guys using to contact print 8x10 negatives, black and white? I've been using a friends darkroom for quite a while, and am now wanting to purchase my own equipment for a home darkroom. Any recommendations?



  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    North Carolina

    Re: B&W Contact Printing Enlarger/Head

    You need a head height, condenser (if present) setting and aperture that will give even lighting over the entire contact printing frame. That can be done with apparatus as simple as a 7W night light bulb in a quart tin can, with a matt board aperture on the bottom and a tissue or frosted mylar diffuser inside the can, the whole thing hung from a swag hook and chain. It's helpful to have a means of mounting contrast filters, but that can be improvised with a second can and some duct tape...

    Literally *any* enlarger that can make an 8x10 print (from whatever film size) without corner lightening can be used. Since you'll probably want printing times to run between 15 and 60 seconds (to allow time to burn and dodge), extra-bright light sources aren't needed (unless you have a stash of Azo).
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

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