Enlarger Help

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by cara_christina, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Hey everyone,
    So I have just build my first darkroom. This has been a dream of mine since graduating from high school 6 years ago. Shortly after graduating I purchased an enlarger for $50 from a guy who used to use it at the local newspaper. It is a Saunders/LPL C6700. I never used it as I had no darkroom and now here I am with this enlarger 6 years later and I don't really know anything about it. My knowledge is super limited when it comes to enlarger equipment and I am just wondering if anyone could give me some tips and/or advise and what else I need to purchase for it. I want to use it mainly for my medium format work, as well as some 35mm (B&W). I'm wondering about what different lens I might need my enlarger? I know I need a bigger negative carrier. Sorry for being such a noob.
    Anyways thanks for any help, I really need it!
  2. For medium format you will need either a 75 or 80 mm lens. You will need either a 6x7, 6x6, or 6 x 4.5 negative carrier depending on the format used. Likely if the enlarger was used by a newspaper it already has a 35mm carrier and a 50mm enlarging lens.
  3. Thanks!
    I think my bulb in the enlarger is burnt out unless I am a total idiot. Any recommendations on where to get new ones and I also seem to have lost the timer. Any thoughts?
  4. And lens, what would you recommend getting?
  5. This might help. http://www.khbphotografix.com/LPL/LPL6700Dichro.htm
    Which version of the 6700 do you have - the colour head, the VCCE (variable contrast head) or the b+w head? If one of the first two then you will need a 100w/12V dichroic lamp? (Does your enlarger have a transformer?).

    As for the lens, I use a Minolta CE Rokkor 80mm/5.6 for 6x6, or a Rodenstock 105/5.6 for both 6x6 to 6x9 printing, though I also have a Minolta Rokkor 105/4.5.
  6. If you're in the USA you can order a replacement lamp from B&H, Adorama, or Freestyle. Just give them the model number of the enlarger. Or open the lamp housing and remove old lamp and read lamp #. The Rodenstock brand lenses are good and Nikon sells Nikkor enlarging lenses that are also good. If you are familiar with ebay you can usually get a near mint enlarging lens inexpensively.
  7. AJG


    Good recommendations so far--when you do get the new bulb, be careful about touching it, since it is a quartz halogen if it is a color or VCCE head. It is easy to handle with a paper towel, as I have done many times with these enlargers at the community college where I teach.
  8. Used EL-Nikkot enlarger lenses sell for
    pennies on the dollar (relative to
    original price) on eBay. Get
    comfortable with eBay, it's the best
    place to buy any B&W darkroom
  9. Hey everyone thanks so much for all the input it is extremely helpful for me. I have been fiddling around with trying to figure out how to get the bulb out but I have no clue. And I can't seem to find any help online. If anyone knows how and could run me through it that would be great, I took it apart a little bit but didn't want to do too much, incase there is an easier way.
  10. http://tinypic.com/r/w2olcp/8
    photos of the enlarger
  11. As a very general rule of thumb, you use a 50mm lens for 35mm negs, a 75 or 80 for 6x6 and 6x7, and a 90 to 105 for 6x9. You can generally use a longer lens for a specific film size than listed above, but not shorter.
    A shorter lens will generally not give you the proper negative coverage (light fall off at the edges); a longer lens will limit your print size (though not necessarily a problem if only printing up to 11x14).

    In 50mm, I would suggest a 50mm f2.8 El-Nikkor. They are plentiful, cheap, and good. A great balance of price and performance. The Rodenstock Omegaron lenses seem to be overlooked and cheap for their quality.
    With many lenses, you have to pay close attention to the name. For example, the Rodenstock Omegar is a very inexpensive 3 element lens. The Rodenstock Omegaron is a more expensive (though still relatively inexpensive) 4-element lens. A Schneider Componon is a different (and better) lens than the Schneider Componar.
  12. AJG


    To change the bulb, you need to loosen the set screw on top of the finned metal piece toward the back of the enlarger head nearest the column. You will need to push it toward the front (or the back, I don't remember which) to release it and then lift it off. You will find the bulb in a slot and with pins in a ceramic housing and a cord going to the enlarger. Pull up on the bulb and get it out of the slot and then pull the bulb out of the ceramic piece. When you install the new bulb be careful not to get your fingers on it, and insert the pins from the bulb into the ceramic piece and carefully slide the bulb all the way into the slot.
  13. I have several enlarging lenses. My favorites are El Nikkor but for a beginner almost any lens of the appropriate focal length (50mm for 35mm and 75/80mm for medium format) will work just fine.
  14. I will update you guys when I finally get this bulb in! Thanks again everyone, truly.
  15. Glad to say I finally figured out how to get to the bulb, it was jammed, so thats why I couldn't figure it out. Just waiting for the new one to arrive. Very excited to finally make some art :)
  16. Good luck with your darkroom art. It is easy to get a bit discouraged in the beginning, especially if you are printing using an ad-hoc timer (Walmart. etc.) and test strips, or are getting fogging due to light spill off from the enlarger or from its bright function indicating lights (easy to mask or remove), but you will soon learn how to optimize your process and start getting great prints.
    You might want to give the whole assembly a clean up to remove any detritus from the light chambers or condenser lens or negative carrier(s). You can check for even illumination and focus in the centre versus the edges and corners of the projected image by inserting an old negative with small scratches in these positions. A cheap grain focuser (Paterson or other) can be useful until you may need a more precise one for large prints and some additional enlarging aids, like the relatively inexpensive ilford exposure monitor (EM-10?) can be useful. The dichroic filters should be OK (for color accuracy in B&W variuable contrast paper use) but you should check them to be sure they are not covered with dust or grime. A 50mm lens is suitable for 35 mm negs, while it depends upon your MF negative size for the choice of a MF lens (80mm for 6x6 and usually 90 to 105 mm for the 6x7 cm size). Best performance of the lens is usually two stops down from maximum opening. The better 6 element optics are pretty inexpensive on the used market these days.
    Here are a few thoughts of a purchaser of a machine like yours: http://www.jollinger.com/photo/enlargers/lpl.html
  17. I do have some questions about the colour head and filters as I have never used them before. What should I have them set at for my B&W work? And the white light lever?
    Thanks Arthur that was a great post!
  18. AJG


    Most variable contrast B&W paper packages will have instructions for using filters to vary the contrast of the paper. In general, using magenta filtration will increase contrast while using yellow will decrease it. For most VC papers, normal contrast would be using no filtration at all, and you should start there. B&W paper used to only come in single contrast grades (generally 1-5, with 2 being "normal") and 5 representing maximum contrast. Be aware that as you increase filtration that you will need to increase exposure, so more testing for exposure will be necessary. Ignore the cyan filter--it is only useful for color printing. The white lever allows you to get the filter(s) out of the way if you want to check focus, composition, etc. with the light being as bright as possible. Good luck, and let us know how you are doing.
  19. Thank you Andrew!
  20. Update: I have everything sorted out and my darkroom is working great!
    Another question, do I need a new lens mount if I get a new 80mm or 90mm enlarging lens? I am a little confused on that point.
  21. AJG


    It depends--if you have a 39 mm threaded board, then you can just unscrew your current lens and screw in the 80 or 90 that you get with the same 39 mm thread. If it uses a retaining ring, then you would remove that from your current lens and use it to mount the new one. If you have flat boards and change formats often that will get old very soon...
    In that focal length range, most modern (post 1970) lenses will mount with the 39 mm thread. Some older enlarging lenses mount with a 25 mm thread instead and that would require a different lens board.

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