Krokus 66 Color Enlarger

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by igor_karevski, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Hello guys! Ive got some question for the enlarger above, since im new to shooting film and the photo development im sorry for any questions. My colegue find this enlarger in his basement, it been there for years, since his father stoped developing photos. He gave it to me for free and as he told me, it doesnt have the color filters or something. I want to enlarge a 35mm negatives, but i think that this is a enlarger for bigger negatives. I cant find a manual online...I am a electrical technician and i think that i can improvise some advices. Since is a color enlarger, without filters, can i make black and white photos with it? without the filters? If it for bigger negatives, can i make aomething to develop 35mm? Thank you very much and sorry for the stupid questions. :)
  2. Grats on your catch. First: for BW it should be just right. It has a filter drawer and you should get a set of multigrade gel filters to put into that. - Here I am stuck with a project of making my own drawer for the slightly bigger (up to 6x9) Krokus 3.
    Printing 35mm negs with a 6x6 enlarger is in general possible. PZO offered glassless negative carriers / masks for that format. - I think I used one side glass one metal mask. Its also worth getting a 50mm enlarging lens too. Krokus have a 42mm thread western lenses usually 39mm, so you'll need an adapter ring. A 50mm lens will save you some exposure time for your paper, since it brings the light source closer to it.
    I am not sure if a different condensor lens for 35mm existed but by maxing out your lightbulb you should get away without.
    Use your engineering skills to make an exposure timer or grab a used one. - Something in the 1 minute range going down to maybe 4sec should be fine.
  3. Thank you very much for the response. A timer
    will be done without a day :) but im not sure
    where can i get the filters and the adapters, and
    i dont quite understand the part for the film
    carrier.. Also, where can i find parts for this
    machine, i look all over the internet for some
    information about how to use it and instruction
    manual without luck. I want to ask, is it worth to
    invest in this machine, since i got it for free what
    would be my budget to get it right. Thank you
    very much.
  4. Your enlarger seems to have a universal negative carrier, with 2 glasses and masks that you can slide in and out, so this will hold 35 mm negatives as well. Glassless negative carrier inserts as mentioned by Jochen have the advantage that dust is easier to control but don't keep the negative quite as flat. Getting parts specifically for the Krokus will not be easy, but the filters are/were made by Ilford and can be found fairly easily. Bulbs are also generic. Measure the diameter of your lens thread - is it a 75 or 80 mm lens? The 66 part of the name means the enlarger is for 6x6 cm negatives. As Jochen says, a longer lens does no harm, you just can't make such big prints.
    PS this
    would be worth having!
  5. I am not sure where you are located. - I myself am in Germany and 20 years ago I simply rode to PZO's factory outlet & stocked up. - It seems they don't make enlargers anymore (I don't read Polish). For filters: they have original Ilford and less expensive clones I guess the 3x3" set is just right for you and can be made to fit with a pair of scissors. Maybe you can buy the clones directly from China? (ebay?) Before you invest: figure out what paper you'll be using. I assume there are some east European brands of fixed grade paper still in business. But: you'll need at least 3 - probably up to 5 different grades. each comes in a box of how many sheets? (100 is common and cheaper than less) and might last 3(-5?) years. Assuming you'll manage about 4 decent prints per hour, once you are an advanced amateur, its hard to imagine doing the box of "3%probability to be needed" within a timely fashion. especially if you are stocking paper for various print sizes. So its way cheaper in the long run to use vario contrast paper. Basic stock of paper and chemicals will be 100 sheets (which are unlikely to become more than 50 great pictures) 18 x 24cm about 90 Euro (Ilford Multigrade RC suggested regular retail price) + maybe 20? (It seems prices did more than double during the last decade)
    Getting a Krokus right: please show the negative carrier you have in a seperate picture (that black thing with a black lever and 2 silver knobs on it) opened. - You can pull it out.
    You'll have to spend some time cleaning that enlarger but well thats the case with any of them. Do you have a compressor to blow the dust off? vacuum clean it too...
    Parts: I suppose we are out of luck on official channels. Maybe some photo stores still have new old stock? Ebay? or have them made locally. There isn't much to break in an enlarger. As long as the condenser lens is intact. -once it breaks you can still convert the entire rig to diffuser head. Look if your bellows is still light tight (It probably is). If not ponder patching. - That doesn't need to be done as well as on a large format camera. - There is always a little bit of irrelevant stray light in your darkroom. If patching is no option there are camerabellows (brand) in the UK but that would mean total damage. you could produce a homemade ugly construction bag bellows instead and print on. Most other parts - negative carriers for example, can be jigsawed at your kitchen table (metal ones, glass can be bought from picture framing shops and ground into shape) and maybe you'll need a buddy in a machine shop every 30 years...
    LTM to M42 adapters aren't uncommon. ebay? - Russian phjoto stores still catering to adapt very old Zenith SLR lenses to neweer bodies? And you can start printing with your 80mm lens too.
    I am not entirely familiar with the whole range of Krokus enlargers. What you have is probably a comparably solid, inconvenient to crank up and down, basic amateur enlarger. I haven't really worked with top notch gear in that format. But printing with Krokus is doable! One of my teachers had one too and printed exhibtion stuff from his Linhof negs on it.
    The biggest challenge with a Krokus is getting your lightbulb into the right place. - My Krokus 3 allows a lot of adjustment movement, which coresponds with a lot of hair loss trying to get things right by trial and error. - If you can: Try making a simple "light meter" to measure if the light is (closest to) homogenous all over your field. - Focus the enlarger somehow, remove the negative and just move your sensor around on top of the easel. - Printing just 35mm you can of course neglect your corners a bit. - You obviously need your dark room to do this.
    I think I never owned a manual for any of my own enlargers. - You can get the basics out of the pretty common darkroom printing books from the 50s to 80s. (They should be cheap these days)

    You'll need: means to darken a room. - Those can get expensive depending on window size. If you have no window in a room, you might like ventilation - 100 Euro? You'll also want 3 processing trays 2 pliers to move your paper maybe a more sophisticated washing device than your also fine bathtub. Bottles funnels... they can be improvised. - A safelight 10 - 50 euro? A simple lamp above your fixer tray 20 Euro, crude furniture - 50 Euro. In the long run a good 50mm enlarging lens - 70 Euro? - less? - I am not familiar with the going rates of used gear anymore. The adapter ring to m42 should be less than 10 Euro.
    Back to the "worth it?" question: Darkroom printing was a fun hobby for those who liked it and a chore for the rest... Gear is cheap these days, consumables already expensive, but lets hope they'll remain stable. Your Krokus is probably good enough to give the entire thing a trial. - I guess in the long run you'll switch to a medium format camera anyhow for BW. - 35mm is limited on really handholdable film.
  6. Thank you very much Jochen for the complex answer!! I appriciate it!! In tuesday the enlarger will be mine, i will make close up photos of everything, i have a compressor so i think its going to be like new :) I have a luxmeter at work, i will get it to get some measurements, and post the process here. Thank you very much.
  7. The older version of PZO's 50mm was called "Matar" f-stop range 4 or maybe 4.5 to 11, an odd air bubble in some element. Yes, "it made pictures", but no clue how it compares to Japanese or German higher end glass. Simply screwing in an ols Soviet made f2 taking lens gave horribly soft images (already visisble in projection), at least wide open.
  8. Hello, i took the enlarger yesterday so this is
    what i got. The enlarger is equiped with 80mm
    lens, it has no bulb inside, and the film tray is
    made for 120mm film, but it has a curtains to
    crop to 35mm film. In the filter pocket i cant find
    any filter and on the down side where the lens
    is, i see a broken red glass or something
    attached by a screw, this is something typical, i
    see that attachment on another enlargers on the
    net.. but i dont know how is called. I will attach
    photos in the another post. My question now is,
    what type of bulb to put on, i see on the enlarger
    consumption says 150w. This is just white bulb
    with volframe or is it special just for this
    applications. I want to make bnw photos, do i
    need all of the filters for it? Also, what kind of
    paper do you recomend for a beginner to learn
    on. Thank you very much.
  9. And here are some photos:
  10. You need a 50mm lens for enlarging 35mm film. Although you can use the 80mm one it will limit the print size you can make. Luckily enlarging lenses are being practically given away these days and you should be able to pick up a used 6 element 50mm lens for peanuts. Look for a lens with 6 elements, cheaper 4 element lenses are generally of inferior quality. Schneider f/2.8 50mm Componon, Rodenstock 50mm f/2.8 Rodagon or Apo-Rodagon and 50mm f/2.8 El-Nikkor are the ones to look out for.
    Having said that, the enlarger will almost certainly have condenser lenses that are designed for use with medium-format film and an 80mm lens. So you might want to just use the 80mm lens until you learn a bit more about photo-printing, and put up with a limited print size. Enlargers too are dirt cheap these days and if you get the bug you might want to buy a better one than that Krokus.
    The broken red filter is a non-issue and you don't need it. It was provided so that you could view the image on the photo-paper without exposing it. (Photo-paper isn't sensitive to red light). I printed both professionally and as an amateur for 40 years without once using the red filter! In fact none were fitted on any of the pro enlargers I used.
    You might want to make a glassless negative carrier rather than use the one provided for 120 (6x6cm) film. These can be fairly easily made from aluminium sheet. You need to cut rectangles of 24mm x 36mm in two small sheets to replace the glass in the carrier with aluminium masks. Brass is a better material but more difficult to work and more expensive to buy. The mating surfaces need to be dead flat and smooth to prevent scratching the negative, and the outer surfaces should be sprayed matt-black. A chamfer on the edges will probably be needed and also the edges of the 35mm frame are better chamfered to prevent light reflection. Google images of "negative carrier" and you'll see a whole variety of what I'm talking about.
    The lack of printing filters isn't a big problem either. I believe you can still get "graded" paper, which doesn't need any printing filters. Grade 2 is medium contrast and should be OK for the majority of negatives. Otherwise you'll need to find a set of Yellow to Magenta "Multigrade" filters. You can probably buy these from the same supplier as any printing paper. They just sit in the printing drawer between the light-source and the negative.
    The bulb for the enlarger was likely to be an opal "Photocrescenta" enlarger bulb of 75 Watts. An ordinary household bulb won't diffuse the light enough and most have some printing on the top of the bulb - you definitely don't want that. However I've seen a number of LED bulbs around that have good diffusion and no cap printing. One of those might well make an excellent substitute for the Photocrescenta enlarger bulb.
    You'll also need a darkroom - and I mean dark! Domestic curtains just aren't good enough unless you wait until nightfall. Even a chink of light creeping under a door can fog your paper. Cheap blackout can be made by cutting sheets of hardboard to fit over a window frame, and you can block light from around a door with draught-proofing strip.
    Edit: "...2 pliers to move your paper" - No, no, no, NO! Print tongs will almost certainly scratch the edges of the print. I've tried all sorts, and even rubber-tipped ones can leave a mark on the paper. Use disposable rubber gloves and work with one "wet" and one dry hand. Use your right hand for handling unexposed paper and the like, and your left for dunking and agitating the paper in the chemical trays. No tong marks, and no risk of developer dermatitis - which incidentally is not the big deal it's made out to be.
    Good luck with the project. Those Krokus enlargers were basic but serviceable.
  11. Thank you. Since my budget is spent now on chemicals and tanks the next thing will be 50mm lens for the enlarger. I want to ask about the bulb. Ive got a general electrics bulb, Opal 100W 820 lumens without logo or writing on the down side. What should i look for when looking for bulbs, this bulb i find in the local market so i dont know if its right? As for the red safelight, i got a 50W red bulb, is there any specific for this type of light, or the paper is realy not sensitive on red light?? Sorry for too many questions.
  12. Printing paper isn't sensitive to faint red light, but if it's bright enough, even a red-filtered light will fog the paper. Safelight bulbs are usually no more powerful than 15 Watts, and then filtered through a deep amber or red glass or plastic cover. I'd look around for a proper safelight rather than risk expensive paper to an unknown red-coated bulb. Amateur darkroom stuff turns up quite regularly at car-boot sales here in the UK, and sells for pennies.
    The opal 100 Watt bulb sounds suitable, provided it really is opal glass and not just a frosted finish. You shouldn't be able to see the outline of the filament through the envelope when it's alight, and there should be no visible texture to the glass frosting. The only other issue is not to get too high a Wattage bulb such that the enlarger gets too hot. The Krokus only has convection cooling and the bulb is enclosed within quite a small lamphouse. 100 Watts should be OK as long as it's not left on for too long. Nowadays LED bulbs would almost certainly be the illuminant of choice because of their cool running, long life and constant light output over time.

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