On Friday I unpacked my 'new' enlarger - Meopta opemus 5A with Nikkon 80mm and 50 mm lenses, about 25 years old-along with the assorted papers, chemicals and VG filters (I was considering graded papers but was advised to start easy ). My last enlarger was one of the Zenit in a box jobs 25 years ago so I consider myself a newbie. Last night (Saturday) I leave my darling, supportive wife with the TV and go into the room that is to be the scene of future glories/disaster (delete as appropriate), make up chemicals, black out windows and lay out the trays, enlarger etc. Does everyone else get that little voice saying "why have I done this ?" when they start and check thee paper is in the box at least 3 times before turning on the light or is it just me ? - Anyway I print from pre processed 35 mm negs which I have prints for and the first one is fairly on one side but OK on the other, not like the original ! Try again - this time there are 'streaks' of light on the print AND a gradation of tone BUT the streaks are on the neg, I just hadn't seen them on the 6 x 4 original from 'prints - R -us'. OK there is a problem, take the lens off and look , no problems, check filter drawer-OK, check everything is level, the head clamp is tight so it's not at a slight angle, check neg carrier-nothing. Finally take the light chamber off and gently clean the frosted glass diffuser. Next print is OH so I assume there must have been a little 'crud' on there or something- either that or I am rocking the dishes better :rolleyes: . OK I have played a bit and am wondering where two hours have gone so I decide to do the print I am really please with on the 6 x 4 (http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=10312&cat=500&ppuser=8780) . Do two test strips worry about the timings, re check the lens apperture 5 times then go for it. After the customary 3 hours in developer, 10 minutes in 'stop' and 5 years in fixer (maybe it just seems that way) and with a heart going at about 120 bpm I turn on the light and begin to wash the print, you know what it's not bad ! I need to practice getting the thing square in the easel but the detail is better than the lab processed print, the brickwork and shop signs are clearer and sharper, even allowing for 10 x 8 instead of 6 x 4, and the tones are more pleasant. It knocks the inkjet print,of which I had previously been very proud, into oblivion and I feel GOOOOOOOOOOD!!! I now have two or three problems, Will it look better on grade 2 1/2 or even 2, does it need a slightly shorter exposure, shoul I try to dodgre the foreground where it's a bit dark, how long will one print to get right ? Can't waut to find out ! The other problem is I am beginning to see how poor my 35mm lens is, need to spend some money on some glass - preferably MF with a camera attached !!! Thanks to all who have supported me through this board, it's the best place on the web !!