Crown View as an enlarger?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Wade D, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I'm thinking of using my Crown View as an enlarger. I have drawn up plans for a light source and negative holder. It would be a horizontal setup as I don't think the tripod screw would support the weight in the vertical position. The camera would not be modified so I would still be able to use it for shooting.
    I had an ancient 4x5 enlarger that literally fell apart and can't afford a new one at this time.
    Any thoughts or ideas?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If it has a Graflok-type back, look for a Graflarger back or one of the Linhof enlarger backs (they made a cold light back and condensor backs). These aren't usually too expensive, and they convert a 4x5" (and in some cases 2x3") camera to an enlarger directly.

    The old cold light heads like the Graflarger back have a significant ramp up time and don't have heater units like modern cold light heads, so it's best to use them with a compensating timer, like the Metrolux, or by leaving the light on and controlling exposure with a shutter.
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    It should be much easier (with a little patience) to find a useable enlarger than adapt the camera to this use. Enargers might show up on Craig's List, garage sales, auctions, classified ads, etc. Many people won't even bother to advertise something with such modest value. Of course acquiring a ready-to-go enlarger will deny you the many hours of fabricating and perfecting the means of enlarging with the Crown.
     
  4. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I've heard of the Graflarger but didn't know about the Linhof. I keep checking ebay and other sources but no luck yet. Most of the offerings for 4x5 enlargers are too expensive when the shipping weight is factored in.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  6. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    I concur with Jim Jones & JBrunner: For the cost of a tank of gas and lunch I filled my station wagon with an Omega D5-XL with a Chromega Dichroic II head, power supply, Beseler analyzer, 2 lenses and about 90% of everything I need to set up a darkroom. The deals are out there. Go for it.
     
  7. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Thanks for the link. It is a 23CII which only accepts up to 2 1/4 x 2 3/4.
    I have inquired about it though since I have a lot of 35mm & 2 1/4 negs to print. Great price and close to home.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oops , your right, my bad, I didn't look close enough. But your right, it is still a great deal. Something like this in 4x5 will turn up, always does.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    wade -

    i had a graflarger back years ago. they work well ..
    but often times when they are sold on ebOO, they are missing
    the negative carriers, and the light source is sometimes uneven
    or spent. aristo re-tubes and fixes them for $100 +/- dollars if you want to
    go that route. while it is fun to use a camera as an projector after building
    the light source or buying/retubing a graflarger, it might be more cost effective
    to buy an enlarger used. if you find one way-out-of-town you can usually have them
    wrapped + boxed and put in the cargo-hold of a greyhound bus and delivered
    to a local bus station to pick up. it doesn't cost very much $$ to ship that way.

    john
     
  10. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Scope out Craigs List and you'll likely find a D-2 obscenely cheap or maybe even for the price of hauling it of the property.
     
  11. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Drafting is another hobby of mine. I was just sitting and admiring my cameras one night when the idea for the enlarger popped into my head. I got out my drafting board, pencils and scaled rulers and went to town. The project would not be hard and would be fun to construct but I think I'll just keep hunting for a good used enlarger. Something will turn up.
    Thanks again for all the comments.
     
  12. weasel

    weasel Member

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    The advice to seek out an enlarger is a good one.
    That said, I made a simple, but functional enlarger using my speed graphic a number of years ago.
    I found a coffee can that fit over the opened hood of the grafloc back. I cut a piece of black mat board to cover the end of the can with a rectangle cut out to fit over the hood, taped it to the can. I spray painted the inside of the can white, and mounted a bulb and fixture in the other end. This was the light source.
    For a negative carrier, I took a funky film holder and removed the metal piece that separates the two pieces of film. To use it, the negative slid in just like you were loading a film holder, popped in the back just as if you were loading a holder to take a photo.
    I set it up on a table facing a wall, put the paper on the wall.
    It worked better than you would think, but was hardly ideal. I was using the same 127 ektar to enlarge with that shot the picture, and alignment was tough.
    If I were to do it now, I would make an led light source like others here have, and build a vertical structure the camera could mount to, with a baseboard and all.
    Unless you just wanted a project, it would be much less hassle to find a D2 somewhere. They are cheap anymore.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Wade, if you want to build an enlarger, then build a compact 5x7 enlarger, people may buy that!

    4x5s are aplenty.
     
  14. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I got a line on an old elwood enlarger that looks promising. It's not complete but I can work with it. It appears to be a 5x7 so I can expand my horizons in the future. Hopefully this will pan out.
     
  15. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I'm not really in to designing enlargers but someone else may see this thread and run with it.
     
  16. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Got the old Elwood. What a beautifully crafted enlarger. I'm going to enjoy printing with it. Just have to make a mask for 4x5 for the 5x7 carrier and update the light source. Fun stuff!