Devere 504 negative carrier

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Doc W, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    I have an older brown and cream Devere 504. I have been doing workarounds with it for a few years because I didn't have the proper negative carrier. Well, I finally got the Master Negative Carrier and I am very disappointed. With the 4x5 and 6x7 inserts, it was not cheap (almost 600 bucks Canadian) and, in my opinion, it is a terrible design.

    After putting the negative in the 4x5 insert in the carrier, I can't hold the carrier by the front because this causes it to bow and the neg falls out. Well, you pretty much have to hold it by the front to get it in the damn enlarger. Furthermore, holding the carrier on one side causes the other side to open up a little and if you are trying to blow some dust off, the negative falls out half the time. If I hold both sides of the carrier so the negative doesn't fall out, what am I supposed to use to get dust off the neg? I only have two hands (no rude suggestions :D).

    I have been an amateur in the darkroom, on and off, for 40 years and I have never had a negative carrier that did not hold the negative securely in place when handling it. Is it just me or is this Master Negative Carrier the Dribble Glass of the darkroom world?
     
  2. raizans

    raizans Member

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    i'd also be interested to hear if other people have these problems. my de vere 504 didn't come with a neg carrier, either. i'm not sure how much they cost, but i wouldn't want to spend 600CAD on one if it's a PITA.
     
  3. Mick Fagan

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    DeVere stuff has always been over the top in price, but their product was always over the top in quality.

    It sounds to me as though you may have the inserts inserted 180ยบ out.

    They have a chamfered edge which slots into a chamfered hole and is held by a spring loaded aluminium (I think) chamfered stop.

    Mick.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Mick, Doc W is right, the De Vere neg carriers don't hold the sheet film very tightly and the negatives can slide out of a corner, but once you get used to them they are fine.

    Ian
     
  5. Sparky

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    tape the edges of the negs down with a good quality masking tape that leaves no residue - it keeps everything nice and flat. I have a really old hack carrier too and it works a charm every time.
     
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Ian, thanks for that, obviously a quite old model.

    I would suggest that you hold your negatives in place using Scotch Removable Magic Tape.

    This tape leaves no residue and is the same product used in Post It Notes, but in a tape form.

    It leaves no residue, is brilliant at removing stubborn particles from the emulsion using a stick and pull method and most importantly will hold your negative firmly.

    The part number 811 is the cheapest way to purchase this product for the larger (3") tape dispensers with a roll being 12.7mm wide by 65.8m long.

    Mick.
     
  7. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Here is my thinking. I have been using another neg holder which holds the negative in place quite firmly. The problem is that it doesn't fit the guides perfectly, so when I take the neg out to remove dust, for example, it doesn't go back in the same place. I think I can make some sort of guideout of heavy plastic for about 10 bucks rather than fussing and farting with tape and an over-priced and poorly designed "Master Negative Carrier."

    Does anyone know of any other solutions to this rather goofy negative carrier? Are there others which fit the Devere?
     
  8. kevs

    kevs Member

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  9. Ian David

    Ian David Member

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    I have two DeVere neg carriers and neither causes me problems - maybe you got a dodgy one?
    Second-hand ones come up on eBay every now and then - $600 for a DeVere neg carrier is an unnecessary expense.

    Ian
     
  10. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Ian, to be fair, the carrier came with both 4x5 and 6x7 inserts. The first two were used but in good condition, while the 6x7 insert was brand new.

    Do you have a picture of your neg carrier that I could see? Does yours not loosen its grip on the negative when you hold it by the front?
     
  11. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    if you're vigilant about dust, the AN glass carriers are a very good option. back to your bowing issue, never had that with my inserts. are they actually bent or are they not inserted properly ?
     
  12. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    It is not the inserts which bend. If I hold the carrier by the front, it bows ever so slightly which means that the inserts can't keep a firm grip on the negative.

    Do you use a Devere? If so, I would love to hear more. I am on the verge of sending the carrier back which would be a shame if it is just a misunderstanding on my part.
     
  13. Ian David

    Ian David Member

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    OK, here is a photo of my neg carriers, as requested. One is newer than the other, but they are both the same design. I am guessing even a new one bought today would be the same?

    There is naturally some play on the back hinge of the carrier. If you look at the hinge, you can see it has been designed that way. I presume this is so that the carrier will still function well with inserts of slightly different thicknesses. My inserts (top and bottom) look to be each 2mm thick = a total of 4mm. But the play in the hinge means that inserts of 1.5 or 2.5mm should also work. The thinner the inserts used, it is perhaps more likely that your negative might be able to move if you grab the carrier at the very front edge. Perhaps your inserts are a bit on the thin side - are they proper DeVere inserts or someone else's knock-off, do you know?

    In any case, I do not generally handle my carrier by the very front edge, but tend to hold it more by the left side (towards the front). However, I just did some experimenting and my negs didn't move even when I did hold by that front edge. If you do some playing around with it, you should be able to work out how best to hold your carrier so that there is always some pressure holding your neg steady. Also, I generally put the carrier down on a flat surface in order to load the neg into it in the first place. I do not pick it up until the carrier is closed.

    There are also four nipples on one of the inserts which insert into holes in the opposing insert. These also help hold neg strips in place. (I should say that I very rarely try to load a single 35mm or MF negative into the carrier. All my negs are in strips, so the carrier is generally gripping a strip of three MF frames. I imagine that a single 35mm or MF frame would have more chance of moving about.)

    Finally, as mentioned above, you can get AN glass inserts (which I often use for 5x4 sheets because it prevents any popping) and these seem to hold the negs well even without the nipples.

    Ian
     

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  15. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I never have any problems with my 5x4 Negs moving after I have loaded them - where ever I hold the Carrier despite my Neg Carrier having a lot of slop in it.

    Martin
     
  16. Doc W

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    Ian, I have one of those holders but it doesn't fit my machine (a slightly later model). I have attached some pics of mine. I have really tried to make this work but it seems no matter where I hold it, it bows so that negative becomes loose.

    The only problem I have in using other holders is that they they don't click into place. I am thinking that I can use another holder and put a strip of aluminum block at the back and at the side so that the negative lines up properly.
     

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  17. Ian David

    Ian David Member

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    Hmmm, I haven't used a holder like yours, so cannot really comment. Maybe send Odyssey Sales (post 8 above) an email and explain your problem, and they may be able to shed some light on it. I bought my AN glass from them a few years ago and they were helpful. Good luck! I'll be interested to hear whether you manage to sort it out.

    Ian
     
  18. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Hey Doc,

    Those are the same holders as I've got. I don't have any issues with film sliding out from loose fit in the carrier,I can turn the carrier on it's side and the film stays put. To make sure the inserts are secure, you have to pull back slightly on the finger holes ( top and bottom) which will engage one edge of the insert. My 4x5 inserts also have three pins on one of the carrier inserts and matching holes on the opposite. These have to fit properly or else there's going to be some play which may or may not be the problem. Do you have photos of the inserts you bought ?
     
  19. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    The inserts were in the other photos but probably a little hard to see. They fit in pretty tightly with no play whatsover, but when I grip the holder by either the front or the side, it loosens its grip on the negative. I have attached pics of the inserts both flat and from the side, so you can see the edge.

    When I look at the holder horizontally, the two halves do not fit together tightly. The gap is large enough that I can see right through. If I squeeze on the front, it makes it even more pronounced. It definitely does not hold the negative tightly in place.

    Btw, folks, I really appreciate the help with this. I don't know anyone locally with a similar enlarger. If there IS anyone reading this who lives in Ottawa and has the same enlarger and holder, I would love to see it for comparison.

    canuhead, I may be going to Toronto in the next few weeks. If KHB can hold off on the return of the holder, I would like to see yours first for comparison. If that is possible, send me a message.
     

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  20. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    for sure, let me know when yer coming down and I'll check to see what my sked is like.

    Is the gap with the inserts or w/o ? I'll take another looks at mine again.

    *******

    ok, when I look through the front edge (finger holes closest and inserts in) the left side is tighter and there's a very sliiight gap at right. Regardless the negs don't slide out if it I tip the carrier over towards the gap side. Without the inserts, the gap is same.

    Maybe take a straight edge and see if everything is square ?
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Doc W, I use the big brother of your carrier in my 10x8 enlarger, it's essentially identical except much larger so mre prone to problems.

    I agree with your comments but have got used to mine now and rarely have a problem, there's a knack to holding the carrier as you place it back in the enlarger, I lift mine from underneath hand either side.

    Ian
     
  22. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Ian, can you elaborate a little? I can't get the knack of getting the knack. It seems no matter where I hold this thing, it causes the other side or the middle to open up, releasing its grip on the negative. I am used to holding the carrier firmly to either brush or blow dust off and examing it via a light. With this carrier, it is a bit like holding a fish. I can't imagine doing it with an 8x10 holder! Any tips?
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have to scratch my head and think, I'm not back in the darkroom for a week or two, it's a few thousand miles away, and it was early December when I last printed :D

    When I started using the carrier I had many negs shift, fall partly out etc, and it was frustrating. It's 5x4 & b10x8 where I had the problem, I don't think there's any thing special, rather just the care you use to close and then raise the carrier up and into the enlarger, I really can't describe it without being there and doing it.

    What I do remember though is grasping by the front opens the carrier because the 5x4 frames are cause a gap in the main frame and it's hinge on the back is very flexible, so it pivots on the font edges of the 5x4 frames opening at the back, so you need to hold by the two sides. about midway back, a bit like carrying a tray of drinks with 2 hands :D That analogy isn't bad.

    Ian
     
  24. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Ian, ok I got it. Put it in the context of a pub ("tray of drinks") and I understand right away. :D

    I have been doing what you describe, but here is the problem, which brings me back to my original post: if I need to clean the negative while in the holder, I can't do it. I only have two hands. If I use only one to hold the carrier, it falls out or gets easily knocked out by either the brush or the compressed air.

    What do you do in that situation?
     
  25. DAP

    DAP Member

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    Talk about being late to the party...

    I don't know if this would work or not, but maybe try replacing the plastic hinges w/ some thin spring steel that has been drilled to match the hole pattern of the plastic hinges. Depending on the thinkness of the spring steel this mod should allow some flex, but not as much as the plastic (the big question is whether or not spring steel would allow the amount of flex required for this carrier). It might be worth experimenting with the idea.
     
  26. murnau

    murnau Member

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    Hi I would like to ask a question about the de vere 504 master negative carrier:
    Is the model that DOC W has fitting ALL the 504 de vere enlargers or not? This carrier
    carrier.jpg

    My 504 is like this


    Thanx a lot!
    devere.jpg
     
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