Do i need to use filters with a B&W enlarger?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Idonex, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Idonex

    Idonex Member

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    Hi there, i just picked up a Meopta Axomatic 5 Standard for next to nothing and it all looks fine, except it has no filter drawer (its not missing, just doesn't seem to feature one). This is my first foray into doing my own prints outside of a few hours in a darkroom for a course i did. In that we always used filters. Can i use multigrade paper without filters, or will i need some graded paper?

    I see Ilford sell under lens filters but do these actually "fit" the lenses or do you need to hold them under the lens yourself while the lamp is?

    Thanks
     
  2. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    You can use multigrade papers with filters in a filter holder that attaches below the lens, when an enlarger does not have a filter drawer between the light source and the negative. You simply use more care with below-lens filters, so that you don't degrade IQ unnecessarily.
     
  3. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Until you get some filters, you can also use the MG paper without filter. It will have grad 2 or 3 then, depending on the manufacturer. Or you can use graded paper as well.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Just my curiosity but there's no filter drawer, nor a dichroic colour head? Strange that the enlarger isn't equipped for one or the other. Of course you may not want to use the built-in Y&M filters.

    Anyway as has been said the under the lens system can be fitted via the lens

    pentaxuser
     
  5. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The filter sets by Kodak, and Ilford, have under the lens holders. They're made up of 3 screws (with rubber tips) which you secure to the lens. Very functional, and they can be had cheaply, on the used market.
     
  6. Idonex

    Idonex Member

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    Hi, yes it's just a condenser enlarger with an opal lamp. Thanks for the tips, i'll keep an eye out for some Ilford under lens filters on the 2nd hand market.
     
  7. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Where are you located? Maybe there's a member nearby with an extra set.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I am pretty sure I have a set or four in storage in the garage. Regrettably, they aren't nice and flat and consequently don't mail at letter rate, but parcel rate from Canada.

    PM me your address, and I will get back to you with the postal cost that I would expect to recover.
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    No, it won't. You'll end up with a short grade whatever exposure combined with a gr 2 exposure.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you use no filter at all with multi-grade papers, you get much shorter exposure time and equivalent of grade 2 contrast, which is considered "normal" contrast. I do most of my printing with grade 2 to 2.5.

    The Ilford under-the-lens kit comes with a bracket. You have an option of using 3 bolts that comes with it to clamp onto the barrel of the lens OR use a thin metal frame with 3 prongs that goes between the lens and the lens board and hang the bracket under the lens. Basically, Ilford gives you two option to mount the bracket to hold the filter under the lens.

    I used some metal bracket purchased from home improvement center to mount this bracket little more permanently. Once you get a set, you can figure out how it best goes onto your enlarger.

    I'd say start printing with out the filter but order a kit so you'll have more options.

    Enjoy your new enlarger!
     
  11. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    does your one look like this?

    http://automation-drive.com/meopta-axomat-5a

    is number 6 not where filters go?

    my apologies , I see you wrote `standard'..I tried under lens filters [ Ilford] on a Meopta Opemus and they did not fit very well, just check somehow first before you purchase.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2012
  12. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Another option is to find a Cokin A series ring to screw on to the front of the lens (if it is threaded) and slip the holder over it. Not a perfect fit, but it works for some lenses when the three legged spider doesn't work out.