Enlarger Alignment

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by wiseowl, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    I have an elderly Meopta enlarger (Opemus 4). I've put quite a lot of effort into aligning this beastie, and to the best of my knowledge the neg carrier, lens and baseboard are parralel to each other, left to right and front to back. (Using a spirit level) I'm currently using this for 35mm only.

    One test I do is to use an old fim leader into which I've scratched a grid, and focus this onto the baseboard. What I'm seeing now is that I can get the center and left in focus, but not the right hand side. I can't seem to be able to adjust this out either. I can make it worse but not better.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be causing this and possible solutions. (Other than buying another enlarger! I hate being beaten by a bit of metal and glass.)

    If it's relevent I'm using a Nikkor 50mm f2.8 lens.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Spirit levels are usually not precise enough for precise alignment (especially the less expensive ones). There is another thread located on this forum about enlarger alignment it may have some guidance for you in your situation. Good luck.
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Would it help to start from scratch and do your basic alignment to achieve focus on the right and then fidget with the left and center to align without loosing the right?
     
  4. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Turn your lens/lensboard by 90 degrees.

    If the soft corner changes, your problem is the lens mount ring or lens.

    Jorge O
     
  5. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. Jorge, I've turned the lens through 180 and the soft side has followed. So it's down to the lens or mount, I can't see anything obviously wrong with either. I'm going to see if I can borrow another lens to try.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  6. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Try over adjusting the "correctable" side, then recalibrate the camera to focus that side again. Then, try to get the "uncorrectable" side to focus in. Sounds like you might have reached a focusing barrier of some type. I know with my Acti's, I have to adjust within a range.

    Otherwise, has the lens ever been cleaned or dis/re-assembled that one of the lens rings may not be snug which can allow that lens to shift from perfectly perpecular? You mention it being older, maybe it needs cleaning if it hasn't been? Obviously this line of thinking could expand in either direction.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    On my old Omega D2 the lens board flange got slightly bent at one time...this threw the alignment out. I don't know if something like this could be involved with your enlarger since I am unfamiliar with that brand.
     
  8. skahde

    skahde Member

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    Forget about spirit levels they aren't precise enough. I learned it the hard way. What worked for me was using two mirrors. One on the baseboard and a second one with a small hole (just a few mm in diameter) fixed to the negative carrier. After that stage has been adjusted fix it to the lensboard or (less reliable) filter ring of the lens.

    Peek through the whole from above and you will immediatly understand how this method works. This is second best to a laser-align but virtually free.
     
  9. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the advice.

    By turning the lensboard 180 degrees the fault changed sides. However, I've since been able to bring everything into line, at least as far as my scratched neg test goes.

    I like the 2 mirrors idea, neat and elegant. It's my intention to set the enlarger using this method in the near future.

    Thanks ance again

    Martin
     
  10. lee

    lee Member

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    IF you will put some arrow marks (with tape or marker) on the mirror with the hole rubbed in it you will see right away which way the alignment is off. I used this system for 25 years aligning graphic arts cameras at the time of installation and later in service calls. What happens when you look thru the mirror is like when you are sitting in a barber chair and the room has a mirror on one wall and a mirror right across the room. You see the reflection and the reflection and the reflection until you cannot see it anymore. If the alignment is off the arrows will trail off in the direction of the error. If it is in alignment the arrows will recede straight down the optic path by just getting smaller and smaller.

    lee\c
     
  11. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Lee is correct. The mirror technique is the easiest, simplest, cheapest, quickest, most practical,and accurate method I have used.

    dr bob.