enlarger image is always small

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by seedsie, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. seedsie

    seedsie Member

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    Hi
    I just purchased a De vere 504 with an Ilford 500H head. The enlarger is fitted with Nikon 50mm f2.8 lens.

    The problem i have is that I can only get a sharp image when set the enlarger for a very small print. For a 35mm negative the image is only a few inches long side. Even then the bellows have to be closed tight. If I try for a bigger enlargement it is impossible to focus. I have tried a 6x7 negative and get the same problem but I can print a little larger - around 6inches on the long side.

    I am using the correct light mixing box's and negative holders- changing them appropriately.

    I took off the lens and checked to ensure make sure it was seated correctly and screwed into place properly. I noticed the back element was loose. I tightened by hand and replaced. I still have the same issue of not being able to get a proper enlargement.
    Have I missed something basic in the setup of the enlarger ?

    manythanks
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Maybe the lens board is a problem.
     
  3. seedsie

    seedsie Member

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    Thanks. I thought that too. But Ive checked and it fits snugly in place and is the right way round.
     
  4. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I am not familiar with that enlarger, but it sounds like you need a recessed lensboard to get the lens closer to the negative.
     
  5. seedsie

    seedsie Member

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    thanks all for your help.
    Infact your both right. It IS a lensboard problem. I found a manual and as Richard said the lens board is wrong - my board is flat. It should be as you say Richard recessed.

    Now to try to find one!

    Many thanks
     
  6. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Be careful, there are three different 39mm "Leica" threads, and they're not inter-mateable.

    - Leigh
     
  9. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    You could try a longer lens.
    Of course this depends on how big you want to print 35mm but if you intend to print from larger negatives (you say that you have tried with a 6x7cm negative) you will need something with a larger coverage than EL-Nikkor 50/2.8 anyway.

    Lenses are often easier to find today than lensboards and not very expensive.
     
  10. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Have you raised the enlarger head?

    - Leigh
     
  11. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Have you checked the alignment?
    Henry.
     
  12. rjmeyer314

    rjmeyer314 Member

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    I'm not familiar with the enlarger, but it sounds like a large format enlarger, probably designed for 4x5. With some 4x5 enlargers it's not possible to focus 35mm negatives just because the bellows won't compress enough to let you get the lens close enough to the negative for large magnifications of the negative. The solution here is usually a recessed lensboard, which lets the lens get closer to the negative.
     
  13. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The reason for the problem is probably that you can't crank the lens close enough to the negative for a big enlargement. For an 8X10, the back focal node of the lens is only about 56mm from the film for a 50mm lens. The first question is whether the enlarger was designed for 35mm negatives. Most are. If so, then check the lend board and check for any obstructions that prevent the bellows from bringing the lens close to the negative. If all else fails, you can still make moderate sized enlargements using a 75mm lens with 35mm film.
     
  14. rjmeyer314

    rjmeyer314 Member

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    I looked at Ebay last night and this enlarger is indeed designed for 4x5 negatives. A search of Ebay revealed some recessed lensboard cones for the DeVere. Mounting one of those on a lensboard and recessing your lens closer to the negative should solve your problem. I've done this on other enlaegers, but I find it difficult to read the lens f-stop when using one.