Enlarger lens fogging up

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by xwhatsit, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. xwhatsit

    xwhatsit Member

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    Hi all,

    I've printed a few times now. As the excitement of just making images pop up is wearing off, I'm starting to think about correcting the things which are getting in my way.

    The most pressing issue is how my enlarger lens fogs up when I go to adjust the aperture.

    I have a Durst S609, which does 35mm through 6x6 (possibly 6x9 too looking at the size of the negative holder-holder, and judging by the name -- very little info around about this enlarger that I can find -- looks like the one here). There are no visible bellows, the lens is hidden up at the end of a long plastic tube and it's all sealed up in old-school industrial sheet metal like a drill press. You can take out this plastic tube by undoing a ridiculous set screw.

    Anyhow, whenever I put my hand up the tube to adjust aperture (which isn't easy, I have a 50mm CE Rokkor-X f2.8 which is a fat thing and almost fills out the tube), the lens fogs up immediately and takes a long time to clear. I dry my hands as best I can in a wet darkroom but it still happens.

    Any tips? Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Is it really humid in there? I have to run a dehumidifier in my darkroom to keep it semi-dry - if I don't I get similar issues.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Don't store your enlarger lenses in the darkroom, store in a drier room elsewhere. What can happen is moisture gets into a lens and as it heats up the moisture condenses on the elements, over time this drops the contrast. At worst you could get fungus in the lenses.

    Alternately warm up your lenses before use, that prevents condensation (fogging up) when you adjust them.

    Ian
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You might want to measure the relative humidity in your darkroom, sounds lake its damp.
     
  5. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    you definately want to keep your lenses, and any other opticsout of damp conditions. My basement DR is almost always pretty damp, and I even have to take out the condenser lenses out, and keep them up stairs in a drier enviroment. Years ago, I had two Schneider lenses ruined by fungus.