Enlarger problem?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by hammy, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. hammy

    hammy Member

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    After doing some printing, I've noticed my prints aren't turning out quite right.
    In what seems to be almost all my prints, one corner will always be lighter than the rest of the print. So say if I have a relatively dark print, one corner will be a blown out white. I don't know what it is. I've attached a sample print to show the problem. Notice the upper right corner. Please note the scan appears much darker than the actual print is.
     

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  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    It could be caused by the lamp, the condenser lenses, the negative carrier, or the enlarging lens not being centered. If the problem occured at all corners it could also be due to the wrong condenser lenses or too short a focal length of the enlarging lens. Let us know the make and model of the enlarger and enlarger lens, and the film size, and we might be more helpful.
     
  3. hammy

    hammy Member

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    I'm using a Vivitar VI enlarger. 50mm 3.5 lens. 35mm.
     
  4. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    Are you using the lens wide open? If so, you may want to try stopping down two stops which would put the lens at f/5.6 or f/8 depending on the lens.
    Not familiar with the enlarger, but is the position of the lamp adjustable? Anything obstructing the path of the light inside the enlarger, or between the lens and baseboard? You can do a basic alignment check with any bubble level...make sure the negative stage, lens stage, and baseboard are parallel to one another.
     
  5. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    Hammy, just a quick question. Has this happened on just the one shot or are there more? Also, is it possible that the blown out part is a light that could have been on when you took this? I noticed that over the mans head is a can light, perhaps there was one over his shoulder when you took this?

    Just a thought.

    g
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    If this is a condenser enlarger then I would check to items. 1 that the bulb is centered and not obscured. 2 That the condenser is fully in place.

    I would pull out the condenser and fully clean it and reinstall it so that it is in the proper position. If your lens is in place and is centered and is causing this prblem then I would throw the lens away..paper is just too damned expensive.
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Another possibility occurs to me: It could be that you're not "sinking" the print quickly and thoroughly enough when you put it in the developer, resulting in underdevelopment in one corner. This would be most likely to have an effect if you're using rather short development times, so you might just try developing prints for a bit longer. If you try this and it has no effect, start looking to the enlarger options suggested by others.
     
  8. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I've had a very similar effect caused by the swivelling red filter being partly rotated into the picture field, ie off its end stop. Had me foxed for a long time.

    Steve
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This could be as simple as the easal is off centered

    Take the negative carrier , put the lens out of focus, turn on the enlarger.

    look to see where the circle of light is landing .. If your cropped image is not falling in the middle of the circle of light then that is your problem.

    some good advice above about condensor and position from the others
     
  10. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Your Vivitar has two slots for the condenser. one for 35mm and one for 6x6. make sure it is in the right slot and is in right side up.
     
  11. hammy

    hammy Member

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    Thank you all for the suggestions.

    This happens with what it seems like all my prints. The blown out corners are not on the negatives.

    My first thought was the one about the paper not sinking correctly in the developer, but I always make sure every corner is properly submerged, so I'm not sure if that could be it? I'm using Ilford paper developer and the recommended developing time is 1 minute.

    Also, I have made prints at f16 and still got the blown out corners.

    I also just discovered that the lens area has a tilt function, but it's indicated that it is full centered.

    I checked, and my condenser is in the correct slot for 35mm.

    There is something I am unsure of on my enlarger. It's a sliding mechanism directly below the condenser and filter holder and right above the negative carrier. It moves another lens/glass(condenser?) up and down. I've attached two photos to show it. What is this for? I haven't touched this slider thing while printing, so I'm thinking it may be my problem. Also note that the actual negative carrier and filter holder are not in in the photos.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Hammy
    It looks as though the slider lifts a condenser lens up&down. The focomat enlarger has a one very similar except the condenser sits directly on the neg.
    have you tried printing with it in the lowered position?
     
  13. hammy

    hammy Member

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    No, i've only had it in one position, though I forget if it was up or down.
     
  14. Steve Weston

    Steve Weston Member

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    Hi Hammy
    I to have one of these enlargers and it is excellent piece of kit. The lever that you are questioning is indeed to move the condenser up and down. When it is down it should sit on the neg carrier and lock it in place. You should then only be able to rotate the neg carrier slightly.

    Steve
     
  15. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Yes, that lever must be in the down position to print and up only to insert and remove the neg carrier. This is a good enlarger, I purchased one in 1977 and my children still use it.
     
  16. hammy

    hammy Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I do believe I may have been printing with it in the up position. Maybe that is my problem ?