Enlarger + VC: enlarging lens quality

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by JJV, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. JJV

    JJV Member

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    Hello and thank you for all information I could gather on contact printing so far. I am using somebody else´s enlarger to contact print my 8x10 rollo-pyro negs on VC paper using split grading. I now want to buy the cheapest enlarger I can with a confortable multigrade function to do the same thing at home. Does the quality of the enlarger lens play any role in the final result when contact printing? It is clear to me that the illumination should be even in your paper format but that is all I know. I am being proposed a Rogonar lens which has only three elements...do you think that this is quite OK?

    Thanks,

    JJ
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You don't need an enlarger at all, just a light bulb. You could make something up easily to allow you to use the VC filters.

    Or as you say buy the cheapest enlarger possible, the lens is going to make no difference, your best using it out of focus for contact printing anyway :D

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2007
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Even illumination could be an issue, though; some enlarger lenses vignette at the corners, which could be a problem. Raising the head a bit so that the image cast by the lens is larger than the negative and print should minimize this effect, though.
     
  4. JJV

    JJV Member

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    Thank you folks, you confirmed what I thought. Also Ian, thank you for writing the lens is not focused. By reading that all my thoughts snapped back in place again!

    Cheers,

    JJ
     
  5. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    I’ve used a K&M Tri Level Point Light source for years. It has a 3” filter holder, but I’ve never tried it with VC paper. The light’s intensity can be varied. Point light sources are generally considered to produce the sharpest prints, and the illumination is even. However, any flaw in or crud on the contact frame’s glass really shows in the print. Some people don’t like it for that reason. (I know a very well known photographer who won’t make contacts; he uses an 8x10 enlarger with a glassless carrier to make 8x10 prints from an 8x10 neg. --- each to his own I guess.)

    The K&M occasionally shows up on eBay in the $150 -225 range. The company, K&M Manufacturing Co., Inc., went out of business. The lights are getting harder to find. This place looks like the have some:

    http://www.interlight.biz/itemno.int?ordercode=51305.011&title=K&M TRI LEVEL POINT SOURCE

    Also, you’ll need a voltage regulator and timer.

    Or as Ian suggested, you could make or have a local shop make something for you.
     
  6. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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