fat max laser plumb

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by michaelbsc, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I'm standing in a big box store with my phone, so please forgive the spelling.

    I just found a Fat Max laser plumb in the tools. It is less than a hundred bucks USD. (sorry to be localized)

    Is there any good reason this won't make a sweet enlarger alignment tool?

    It auto levels itself. It doesn't require fabrication. And it is a way cool guy toy.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well buy it then :wink:

    I don't find these especially useful for enlargement alignment- what I do is inkjet a grid pattern on transparency film and then project that as I would a neg, and work to get everything sharp to the corners. Very bright, easy, quick... and no high power beams to injure the eyes!

    But every man of the new millennium needs to have a laser alignment tool, that's just the way it is.
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'm a fan of the two-mirrors-one-with-a-hole-in-it trick. I just need to figure out how to remove the silver in a little spot. Still haven't.
     
  4. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Scratch with a knife blade or razzor blade. It doesn't have to be perfectly round.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I would think the accuracy needed not be enough. If the accuracy is say 1/4" in 50", which for its intended use is fine, may not be fine enough to use on an enlarger. I like the lines on the negative approach. Seems like they use to sell these in different sizes, I wonder if they still are available.
     
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The mirrors sound like it would even a better approach. :D

    Was this something that was commercially made at one time?
     
  7. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    A Versalab Parallel laser alignment tool works really well.
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't know; I think I read about it on here. It involves putting a face-down mirror with a hole drilled in it in the negative stage and putting another face-up mirror on the baseplate. If things aren't parallel, you will know in a hurry.
     
  9. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Yes it does :smile:

    Getting close was easy but that last little bit takes a while - I hadn't realised quite how much an enlarger moves when you touch it :surprised:

    Martin
     
  10. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Sounds inexpensive & not too intellectually demanding - just my style, in other words. Would you have a thread URL to share?

    thanks
    Søren
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2009
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I just take a black neg, and scratch the emulsion away around the edge of the neg carrier, using a pin. I then take this neg out, and use a steel rule to score similare pin scratches diagonally corner to corner.

    Project this neg and adjust til all of the lines are sharp.
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Well, even if it isn't that useful for aligning the enlarger, I'm certain I can make up some other excuse for buying it. Maybe aligning the celing fan or something. You never know when those might drift out of spec.
     
  13. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I used to use a Philips PCS2000 enlarger. Locking in the head height caused a major shift in alignment.
     
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  15. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I second the Versalab and it's not much more money...Evan Clarke
     
  16. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Airgun laser site works well for me. $25 or $30 5 years ago. Easily adjusted in two axis.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Shape not Sharp

    Of importance when considering an alignment
    of an enlarger is the SHAPE of the projected
    image. An enlarger out of alignment will
    not project an image true to the shape
    of the object being projected.

    The projected image of the negative carrier
    may be used for alignment. The four square
    corners projected upon the baseboard may be
    checked using a small carpenters square.

    If it's not in shape it's not sharp. Dan
     
  18. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Be careful talking about digital negs here on APUG! ;^)
     
  19. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Or use a ruler to check if the parallel sides of the rectangle are equal.
     
  20. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    First check with a square to confirm that it is
    a rectangle. It could turn out to be a
    parallelogram.

    BTW a projected image may be sharp but not
    square. For the projected shape to be true to
    the object being projected the optical axis
    must be perpendicular to the planes of
    both film and baseboard. That is not
    the case for sharp. Dan
     
  21. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Parallelogram, or did you really mean trapezium? The most common misalignment should produce that.

    Can you misalign an enlarger and get a rhombus from a square frame?
     
  22. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    You can verify that it's a rectangle by comparing the diagonal measurements. They should be the same.
     
  23. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    I keep several laser alignment tools on my belt!
     
  24. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Let's assume that we have the trapezium ABCD and AB, CD are the parallel sides. If angles A=B and C=D, then the diagonals AC, BD will be equal!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2009
  25. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Correct. That certainly works. But you need an angle-measuring device to measure the angles and see if they are the same. You can compare all four sides of the quadrilateral as well as the diagonals with only a length-measuring device. And since you are only comparing them for equality, it doesn't even have to be accurate (a piece of string etc.).

    I don't even have a square around here, but I certainly have something I can mark with a pencil to compare lengths with.
     
  26. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Oh, you missed my point. I didn't suggest to measure the angles. I just wanted to point out that you can have equal diagonals, without having 4 90 degree angles. If you're going to use diagonals, you need to make sure they bisect each other. In any case, comparing lengths seems the best choice for me.