Follow up to Fuzzy Prints

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by 2Ldude, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. 2Ldude

    2Ldude Member

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    This is just a note to those that responded last time. I have determined a number of things that have been making my prints fuzzy when enlarging to 11x14. One: Moving Technica to bed mount instead of body mount to center the weight. Two: Longer cable release to alleviate alot of the extra movement from my hand. Three: Alignment of my enlarger.

    I have a beautiful, clean, clear, crisp image of some aspen trees. On the easel one side is absolutely pin sharp, the other side was fuzzy. I lifted up the fuzzy side of the easel and guess what came into super sharp focus!!!!

    I did the easy test and put a level on all the important parts and it showed at least 1/4 inch difference from front to back.

    After reading the test about printing a test pattern I believe I will try that since I dont have the lazer type and the only guy that I know that has one is out of town for a while.

    Thanks for all the input on the last post.
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Good to see you are tracking it down! 1/4" is a lot!
     
  3. 2Ldude

    2Ldude Member

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    It was driving me crazy for a while. I could shift the fuzziness all around by focusing on certain area's. Decided to take my magnify glass and examine the neg first to find out what was actually sharp. Found out PROBABLY alot of camera wobble when extended out to 250-300mm. That and the enlarger being out of whack.

    BTW: LOTS, LOTS, LOTS of enlarger lenses on Ebay. I have Nikkor but have heard that the Rodagon or Schnieders are better and they are both CHEAP on the net. Any thoughts?????
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    An easy to rig alignment tester is the two mirrors with a peephole in one. The one with the peephole goes in your negative stage facing down, the other goes faceup on the easel. If you look through the peephole you will see the "infinity box" image. If you are out of square it will twist of to one side or the other. Tweak the enlargers alignment controls until you get a concentric pattern.
     
  5. 2Ldude

    2Ldude Member

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    Do they sell these mirrors somewhere or should I ask my fiance to cough up one of her MANY makeup mirrors??
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Another easy method of aligning is to put a sheet of glass where the neg carrier goes. Make sure it is seated where the negative stage is. Then lower the head until one corner of the glass touches a metal ruler held upright from your easel. Check that all four corners are the same height. I'm not sure how accurate my method is, but should get you pretty close.
     
  7. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Get some mirror stock from a glass company or maybe mirror tiles. Scrape a hole in the coating on the back of one. Mine needed an etching with acid to make it clear enought to see well through it. I take the head off mine and stand on a small stepladder to look down it.
     
  8. 2Ldude

    2Ldude Member

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    Thanks, I will try that and the test print mentioned above. Should make for a fun saturday.
     
  9. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I agree with this method - when I constructed my new darkroom, I removed my Saunders 4500-II from the base and wall mounted it. I removed the light mixing chamber, the lens, and inserted a mirror with a small hole in the center, right over where the lens would be. A mirror facing up on the baseboard, and about 30 seconds of adjustments got everything in alignment. A very simple, inexpensive method of aligning your enlarger.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Depends on what your intended usage is. The Schneider Componon S and recent Rodenstocks are good lenses. The 150 mm El Nikkor that I use is sharp as a tack. The El Nikkor will pass UV much better then the Schneider and Rodenstock lenses. I have heard this from two independent sources. Apparently the El Nikkor lens incorporates a different glass and coating then the other lenses. This becomes a consideration if you decide at some point to buy the 4X5 Azo enlarger lamp that is being brought to market.

    I don't have any vested financial or ego interest in making the statements above since I do own lenses from all three major mfgs.
     
  11. victor

    victor Member

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    in my expirieance the top line rodenstocks and the top line shcneiders are the best, (im talking about the normal focal lenghts not the wides). nikons (at least the 50 and 80 are very good as well. there are also a very good lenses from meopta - the meogons (50 and 80 that i know). on small enlargements all of those will maek a very good prints especially with the condensor head. but if u go beyound the x10 magnification the best are the germans top line lenses (rodenstoks are a little bit ahead). for me it is very important since most of the serious prints from the 35mm are much beyound the x10. it is critical when i use in those enlargements a cold light. on 69cm it seems to be less critical, since the magnification ratio is smaller but it is good to have a better lense. i also know that rodenstok has a special lense for a very high magnifications (towards x20), but i dont have it and i dont know how it effects the final image in practice. u can read the mtf graffs. they reflect very well the actual performance.