How many neg carriers does one really need?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by JMC1969, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    In recent months I have re-built my darkroom, but this one is very much upscale from any previous. I have not had a chance to use it yet as I am in the middle of major home renovations and can not dedicate the time I will want once I get started in there. It is however on my mind constantly and I have a surplus of certain things, but can not pull the trigger of getting rid of any until I get in work mode.

    As I have moved to shooting mostly MF & LF (4x5), I decided to set up three enlargers. I really don't know if it will benefit me or not, but as I became a bit of a darkroom hoarder in the process of getting it together, I figure, "Why not?".

    I have three Omega D5 chassis;

    1- normal height with a Chromatic D color head on it to utilize the filters for B&W as I have no plan to go into color at the time being.

    1- XL w/ a Zone VI system

    1- XL w/ a Ilford multigrade system

    With each, I acquired quite a few negative holders and now have most normal film sizes. Certainly I will like to go back through my older stock of 35mm and make some enlargements, but really don't see the need for 2, if not 3 holders w/ the bulk roll attachments jetting from the side. Plus probably 3,4,5 normal 35mm holders. As for the other sizes I still plan to shoot with, should I keep a negative holder of each size for each enlarger? It really seems excessive to do so. I don't think anyone else will be using the darkroom with me, but then again, maybe a friend here or there might be interested. In my previous job, it was nice to have 2-3 holders for Imacon scans so you could have preloaded negatives when the current one was finished. Does the same theory apply to this? It really doesn't seem so to me, but my mind could be changed. The only need I see is if I plan to do some sort of Jerry Uelsmann type of manipulation work. Which I tend to think is pretty incredible and gave me my initial drive for photography when I was in my early 20's. I have since moved away from that with my drive and foresee a different path in the future. However, I have not had the time nor the access to a darkroom for so many years, that it could be, a passion for the manipulation comes back after spending 8 hours smelling chemicals again. Hard to say, I don't think so, but you never know.

    So, I would love to hear the thoughts of the experienced, or new builders of darkrooms. I'm having the same issue with lenses by the way, the Ilford enlarger has a 3 lens turret.

    Just to put it out there in case it is needed to know, I am shooting 4x5 via Toyo View, Meridian 45A, Speed Graphic. MF in the form of TLR 6x6, Mini Speed Graphic 6x7,6x8 roll backs and 2 1/4x 3 1/4 sheet, Mamiya 645 and a few odds and in folders I have a plan for.

    Thanks,
    Jody
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have enough enlargers to set up one machine for each format and leave it set. With that I should only need one carrier for each enlarger. However, there are some variables that dictate extra carriers, glass carriers for larger formats, mounted slide carrier for 35mm, negatrans for printing an entire roll without removing the carrier, etc. Then you have to have carriers of different sizes for each machine, in case one of the others goes down and you need to switch over to another one to print something. Bottom line, you cant have enough carriers, or enlargers:D
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'm sorry to say that I have only have 4 carriers. One for 35mm and three for 120.

    Jeff
     
  4. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    -Minolta Color Enlarger II, 6x7

    Original metal carriers:

    -35mm glassless, full frame and generous
    -6x4,5 vertical, glassless, full frame (at least for Mamiya 645 negs)
    -6x6 DIY by the previous owner from ?? format carrier, not full frame, DIY yours truly: top & bottom regular LPL glass with about 1/5 mm space between via electrical tape at the edges
    -6x7 glass, top AN, full frame, DIY y.t. from a 16mm carrier I didn't need

    MDF/cardboard/tape carrier:
    -6x6 glassless, full frame - DIY y.t., of course

    -Fujimoto 450M-C 4x5

    -35mm, glassless, full frame but tight
    -6x6, glassless, full frame
    -6x7, glassless, full frame for Pentax 67 negs
    -4x5, glassless, almost full frame (thinking of adding AN+regular glass to this one)

    d_rookie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
  5. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    I have not yet had a good chance to inventory all that I have. An Apuger requested a 645 for Omega D and I told them I would look. They would also like a 6x7. As I went in search, I found that I have 2-645 and 3-6x7 in 2 different styles. I'm not sure I can loosen my grip on them just yet. Some look to be just a hair bigger than others and maybe this is the difference in Full Frame or not, in which case I guess I would want to keep one of each at least. I much get a count and full measurements.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I have two each of 35mm, 6x6, and 6x7 since I shoot these formats. One of each size is filed out for full frame +, which I don't use often, but I like knowing they're there. I also have two 4x5 carriers, one glass, one not. And one 8x10 holder.
     
  7. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I think I have about 50 carriers. But I'm the wrong person to ask since we have 10 enlargers in our basement darkroom. Only 6 of them are set up though. :smile:
     
  8. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I also have three enlargers (different ones for each format) as a result of pre-darkroom build hoarding and I have full sets of carriers. But in the end, all I use now is my Durst L1200 and its 4x5 glass carrier for everything. I don't see a need for anything else. Differing opinions are welcome.

    Leo
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    All I can offer is that if you have suplus I would keep one backup carrier where you have more than one carrier. You never know what might happen but it's good to be prepared and not be down for lack of a part that you once had.
     
  10. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    Remember one of Murphies laws. As soon as you get rid of something, you will need it. Jeff, 10 enlargers?! Man, I'm in awe of you.
     
  11. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Well, we do host printing parties for my photo group. And I have a great wife who loves photography too.
     
  12. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Gad! I just wish I had the space to leave one of my two enlargers up permanently. 10! Gadzooks!

    Oh, and given the choice, it would be the Beseler. It Mo' Bigger.
     
  13. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    It's a rough life, but someone's got to live it. :wink:
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If I had additional carriers for each size, I would semi-permanently (i.e. tape) standard negatives in one of each size, and use them with an enlarging meter to help set up my test print times for each negative I printed.

    Also, if I had different types of carriers in the same size (glassless, with glass and the roll carriers) I would keep at least one of each.

    If you have more than four carriers of a particular size (one with a standard neg, plus one each for the enlargers) the extras can be dispensed with.
     
  16. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    One carrier for each enlarger but masks as follows

    Laborator 1200 - 35mm, 6x4.5,6x6,6x9

    Modular 70 - 35mm, 6x4.5,6x6

    Mind you its a pain using 35mm and 6x6 with the Laborator
     
  17. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Because the printing times tend to get very long?
     
  18. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I print 35 and MF with the Laborator 1200 all the time. Not a problem at all if you have the right lenses and swap them out.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    One glass carrier that is the maximum size for your enlarger is all you need to cover all formats. The question is how many do you want? :D
     
  20. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Well, I don't have ten (10) enlargers, just the three I set up, plus the two from my original darkroom:

    Beseler 23CII and Bogen x-35A (up to 8x10 print size) actually great for contact printing rolls in sleeves.

    Still have another D2 and just gave away a D3 a month ago.

    In leu of measurements and counts, here's a quick digi snap of my quantity
     

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  21. zesbaugh

    zesbaugh Member

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    Unless you plan on taking all that equipment with you when you kick, keep everything. The next owners will be much appreciative to have full setups. Your carriers may not be rare now...but 10,30,65 years down the road they may very well be.
    My Durst M600 isn't all that old, ask me how easy it is to find replacements...
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    One negative carrier for each format that you use. The chassis are the same, so why buy more of the same thing? Hence I have 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5. I could go nuts buy every size I think I might need in the future.

    Steve
     
  23. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you have some duplicates you can file them out.

    I use the D5500 system, so you only need one holder and a bunch of inserts. However, since this stuff is so cheap or free these days, I have a separate holder for each popular insert size I use, so I don't have to swap inserts very often.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I own 2 enlargers a Beseler 67 and Beseler MX45 and I have a set of holders for both. 35mm, 6X4.5, 6X6, 6X7 and a 4X5 for the MX. The MX is in storage right now because it won't fit in my darkroom.
     
  25. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I've got two enlargers (did have 4 - 2 Meoptas, and 2 LPL 6x7s one colour head and one B&W) and have carriers for my 35mm, 6x7, 6x6, 6x9 and a universal one also (did have a 35mm mounted slide carrier as well for the LPL 6700MX).

    When I had the 4, each one had 1 of each carrier, except a 6x7 (one only) - had to hunt for that for ages until I landed it!

    If I could pick up spares I would - never know when you might need to replace one and they get more expensive every time I see them. :smile:
     
  26. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have 2 enlargers (Beseler 23CIII and 45MX). They take different carriers, though. For the 23C, I think I have 3 6x6 ones - one ground out and 2 not. I just have one for 645 and maybe 2 for 35mm (one FF). For the 45MX, I have a 35mm (came with it) and a glass 4x5 one. I kinda wish I had another 645 one for the 23C so I could grind it out to be FF, but I've just used the 6x6 one and masked it.
    My dad maintains that you can never have too many C clamps in the workroom. I feel the same about carriers, but haven't started collecting, yet.

    And someday I have to see Jeff and Eva's darkroom!