Increasing the enjoyment

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by digiconvert, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    OK I now have the printing bug, not that I am any good but I do enjoy it. I've realised that if I were to treat myself to gear it would be for the dsrkroom not studio stuff or camera stuff. I shoot mainly 66 BW but some chromes and colour , 35mm is almost all transparency. I print 8x10 RC but have recently tried (and enjoyed) 10 x 12 BF

    So I welcome your comments on my list of possible purchases, in order of preference.

    1- More/different films to try out - Cost £30
    2- A good s/h easel to replace my cheap and cheerful 8x10 -I like the look of a s/h beard 12 x 10 at £55-£90 depending on condition.
    3- An ilford EM10 to play with, don't expect a lot from it but it might be fun ! -£5
    4- Dish warmer to get my temperatures accurately controlled (and allow non room temp colour work) - £100 new
    5- A s/h 4 or new 3 bladed easel so I can print my sq negs in the middle of the paper ! - £120
    6- A processor (Jobo or Nova) to take the grief out of set up, not sure about this one - £100-£200 depending on what I get.
    7: - Something like a s/h Zonemaster, but it does look a bit of a solution trying to find a problem for my limited output.-£90

    I already have a fridge and several types of paper/print developer so those are not currently on my list. Of course if anyone can come up with a good reason to buy a de vere enlarger which would convince my wife it would be gratefully received
    :D

    Thanks ; Chris Benton
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2006
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    My (re-ordered) take on the priorities:

    1 More film: not necessarily different unless you're unhappy with what you have.

    2 Nova processor -- ideal if you have a permanent darkroom, otherwise no real advantage over trays (with tray warmer) unless you do wet colour. Jobo is ideal for E6 and C41.

    3 4-blade easel -- but be aware they're bulky brutes and the Beard may be more practical.

    4 (not on your list) Variable-contrast dial-in head for Multigrade.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I've described my picnic cooler/fish heater chemical warmer setup before. I don't think any of the commerical gear has the level of flexibility that my setup has. Plus mine costs a fraction.

    You're printing colour so I'd suggest a good modern analyzer. At least something like the colorstar 3000 or newer. If you can find one they aren't too expensive used.
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Chris,

    1 - This should be done whenever the mood strikes you.
    2 - An 11x14(ish) 4 blade easel will cover most of your needs.
    3 - Very handy when you want to make a succesion of prints from a roll or estimate the density range of the negative.
    4 - I have nothing of value to add here. :>)
    5 - (see #2)
    5a - I use the tanks with a home made drive. Wonderful products.
    6 - Never tried one.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I think that making your printing environment as organized, clean and comfortable as possible would be the biggest step you could take to make it more enjoyable. The moment it becomes a 'chore'.. it just isn't enjoyable.
    I'm at the point where I have to set everything up (takes an hour at least) just to print and it is uncomfortable, my enlarger sucks badly, etc.
    I used to print every day, now with my current living situation I print once every two months.

    Barring my suggestion above (which very well might not cost you anything)
    i'd go with a good easel. A good easel should last you a lifetime and not lose much of it's resale value. What about a nice grain focuser? Those Peak/Micromega's are _nice_
     
  6. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    With you on the 'chore' fortunately I have a room (the one I'm in now !) which is 'compact' but jas room for my enlarger to be set up permanently so It's just get the trays (or drum) out, make the dev (others are stock) and put the blakout up and I'm away (10 to 15 mins). My enlarger is very basic (Meopta 5A) but it does have the rangefinder focusing (a slit in the neg carrier) which works remarkably well. I think a new easel is high on my list because I can get a reasonable print but find the blades are not as I expected and the borders are off- and you know what it's like trying to repeat the magic :surprised:

    Cheers CJB
     
  7. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I'm using a walk-in closet and a bathroom with tub for the trays. :smile: My enlarger is an Omega C-700 (I used to use an Omega D-II that was wall mounted).. I'd go with the easel but that's just me. The speed ez-l's that I use are repeatable but definitely not adjustable. It's nice to be able to adjust the borders and even nicer to know that it will be the same every time.

    I wish you the best! I believe that whatever you put into this hobby you do receive in the end. It's a great feeling to be able to print whatever it is that you like and make it the best you possibly can every time.
     
  8. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    i think you'd do yourself better service by purchasing more paper and chemicals and doing lots of printing using various techniques

    more gear might well make it easier but not necessarily better

    anyway, if it was easy anybody could do it
     
  9. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly, deep down I think I want a new 'toy' to play with

    :D and I want to concentrate on the print not my flipping easel.

    I think I will end up with a beard 2 blade (I have seen one unused for just short of £110 (gbp) ) and might get an exposure meter to satisfy the play urge !

    thanks to all