Kodak Precision Enlarger. whaaaaat?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Perry Way, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    I recently won an auction on that "big auction site". A huge blue green Beseler 4 x 5 enlarger with motors and all. It came attached to a very hefty table that you could rebuild a huge diesel engine on, or support the earth practically. So I drove 3.5 hours today to go pick it up. When I got there, come to find out the seller really didn't know what went to this enlarger, so the question I asked before I bid "what negative carriers come with it?" were answered in a very ummm... general way. He had said it came with 35mm, 4 x 5, 6 x 6, 6 x 9. So that got me interested enough to quit bidding on other enlargers and only bid on this one. And.. I won the bidding thinking it was complete. So when I got there, I found it was missing the lens board, and any lenses at all, and it didn't have all those negative carriers. It has just the 4 x 5 and 35mm. The 6x6 and 6x9 where for another enlarger. He felt bad when I pointed this out. He had some other things, said I could take the whole lot if I wanted. I told him I didn't really have that kind of energy to locate missing parts for something and since I was in an apartment I had to really consider my storage. All these things were left by the seller of the house he bought. A mismatched lot of photographic equipment. The house seller was a drunk who gave up on life basically. Well, out of all the equipment he had there there was only one enlarger that was complete. It was the one with the 6x6 and 6x9 carriers. Look at what it is.. here's a fresh picture. Its a Kodak Precision Enlarger. It has no part number on it. Or date. It looks like it comes out of some 1930's era, real art deco styling. I expect it might have been standard equipment on board an alien spaceship or something! hehe. Oh, and what caused me to go home with this instead of that huge monsterous Beseler missing lens board and lenses was the nice surprize inside the head... a DOUBLE condensor and its no cheepie condensor either, its a super fantastic condensor. Its heaps better than any modern condensor I've seen in the dime a dozen Beseler's, Omegas and Dursts. I didn't know Kodak made enlargers at any time. Does anyone know what this is or when it was made or anything like that? It does look out of this world. Oh and it has a lens board and a 105mm Schnieder lens which is quite modern and very very good condition.
     

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  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That is, quite simply, the most bitchin' enlarger I have ever seen in my life!!!
     
  3. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    :D So you think I should hang onto this one eh? I did a cursory Google this morning, and also on eBay. Can not find any information on it. I am wondering if this is a relic of some real value! Well, tonight I'm going to set it up and expose some negatives to give it a 1-2 test. This should be interesting. I am thinking it will have very good results. The lamp is over 100 watts, which in comparison to my Beseler Printmaker 35, is at least double. It should cut down my exposure time required quite a bit.
    :cool:
     
  4. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Oh, it should outperform a Beseler Printmaker with no problem at all...
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    You kids forget the days when Kodak was the finest optical house on the planet.
     
  6. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I didn't know Kodak made enlargers at any time. Does anyone know what this is or when it was made or anything like that? It does look out of this world. Oh and it has a lens board and a 105mm Schnieder lens which is quite modern and very very good condition.[/QUOTE]

    Kodak made several enlagers, at least until the mid 50's, maybe as late the early 60s. As I recall the Perscion was the top of the line model and the largest could take a 4X5. I used a Perscion enlarger at an Air Force Hobby Shop in the early 70s, the OIC would not let us the base lab after hours for personal use. The Kodak is not as sturdy as an Omega D2 or a Bessler 23c, but with a modern lens quite capable of giving good results. I would rate Kodak higher than a Federal.
     
  7. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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  8. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    1SharpMonkey,

    Kodak did make film adapters for that enlarge to use as a copy camera, you can find them on eBay now and then. For lenses it would take the 50/4.5 , 75/4.5 , 100/3.5 Enlarging Ektars, each is a great lens and they are all Heliar design. The 'Kodak Color Printing Ektar Lens' are commercial printing lenses and well worth trying out, they usually go very cheap, strange mount and no iris, fixed stop plate. If you want to get silly, you could hunt for the mythical 50/2.8 and 75/2.8 Enlarging Ektars, rarer than hen's teeth.
     
  9. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I had one of those, and I've still got a few of the parts stashed away. If you have everything for it and it is in good shape they are very nice machines. IIRC the weak link was the old cotton insulated power cord that runs up the column and through a bakelite plug on the top. Mine had a short in it and the experience could have been rather shocking.
    So inspect that cord!
     
  10. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I see from your picture that the power cord isn't set up the same way as mine. Sweet!
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I second this notion for any "truly old" electronic device. I still haven't replaced the crumbly 2-prong cables on my Fender Princeton Reverb and Gibson Skylark, but this reminds me to do so...
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I don't know, I think you may have been right in your first description. If I were you I would make sure that it doesn't have any way to call Roswell. Don't leave it near a phone.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak made a series of enlargers for LF, MF and 35mm films as well as one for several sizes. The one shown in the OP was in use in the 40s - 50s. There was also a 35mm one that came in a tiny suitcase and when set up would serve as an enlarger or projector.

    Yes, Kodak made, at one time, some of the finest photographic and optical products. This includes a whole series of high speed B&W and color printers for photofinsihers as well as processing equipment.

    I have seen the lamp housing in gray and also black crackle finish.

    PE
     
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  15. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Hehehe... he might hear it creeping up to his bedsite at night calling "Exterminate! Exterminate!..." :D
     
  16. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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  17. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    Really? Do you have any negative carriers you'd like to sell? I've got one 6x6, another 6x9. But if I could lay my hands on a 35mm and a 6x4.5 and 6x7 then I'd have all my bases covered until I get into large format and could ditch my Printmaker and pass that on to someone just getting started.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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  19. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I'll take a look and let you know what turns up:smile:
     
  20. Kobin

    Kobin Member

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    I have a diffusion head 4x5 Kodak Professional Enlarger from the same period, I think. Glass negative carrier and shutters just below the negative carrier stage. Can't use 50mm lenses, though, with the standard lensboard. Bellows only collapses to 60mm. Mine also has a little blower motor behind the head. There were three of these on epay when I got mine. I made matboard cutouts to help stabilize 35mm and 120 film in the negative carrier. For $60 including shipping, it was a great deal. It's the only enlarger in my darkroom.

    K.
     
  21. p3200TMZ

    p3200TMZ Member

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    I just picked up a 'Kodak Precision Model II' enlarger. I bought it after reading this thread, paid all of $15 for it. This enlarger is abit different, since it is painted in dark olive-green crinklepaint. It will handle negatives up to 6X9, but only came with a 35mm negative carrier. The lens on it is a 'Kodak Ektar 2 inch f4.5' that was made in England and it appears uncoated but in mint condition other than some dust.

    Would be interested in finding other negative carriers and a spare lens board or two.
     
  22. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    Yes, I would like to get my hands on other negative carriers. I have 6x6 and 6x9. would like 6x7 6x4.5 and 35mm. In case there really is a Santa Claus, I thought I'd mention that! :wink:
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    You don't even need special carriers since you have 6x9 and 6x6 carriers. You can print 6x7 in your 6x9 carrier just fine, and 6x4.5 in your 6x6 carrier just fine. (Also, I doubt a 6x4.5 carrier was ever made for it, given the vintage.) The film will lie just as flat as it would with special holders. I always tape my negs to the carrier anyhow, as it holds them flat and also keeps the top of the carrier from contacting them.

    For 35mm, it would be nice to have a dedicated carrier. Until you find it, however, you can just print your 6x6 negs in the 6x9 holder, and convert the 6x6 holder to 35mm by laying some strips of 3M Photo tape across the 6x6 hole at right angles to make a window for 35mm. You can use some construction paper as well, but I trust the tape more with the emulsion side of my negs, as it is more smooth. This may be a stupid fear, but for me the tape works fine.

    P.S. Make sure it is photo tape, and not gaffer tape. Gaffer tape would be a bad choice for this purpose. Photo tape is black masking tape that blocks light well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2008
  24. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Hey, 2F/2F, I'm interested in what you say about taping negatives. I have a number of Polaroid 665 negs that I need to get scanned, and of course they don't fit any standard carrier for my flatbed. I could try to lay them on the glass but (like you) I'm concerned about things touching the emulsion side. I was considering getting a thick plastic sheet of some sort, cutting the proper-size hole in it, and taping the neg on top. But of course I want to use a tape that is easily removed and leaves no residue -- do you think 3M Photo Tape is suitable? Thanks!
     
  25. p3200TMZ

    p3200TMZ Member

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    I have picked up too many free enlargers over the weekend. I am thinking of getting rid of my Kodak enlarger. If you can post some photos of your existing carrier with measurements, I can tell you whether my 35mm carrier will work with your enlarger. If so, we can discuss how to get it to you... when I make a decision on what I am keeping.
     
  26. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    I just took some photos of the 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" (6 x 9) carrier, along side a fabric tape measure. Apparantly the flash on my digital camera is too potent for close up shots and it has drowned out some details, one being the tape measure. But you can see the shaping of the carrier, it is not a simple flat machined sheet metal with a hinge. It is stamped with an inset, chrome plated to allow the negative to be slid in and out even while the carrier is mounted in the enlarger. The lever on the curved part is what allows the carrier to be spread apart slightly allowing the play for the negative to be slid. And the bottom side of the carrier that appears inside the enlarger facing down to the lens is painted black, so that will not scatter light.

    The measurement along the hinge, side to side is 5 1/4" or 13.3 cm. The measurement from the hinge to the edge of the rounded side (while folded) is 4 3/8" or 11.1 cm.

    Does this look like what you have?
     

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