LPL Light Leaks?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by cbettis, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. cbettis

    cbettis Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver, W
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I sold off all of my darkroom stuff a few years back (bad idea) and now am re-acquiring needed supplies. I bought an LPL 670 enlarger in what appears to be excellent condition, but in just messin' 'round with things I notice what seems to be an unusually large amount of light coming from around the negative carrier, primarily the sides. Has anyone else experienced this and did it create a problem with fogging while printing? Thanks, Chuck
     
  2. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Chuck,

    Just to be sure, after you put the neg carrier in did you raise the carrier with the lever? The one I had had some leaks around the back at the top of the head.

    Hope this helps.

    g
     
  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,396
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the LPL C7700, which I believe is virtually the same model, and yes, it has always had a fair amount of light coming out of the sides of the negative carrier, even when held in place with the lever. It's not really a huge amount of light, and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
     
  4. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I have an LPL 4550 and light leaks are not unusual. Since I do enlarged negative minimal reflected light is crucial to reduce flare and fog.

    Briefly, be sure that the negative carrier is seated properly and that the throat of the bellows is closed. I had to make a 'skirt' from black photo tape to cover the remaining light seppage. Also I taped the bottom of the lens holder as there is light leaking there as well. A PITA but it works.

    Don Bryant
     
  5. cbettis

    cbettis Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver, W
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, the lever is raised. Sounds like this is normal but the idea of a skirt sounds pretty good. Thanks, Chuck
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,494
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Bath, OH 442
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I have a Saunders 4550XLG/VCCE enlarger with light leaks at the negative carrier and elsewhere. I also have made a skirt with black tape around the negative carrier and other areas. There was so much light coming out of the fan exhaust that I had to make a hood out of a spray can lid to direct the light away from the enlarger area. Too much tape in that area caused overheating and early light bulb failure. You have to find a balance.

    Search here and the Large Format Form website and you will find many comments about this problem in all models of LPL or Saunders enlargers. They are a very good product except for this problem.

    John Powers

    John Powers
     
  7. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a 670CXL. Some light does leak from around the negative carrier but I've never found it excessive enough to fog papers. The only sure way to tell if the light leaking from yours will fog is to test it. I would do that before doing any modifications to the enlarger. If it ain't broke.... :smile:
     
  8. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I don't think anyone suggested modifying the enlarger. However you might be surprised in the different results you can see when eliminating even small light leaks!

    Also when you print do you wear a black shirt? It makes a differrence!

    Don Bryant
     
  9. RGyori

    RGyori Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Location:
    San Francsic
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    When I was attending a Sexton workshop 3 years ago Sexton pointed out that the LPL 4550 he used had light leaks as well —nature of the beast— so he used black micro-fiber cloth (available in most discount fabric stores) cut to fit the lens stage profile and held in place with velcro (I believe). Since the material can be cut without fraying or unraveling he was even able to fashion 3 flexible flaps at 90º for the negative carrier extension.

    I have since fabricated a similar solution for my Beseler 45MX (talk about negative stage light leak!) using the same material attached with velcro, flaps and all, and am very happy with the results.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob
     
  10. firecracker

    firecracker Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There's a material called, "black wrap", which is a type of foil used to cover the light leaks from the barn doors of light units. You can buy it in photo supply stores.
     
  11. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think we're getting a little obsessive.

    Unless the light leaks present a problem...there's no problem.
     
  12. Elox

    Elox Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    Central Texa
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well, mine leaked enough to show on paper after a 90 second exposure. I put a layer of thin felt on top of the negative carriers and solved the problem.
     
  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    FWIW, I've got a Philips PCS130, which was supposedly made by LPL. At my normal working height, I don't see any light leaks around my negative carrier; however, I normally sit at my enlarging table, with the negative carrier slightly above my eye level. I took a look last night and saw a very thin line of light leak around the top of the negative carrier. There are also a couple of other very small light leaks around the PCS130's head. None of these is what I'd consider major -- they contribute less to overall darkroom lighting than minor darkroom light leaks or the lit PCS150 control panel that goes with the PCS130 enlarger. FWIW, the PCS130 leaks are also much less noticeable than the leaks I saw with a Durst C35 that I owned before I got the Philips.
     
  14. Wayne Frederick

    Wayne Frederick Subscriber

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    South Portla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I bought a new Saunders LPL 670VCCE enlarger several years ago and was amazed at how much light was leaking out especially around the negative carrier; there was a projected line of light around the darkroom walls! I put a bead of flexible putty on top of the front and sides of the negative carrier, and covered the bead with Scotch opaque photographic tape. So now when the diffusion chamber is lowered into place the light is completely blocked. I also thought that the backlit contrast grade dials were very bright so I covered up the tiny light bulb inside with translucent red electrician's tape. Perhaps none of this was necessary, but it makes me feel better.
     
  15. firecracker

    firecracker Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Japan
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use a Fuji (LPL OEM) with the 7700 condenser-head attached to a big column, and I don't have any leakage for sure. So, it looks like only the diffuser-head types of the 7700 series and the higher models do.