one side of print is slightly out of focus???

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by stradibarrius, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    This is my third prinitng session and I tried printing a 6x7 negative this evening working with the exposure, contast filter etc.
    On all of the prints one side is slightly out of focus while the other side is sharp.

    I noticed this in all of the other printing sessions. as well. I thought it was something wrong with the camera but the negative are sharp throughout the whole negative when viewed on the light table with a loupe.
    A light bulb came on and I wondered if it could be the tilt of the lens plate?

    If the lens is not parallel with the plane of the paper could that cause this? if not what else might it be?
     
  2. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    I had the same problem with the enlarger I bought off Ebay. I started looking at my setup and noticed that I could tilt the lens left and right. I immediatly knew that that was probably the problem. I ended up buying an alignment tool called the Versalab Parallel.

    Here's a thread started by me. It includes some homemade aligning methods if you dont feel like buying something. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/67712-aligning-enlarger.html
     
  3. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Sounds like your enlarger is out of alignment.A simple check of the negative stage would be to print the negative and then rotate it 180 degrees in the carrier( not the carrier it self) and make a second print. If the out of focus part is now on the other side. of the print.then the enlarger needs to be aligned.A small bubble level and patience can realign the parts ,assuming they can be moved, The negative carrier is usually the biggest problem it should be parallel to the enlarging easel or baseboard .The lens generally is not that critical but should also be parallel to the enlarging easel or baseboard
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Welcome to projection printing and enlarging!!

    Which enlarger are you using? I bet someone here can help you with the alignment.
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    One of four things is off. The negative, the direction of travel of the light, the easel or the paper. Check your easel and make sure you have nothing hanging it up. Make sure the paper is resting perfectly flat. Make sure the negative carrier is seated properly. As to the line of travel, a long complicated test comes to mind that includes pendulums and marks on the baseboard and such. You get the idea. But it has to be one of those four.
     
  6. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I am going to use a level and check the alignment as suspected. I am also going to try a different negative. I went back and looked very sprcifically for softness in the nagative and I can see a bit. This is a medium format negative and the DOF on a close up shot can be shallow. I am going to try a different negative and that will help trck the problem down.
    I was going to post a scan of the print but for some reason the scan is "solarizied". I have gone to the Hybrid forum for help with that issue.
     
  7. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    No need to change the negative, use the same. Next time, focus on the central part of the negative and print the edge. Reposition the negative, placing the edge at the center of the negative carrier. Does sharpness change? If yes, then you'd better realign the enlarger.

    An aligned enlarger will project a rectangle with 4 90 degree angles on the board. Take a piece of paper or a triangle and check the corners. Any problems will become more obvious the more you raise the enlarger's head. Adjust as needed if you don't get 90 degrees.
     
  8. greenrhino

    greenrhino Member

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    check for grain

    If you look for grain, both when you focus and in the final print itself you will know whether the negative has been printed sharply of not. The most likely source of any unsharpness in grain will be caused by the misalignment of the negative stage to the lens. The lens to the paper should be aligned also but it is much less critical. One option to lessen the magnitude of alignment errors is to use the longest lens possible for the size print you are making. This makes the distance between the lens stage and the lens greater and a .5 millimeter alignment issue becomes proportionally less.
     
  9. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    Out of focus print

    Don't forget to look at your negative carrier.

    All of the advice heretofore given is excellent, but don't discount the negative not lying completely flat, or "popping" during exposure.

    I had just that problem until I crafted glass negative carriers for my two enlargers; I had to hand-make one for my venerable Omega B-22-XL. Now, I can (and do) make my enlargements, especially from 35mm negatives, with the enlarger lens often closed down no more than one f/stop from maximum aperture.

    (Overexposed negatives? Me??)
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Check the alignment and adjust as necessary. Then check to easel and the bottom of the easel to be sure that it is not the cause of or a contributor to the problem.

    Steve
     
  11. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have actually determined that it was the DOF on the photos I had noticed.
    But I also realized that one of the ways you correct parallax is by tilting the lens at the end of the bellows so I don't think the lens being SLIGHTLY out of adjustment would have caused the problem????