View Full Version : flare light
01-06-2011, 10:47 AM
Enlarger light leaks
After a frustrating morning of trying to arrange a dark cloth to plug all the light leaks from my B22 negative carrier I lost all my enthusiasm for printing . Guess Iíll have to build some kind of box to go over the head and mask out all the stray light As the coin on the fogged side paper test showed a large amount of flare light .
Is there any enlarger that doesnít leak light from itís negative carrier ,especially if the film is in strips?
01-06-2011, 10:52 AM
My Omega D-2 and D-II leaks light at condenser/negative-carrier junction but the direction of leak is horizontal. Not enough of it actually reach the baseboard to cause problems.
01-06-2011, 12:25 PM
If you haven't already done this, having the wall, or a board, behind the enlarger painted black usually helps and rather than cover the head (a 'skirt' of black felt around the negative stage should help alot) and/or prop another black board between the enlarger and processing area and only have the enlarger on when focussing on the easel, not on the paper with the red filter in place. Never having had a B-22, I've never had an enlarger with serious enough light leaks to cause fogging provided the rear surface is black.
01-07-2011, 01:59 AM
when doing internegs with the enlarger, I too was concerned about light spill from the neg carrier so I bought some black velcro and split the width of the hook tape and glued it to the enlarger around the the carrier slot and then bought some black felt and cut a strip 1 1/2 in wide and long enough to encircle the carrier slot. I flipped the material up, slid in the carrier and flipped the material down and with a pair of scissors cut a flap for the carrier handle. No more light spill.
01-07-2011, 09:54 AM
The light that is causing problems isn't coming from the enlarger but from the brightly illuminated sheet of photographic paper sitting under the enlarger.
Try an experiment:
Load a negative and a sheet of paper and stop the lens down as for printing;
Turn the enlarger on and look around the room at the stray light;
Now cap the lens so it doesn't illuminate the paper and again look around the room;
The light leaking from the enlarger should be much, much less than the light reflecting off the paper.*
The proper cure is to paint the area illuminated by the paper with either flat black or flat deep red paint. Draping or boxing the enlarger risks overheating and won't cure the stray light problem.
(*) Obviously, if the enlarger is severely out of whack or has major parts missing it may be flooding the room with light - the fix then is to fix the enlarger so it doesn't need drapes or boxes.
01-08-2011, 05:16 PM
I use a black head band (as in runner's sweat band) and wrap it around the condenser (Omega D2), then snug it down onto the top of the neg carrier when all is adjusted and in place, then refocus one more time. But there is still a thin slit of light that comes out actually between the two pieces of the neg carrier. Since the film strip usually continues out beyond the edge of the carrier, I don't really have an elegant way of blocking this slit of light. If the wall is black, I don't think it has any real effect.
I also always wear black clothes when printing. I have a couple of black T shirts I wear only in the darkroom.
Hi George, you could be fogging the paper with your safe light as well. Reflections can also be a problem, have a look what you have hanging on the wall around the enlarger. Painting the area around the enlarger dark grey or black will improve the situation. I have also taped black paper around the the mixing box to hung past the carrier to minimize light leaks. Don't give up, printing is great.
01-09-2011, 10:57 AM
There is good advice in most previous posts. Blackening the shiny aluminum in all the places that showed light leaks reduced stray light somewhat in my B22. Later negative carriers that fit the B22 are black anodized aluminum.