I seem to have been given the job of getting our uni photosoc darkroom fully functional again, so have a bunch of equipment to figure out! One of the most pressing problems is:
The filter drawer on our PCS130 (the enlarger we use most of the time) is bent out of shape (i think) or missing a bit or something, and is leaking light out of the front. Is it possible to get a replacement for this? Fix it?
Help this darkroom newbie please!
I have a Paterson PCS 2500, which as best I can tell, is identical to a Philips PCS 130. These enlargers are no longer made and are hard to find parts for. You might see if you can buy another one (mine came with a very full complement of accessories--3 condenser sets, several neg masks in addition to the glass carrier, and a few other goodies--for around $200) and just use one for parts, or just get another, more common enlarger like a Beseler 23C or Omega D2 to replace the Philips.
Also, be sure you are inserting the filter holder correctly. The design is a little cryptic. The way it should work is that the panel below it that covers the condenser box is sprung. You have to push in that panel to grab the lip under the filter drawer that lets you pull it out. When you push in the drawer, be sure it goes all the way. If it's just bent, it shouldn't be too hard to straighten. Also, if you have the metal frame inside the drawer that holds a piece of heat absorbant glass, be sure that it isn't bent. The fit should be fairly tight. It's a well-designed enlarger with really no light leakage. Philips enlargers were considered to be really fancy in their day.
Not as convenient, but yet another option is to switch to under-the-lens filters, but for a public darkroom, this may not be such a good option, because it is harder to keep them clean in that situation.
Used darkroom equipment is cheap these days.
Hmm. I might see if the budget (universities dont tend to like spending money) can stretch to getting another secondhand enlarger then.
It's not that theres problems with using filters... its that it leaks light which would fog paper.We've just got a temporary solution of black card over the front at the moment.
I somehow completely missed your advice on straightening etc, there :) I'll try that stuff.. and maybe read properly next time.
Sorry, I edited my response right after posting it and added that bit in. You must have read it between posting and editing.