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Thread: 8x10 Enlarger

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    akfotog's Avatar
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    8x10 Enlarger

    OK, so I'm thinking of buying an 8x10 setup. Developing film is simple enough, but I'm not quite sure about enlargements. My 4x5 enlarger won't do the job and although I've found an Elwood 8x10 enlarger here and there, the shipping to Alaska would kill me. Any suggestions? Has anyone had success making their own? Thanks in advance.
    akfotog


    Seneca/National 8x10, Cambo SCX 4x5, Tachihara Wood Field 4x5, Busch Pressman 4x5, Mamiya RB67 Pro SD, Hasselblad 500 C/M, Mamiya M645 1000S, Nikon F5, Nikon F100, Nikon F4S, Nikon FM2 Chrome.

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    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Depending on the 8x10 camera you end up with, you could just reverse the process and create some sort of setup that will relatively quickly and easily mount the camera for use as it's own horizontal enlarger.

    Much earlier in photography I think that was the norm. If one owned only a single lens, that lens did double-duty as both the taking lens and as the projecting lens. One advantage to this was that lens abberations often canceled out. For instance, if the lens had a noticeable edge falloff, this would automatically be compensated for when the direction of the image through it was reversed. However, today I would simply equip such a setup with a more modern enlarging lens.

    The biggest problem would be in creating an even, non-leaking light source on the back of the camera. And maybe some sort of negative holder. But that's not something that others haven't already successfully tackled, I would imagine. I have noticed that once in a while various 8x10 light sources (Aristo, etc.) do come up on the ugly auction site for relatively reasonable prices.

    Back in the heyday of handheld 4x5 press cameras, the Graflarger attachment worked using this principle.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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    akfotog's Avatar
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    Thanks Ken, will have to research that. Sounds feasible though if I can rig up some sort of negative holder.
    akfotog


    Seneca/National 8x10, Cambo SCX 4x5, Tachihara Wood Field 4x5, Busch Pressman 4x5, Mamiya RB67 Pro SD, Hasselblad 500 C/M, Mamiya M645 1000S, Nikon F5, Nikon F100, Nikon F4S, Nikon FM2 Chrome.

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    Old stat or process camera are quite common and can often be had for free. You're more likely to run into one of those up there, covered with
    cobwebs in the back room of some print shop, than an 8x10 enlarger per se. But you'd still need to fabricate the neg carrier and the light
    source.

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    David Brown's Avatar
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    Not to rain on your parade, but one of the reasons for shooting 8x10 is contact prints. For enlargements, you appear to already be set up for 4x5. I dare say you would not see much difference in enlargements between 4x5 and 8x10 until you got to prints that measured in feet! But hey, whatever floats your boat.

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    I can see the difference in an 11x14. Maybe the public can't. Besides, I if you had to defend yourself against a grizzly, wouldn't you prefer a
    nice big Ries tripod with spike feet and some mass at the other end?

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    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Contact prints from 8x10 negatives are amazing. And the equipment needed is so darned simple. You might consider this option, at least just to get started in that format.

    I use the 18x23x1-inch neoprene pad from my dry mount press, flipped over (black side up, yellow felt side down), as the underside support beneath my 4x5 enlarger. I place the negative/paper sandwich on top of that, then cover the sandwich with a 1/4-inch thick 18x23-inch heavy sheet of glass. The glass was cut and edge-beveled for safety by a local glass shop for just this purpose.

    The glass has a very, very light coating of clear hair spray applied to the side in contact with the negative. This provides a poor-man's anti-Newton ring capability that works perfectly. The offset space provided by the microscopic dried dots of spray are all that is needed to break up the rings. The dots do not show on the prints.

    Before exposure I routinely use a clean hand towel to bear down on the glass as I wipe away any smudges. This has the effect of gently "clamping" the sandwich together. Then I expose.

    That's it. The prints are (technically, at least) gorgeous.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    ...if you had to defend yourself against a grizzly, wouldn't you prefer a
    nice big Ries tripod with spike feet and some mass at the other end?
    Interesting. Not too many grizzlies around here, but if there were then assuming I could still (at my age) pick up my 810 Norma on Ser.5 aluminum Gitzo to use as a weapon then I'd seriously think about adding the long spikes to the 'pod.

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    It's not just the weight of the camera that's important. You see, an 8x10 has a much bigger bellows than a 4x5, so you can force out a lot more pepper spray. There are a few tricks to it, however. You don't want to clip the corners of your groundglass, or the pepper will come out
    towards you. You need to use a pinhole lensboard, and not a real lens, so the pepper will spray efficiently out the front. And of course, you
    need to appeal to the bear's sense of vanity by asking him to pose right in front of the camera, where the spray will have the most impact.

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