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  1. #21

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    From Mr. Picker's Newsletters....

    I figured out a precise way to
    level an enlarger. You need a piece of glass
    about 3x14 inches and two unsharpened pencils.
    For the glass, a medicine cabinet shelf works
    well. First, replace the negative carrier with
    the glass. It should extend from left to
    right. Lower the head of the enlarger until a
    pencil fits snugly between one end of the
    glass and the easel or counter top. Lock the
    head at that height. Then feel with the pencil
    under the other end of the glass and adjust
    until the pressure on the pencil is even at
    both ends of the glass. Then turn the glass
    front to back, feel both ends with the pencil,
    and adjust. If you can't slide the glass right
    through, feel close to the head with the
    pencil and then farther out.
    Next, raise the enlarger head and press
    the glass up against the lens flange with the
    eraser end of a pencil. Focus down until the
    pencil feels snug between the lens and the
    easel or counter top. With another unsharpened
    pencil, feel out to the right, then to the
    left. Make the necessary adjustments.
    Check the lens stage front to back the
    same way. Your enlarger will now be perfectly
    aligned. No standing on chairs, no squinting
    at bubbles. With this method you not only
    become aware of how far your enlarger was off,
    you may learn that the alignment controls are
    difficult to control.
    John Bowen

  2. #22

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    Much obliged, John!

    I just tried it and the mirror method is a bit more convenient, but it verified that I am right on.

    The mirrors are much quicker for alignment checking after the initial alignment is complete.


    Fred
    Last edited by Fred Aspen; 05-15-2008 at 02:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #23

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    Precision Enlarger Alignment System_APUG

    This Precision Enlarger Alignment System_APUG description is a cut down version from a 1.18 Mb file for APUG.
    I can email the detailed version directly to anyone that is interested.
    Ken Kaiser
    Attached Files

  4. #24
    jstraw's Avatar
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    I'm going to give one of these a shot:

    http://www.zircon.com/products/level...erball360.html
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I'm going to give one of these a shot:

    http://www.zircon.com/products/level...erball360.html

    Hmmmm, don't think its any better than a spirit level.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob champagne View Post
    Hmmmm, don't think its any better than a spirit level.
    I don't plan to use it for leveling. It's a lazer. It's really cheap. I'm going to point it straight up and use a mirror to align first the neg stage then the lens stage.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I don't plan to use it for leveling. It's a lazer. It's really cheap. I'm going to point it straight up and use a mirror to align first the neg stage then the lens stage.
    And how do you know it will be pointing straight up?

  8. #28

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    The point of a laser alignment tool such as the versalab is that it guarantees that the laser is perpendicular to the base of the versalab and therefore perpendicular to any flat surface you place it on. It does not point straight up through gravity like a plumb bob.
    The name of the game with aligning your enlarger is getting parallelism between your easel and the film plane and the lens axis perpendicular to those parallel planes. The planes could be 1 deg out from a plumb bob, but providing they are parallel then that is what you want.

    That ball you are looking at is aligned using a normal spirit level. The laser just points at 90 degrees to the spirit bubble if it has been set accurately.
    Therefore it is only good for gravity vertical like a plumb bob. The way it seems to work is by moving the ball in its holder until the spirit level bubble is centred and that tells you that the laser is pointing straight up. But only for the direction the level is pointing. But what if your baseboard/easel is not level? Well straight up won't be perpendicular to your baseboard/easel which means you won't get parallelism with the negative plane. So you will have to set your baseboard with a spirit level.
    i.e. its no better than a normal spirit level because it doesn't work by giving the perpendicular axis to the surface it is resting on. And it is set using its own spirit level so it can't be any more accurate than a spirit level.

  9. #29
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob champagne View Post
    And how do you know it will be pointing straight up?
    By YOUR method!
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  10. #30
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob champagne View Post
    The point of a laser alignment tool such as the versalab is that it guarantees that the laser is perpendicular to the base of the versalab and therefore perpendicular to any flat surface you place it on. It does not point straight up through gravity like a plumb bob.
    The name of the game with aligning your enlarger is getting parallelism between your easel and the film plane and the lens axis perpendicular to those parallel planes. The planes could be 1 deg out from a plumb bob, but providing they are parallel then that is what you want.

    That ball you are looking at is aligned using a normal spirit level. The laser just points at 90 degrees to the spirit bubble if it has been set accurately.
    Therefore it is only good for gravity vertical like a plumb bob. The way it seems to work is by moving the ball in its holder until the spirit level bubble is centred and that tells you that the laser is pointing straight up. But only for the direction the level is pointing. But what if your baseboard/easel is not level? Well straight up won't be perpendicular to your baseboard/easel which means you won't get parallelism with the negative plane. So you will have to set your baseboard with a spirit level.
    i.e. its no better than a normal spirit level because it doesn't work by giving the perpendicular axis to the surface it is resting on. And it is set using its own spirit level so it can't be any more accurate than a spirit level.
    I plan on completely ignoring the spirit level on it. It may as well not have one. With it's mounting cup and some bluetack and your method, I will have the laser perpendicular to the base. I will attach the mounting cup to a piece of wood with a hole in the bottom that will fit over the spindle of a properly level turntable. When I'm done with your procedure, I will be able to move the wood base, mounting cup and the ball...all attached to one another and it won't matter if the base of the enlarger is level or not.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

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