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  1. #1
    Krzys's Avatar
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    Enlarger light leaks

    I am new to the darkroom aspect of photography and after my first session of printing last night it is obvious that my Krokus 3 enlarger leaks a lot of light, painting the ceiling and walls like a disco ball from the circular vents at the top. This obviously fogs my prints horribly and I remedied this by covering the head with my dark bag for shot periods of time. I still however get leaks from the cracks in between the carriers and the enlarger. I hear that this is a common problem but information is somewhat vague. Should I get some kind of lightproof tape or foam and seal up all of the cracks? Will this cause it to overheat or is it safe?

    Excuse my lack of knowledge as I have not lurked here for any considerable amount of time. I'm happy to provide more details on the enlarger and room setup.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Dear Krzys,

    Personally, I wouldn't be blocking the cooling vents. Instead, paint your ceiling and nearby wall area a flat black. If painting is an issue, build a temporary tent using black cloth. I solved a similar problem by hanging flocked roll mulch from the local garden center.

    Neal Wydra

  3. #3
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Try putting a lens cap on the enlarger lens, then with the safelight off, turn the enlarger on. After putting black tape on all the obvious holes, put a mirror where the paper normally goes and tape over all the holes around the enlargers lens board. Once you think your done, sit in the dark with all the lights turned off for about five minutes, turn on the enlarger again with the lens covered, and plug up the last of the holes you didn't notice before.

    It's amazing how much light an enlarger pukes out!

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  4. #4
    RobertV's Avatar
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    I wouldn't blocking all cooling vents. Standard the Krokus is equipped with a 150W opal bulb so it can run hot.
    The model Krokus 3(=from Poland) is BTW known for excessive false light. So the best is to paint your ceiling and nearby wall area or use black cloth in that area.

  5. #5
    Paul VanAudenhove's Avatar
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    Another solution is construct a teepee like affair with the base covering the baseboard and the top positioned at the lens. You can use an opaque cloth or plastic. It won't solve the light leaks, but it will prevent fogging the paper during exposure and won't block the cooling vents of the enlarger.

  6. #6

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    Are you leaving an opened package of paper around when the enlarger is switched on? Don't do that. One sheet at a time.
    Frank Schifano

  7. #7
    Krzys's Avatar
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    Take more than one piece of paper out? Preposterous!

  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    To check the effect of light leaks make a test like a safelight test:
    1. expose the paper for a light grey tone with no negative in the enlarger;
    2. place a coin on the paper;
    3. cover the lens and turn on the enlarger for your longest exposure time;
    4. if you can't see the coin outline in the developed print then all is OK.


    The effect of stray light increases with exposure time due to dense negatives and very large prints. The larger the print the more important it is to keep stray enlarger light to an absolute minimum. Ansel Adams seems to have suffered this effect when he made mural prints - he was bedeviled with fogged highlights and/or a lack of solid black caused by underexposing in order to try and keep the highlights clear.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krzys View Post
    Take more than one piece of paper out? Preposterous!
    Hey, I've seen people do stranger things. You never know.
    Frank Schifano

  10. #10
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Test as already suggested - it may look like a lot of light but in practice may not be an issue. Also as suggested, don't block the air vents...

    If it is a problem and you don't want to, or can't, paint the walls, use black cloth or black cartridge paper held on the wall with blu-tack etc.

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