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  1. #1

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    LPL 7700 enlarger issues

    Hello, All,
    First, I just want to say that this is my first time to post here, but I've read a lot of the information posted and this is a great forum for darkroom lovers. And I also want to thank the member "firecracker" who discussed with me by PM a lot about this issue and the Fuji 690 enlarger as an alternative. He was very helpful!

    Now, about the 7700. I've read that another person here posted with a siimilar problem, and that is when I lock down the head it moves over to one side slightly. Actual head movement is very small, but on the easel the image moves about a centimeter or so. I've taken the head apart and looked at the design. Basically the handle just pushes on one side of the column and on the other side is a plastic wheel which counteracts this. I've tried shimming all the column wheels and that did take much of the movement out of the system, but it created the side effect of too much friction and the head then would not move so easily. Because the locking handle is not exactly centered the movement is uneven and seems to cause alignment issues. Frankly, aligning everything for each negative is also too much trouble for me.

    If I lived in North America I would just buy an enlarger with alignment features built in, such as an Omega D5 or Beseler VXL. Unfortunately, in Japan such enlargers are very difficult to find, expensive, and I also have space issues since my apartment is small at best.

    Is the 7700 just a bad design? Or, is there something that can de done? If anyone has any ideas or would like to discuss alternatives, please chime in.

    Regards,
    Nigel.

  2. #2

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    My name is Nigel and I have a C7700...



    When you say 'lock down the head' I presume you mean the column lock for raising/lowering the head. Mine wiggles a little but then so does any other enlarger I've owned (not that many!). However, I ask, why does it worry you? As long as the head (the lens in actual fact) is square with the paper then does it matter? You need to size image, position easel and then focus after locking the column secure anyway.

    Cheers, Nige

  3. #3

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    g'day I totally agree with Nige, my System 7700 Pro does not noticably move when locked, but does it matter

    surely depth of field will over come any slight mis-alingment

    anyway have you made prints, does it effect focus or cause any other noticeable defects?

  4. #4

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    Hello,
    I've got a truly magnificent FUJI CSD690 enlarger with the same construction, and it looks like there's only one way to keep things straight: not to overtighten the handle. It's made with good precision, so the mechanism catches on the column without too much torque at all. I just know the amount of tightening needed to fix the head, and I've never got any issues with misalignment yet - judging by my prints. You need to tighten it just to the moment when the head stops moving, that's it.

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=Nige]My name is Nigel and I have a C7700...

    Whoa...that is odd. I guess people call you by the same shortened nickname as me.

    Well...I don't really mean that it wiggles. When you lock it down, and yes I mean the column lock, it tweaks slightly at an angle. Ya I don't do the final focus until it's locked, but what this all means is that it seems almost impossible to align this thing. Definitely can't seem to get it all completely in focus in each corner. I've tried the 2 mirror method as well as the usual levels and I have a Peak grain focuser that I use to check for focus across the easel . At university I used an Omega Prolab and even the smaller LPL enlarger, both seemed to lock better.
    I guess I could paint a little white dot on both the handle and the head so that the locking pressure would always be even, but I find that...well...a little cheesy.

    Thanks for all the input so far guys!

  6. #6
    RJS
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    Not being familiar with your machine I wonder if it is necessary to lock the head in place. Could you do your compsing, focusing etc. with the head unlocked and then just leave it that way? Turning the light on and off should not disturb anything. Just wondering.

  7. #7
    RJS
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    I wonder if it would be possible to just leave it unlocked? Do your composing, focusing etc. that way and then make your exposure. Turning the lighton andoff should not cause any movement. Just a question. I'm not familiar with your machine, but all those I have used with carriage/focusing locks didn't really need them as long as I avoided potholes and drove less than 40mph.

  8. #8

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    Yes, I guess I could leave it unlocked. It seems that it stays at the set level with no trouble, although it is not quite as stable. I'll have to check to see if it stays in alignment without locking at any point on the column. Potholes in the the darkroom really suck! I'll try to avoid those. I only wish the people in the upstairs apartment would do the same.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions!



 

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