Fujimoto enlarger, anyone familiar with this one?
I've just started taking an interest in shooting film again. I was only planning to process negatives and scan them, but I was telling a friend of mine about my plans and he offered to give me a some darkroom equipment he had been storing for about 10 years. The crown jewel of the loot he gave me was this Fujimoto Enlarger. It looks like a 60 C-M model based on my google searching. I have not been able to find much info about it however.
Here are some shots of it.
I've cleaned it up a lot, but there is still some surface rust and stubborn dirt left to clean. It appears to work mostly OK. The lamp works. The color filters dial from 0 to 17 with measurement marks between. They do slide in and out from under the lamp. The timer is a little puzzling. The lamps turns on and off as it should, however the time, while consistent, isn't accurate. I don't suppose it matters that a setting of 15 seconds actually burns for 18 seconds as long as it is consistent. I will adapt.
I have some paper, chemistry and other basics arriving later this week and I'll start experimenting. I have printed photos before, but the last time was 1985 and it was in my high school darkroom. So, while I have a little experience, it is almost like starting brand new.
I would appreciate any wisdom anyone cares of offer, especially the kind that helps me learn without blowing through a fortune in consumables.
I'm new to this forum, but I have been paging through old threads trying to glean what I can. It's pretty daunting, there are lots of posts here.
I'm currently focusing on 35mm format while I re-learn what I'm doing, but I really want to work with 120 film starting with maybe a Holga, then maybe an inexpensive TLR such as a Yashica. I realize that at a minimum I'm going to need a new enlarger lens and negative carrier to work with 6 x 6 format. So any information about compatibility between my enlarger and others on the market would be greatly appreciated, I'm not having luck finding Fujomoto parts on the auction site.
Welcome Bruce, people wishing to return to film are always welcome!
I have Fujimoto as well (different model) and there is precious little information, spare parts or accessories to be had anywhere, including that auction site. Your enlarger is designed for colour enlargements, which is not to say it will not work well for B&W; I print exclusively B&W with mine. The three coloured dials are for adjusting colour balance in colour printing or in changing contrast grades in B&W printing - more red means more contrast, more yellow means less contrast. Blue can be used a primitive neutral density filter but I generally ignore mine. That said, I found a dedicated filter set more accurate than the dials and less risk of movement if doing any split grade printing (that's a different lesson). If you want to use the dials, most papers/paper developers have a set of numbers to follow for contrast control. They say if using a Bessler enlarger, grade 2 is 45 yellow and 23 red; if using a Leitz enlarger, grade 2 is 37 yellow and 65 red. Follow the instructions for Kodak enlargers (which are the closest), put it on grade 2 for a normal contrast and then it is experimentation from there.
As to not blowing a fortune on consumables, well, good luck with that. Enlarging is very much an art as opposed to a strict science and as such takes much practice to master. The only way to learn is to do it and make mistakes. If you can take a class from a local art guild or community college, or even find someone to mentor you along, it is never money wasted. Ansel Adams book "The Print" is essential reading as long as you realize he is Ansel Adams and you are not; yes he is the master but you do not have to try and copy everything he does. Rather glean as much as you can and make it your own, Adams was never about people slavishly adhering to his vision or his exact measurements/methods.
The step to larger negatives would need a different negative holder and a different enlarging lens to use your current enlarger. A good 80mm enlarging lens can usually be had for under $100 on the auction site but it pays to buy the best you can afford; a good lens will last a lifetime and nobody has every complained something was too well constructed. Negative holders for Fujimoto's are rarer than leprechauns holding hen's teeth; I am working on some cutting some stiff foam core to the necessary size and then placing glass on top to hold the negative in place. Hopefully I can get some better one's made shortly by a handy brother. Most other brands do not fit in the Fujimoto since rear of the holder has less room than other enlargers. A Yashica or Rolliflex is a great way to get into medium format on a budget. When you are ready to move up to something else, you will know it.
Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.
Hey, welcome to APUG. Check out Kodak & Ilford sites for some basic procedures to get yourself started. Post here for more help.
Congratulations and welcome. Your enlarger should work quite well for you. The three colors are yellow, magenta and cyan. You won't need Cyan except in the odd circumstance that your light is too bright (and that should really never happen). Cyan is only used for printing color slides. My assumption that your scale of 0-17 is actually 0-170. The actual correlation to published grades for a given paper is completely unnecessary. Add more magenta (that makes the light "less green") to increase contrast and add more yellow (that makes the light "less blue") to decrease contrast. There is lots of information about the hows and whys in books and on the web but this is a great place to start:
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Thanks for all the links and advice. I should have paper and chemistry tomorrow, so I get to start trying this out "hands on" soon.
I've just purchased the same enlarger on ebay and am going to collect it in a week or two! I've been in contact with the chap i bought it from and he has assured me that it will come with the full original instructions. Hopefully they will help to answer a few of the colour level questions. (I will scan them and post them online). There have been a number of these enlargers selling on ebay (uk) some of which have 120 neg carriers included. Perhaps you could get in contact with one of the sellers and request that you just buy the parts you need? I paid £50 for a full darkroom set-up which includes both 35 and 120 neg carriers, you could always buy a whole new enlarger keep the neg carrier and the re-auction what you don't need.
How are you getting on with the prints? Hope they are working out well for you.
After searching online i think i may have found you a Neg carrier- Halfway down the enlarger spares section. Hopefully they they wont have sold it yet!
Thanks for the reply. I was able to get my hands on the original manual and I've picked up some additional enlarger lenses. I've made a makeshift 120 negative carrier that works, but it difficult to deal with. I find myself printing test strips more often than trying to use the "computer" for exposure. I would still like to get my hands on a 120 carrier.
Sadly it's been months since I've been in the darkroom. My job has me traveling a lot these days and I haven't found the time. I'd love to hear about your experiences.
I shoot mostly 35mm and .45 ACP
Congrats on taking the plunge! Sounds like you have a decent kit to get started. As for the timer, as long as its consistant, dont worry about it not being accurate. Consistancy is far more important for reproducable results.
BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"