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  1. #1

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    LPL 4500 Alignment Woes

    So my trusty LPL 4500 enlarger has started going out of alignment a lot. I'll resize something and side to side alignment is toast.

    I've discovered the means of aligning the lens stage, but I'm wondering what long-lasting fix there might be. I got and used this enlarger for years because of their reputation for being "permanently" aligned and was not disappointed for years, but now this is just as bad as my Beseler was. I've tightened my column to baseboard screws and the problem has not gone away.

    I'm using this for 35mm and 120 negs only these days, and when I even go from making contact sheets with 60cm of height to making 8x10" prints with 36cm of height with the same lens the enlarger will be off slightly. Every time I move to making 16x20" prints I have a machine way out of alignment, whether I change the lens or not.

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
    I've discovered the means of aligning the lens stage,.
    Unless the baseboard and column are way off, alignment of negative stage and lens stage should be sufficient. The higher the magnification, the more precise the lens and negative have to be aligned and the more leeway there is in the baseboard alignment.

  3. #3

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    Hello !
    You told us that this enlarger has been used for many years.
    Have you considered the fact that the head guidance system on the column could have suffered and, giving more play than planned, allow the head to bend towards you, thus destroying alignment. Also, the negative carrier path may be worn and also be "less square" than it should.
    I do not know the construction of the LPL, but as LPL is a reputable make of high quality enlargers, you should be able to correct the play and/or replace the worn guidance pads to restore a proper operation...
    This is, of course, only a theory, as I do not know your enlarger but IMHO is worth a check.
    You've a fine piece of gear so worth a refurbishing !

  4. #4

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    The wheels for head to column guidance do seem like a possible cause. Thanks. I'll see what I can find for parts.

    I don't mind having to align an enlarger every now and again, but every time I change the size is a bit much.

  5. #5

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    KHB Photografix in Canada stocks parts, as do Omega-Satter (as you might expect). Both were very responsive when I did email queries about getting my power supply repaired a while back.
    I've seen references in here about KHB doing alignment servicing.

  6. #6

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    Yes KHB will get my first email. I've found Omega less than helpful in the past.

  7. #7
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    Do you have the top of the column bolted to the wall? There is an optional assembly that allows this. I have not used my 4550 (taller column) in a couple of years, having gone to larger formats, but that would be a route I would consider. My floor mounted Durst 138S converted to 8x10 negatives was bolted to the concrete block wall and then aligned. It does not wander.

    John Powers

  8. #8
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Have you checked your easel?..EC

  9. #9
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclarke View Post
    Have you checked your easel?..EC
    Good point Evan. I have an old Saunders 24x24 easel that had bowed in the center. Before we could get alignment we had to shim it up with cork strips glued to the bottom.

    John

  10. #10

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    Well spoke with Kevin at KHB today, and once again found them to be one of the most helpful outfits there is. He took his time and walked me through the process of adjusting the side to side alignment after making sure that really was what was wrong. Makes me glad I get anything for my enlarger from them.

    There are two screws on the left side of the carriage which can loosen over time. Simply tightening them will bring everything back to square by eliminating the play in the carriage to column connection. Aaaah.

    Thanks to all for replies. My easel was the first thing I changed in hopes of alignment- great minds think alike. I'm looking into the wall mount too, but I'm not sure it will work in my space.

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