Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
The problem that I envisioned with Lynn's system is in the area of the negative stage and negative carrier. The information that he provided did not address the matter of the negative stage being immovable and I also was bothered by the fact that the negative carrier wasn't specific to my enlarger.
If I remember correctly, you have the 4550 XLG, which has the same negative stage as the 4500 II. Let me say that the negative carrier frame is locked quite securely in place when you flip the lever. In fact, once you lock the negative carrier 'frame' in place, it does not move. Yes, you can move it if you push hard enough, but if you're doing that sort of movement to the enlarger, you've got other things to worry about.

Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
Additionally at that time he offered an over the counter paper punch as a film punch. The punch that he offered is not a machined item, they are rather a stamped production item and not subject to a great deal of integrity insofar as precision is concerned. I have found that absolute repeatability is required when degree of enlargement becomes great.
Admittidly, the punch is a mass produced item, but in my experience, the punch and supplied pin strip/negative holder are in perfect registration. I have a print of a tree I tried to work with (unfortunately, not even masking could save this one!), with lots of leaves - there was no shadowing/double images on the leaves, which to me indicates that registration is pretty good, if not exact.

Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
In my masking I most usually remove and reinstall negatives and masks many times in producing a print. I am quite obviously not in competition with Lynn Radeka since I don't sell a competitive system. I try to spend money for valid reasons, as well. I researched the matter thoroughly and had valid reasons for taking the approach that I did. Those reasons were greater precision.
My personal feeling is that the kit would have worked just as well as your solution, but then again, perhaps it wouldn't have. All I can say is that it works very well for me, and works very well in my enlarger. Obviously, if you've spent over $1000, you must certainly believe that your setup warrants it. So, everybody's happy! :-D