I have thought of something like this for a few years but haven't acted unpon it yet. I can think of 2 different approaches. First, I could use a very old and solid medium format enlarger I bought at a garage sale for $12 and use the base and columb. I'd remove the medium format light source, condensers, negative stage and lens stage, and mount an old Burke and James view camera in their place, and build a light source box to illuminate the negative held by a modified sheet film holder. This would yield a traditional styled enlarger.

The other way at this problem is a horizontal arrangement of the lightsource box/view camera with no baseboard or columb, and to simply line this up with a vertically held piece of photographic paper. The enlargement is contolled by simply moving the 2 units closer or farthur apart. Obviously there would be some alignment concerns that would have to be addressed, perhaps with a track that one or the other unit could follow.

I prefer this second approach for its simplicity and flexibility and for the fact that the negative would be held by the film carrier up on edge so no sagging is induced by the position of the negative. A drawback would be the large footprint of this contraption, but it need not be a permanent installation, rather, a collection of units to be assembled as the need arises.

Because I'm poor and cheap, I would look for an adaptation for the light source as well. Sure a cold light head would do the trick, but so would a commercially available large format enlarger! Heat would be a problem with incandescent lights. Has anyone ever tried flourescent tubes? A sheet of milk plexiglass could farther difuse the light source and prevent hotspots.

What do you think? Just contact print, right?