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Sunday, 04 February 2024

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Somehow I have ended up with four enlargers two I bought and two gifted to me. They are a Durst L1000 and a Focomat Ic both of which I bought and an Omega B22 XL and a Besler 23cxl dual dichro which were given me.
I like them all but the 23c suits my current needs to a tee. It came with a collection of carriers and 50 and 105mm Nikor lenses.
Over the years, I made my first print in 1962, I have used a lot of enlargers from Federal coffee cans to that Leitz gem.
They all made nice prints but the 23c is my go to machine. It is rugged and very easy to keep aligned so I guess it's the best for me.
There was a time when you could start a fistfight over the best enlarging lens but I suspect those days are behind us.

Film photography is growing, at least here I the UK. In addition, many colleges still have analogue photography in their curriculum. I think that it's similar to the upsurge in vinyl records. There is a desire to return to a more hands on experience. Ilford are doing well selling their films and papers, which were always amongst the best.

At first I was pretty upset that the expertise gained from years of printing experience was going to be lost, but change is inevitable. I still have a darkroom and I hope to get it working again (it's a junk room now) just to show my grandchildren the magical process.

Long ago, you and I encountered one of these beasts at Oak Park Camera, and one of us remarked “Darth Vader’s enlarger.” That still holds true: what a menacing piece of equipment!

I saw a sign on a pick-up the other day that showed the typical pattern on a manual gearshift knob and said "millennial anti theft device".

I know next to nothing about how commercial labs work but it's my understanding that for colour printing it's normal to use scanned negs and then "expose" photo paper using a non-optical path (e.g., Durst Lambda?) I believe that's also how they process "chromogenic" (is that the word?) B&W, like XP2.

As an aside, I have never gotten a chromogenic B&W print that I liked, there's always some tint present. Instead I've digi-scanned XP2 negs and printed them myself on an inkjet.

Has anyone ever made a similar contraption for traditional silver-based B&W workflow? I'm not sure if there is any point to this but was curious if anyone has tried.

Look I what I've just spotted!
https://realcamera.co.uk/product/leitz-leica-focomat-iic-colour-black-white-6x6-6x7-6x9-35mm-enlarger-with-60-100mm-lenses/

Ray

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