Enlarger woes

Joined
Apr 2, 2008
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I've been out printing tonight, and found out the reason for somethingg that's been bugging me for a while: I sometimes get a rippling, grainy sort of pattern near the edges of a print if there is a somewhat even area like a sky. Especially with large prints, that I do on a second enlarger that's bigger than my usual one (I always do two prints at a time so I can do one while the other is in the fixer). Two weeks ago I found out the pattern goes away if I use an 80mm in the big enlarger. Printing 12x16 means the head is at almost all the way at the end of its reach making it a ***** to focus (need to really stretch ot be able to look through the grain finder and turn the focus knob at the same time). So I really want to print with a 50mm, but all including my 'new' Nikkor 50/2.8 give the pattern.

So, to get to the point, the pattern comes from the anti-newton glass. I tried with normal glass on top of the negative instead of the anr and the pattern went away. No newton rings in this print, but it just doesn't feel right printing like this.

It's stuff like this I hate about using a campus darkroom. And that make me want to splurge on a v35 and convert the storage room :smile:

Questions: Is this a common issues? Do I have the wrong anr glass? Am I ok without the anr? Does it make sense to use the 80mm instead?

PS. Although I'm slightly annoyed, I'd much rather deal with this than the issue I had to solve this week where my scanner wouldn't work anymore untill I reinstalled the vuescan I already had, then downloaded and installed the most recent vuescan, plugged the scanner into 6 different USB ports, rebooted a dozen times and did a little dance to make the computet gods happy. Must've done something wrong though cause now my keyboard's broken.... My day time job? Software designer and 'IT guy'. I should have enough computer-karma by now, but this **** follows me home man.

PPS. I should rename this post to "woes aplenty"
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
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Riverside, California
Did you try flipping the anr glass over and using it that way? The higher the enlarger head, the more prone it is to vibrations which can blur the print.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
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netherlands
Did you try flipping the anr glass over and using it that way? The higher the enlarger head, the more prone it is to vibrations which can blur the print.
Wouldn't that render the anr useless? Vibrations definitely are another reason I don't like the 80mm.

That does sound like a great idea, but what about film flatness? Or am I ok with 35mm?
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
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UK
There is no reason why you should not use non ANR glass if you do not get issues with Newton rings using it. A potential minus of using ANR is that it is possible that the depth of focus when stopped down is enough to bring the granular pattern of the glass into focus in your print.

Do you have 2 ANR glasses in the carrier, top and bottom? If so try with just one on top - generally the film will curl away from the non emulsion side and glass on top should flatten.

Glassless negative carriers are also worth trying but can cause issues particularly with 35mm due to flatness. Another issue may be the negative 'popping' due to the heat build up in the enlarger during exposure leading to curl and subsequent focus issues. Therefore it may help to make sure film is properly flattened prior to printing - maybe put between book pages for a few days prior (if you have that luxury!). It may also be helpful to make sure the neg. has warmed up in the enlarger prior to re focus and exposure.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
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Location
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There is no reason why you should not use non ANR glass if you do not get issues with Newton rings using it. A potential minus of using ANR is that it is possible that the depth of focus when stopped down is enough to bring the granular pattern of the glass into focus in your print.

Do you have 2 ANR glasses in the carrier, top and bottom? If so try with just one on top - generally the film will curl away from the non emulsion side and glass on top should flatten.
I guess that explains why I dont't see the pattern with the 80mm, the dof should be smaller then. I'm printing at f/8 most of the time, but going to 5.6 on the 50mm doesn't solve the issue.

Only one anr on top, regular glass below. I think I'm going to go with regular glass on both sides and just inspect closely for newton rings. I'm not going to fork out for a negative carrier for someone else's enlarger, and going glassless doesn't sound like a smart move anyway now that I've read about all the issues that's going to bring to the table.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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34,725
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Arizona
... That does sound like a great idea, but what about film flatness? Or am I ok with 35mm?
I never print with glass carriers, and never have an issue with the sharpness of the image. With the carriers I use the negative is supported on 4 sides and flatness is not an issue for 35mm OR two and a quarter. I always use f/8 or f/11, which is the aperture for which most enlarging lenses are designed.

ps, Koen, I spent yesterday in the darkroom as well. Earlier in the day I was getting crankier and crankier, but then all my cares and frustrations got dissolved in the fixer. I love it in there!
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
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388
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USA
Echoing Chris' suggestion: no glass holders.

Flatness is never an issue for me until about 6x7 negative size.

And I'm using a cheap (then and now) Vivitar enlarger. Lens quality and how straight your enlarger column matter more.
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
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No glass here either. Any negative carrier worth its salt provides enough flatness to not need glass. f8 and forget it.:smile:
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
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Hm, perhaps I should try. I see a Binema 35 set going on ebay that will work with the enlarger I'm using, but they're a bit high... Perhaps there will be some lying around at the cultural center, I'll have a look.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
34,725
Location
Arizona
Accessories for Focomats are known to be priced astronomically. Very well made though. The negative carriers for the LPLs I use at school have a habit of falling apart spontaneously. — And neither Omega (the manufacturer) nor B&H (the seller) consider it their responsibility to fix them.
 

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