Downsizing and enlarging

A couple of years ago I sold my 5×4 Durst enlarger, and had been making the occasional contact print when needed for Bromoils by just turning on the studio white light for a few seconds and then off again. Not the most accurate of techniques but it worked well enough, sort of.

Of late I’ve been thinking I need to regain some of that control an enlarger brings. I was kindly offered a 6×6 enlarger by Bernd although it was in Germany. Thanks to the wonderful pre Brexit European collodion network, it was collected by Katy and Jurl on route to ECW from Estonia, and then carried across the channel to me by Andy Moo Pa. I collected a month or two later at the UK collodion weekend.

I’ve had to move the vacuum print frame out of the darkroom to make the enlarger fit (I’ll need to move the sink 90 degrees to get the print down frame back in.) Also I had to purchase an enlarger timer (and surprisingly those aren’t cheap on ebay)

Today I managed to put it all together and make sure it all works. I even managed to squeeze a quarter plate neg in the head to see how large it enlarged. you can see it projected onto the base.

A couple of quick prints from an ambrotype (used as a neg) and a paper negative and all seems well.

Contact print – Grade 3 Glossy from a collodion positive on glass used as a negative.
Contact print – Multigrade paper (no filters) so Grade 2ish from a wholeplate paper negative

Although I do now regret selling all my spare enlarger printing kit like multigrade filters and printing easels. If anyone has any knocking around, please let me know.