My Arms are too short

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rmolson

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I was checking out some negatives on my enlarger an Omega B22.The true test of whether a negative is really sharp is to blow it up and actually see if the detail is there.. A magnifier only tells you so much. However when the enlarger head is at maximum and I am focusing the image on the grain magnifier there is a slight problem .My arms are not long enough! .So I am looking for either an arm stretcher, which would probably be painful, or a different method of focusing at high magnification….any ideas?
 

3e8

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Not sure about your b series omega, but I know you can find flexible focusing extensions for the D-series and beseler enlargers. I've not seen any cheap ones, but they typically sell for about $125 on ebay. I've been thinking of getting one, but I've been holding out for a cheaper alternative.
 

Allen Friday

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I have the same problem with my enlarger. I have found that a 17 year old son works great. He moves the knob while I check the focus. I don't know what I'll do next year when he is off to college.
 

tkamiya

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I have what is called a "Magna Sight". It's similar to a grain focuser, but you are actually looking at a projected image rather than the grain themselves. You can easily see the image 1 to 2 feet away from this scope.
 

jeffreyg

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Check with a machine shop. Make a sketch of what you want. They are not usually expensive for simple jobs. I had a support for a long heavy lens made which was more complicated than what I suspect you might need for around $60.
 

MattKing

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Try a long piece of cord tied into a loop, and wrapped several times around the stem of the focus knob.

It should drape down to near the baseboard.

Focus as close as you can just by eye, then lean down, put tension on the loop of cord, and make the final fine adjustments using the cord.

You may have to experiment a bit to find a cord material that will work for you. Adding something like masking tape to the stem might help.

Don't forget to move the cord out of the light path before printing :smile:.

Matt
 

MartinP

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I am in Europe so the types of available enlarger are different, but my colour machine is a Czech Meopta and has a flexible extension for the focus-knob (spares still available new too). The condenser enlarger is an English De Vere, which has the head and focus wheels on the front of the baseboard - very convenient indeed. Probably most practical will be to find the focussing extension which was made for your Omega, as there must have been one. Otherwise some sort of jury-rig with Meccano (don't laugh!) and/or the flexible drive for a power-drill might do.

Naturally, if you solve the problem a photo and explanation would be very good to finish this thread :smile:
 

Jesper

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There are higher grain magnifiers.
Paterson makes one that is 35cm high. That should help a little.
With some training you will also get quite good at shifting between turning and checking (you need to be quick to have the previous image fresh in your memory).

Getting someone to help you is the better option though.
 

Bob-D659

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A foot long piece of wood like a paint stirrer attached to a cup that pushes onto the focus knob works as well.
 
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rmolson

rmolson

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son of a gun when I read the replies I realized I had had a Magnascop sitting in the attic. Never used it as it wasn't really a grain magnifier. Of course when I looked I remembered I had tossed it during a spring cleaning binge in the attic.Quick check on Ebay fixed that. Now that I know what it was designed for I'll hang on to it
 

richard ide

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One thing which helps is to always move into focus from the same direction rather than back and forth. If you go too far; back up and try again with smaller movements.
 

Sirius Glass

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I was checking out some negatives on my enlarger an Omega B22.The true test of whether a negative is really sharp is to blow it up and actually see if the detail is there.. A magnifier only tells you so much. However when the enlarger head is at maximum and I am focusing the image on the grain magnifier there is a slight problem .My arms are not long enough! .So I am looking for either an arm stretcher, which would probably be painful, or a different method of focusing at high magnification….any ideas?

I have the same problem with my Chromega 5D-XL.

Steve
 

ChuckP

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I use a piece of 1x2 wood about 2 ft long. A hole is drilled in one end the size of the focusing knob. Then a slot of wood is cut out in the middle from the hole to the long end. You put it on the knob and squeeze down to move the focus. Works Ok for me. I put a small piece of metal channel at the hole end for added strength.
 

aduncanson

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Arms Too Short

I just bought a 14" flexible shaft to extend the focusing nob of my 8x10 Elwood. The extension consists of the 14" flexible shaft and a 6" long 1/4-20 carriage bolt I found laying around with the Elwood's original focusing handle out at the end. With my 240mm lens, I can make a 3x enlargement without much difficulty, but I would need to look for a rigid section longer than my 6" carriage bolt to focus the largest enlargement the Elwood is capable of.

The flexible shaft came from www.sdp-si-com for ~$25, but watch out for their $4 handling fee plus $15 shipping cost. When I let them know that I thought that was unacceptable they refunded $7.50 to me. I'm happy.
 
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Once I made a clamp on device for the wheel and a 2 foot dowel.


Your next realization is enlarging lenses are made to work with in a certain range. If you get out of it, the lens will not perform and even a good neg looks bad. They also are made to be stopped down a little.


set up an 8x10 and use a magnifier or make test small 4x5 prints from selected areas
 

Vincent Brady

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I had the same problem and did my shoulder a lot of damage by constantly over reaching when the enlarger head was high. I did eventually invest in the taller Paterson grain magnifier and have not encountered the problem since. The mirror section of the magnifier is about 7" above the top of the printing frame.
 
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