Replacing Enlarger Head with DSLR??

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by yessammassey, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. yessammassey

    yessammassey Member

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    I have seen a setup where a user had taken their Durst M301 enlarger, disassembled the enlarger head down to a thread mount that they attached to a tripod head and were thus able to mount and run a DSLR up and down the support column for digitizing film.

    This was a while back and I can't find the original thread (or even remember which forum/website I saw it posted in). Has anyone here ever done something like this?

    Does anyone here have any recommendations as to which enlargers would be most easily reconfigured for this purpose? To be completely clear: I don't want to adapt an enlarger lens to my DSLR. (that seems to be what turns up in most searches with the relevant keywords)

    I want to find an enlarger, take the head apart, and fit a DSLR in where the head attaches to the support column, using as few extra parts as possible. I will be attaching a DSLR with it's own macro lens. The enlarger lens will be taken off along with the enlarger head and will not be used in any way.

    I've seen some other guides to the same effect, but they involve cutting & fastening some wood to 'adapt' the tripod head to the enlarger, and that doesn't seem all that reliable or precise to me.
     
  2. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    Before I got my MP-4 I used to use a Durst M-601, there's a knob at the back, usually used to secure the head in either a vertical (normal) position for printing and horizontally for wall projection. Loosen it a bit more and pull the head off in one piece, no other disassembly required. The post has a 3/8-16 thread which a standard enlarger stud or piece of "all-thread" will fit and then you can mount a small tripod head. Durst used to make a sleeve that fit over the enlarger post and slid right on, replacing the enlarger head but that accessory is rather hard to find.
     
  3. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Essentially you are looking for an enlarger that was designed to be adaptable for use as a copy stand.

    The Durst examples referred to above would be good choices.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Enlarger columns are excellent for making copy cameras, I used a De Vere 45a enlarger frame/column with a De Vere monorail mounted on it for a decade.

    Look at the De Vere solution they use a colour head as a light box and a camera back where a head would normally sit.

    Ian
     
  6. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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  7. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    kaiser enlargers have copy head attachments available. you just unlock the enlarger head, remove it, slot in the copy attachment, lock it and away we go.
    not cheap though (i got mine for nothing on freecycle :D)
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    On the smaller Dursts the head is secured with a tripod screw. Usually 3/8 but, you'll probably want the camera out from the column some, so you can mount a tripod head that has a 3/8 mount to the column then mount the camera on the head. A ball head is the easiest to deal with but a pan-tilt head would do. My little Durst M600 is more or less permanently a copy stand.
     
  9. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Omega B22 (and others) had an attachment that took a T-mount for almost any sir lens mount. It's why I've kept one all these years even though I don't print with it.

    http://store.khbphotografix.com/Copy-Camera-Adapter-for-Omega-B22-B66-B600-and-C700-Enlargers.html

    However, for this application, all you need is a copy stand. No need to re-construct a perfectly good enlarger.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    yessammassey

    yessammassey Member

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    All great help. I have more choices than I knew. I figured there had to be more out there than just the Durst 301, and now I know exactly how that one (or the 601) would work. Much appreciated.
     
  11. Luis-F-S

    Luis-F-S Subscriber

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    Leitz made a copy stand from a Valloy II head and column.
     
  12. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    The M301 and the M501 both have very "doable" conversions that go about it in two completely different fashions.
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    I made a copy stand from an M-601. It was a little floppy for high magnification work. I eventually replaced it with an MP-4 stand. Unfortunately the MP-4 camera mount adapter is hard to find and can be pricey.
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had my M601 enlarger wall mounted and later mounted at the back of a drop table bench, in both cases I used a brace piece to stop vibration. This was quite simple just a piece of angled steel screwed to the wall that came out far enough then slotted, I used a long bolt I could tighten to to a rubber pad on the top of the column to brace it, this also allowed any alignment correction. Very cheap and simple but worked perfectly allowing the head to reach it's maximum height.

    Ian
     
  16. OP
    OP
    yessammassey

    yessammassey Member

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    Okay, so the M601 seems like the most popular solution here. I think I grasp how to convert it into a copy stand for my DSLR (with its own Canon lens). I'm pretty sure it will be more stable than the setup I have right now. Just about anything would be. If I go that route, I'll just have to find or fabricate something to make it more stable if necessary. I guess I'm still not clear on exactly how an M301 would need to be modified. I had assumed they were fairly similar. Still, I've seen the results from someone using an M301 for this kind of application and they seemed just fine. I certainly wouldn't mind having a functional enlarger to go along.

    The Devere and Kaiser stuff looks sweet but I'm afraid I've only budgeted about $150 max for this, based on the price points I've been seeing on older used enlargers.

    There are some real 'value priced' copy stands available on the 'bay, but their maximum extension is only 12", which will be too short with the macro lens and light pad. The next step up in functionality is pushing into the hundreds of dollars, so converting a Durst is looking more and more like the way I will go. Thanks for the answers.
     
  17. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    If you need a picture I could put mine back into copy stand mode. The M601 head slides onto a post that is fixed to the carriage. The M301 head is attached to the carriage with a 1/4-20 knob. I'm busy today but should be able to do tomorrow.
    .
     
  18. NJH

    NJH Member

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    I managed to find one of these attachments for my LPL7700, cost me a daft amount of money but it seems an ideal solution for the occasional copy work rather than having a dedicated copy stand cluttering up the place.

    Interestingly it prompted me to check the alignment of the enlarger and I could only get it right by pulling the head out a 1/4 inch or so such that it can bet twisted (like for doing perspective correction) then carefully tightening it down again with the bubble level sat on it, didn't expect that as one would assume it would all be straight when slotted into the 'home' position.
     
  19. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    Why getting in all this fuss to scan films? Wouldn't it be easier to use bellows and some slide/film copier holder to do it?
     
  20. NJH

    NJH Member

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    35mm at low resolution yes but 120?
    Also one can stitch to make enormous scans, I have a 60D and a 1:1 macro lens which opens up the possibility for really enormous stitched image files from 120 film.
     
  21. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    I have a very old LPL 35mm enlarger I bought in high school for $100 including two lenses.. The enlarger head attaches to the column with a 1/4-20 bolt. I have used it many times as a copy stand.
     
  22. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

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    OP, you are referring to my setup, here: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/mdarnton/7183241686/

    I chose the Durst because it moves straight up and down, avoiding the reframing problem of diagonally-moving enlargers such as Omega, and having a precise gear drive unlike many of the other options . Since I only do 35mm this way, I have moved on to a Nikon bellows and slide duping setup using a 63mm f2.8 el-Nikkor, a superior lens to everything but a Rodagon-D for this job, and a better camera, where the difference is obvious.

    The M601 would be an equally good choice, but at the time I was able to buy a complete 301 for $25.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    This is the current Kaiser repro-range that is built around an enlarger collumn:
    http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/en/produkte/2_1_sortiment.asp?w=287

    (They have got other repro stands too, based on different collumns.)
     
  24. AgX

    AgX Member

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    For negative or slide copying one can place the colourhead on the base plate put in the negative/slide and use it as tunable light source with the copy camera mounted at the enlarger collum.
     
  25. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    The 100W halogens the kaiser uses throw out a lot of heat. I'm not sure I'd want to have the head upside down like that for an appreciable length of time -- as they are not designed to dissipate heat in that position, surely?
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Interesting remark. Yes, that should be something to look into when using an enlarger head upside down.

    Kaiser makes a special holder to put their one upside down. As far as I remember the lamphouse is designed in a way that it dissipated heat a similar way upside down. Turned upside down they offer a grill to cover the now open slot of the lamphouse.
     
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