A professional darkroom upgrade (circa 1985)

I had a lovely conversation yesterday with a retired gentleman, aluminium fabricator and camera enthusiast, who sold me his super-professional (and minty) 4×5″ enlarger for around 2% of its original (1985) cost – usual story, used to print all his own beautiful stuff – wandering around Australia with an Arca-Swiss view camera et al, but now photographs the Tawny Frogmouths in the backyard on a dSLR, and fiddles with them on the computer instead. Still, he knows an thing or two, and we surely could have chatted for hours and hours and hours. Turns out he makes the aluminium parts for the “Razzledog” modified old Polaroid cameras. It is a small world.

Anyways, he’d had this beast wall-mounted, so I had to fabricate a new baseboard for it, and duly spent some pennies at the (slightly rip-off) little hardware shop in the city on M8 bolts (It’s Italian – so everything’s metric).

But once installed in the darkroom/laundry – what a magnificent beasty – a control system that looks like a Commodore 64, and a colour lamp head – ripper – dial-in contrast control for b&w so I can throw/give away all my old filters (already found a home for the old enlarger!).

Fairly soon it’ll be time to start printing 2011 calendars (I’ve been making home-made art-print calendars for 5 years now!), and this should make them much easier – once I’ve figured out how to calibrate it (thank goodness he managed to find the manual).

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