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Gnome alpha enlarger

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by shadowreflection, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. shadowreflection

    shadowreflection New Member

    Hi. I am thinking about getting a Gnome alpha deluxe enlarger that comes with a dallmeyer lens, think its 31/4"(whatever this measure means).
    I have read that it was done for medium format, which is the format i wanna use.
    I would like to know if any of you have use this enlarger before and so if you can advise me about it. I tent to like old equipment becasuse it seems before things were made to last.
    would apreciate your knowledge.
    thanks
    Diego
     
  2. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    The Gnome Alpha is a fairly well known older enlarger using condenser illumination and almost certainly a 75W mains voltage enlarger lamp. (Opal glass with lamp details, Voltage, Watts etc. on the side of the glass envelope) Dallmeyer is the name of a once well known UK lens maker, and 3 1/4" is the focal length of the enlarger lens, around 80mm, and correct for 2 1/4" square.

    I've got a Gnome beta enlarger which is similar and has a larger film holder, 2 1/4" x 3 1/4", and uses a 105 or 110mm lens in probably a longer bellows.

    Both enlargers are fairly basic, and yours should give reasonable results, if used within its limitations. From memory, tilting of the negative (to correct converging verticals) is not an option, but if necessary you can raise one side of the paper easel a bit. Sharpness will suffer.

    Some Alphas had a form of correct-focus indication - a red(?) window by the side of the negative stage.

    Have fun.
     
  3. shadowreflection

    shadowreflection New Member

    Thanks a lot :)
     
  4. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    A Gnome of some sort was my first enlarger back in the early 80's. Just to add to what Malcolm said, make sure your enlarger is supplied with a set of condensers and spacers as required. IIRC The condensers should be about 100mm across for 6x6 and about 50mm across for 35mm I think they used double condensers separated with a black painted metal tube. Sorry to e a bit vague but it is almost 30 years since I used a Gnome enlarger.
     
  5. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    Do yourself a favour and get something more modern. Something with dial in filters. Durst are great and built to last of course there are others. Just can't think of them or correctly spell them to be honest. Gnome great in their day but come on, move on up
     
  6. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Zx9 is correct about the condensers - double lenses seperated by a black tube. I know, 'cos I have a Gnome in my bathroom!

    I haven't used it yet, but as I want something for my Box Brownie negs, I'm happy with it for a while. If you do decide you want to grade up, keep an eye on Eyoukowwhere - someone here bought a Leitz (ie Leica) enlarger for 50p not so long ago! It's a buyers market at the mo, so you may get decent kit at very low prices. And if you do, and you don't want a 150mm condenser......... :)

    Adrian
     
  7. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    If you only want to do black and white, stick with condensers. I've used dial in filtration in the past and while you can get very good results, my personal opinion is that prints made this way lack the separation in the dark tones that condenser systems give. Using MG filters is dead easy.
     
  8. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    You have got what should be a cracking lens with the Dalmeyer. Whilst it is a 50's make of lens so long as it is the coated variety it will not disappoint. I use a 105/4.5mm Dalmeyer enlarging lens on the end of bellows as a macro lens on both my film and Digital Nikons and it is really superb.

    I also agree with the posting about condenser enlargers so much better than diffusion with built in dial filters for multigrade papers.
     
  9. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    You have got what should be a cracking lens with the Dalmeyer. Whilst it is a 50's make of lens so long as it is the coated variety it will not disappoint. I use a 105/4.5mm Dalmeyer enlarging lens on the end of bellows as a macro lens on both my film and Digital Nikons and it is really superb.
     
  10. PeteE

    PeteE Well-Known Member

    My first 'enlargement' was done at the East Ham Grammar School Photo-Soc. on a Gnome Alpha enlarger with a simple lens which had only two 'stops' F11 and f16 so it was very dark! It was put into a cupboard in the Physics Lab. I did a Half Plate enlargement of my MUM standing in the garden, from a 6x9cm format Brownie Hawkeye Box Camera on Kodak Bromide WSG single weight processed in Home-Made print developer, and I took it home wet between two sheets of School Graph Paper -- it's in my album, still with the green lines on it from the graph paper -- that must have been about 1952 I did that !
     
    luisconde likes this.
  11. luisconde

    luisconde New Member

     
  12. luisconde

    luisconde New Member

    PeteE good to find you here. I have a Mamyia Press Super 23 and watched your video on YouTube about it. We shared some messages trough Flickr a while ago. I know that you know lots of things about analog equipment so here my question about this Enlarger Gnome. I want to have an enlarger to print 6x9 (from my Press) and I saw a few Gnomes for sale. In order to enlarge with a negative 6x9 the Gnome really needs to have a different condenser? (and of course the carrier/mask)? I assume that should be a bigger size than the 35mm condenser? The carrier is the same as the 35mm and we just need to adjust the mask in it or is it a different negative carrier? Thanks PeteE.
     
  13. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    When I had a dark room I had a Gnome but always wanted a Durst.
     
  14. PeteE

    PeteE Well-Known Member

    luisconde: yes you need a bigger enlarger to cover 6x9 format with much bigger condensers -- not readily available nowadays maybe . My Japanese LPL C7700 Pro does cover 6x9 at a pinch and it has a 'diffusion light source' . I had to remove the 'masks' as they were for 6x7 format.
     

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