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  #1  
Old 12th December 2023, 08:59 PM
Jolyon Jolyon is offline
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Default Hello from Limoges

Hello,
I am from Limoges in the middle of France where I am, for my sins, a member of a photo club devoted to digital images. (This has advantages because I have been given 3 boxes of out of date Ilford paper by one member and will probably acquire the old club enlarger, a Durst M370, which is occupying much needed space. Don't laugh, it's better than what I have at present!)

I was given my first camera, a Kodak brownie Vectra, when I was 8 years old and first started developing in my teens. One of my school teachers had blackout boards to convert his office into a darkroom. There followed a break when photography passed by the stage commercial developing before I eventually signed up for evening classes in the early 80's. After that I acquired my own equipment, enlarger and tanks etc. as well as my first slr, a Cosina CT1G (which I still use, much battered and no metering). Soon after I bought a Mamiya C33 and developed a love of bigger negatives.

After moving to France in 1990 I continued for a little while before giving the enlarger to a friend (on loan but we have since lost contact!). The inevitable move to digital came in 2004. I had to take photos for guarantee claims at work and the work camera was always either pinched by one of the reps or out of batteries so I got fed up with this and bought a cheap digicam. The C33 was rotting in the basement so I gave it to my daughter and we continued with various digital compacts doing family snaps.

Finally a few years ago we found a cheap slide scanner in a jumble sale and I started back into film photography by scanning family slides from the 60's, following on to negatives (b&w and colour). This started the idea that I could take photos on film, develop and finish by scanning. After retirement my wife saw a notice in the library for the photo club and I joined (but the timescale for the monthly subjects doesn't allow me much chance of entering film photos), partly because discussing pictures is always interesting regardless of the taking process. Finding that film and chemicals could be found on the web has helped boost me back into taking pictures. I really am not a digital photographer; it isn't too apparent but there's just as much processing in digital as there is in film when one gets involved and for non-geeks like me Photoshop leaves me a bit frozen (so I don't use it; the subscription would buy a lot of film and chemicals!). I still do a lot of digital (too much, it's too easy to keep pressing that button!) but my first love is really not even taking photos but printing them! My current enlarger is a Durst F30 (or rather bits of two of them). Having cannibalised two to make one I then took the Dremel to the rests to make a 6x6 head! Not brilliant but it works. No darkroom just a basement kitchen shared with three cats and blacked out with a couple of curtains but in spite of the hairs and the dust I still have fun. My wife might be regretting showing me that notice!

As for the scanner - quality terrible but it does give an alternative to contacts for choosing which negs to play with, probably quicker and less fuss because setting up is so much easier (at least in my case).
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Old 15th December 2023, 12:06 AM
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Bob Bob is offline
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Welcome aboard Jolyon. Sorry, but it took a couple of days to get your post visible but that is fixed now...

Hacking two Durst F30s to make a 6x6 enlarger is dedication!

Cheers, Bob.
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Old 15th December 2023, 05:09 AM
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BuzzNL BuzzNL is offline
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Welcome!
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Old 15th December 2023, 07:51 AM
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MartyNL MartyNL is offline
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Hello and a very warm welcome to the forum.
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Old 15th December 2023, 08:49 AM
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David Lingham David Lingham is offline
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Welcome
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www.davidlingham.uk
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  #6  
Old 15th December 2023, 09:58 AM
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B&W Neil B&W Neil is offline
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Good to have you here and I look fortward to your contributions.

Neil.
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Old 15th December 2023, 12:44 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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That's quite a story and a roundabout route to get where you are now Jolyon!

But welcome to the forum.

Terry S

PS I too know all about photo clubs that now only do digital, having belonged to one for a while. They mainly consider and discuss prints made in the darkroom as inferior and before knowing say how easy it would be to do this and that in PS... Finally enough was enough and I never went back, much preferring the chat on here.
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Old 15th December 2023, 07:28 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Welcome to the forum Jolyon. We're 100% analogue here so you've come to the right place

Mike
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  #9  
Old 15th December 2023, 11:39 PM
Jolyon Jolyon is offline
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Thank you all for that kind welcome. I hope I will be able to make a useful contribution from time to time.

The enlarger story has advanced a bit since my first post. I am now the proud owner of a Durst M370 BW which is missing its filter drawer (which is no problem since I don't currently have a set of filters to put in it and I do have 3 boxes of fixed grade paper that I am working my way through. Black gaffer tape is wonderful stuff!). My 105mm Schneider lens on its support fits right in (32mm thread so this is a big plus) and I have the 50mm Rodenstock that came with it for 35mm stuff. Next thing to do is fit up a switch since it is wired to plug into a timer (and I prefer a switch and counting myself - but that's just as well since I don't have a timer!) After that I will try taking the condenser out and putting a diffuser in the place of the filter drawer to do MF (the size limit imposed by the enlarger is 6x7 and that's a physical limit. Can't push the walls out any further). After that I might actually do some prints that please me (not there yet but going in the right direction).

I have nothing against my photo club. Getting given film kit that no-one else wants is not going to upset me!
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Old 15th December 2023, 11:52 PM
Jolyon Jolyon is offline
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By the way does anyone know whether LED bulbs react differently to filament bulbs in a basic condenser enlarger (thinking of the way the paper reacts to the light spectrum, if that makes sense). One of the problems with my F30 conversion is that I only have a 60w equivalent LED bulb which with the diffuser means enlarging exposures of sometimes 120secs or more. It produces a print but very soft. LED bulbs running much cooler than filament I could have fitted something stronger if I could only find something that would fit! With the M370 the size limit doesn't apply, only the wattage which must be due to heat dissipation. My F30's previous owner had melted the condenser drawer trying to fit a 150w filament bulb!
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