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  #1  
Old 13th November 2016, 01:51 AM
LukeS LukeS is offline
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Smile Gnome Alpha De-luxe

So yesterday (Saturday) I bought and collected a Gnome Alpha De-luxe enlarger from eBay. This is my first enlarger and I am struggling to work it. To start there is no negative carrier supplied with it but there was two sheets of glass that the seller said he had made to use as they were not sold with carriers new, I understand to place the film between the sheets and place it into the enlarger.

When enlarging an image it seems to produce very small images with 35mm that cannot be correctly focused? Is the enlarger only compatible with 120 and large format?

The lenses attached to the enlarger is actually part of the enlarger and cannot be remover and is also stook with the aperture wide open. Any techniques to loosen it up?

If anyone has ever used one of these enlargers or would be able to tell me how to get an image in focus with it using 35mm negs it would be of great assistance.

Overall for 5 with a load of paper, chemicals, safelight, trays and easle thrown in I cannot complain.

Thanks in advance,

Luke
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Old 13th November 2016, 08:51 AM
John King John King is online now
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The seller sounds as if he/she was telling you Porkie Pies. Gnome enlargers were all sold with a carrier. In fact any enlarger that I know of would be sold with one, If not a plain carrier it would have been a universal type to take all sizes from 35mm up to 120 unless it is one of the simpler 35mm only types which the Apha certaily wasn't. Their 35mm models were designated 'Beta'

All lenses are removable unless it was a 'special' made for a specific purpose it sounds like more 'porkies' to me

The small image is almost certainly down to the lens. What focal length in mm does yours have? I expect it is around 105mm or 75/80mm. For a decent size image with 35mm you need something around 50mm.

If I recall, Gnome enlargers didn't give a terrific enlargement anyway as most had a fairly short column. To get a bigger enlargement you could get an extension which fitted over the main column to give an increase of perhaps 4-5 times more enlargement. Gnome are not made anymore so getting an extension would only by chance, finding one 2nd hand would have be only by VERY good luck.

If you cannot get it to focus, I would be VERY interested to know how the seller actually managed to do so. With whatever lens it has it should still be able to focus

I am sorry to say this but it sounds very much as if you have been 'had over'. One of the perils of E Bay I'm afraid.
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Old 13th November 2016, 09:10 AM
EdmundH EdmundH is offline
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Hi Luke,

I only set up my darkroom a few months ago, so I've been through this kind of problem!

Your Gnome enlarger is probably set up for medium format, but it should be ok for moderate enlargements of 35mm negs, possibly up to 8x10 with the attached lens. There will be two separate adjustments; the size of the image is controlled by moving the whole assembly up the column (there is a locking knob or lever). Focusing is achieved by winding the bellows up or down.

The lens will unscrew from the enlarger if you try hard enough, and these lenses are easy to dismantle if you do it in an orderly way.

Having said all this, my experience over the past year is that it's not worth messing with old enlargers with missing parts. I have been through four different models, and currently use a lovely old Durst 606 which cost 30 on ebay, including postage.
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Old 13th November 2016, 10:19 AM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Hi Luke, Many years ago I had a Gnome enlarger, it was the first enlarger I had, the one you have is made for 35mm up to 120 66, and should have come with a negative carrier, it would have probably been a unirvesal one,with slides builn in so that you could alter the frame from 35mm to 66, and would have had built in glass to hold the negative flat, the lens should be removable, they all were,the reason for your small print size is possibly because it is a 75 or 80mm lens for medium format, you can get small prints with the lens you have, but eith the colum height on Gnome enlargers you will not get to 8x10 prints, I am afraid that you have been sold a pup, you cannot get parts for it, and IIRC the lens mount was different to todays standard of 39mm thread so you will struggle to get lenses for it, although if you cane great lenses are available for peanuts today, as far as the chemicals are concerned unless there is some Rodinal film developer amongst them they will almost certainly be useless, as will the paper, Sorry but I would save and get a better enlarger, you can get Meopta enlargers such as the Opemus 66, which I use, quite cheaply and get one it will last a lifetime, look at our forum sponsers Second hand darkroom supplies and that will give you some sort of idea, sadly, while you can get some decent stuff on Ebay there is a lot of rubbish for the unwary there
Richard
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Old 13th November 2016, 12:20 PM
LukeS LukeS is offline
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I have had a good look at the enlarger this morning and after unscrewing the lenses from the enlarger with ring still attached I got it into the vice (covered by a rag) and unthreaded the lens from the mount. When I got the lens from the mount I have found that the lenses aperture rung is stuck at f4.5 with only option of f4.5 and f5.6. The lens itself was made by Wray London No 81179 it's 4inch (100mm) and is labeled "supar", it also measures at approx 39mm thread.

In attempt to set up my first darkroom it appears I keep coming across different challengers such as this one but must stay positive throughout the learning curve

Thanks, Luke
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Old 13th November 2016, 02:33 PM
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CambsIan CambsIan is offline
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Hi Luke, sorry to hear about your teething problems.

Please don't get disheartened, like you many of us have been caught out one time or another, or at least I have.

Richard mentions one of our supporters, Second Hand Darkroom Supplies. I've used them before and found them extremely reliable and helpful. All the emails and questions that l have sent have been answered promptly and fully.

Website is almost always worth a look, after all looking is free.

Ian
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  #7  
Old 13th November 2016, 03:47 PM
big paul big paul is offline
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hi Luke you got a great deal even if just the bulb works its worth the money plus all the other stuff you got ..if you feel that the enlarger is more trouble than its worth keep an eye on ebay for another one ,it doesn't matter if its newish or old they all do the same thing...but don't be put off ,when you hold that print in your hands it well worth it ...good luck



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Old 13th November 2016, 04:01 PM
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B&W Neil B&W Neil is online now
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Going from memory Gnome enlargers were a good starter enlarger and as long as it has most of its parts there is no reason why you should not get it back into use.

From what you have have said so far you it seems you need
need at least these items:

1/ 50mm lens (for 35mm)

2/ 35mm or universal neg carrier (buy or make)

3/ and possibly a set of 35mm condensors and a bulb

These items should be easy to find s/h and shouldn't cost that much. Someone here may even have something that will help.

I suggest you photograph what you have (DI snap) and post it here so our members who have owned Gnome enlargers can advise you on what you need to get up and running.

Best of luck and don't give up!

Neil.
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Old 13th November 2016, 04:14 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Luke, don't give up, as Neil says you may be able to get the gnome going, and from what you say you need a 50 mm lens for your 35mm, and they are fairly cheap to get even high end ones, you should be able to make some form of negative carrier I have done so years ago out of thick carbord, and some old slide mounts, condensors, if you need them, should be around, and enlarger bulbs are 3 to 4 each, Post what you need, maybe a digi snap, and just possibly folk from here may be able to help, in their day Gnome were a good and well made british enlarger, wouldn't be surprised if many wern't still in use
Richard
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Old 13th November 2016, 05:11 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Luke, pity about your bad luck.
Here is a strategy that might get you some good enlarging gear at little or no expense. You live in Sheffield. I would bet money on the fact that within a few miles of where you live there are lots of enlargers gathering dust in people's lofts and outhouses, left there by photographers who have abandoned their darkrooms in favour of the digital approach, but who can't bring themselves to dump their old enlarger at the tip. And not just enlargers. There will be developing dishes, paper safes, contact printing frames, timers; even boxes of paper, and chemicals.
How do you find these people? You make contact with all the camera clubs in your area - I bet there are a few. Tell the club secretaries that you are trying to put a darkroom together. Tell them that your lack of experience has landed you with an enlarger that doesn't seem to work. Ask them to ask their members if they have anything to help in your quest. I think it highly likely that someone will have a decent enlarger, and be pleased to see it being put to good use, "free to a good home" And give you lots of advice as well.

Alan
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