Reader, What Next?by David M.
My 5x4 De Vere took pride of place but, yet again, I had two enlargers.
In those days, I went to quite a few workshops (not the current crop of sure-fire tripod-hole tours, but inspirational immersion in photography) so I packed the Vivitar in the boot as I set off for Derbyshire. Happily, the designers had made it very easy to dismantle.
Someone at the workshop was starting a photographic centre in Cornwall, and they were happy to take it away. Now I could be alone with The One, my True Love among enlargers. Have we lived happily ever after? Would I be writing this if we had?
I used to visit an artwork studio in the days before Quark Xpress and Steve Jobs changed everything. Text was set in strips and glued to boards, ready for a process camera to photograph it and make into a plate. The studio had a proper wet darkroom with proper enlargers, a Durst 5x4” with a colour head and a huge 10x8” floor standing De Vere.
|Floor standing 10x8" De Vere - Made in England from girders.|
For making slides they had a specially modified pin-registered Nikon F3 that I greatly coveted. From time-to-time, I’d joke about what would happen to all that desirable equipment when they went digital. I should have known better.
One bright afternoon, I got a phone call. “We’ve got your ten-by-eight enlarger on the van. Where should the driver deliver it?” Fortunately, I didn’t use the garage much, so it had to go in there, to wait until the next house move. The very desirable pin-registered F3 evaporated without trace.
Today, I have a (very) small back bedroom with two enlargers (Again! Again!! Do I have a deep subconscious problem?). I had to make a smaller baseboard for the 10x8”, to fit it in.
I have used it, honest I have, but mostly it provides a convenient shelf for all the self-generating miscellanea that congregates in darkrooms. I’m not sure how to get it out again, so this seems to be the end of my enlarger saga.
But a Multigrade head would be nice… They’re solid gold hens’ teeth nowadays, of course.
Postscript: I forgot to mention that somewhere, somehow, I acquired a cute Russian 35mm enlarger that packs up into its own baseboard. It seemed like a good idea at he time and it works, but it’s now taken early retirement in comfortable sheltered housing in the loft.
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