Enlarger is a projector that a developer uses to project a negative onto photographic paper in an enlarged form. Housed in the darkroom where film is developed, an enlarger contains a lens, a light and a cartridge to hold negatives.
To print a photograph, a negative is placed within the enlarger and then is “exposed” to the photo paper, meaning that light is flashed through the negative to land on the paper. The photo paper is then chemically treated and dried to make the image visible on the paper.
Different negative sizes will require different types of enlargers to print various sized photographs. Photographers use one of two types of enlargers: either the diffusion enlarger or the condenser enlarger.
While diffusion enlargers us a piece of diffusion glass to spread light across a negative (and, therefore, the image from the negative onto the photo paper), the condenser enlarger spreads light through a condenser lens. All enlargers that produce color prints are diffusion enlargers.
The ultimate difference between these enlargers is that diffusion lenses produce less concentrated light onto the negative. Photos printed with a diffusion enlarger are less defined because of less contrast. Conversely, if you are printing off a condenser enlarger, be sure to thoroughly remove dust from your negatives, as the sharp light will render specs of dust on the resulting photograph.
Photo Printers: Choosing the Right Photo Printer As more people purchase digital cameras, the need to print photographs continues to grow. This guide provides tips on what you should consider when purchasing a photo printer. While ...