Chemical-based photography can seem like a dark art at times, but it needn’t be so. [Dan K] developed the Simple Enlarger to help spread the idea that classical photographic darkroom tools are fundamentally quite easy to understand and build.
A photographic enlarger illuminates a negative with light, and focuses this light on a sheet of photographic paper which can then be developed. [Dan’s] enlarger design is intended to be built using materials readily available from any dollar store or stationer’s shop, and can be built in just a few short hours. It’s built to work with a single film format and with a fixed size of photographic paper for simplicity’s sake.
A simple M-mount camera lens is pressed into service for the main optic, with the ex-Soviet part chosen for its easy focusing and cheap price. A small plywood box makes a decent body, and a white phosphor LED provides the light source. The final rig is designed to print 35mm negatives on to standard 8×10 paper.
If you want to get into developing your own negatives and don’t want to buy a commercial enlarger, [Dan]’s build could be just the way to go. We’ve seen some other similar builds before, too. Meanwhile, if you’ve got your own nifty darkroom hacks, be sure to drop us a line!