Alignment finder for enlarger : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just bought 8x10 enlarger and having a hard time to adjust alignment of the head of the enlarger. When one part of image is focused , the other part of image is not focused on easel. Someone told me that there is a product called "alignment finder", but I've never seen it before. Does anybody know where to get the product and how the product work?? I am using 8x10 glass neg. carrier and going to make about 30x40 inch image size. thank you sugi

-- sugi sugi (, July 20, 2000



Just to clarify, you do not need to adjust the alignment of the head. It is the negative stage, the lens nodal plane and the easel plane that have to be absolutely parallel to one another. Does your enlarger allow you to adjust these planes?

Are you referring to the zig align mirrors? These help you check the alignment or parallellsim of two planes. They are quite expensive and I don't know if they are going to help you out. For what it is worth, Howard Bond wrote an article (I think in Photo Techniques) on how to make these. Good luck. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, July 20, 2000.


You can do the alignment without a bunch of expensive equipment. All you need is a small level. Begin by leveling the baseboard front to back and side to side. Use shims underneath the baseboard to level it. Then place a flat piece of glass or board in the negative stage that is large enough to hang over the stage. Level it front to back and side to side with the adjustment screws. Lay the level on the glass or board where it overhangs the negative stage. Now go to the lens stage and level it. You can use a small level and hold it directly against the lens front flange. Also level it front to back. This should put you in the ball park. Now take a piece of glass or a clear piece of film and a fiber tipped ink pen and draw lines on the glass or film from corner to corner and through the middle from both directions. Place this in the enlarger and check to see that the lines are in focus throughout the negative. You can make any minor adjustments using this. Adjust the neg stage if any small adjustments have to be made. Remember that if the right side of the image is out, adjust the left side of the neg stage. Once aligned, remove the shims from beneath the base. This sounds more complicated than it is in practice. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to do. Then lock all screws down tight and it should stay aligned. When checking focus with the neg in place, you may need to stop down a stop or so to bring the edges of the image into best focus. Hope this helps.

-- Doug Paramore (, July 20, 2000.


If you want to check out the Zig Align system, you can go to

They have several different systems and one may work with your enlarger.



-- Jason Kefover (, July 20, 2000.


I just bought the Laser Parallel from Versalab and it has made life incredibly easy. I use a 5x7 enlarger that has to be set up every time I use it (no permanent darkroom!) and I can have it aligned in five minutes. Well worth the investment. Check the Versalab web site or Calumet Photo.

Good Luck

-- Kevin Kemner (, July 20, 2000.

Which enlarger are you using? Indeed some 8x10 enlargers need adjustments to either the head or the baseboard. I have used Durst 184 with rotatable heads which sometimes needed adjustment. I have worked with a DeVere which always needed baseboard adjusting. I am currently working on an 8x10 DeVere which stays right on.

-- fred (, July 21, 2000.

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