neg. holders for 4x5 enlargers? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just bought my first "large" enlarger, a no-namer (probably 30 yrs old) that is supposedly a 4x5. It is in good shape, very well built - and has a cold-light head as well as the condenser head. The problem is, on every smaller enlarger that I have ever used, the negative carriers only mask a very small edge of the negative all around the perimeter when mounted in the carrier. You project nearly all of the negative. This carrier only has an opening of 3 1/2" x 4 1/2". Is this normal for a 4x5 enlarger, or did I buy a white elephant?

-- Matt O. (, December 19, 2000


I measured my Omega DII carriers. They are 3 5/8 by 4 5/8, or just an eigth of an inch larger than yours. I don't think you have a white elephant. If you need a little more of the neg to show, it is easy to file a carrier out a bit.


-- Doug Paramore (, December 19, 2000.

Sheet film holders for in-camera use don't usually produce a straight edge on the film. The image on the long sides is straight for 75% of the edge, then curves off the film. This is the shadow of the tang that the film slides under to hold it in place.

I've never seen an enlargement that shows this, so most photographer's probably crop it. I know I do. I've seen an occasional contact print that shows it.

Put a negative in your carrier and see if it crops too much. File the carrier, if you like to include more.

The only standard size that was close to 3-1/2 x 4-1/2 was called "3- 1/4 x 4-1/4". Since this is less than your opening, I doubt it is for that film. I suspect yours is a standard 4x5 carrier.

-- Charlie Strack (, December 19, 2000.

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