I'd appreciate some suggestions on how to solve a problem. I have the big Beseler column enlarger with the Beseler/Aristo 8X10 head on it. I have a Nikkor 210 mm lens which is very large in diameter. The variable contrast filters come in little plastic frames (too small for this 210 mm lens) or 5X5 sheets (maybe 6X6, I forget). If I want to enlarge a 5X7 negative (placed in 8X10 negative carrier with masking) how to I use the filters? The sheets are big enough to put above the negative, there is no intermediate filter drawer which could hold the filter before the image gets to the lens, and short of designing and machining some gizmo to hold a big square sheet below the lens, I don't know what to do. Maybe rigging up something to hold the little mounted filters against the back side of the enlarging lens? I tried that but they usually get knocked out of place when I try to put the lens board back in. If somebody made 7X7 filters that would do it, I could put them under the light source. Maybe two of the small sheets butted up against each other? I'd appreciate any thoughts you have. Thanks in advance.

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 14, 2001


Ilford makes 12"x12" filters.

-- Chris Ellinger (, March 14, 2001.

Calumet sells the 12x12 Ilford filters. $14.95 ea.

-- Chuck Pere (, March 14, 2001.

Thank you, gentlemen, I was assured by a local store no such thing was made.

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 14, 2001.

I checked my Calumet catalogue and their web site and couldn't find the 12" filters. I just got off the phone with them and they say they don't sell them and have never heard of them. Does anyone know who sells them this big, be it Ilford brand or somebody else? I'm inclined to buy two sets of the 6X6" filters, stick them butted up against each other on a sheet of glass above the 8X10 diffuser/glass negative carrier sandwich. Since the filtering would all be going on before the light even reached the diffuser, I would think this would work well, and would probably save quite a bit of money of the 12X12" filters (if they exist) are really $15 each. Somebody told me Lee Wilshire used to print his personal negatives that way. Thanks for any additional input.

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 15, 2001.

B&H has the Ilford 12x12 VC filters listed on the web site for $14.50 each.

-- Ken Burns (, March 15, 2001.

Strange results from Calumet. I just bought 9 12x12 Ilford filters from them 2 months ago. Using them on my Elwood. Sounds like who ever you talked to didn't know what they were doing. Mine are marked part IK 6001 to IK 6011.

-- Chuck Pere (, March 15, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ