Posted in News

How to make a DIY Photo Enlarger from an Afghan box camera

In a previous post, I shared how I transformed my Afghan Box Camera into a slide projector. The theory of the slide projector comes to placing a mild supply on the again whose mild passes via some condenser lens. The mild then is going throughout the slide and in the end move the projector lens and be projected giant at the projector display.

I believed that might be about the similar theory as a photograph enlarger within the darkroom. In the enlarger, now we have additionally the sunshine move via some condenser lens (relying at the design) and it is going to move throughout the detrimental, cross throughout the lens and it is going to be projected giant at the photograph paper so I believed perhaps I might check out to use my Afghan Box Camera once more to convert it into photograph enlarger, on this case, it is going to be horizontal enlarger the place I will be able to mission the picture horizontally onto the wall floor.

Negative Carrier

I made up our minds to use my photograph paper holder within the Afghan Box Camera for this conversion. I taped up a 6x7cm window the usage of some black PVC tape. If that is to be a extra everlasting setup, I might make a correct detrimental service for now. For now, this will likely do and I used some small items of protecting tape to safe the 6×7 detrimental flat towards the glass. To center of attention I might transfer the focusing rods according to the standard manner when the usage of the Afghan Box Camera which transfer the detrimental against or away from the lens.

Light Source

Unlike a mild supply for a slide projector, the expansion is smaller so mild supply for this enlarger can also be reasonably much less robust. So I exploit a easy 11W heat colour LED bulb. As I should not have a timer, I merely use the on/off transfer for the bulb all the way through printing to regulate the publicity time.


I should not have a devoted enlarger lens so I exploit my trusty Fujinon 210mm lens because the enlarging lens. For a protected clear out, I dug out an previous Cokin crimson clear out and a Cokin clear out holder. I’d just slip the clear out and holder over the lens if I want to block the sunshine from attaining the photograph paper.


I exploit the Arista Edu 5×7 inches Resin Coated paper. Being a variable distinction paper, I may just use the Ilford Multigrade Contrast filters to regulate the distinction of the print. Again, that is executed just by taping the clear out at the rear part of the lens all the way through printing.


The effects have proven that the box camera can also be simply was a photograph enlarger by means of making a few adjustments to it

  • Add in a mild supply
  • Replace/convert the photograph paper holder with/into a detrimental holder
  • Add in safelight clear out and distinction clear out


Nevertheless, a few enhancements can also be made

  • Better manner of conserving the paper at the wall as an alternative of simply the usage of protecting tape.
  • Some manner to verify the squareness of the enlarger to the photograph paper
  • Better manner to hang the protected clear out and distinction filters


Vintage Solar primarily based Horizontal Enlarger


About the Author

Cheng Qwee Low has been doing images together with conventional darkroom printing since 2003. He began taking pictures the usage of movie cameras the usage of the 35mm movie structure. After dabbling in virtual images, he discovered himself being drawn again to movie images a few years in the past. This time he’s attracted by means of the massive detrimental dimension presented by means of a large-format camera.

At the similar time, he began to discover deeper into the roots of images and the quite a lot of Nineteenth-century photographic processes. Through the quite a lot of manuals, books, internet sites discovered on Internet, he controlled to be told the rainy plate collodion images and Kallitype Printing procedure by itself.

You’ll to find extra of Cheng’s paintings on his website and YouTube channel. This article was once additionally revealed here and shared with permission.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.