Nikon enlarger

(courtesy of Shinsaku Hiura)

Front page of Nikon Enlarger folder with at the bottom the date: Showa50 (= 1975), November 21.

Before the advance of digital photography, photographers were using a film or glass plate (of whatever format), had to develop it in a chemical process and had to use an enlarger to produce an visible image on paper. During centuries many famous manufacturers (Leitz, Durst, Meopta, De Vere, Beseler and many others) produced a great variety of enlargers for nearly all available or existing film formats and glass plates. In fact an enlarger is a projector through which films or glass plates can be projected on light sensitive paper. Nowadays a so called dark room isn't needed anymore. The digital camera and processing technique has made a dark room obsolete.

Relatively late - in November 1975 - a monochromatic enlarger, the Nikon Enlarger RA-350 Autofocus, was released. It was based on the conception: "If Nikon participates in the photographic industry, Nikon must be responsible for overall quality of photograph playing a part in the procedure after shooting". A nice statement but - unfortunately - the enlarger wasn't a great success. The enlarger was sold in Japan only. Production of this enlarger ceased in December 1980.

Two film loaders (RC-1 and RC-2) could be used. The enlarger was for 35 mm. film only. Nowadays this enlarger has become a collector's item, as only a few survived.