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Enfojer project turns your smartphone into an enlarger for B&W prints

82

Billed as a way to bring back the romance of the darkroom in the smartphone era, Enfojer is an indiegogo project which promises to make your smartphone into an enlarger to create real prints. Part app and part hardware, Enfojer enlarges the image displayed on a smartphone's LCD, projecting it onto real photo paper.  The paper is then processed as usual in traditional black and white chemistry. The resulting black and white prints are expected to last around 70 years when processed properly.

The Enfojer app is where you set the development time for each step of the process, including developer, stop bath and fixer. Exposure time is set with a slider.

Though iPhones are shown above, the plan includes apps and cell phone templates for several popular Android and Windows Phone 8 models as well.

Having made exposure settings, the user places the smartphone face down in the enlarger, turns off the room light, adjusts the image in the easel and sets focus
A snap of the fingers turns off the smartphone image and the user is able to position photo paper in the easel
Another snap of the fingers tells the smartphone to begin the image exposure. The smartphone's LCD provides the only light necessary
The user then develops the print in the traditional four-tray black and white process

With Enfojer, users can print up to 20x20cm prints (7.8x7.8 inches). The company plans to offer Ilford photo paper, but users will have to provide their own chemistry, due to complications of shipping chemicals internationally.

Because the source image displayed on an LCD is of a comparatively low resolution, Enfojer's lens is a 'polycarbonate toy camera style meniscus lens,' according to the FAQ, which 'blurs the image just right so you don't see the pixels on your print.' Enfojer can also print negatives, again using the smartphone's LCD as the light source. Later posts mention their intention to include an M39 lens mount due to popular demand. This will allow use of higher-quality enlarger lenses, which would have to be purchased separately.

The Darkroom Commander kit is available for a $450 contribution.

As an indiegogo project, Enfojer is funded by contributions, with sponsorship levels ranging from $10 up to $450. Those contributing $200 get just the enlarger, while those funding at the $250 level get a nearly full kit, including enlarger, trays, the safelight, and 100 sheets of Ilford black and white photo paper. If fully funded, the product is expected to ship in February 2014; a note on the site says the project will still receive funding even if it does not reach its goal.

Enfojer was created by FOJO, a Croatian team of four: Vanda Voloder, Ilija Stjepic, Daniel Bakotic and Leo Gavranic. Having raised just under $12,000 of their $100,000 goal, they have less than a month to go.

Source: ENFOJER indiegogo site

Comments

Total comments: 82
keesbran

Tomorrow I'll try an iPad in my DeVere 810 enlager to get something like this: http://www.de-vere.com/products.htm
Might be useful for making analog negatives from digital files, especially when downsizing.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jaygeephoto

Does it add Multigrade/Polycontrast filtration to the image for contrast adjustment? Is that too technical? Why am I even asking such questions? Never mind. I'll go snort a line of powdered Dektol.

0 upvotes
Photog74

Erm... so you take a low-res onscreen image, blur it and enlarge it?
That doesn't sound overly exciting to me.
Now, using your phone or high-resolution tablet for a contact print could perhaps work. You'd need a screen with a resolution of, say, at least 360ppi (maybe 300 could work, and some phones have 440ppi displays) to prevent the pixels from being visible in the contact print; plus an app allowing you to pre-program when the screen should light up and shut down - and of course you would need a screen that's perfectly flat too. That could work. But enlarging the onscreen image doesn't make much sense to me.

0 upvotes
Tim O'Connor

Unless its wet plate, or daguerreotype, Im not interested.

1 upvote
FinDERP

You can buy an amazingly good film camera with 2 or 3 brilliant lenses alongside an enlarger for easily less than this.

Rather daft!

1 upvote
huyzer

I miss working in the darkroom, with the negative image on the easel.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson

It had a certain charm. Yes. I can't say I miss it though.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer

It's hard to accept but I think there are some things a smart phone is not good for. Give me a can of Aeroprint any day.

0 upvotes
Paul Guba

I loved breathing in open trays of chemicals for hours at a time. Chemical stains on my clothing. Doing test strips, adjusting contrast, doing test strips, backing off exposure to allow for dry down, flattening prints, spotting prints, ahhh the romance. Then pour all those used chemicals down the drain. LOL the only thing romantic about it was the safe light. We all looked better with the safe light on. Photo101 teacher "never ask someone out for a date in the darkroom, wait till you get outside in the light".

6 upvotes
rurikw

How about silkscreen prints from your smartphone? Apply light sensitive emulsion to screen, put your phone on top, expose for x minutes, wash away nonexposed parts, apply paint with a squeegee and voilà: it's art and craft! Starting set with 2 4x6" screens, 4 color tubes, 250ml bottle of emulsion, squeegee, pack of 50 sheets of paper in 10 different colors and textures, solvent for cleaning phone and screen, cleaning pads, only 250€. All comes in a handy cardboard briefcase. For an additional 50€ you get a really neat apron to protect your clothes.

0 upvotes
ljclark

"Billed as a way to bring back the romance of the darkroom in the smartphone era..."

Oh Lord. I can see this swiftly turning from "romance" to a relationship gone horribly bad.

Nothing like getting things on paper to show people how bad their smartphone images really look. It might stand a chance it the final print is about half the size of the original smartphone screen, but what's the point in that?

I think this system is going to produce a few really, really crappy looking prints...And then all the stuff (perhaps with the exception of the cool LED safelight) is going into the dustbin.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson

OK. So ... now I got surprised again. First the eFilm stuff, and now this. It is novel, I have to givi it that. And you shall not skip things on your first gut feeling. So ... I sat down thinking. Is this a working idea? Is this a good idea? Is it a fun idea?

Yeah, it will work. Maybe the screen is a bit dark. Exposure times may become long and focussing difficult. But ... it will work.

The app has to show it negative and in B&W.

This snapping idea is novel. I wonder how well it works.

You need a timer to make the work barable. It could snap for you :)

But, is it fun and a good idea.

It will not improve your result (I think).

Personally I would only use this for paper prints. There is no advantage with using resin paper over using a printer. And ... using paper prints introduces some tedious work ... just think of mounting it.

But ... if it is work you are looking for ... why not :)

But ... the major doubt is what I said above ... it will not improve your results.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

The app does the timing for you, beeping when it's time to move to the next tray.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

Ok - I guessed that it did. But ... can you change the time for next try without removing the phone from the enlarger?

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

Most likely not. There's a video on the site that shows what it takes to set up a shot. It would be trivial to remove it from the enlarger and make adjustments. What it seems to offer is a live preview of what kind of exposure you'll get with different settings, which would likely vary by photo paper and developer used.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

Fun that they show three trays and still call it a four tray process.

Developer, stop, fix, hca and rinse.

Yeah, that is five trays.

But, you can skip stop and hca.

So, that is three trays.

0 upvotes
Dmatter

Absolutely useless project IMO

0 upvotes
michaeladawson

One of the dumbest products I've ever heard of. It's not really that difficult to print out a negative of a digital file on a sheet of transparency film. Lay the transparency film on top of a sheet of photographic paper and turn a light bulb on for a few seconds. Much better quality, far fewer dollars.

0 upvotes
Tom_A

So we will see the pixels of the phone on the paper?

I am trying to find uses for this, perhaps the only thing I can think of is exposing products & materials during ancient photographic techniques, like layers for a gum bichromate process.

0 upvotes
Jun2

just print it

0 upvotes
Narupol

I used to plan to do something like this but with my iPad.

0 upvotes
ZorSy

Don't know how thick is the glass in the front of the actual panel, but you might try getting a "contact copy" printing, paper directly on the screen...If that works, someone will make even more money developing the app for it :"safelight" overlay to put the paper, "timer" for exposure of inverted image and then blackout back to safelight.... just for a stupid fun, if nothing else...I guess someone has already tried this.

0 upvotes
RichRMA

You can buy a good serviceable normal enlarger for peanuts today at used photo shows, often $20 or so. Go get one of them and a basic SLR for about the same price, and shoot some black and white film instead of spending $450 on this thing.

4 upvotes
Ferling

Hmmm. Why not just mount a DSLR with a macro lens to a copy stand, shoot the negs through a dark tube against a light table, then reverse the curve in your editor of choice?

2 upvotes
StevenE

Next up... iPhone users swarm to buy electric toothbrush iPod attachment

3 upvotes
JackM

Wow. People are stupid.

3 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
2 upvotes
KZMike

Most kiddos today have never heard of , or know about dark rooms/enlargers, much less have seen one or having seen one on CraigsList [always some availalble there], have no clue as to what it would be used for.

EGADS the thousands of hours in those D Rooms.

0 upvotes
AlanG

Too bad there is no Ilfochrome color version. That would be challenging.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester

The new cool hip gadgets coming your way...

Making it harder, more complex, more procedures, equals = chic, hip, cool, rad.

That Canon $99 printer and scanner now looks so inviting...

.

3 upvotes
tkbslc

I bet you could scan your phone screen and then print it.

1 upvote
km25

It looks like toy. If you want the real "enlarging", use real negatives.
It may give one some feel for the art of film.

0 upvotes
Silvarum

I agree, can't see the point of this device. Resolution is too low (even compared to cheap printers) for any decent result, and price is too high for just fun.
Real negatives beat those two points by far.

1 upvote
guyfawkes

They say a fool and his money are soon parted, and the pricing structure does look odd.

$200 gets you the enlarger; $250 gets you a "nearly full kit" of enlarger, trays, safelight and paper. So what more do those shelling out $450 get?

But one has to admit that the enlarger does have a certain Bauhaus style to it. And in the days when I did my own D&P even I didn't come up with the idea of stacking my dishes as here.

1 upvote
lattesweden

There are some good ideas in this world. This is not one of those. But maybe you can actually get a really cool "filter" effect that is only possible with this setup and that is to place a call to the mobile when it is doing the exposure and having the vibrator on...

3 upvotes
misha marinsky4

What's your number?

1 upvote
LarsKoueMogensen

We have used this process the last couple of years at Testrup Hojskole / college in Denmark. We use HARMAN DIRECT POSITIVE FB, and any phone with a camera. We use old and very cheap Meopta Axomat enlargers and strip them from their head. The investment is around € 10 to €20 for a used kit with trays, enlarger and so on.

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4

Hush - you're going to spoil the gravy train.

0 upvotes
gbarclay

Unless your smartphone can display negative gray scale images this device will not work.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

The app takes care of that.

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4

"The app takes care of that."

Is there an app for the nervous breakdown, after all this?

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

Angry Birds? But seriously, I wonder why we haven't seen truly high-resolution enlargers for home use. Or do they exist?

0 upvotes
gbarclay

Leitz Focomat enlargers are still readily available on the used market at reasonable prices and cannot be beat for resolution, ease of use, and quality.

2 upvotes
Ferling

"I wonder why we haven't seen truly high-resolution enlargers for home use. Or do they exist?"

Large sensor DSLR with macro lens on a copy stand?

0 upvotes
gbarclay

Aha...it is for this that I have officially sequestered the forlorn Focomat IIc from my Dept's long abandoned darkroom for with use my D600 and 105 mm macro lens as I ease into retirement. Rock solid, precision focussing macro stand.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

Sorry, I left out an important word: I was looking for high-resolution digital enlargers for home use. They would likely not be worth the cost of bringing them to market.

0 upvotes
Mark Smith

De vere make one the 504DS
http://www.de-vere.com/news-review.htm
Some labs here in the UK have one, the quality is first rate so is the price.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff

Looks like the price is £16,000. It's tough to verify online. The latest version is 17.2MP, though, which is quite a bit more than the 640x640-pixel prints this promises.

0 upvotes
gbarclay

The linear resolution is 6.5X better, no doubt with higher dynamic range. I had to read "silver gelatin fibre-based photo paper" a few times to realize that it still exists. I figured it was all that sordid resin coated stuff. Bravo. I hope the digital enlarger does indeed become cheaper.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ferling

"I left out an important word: I was looking for high-resolution digital enlargers for home use."

Gottcha.

I still shoot film, and only one lab remains that can do MF locally. For 35mm, I passed on used scanners from eBay (and their issues), and just use a DSLR with Macro on a copy stand. I also use a light table that I ripped out of my old slide storage station for the color corrected light tubes within it.

I then mount the negs into a holder from an Epson scanner (to keep them flat), and shoot through a dark tube against the light. I also use a simple glass plate, dropped over the neg, if I want to capture the film edges for nostalgic reasons.

I capture via Canons EOS utility, and batch reverse the curves in PS, saving out to new files as tiffs back into an LR watch folder. The whole process is actually quicker than traditional scanners.

If the authors don't mind. Here's an example: http://photos.ferling.net/filmout/h784e3f99#h784e3f99

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
graybalanced

"But seriously, I wonder why we haven't seen truly high-resolution enlargers for home use. Or do they exist?"

I have one, it's called an Epson 3880 hooked up to a Mac, and with it I get better black-and-white prints than were possible in most home darkrooms, and it can do precise color printing, which was not very practical in a home darkroom.

Sorry, I did my time in the darkroom and did not see the romance in being trapped in a dark windowless room breathing chemicals. Digital rocks, and the quality is better.

0 upvotes
gbarclay

Yes color processing is insanely complex and expensive for the home user, and I can live without developing b&w film. But watching an image appear on a sheet of print paper while you rock the tray is always somewhat magic. And a great image does not always depend on ultimate sharpness and lack of granularity. You can learn a lot about the photograph you are making during the few minutes it takes to appear before your eyes.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
cknapp61

Ha ha, hipsters will waste $450 for this crap when CraigsList is your friend!
I bought a Beseler 45MC Series Enlarger two years ago for $125 with Schneider 80mm, 50mm, and one that handles 4x5 film lenses; with 35mm, 6x6cm, 6x9cm, and 4x5 inch negative carriers. Which will handle film from my Kodak Retina IIIc, Nikon F, Bronica ETR-S, Franka Rolfix 6x9cm, Franka Solida IIIE, and Omege 4x5 monorail system...after processing the negatives myself of course! I picked up a Beseler 23C III for about the same price (good to have a spare enlarger of course).

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
misha marinsky4

Red safe-light? I used a Kodak OC filter safe-light, which is not red.

0 upvotes
ljclark

OC is required for variable contrast paper. Red is usually fine for "normal" graded B&W paper.

1 upvote
Digitall

At least offer a red light!

0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest

Don't snap your fingers, turn your thumbs down.

1 upvote
misha marinsky4

To quote John McEnroe, "you cannot be serious."

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4

"A snap of the fingers turns off the smartphone image...Another snap of the fingers tells the smartphone to begin the image exposure."

Don't forget to wear your tap-dance shoes. You could make a session in the darkroom into a "Tog's got talent" routine. You could record it on your smartphone, and submit it.

♪Gotta jump down, spin around
Make a pic, take your pick♫

0 upvotes
win39

A 7 year old would look at this, sniff, and then wirelessly down load her iPod picture to the family printer on the family network.

1 upvote
stevens37y

I've just saved $450.

6 upvotes
panoviews

$450. Just find the dumbass to sell that stuff....

0 upvotes
misha marinsky4

First, someone wants to resurrect e-film again - an idea that died in 2001. Then, someone else wants to make a mobile phone into an enlarger.

Are these ventures of zombies?

0 upvotes
ProfHankD

I'm trying to think of a way in which this isn't a bad joke....

Also, "The user then develops the print in the traditional four-tray black and white process" -- er, there are three trays, presumably developer, stop, and fixer. If you want prints to last 70 years, the fourth step had better be a very thorough rinsing. The fifth step is drying, and I don't see anything to help with that either....

1 upvote
misha marinsky4

The sixth step is throwing everything out the window.

0 upvotes
cknapp61

I still shoot, develop and print B&W film from 35mm to 4x5, making prints up to 16x20 in my "traditional wet" darkroom.

Frikin Noob and three trays...geeeesh...you need seven trays...in my best Picard voice "I see seven trays!"....

#1 Developer
#2 Stop Bath
#3 Water to reduce acid carry over to the Fixer to extend its life.
#4 Fixer
#5 Water to reduce carry over to the Hypo Remover to extend its life
#6 Hypo Remover
#7 Water to hold prints until I am done printing and ready to wash them as a batch to conserve water

2 upvotes
DPReview Staff

In that particular picture with the 'deluxe' stacker, they only show three trays, but the other bundles show four trays and four tongs. The video on their page also recommends following with a water bath.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD

cknapp61 -- my complaint was the 3 trays in a stated 4 tray process which seems likely to produce prints that will not last 7 days, let alone 70 years. That said, using fresh chemicals and ending with a thorough water wash may be wasteful, but can work fine with just 3 trays + a sink.

0 upvotes
KZMike

A minor detail. . . apps coming to engage the house hold dishwasher to rinse the prints and another for utilizing the mircowave oven, using paper towels. . . Saran Wrap for glossies

0 upvotes
Mark Smith

cknapp
number 3 tray in your list is useless as stop bath is to prevent developer carry over, fixer is not sensitive to acid (normally it is acid) so missing out your tray 3 will have no effect on the life of the fixer or prints.
Hypo eliminator is only useful for fibre based paper, and shouldn't be used with PE types.
For a fully archival print using PE paper develop, stop and fix then wash for 4 mins with running water.
To conserve water use the Ilford wash method.

1 upvote
jcmarfilph

Another worthless expensive device. When are you people gonna realize that an iPhone is garbage (just enough for snapshot and printing at wallet size) and not a tool for decent photography.

I could buy 10 highend all-in-one printer/scanner/copier than make my life miserable with using iPhone and this device.

4 upvotes
Clyde Thomas

$450 buys a heck of an ink jet printer, or a heck-a-lotta lab prints.

There is a reason why darkroom tech died.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Tonio Loewald

$450 buys quite a lot of traditional photographic equipment. E.g. $290 for everything you need (aside from a suitable room) to process film and make prints, and let's say $100 to buy a ridiculously good film camera on ebay.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
panchoskywalker

This kind of product is obviously pointed for a younger generation who were born from 1990 on and had never use the real stuff. Not criticizing, it's just like that.

0 upvotes
88SAL

I agree, novel but poor. Maybe one for the kids ar school to get the younger generation interested.

Hipsters!

1 upvote
88SAL

Errr whats a film?

0 upvotes
Mark Smith

Film is the main image carrier before digital, lots of images were shot on it in the last century, less so now of course as only 50-60 million films are sold world wide.

For you of the younger generation google photo film, I'm sure Wiki will fill you in...

1 upvote
linzdoctor7d

You could but a nice used film camera, enlarger and chemicals off of ebay cheaper than this!

1 upvote
tkbslc

enlarging 2MP worth of detail even on the finest of phone screens.

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins

If you're going to the trouble of making your own B&W prints, which needs a darkroom, you might as well just use negatives & a normal enlarger. It's a gimmick.

1 upvote
misha marinsky4

Gimmick? It's a toy for hipsters.

1 upvote
CallMeAlan

Gosh. What superb quality prints this promises ... Not.

3 upvotes
Total comments: 82
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