Introduction: Making Enlargements in the Darkroom

This will walk you through the steps of making a 5x7 enlargement in the darkroom with black and white film. Instructions cover both the Beseler and Omega enlargers.


  1. Negatives
  2. Photo Paper

Step 1: Setting Up

Complete this step BEFORE turning on the enlarger. Make sure you view all 7 photos in this step.

  • Use the handle on the left side of the enlarger to raise the enlarger head. Remove the negative carrier.
  • Insert the negative into the negative carrier shiny side up and place the carrier in the enlarger.
  • Close the negative carrier and return it to the enlarger making sure it is centered and inserted all the way (see images).

Step 2: Turning on the Enlarger

•Turn the enlarger on (push “focus” button on timer)

•Set the timer for 2.0 seconds

•Place the easel under the enlarger

Step 3: Adjust the Height & Focus

•Adjust the height of the enlarger and the position of the easel until the image is slightly larger than the 5x7 space on the easel

•Focus the image on the easel with the grain focuser (have the aperture all the way open and the safety filter out of the way)

Step 4: Aperture

•Close the lens down 2 stops to aperture 5.6 and cover with safety filter

Step 5: Contrast Filters

Turn or insert on the Contrast Filters needed for the image.

Talk to your teacher if you are not sure what setting or filter you will need

For the Beseler:

  • Turn the Magenta/Pink knob to the desired setting
  • Flip the lever on the right side of the enlarger head up to Filtration

For the Omega:

  • Remove the Filter Tray, insert the filter in the Filter Tray and reinsert the tray into the enlarger head

Step 6: Making the Test Strip

  • Cut a 5x7 in half for the test strip exposure and place it in the easel (shiny side up)
  • Cover all but about 1 inch of the test strip with cardboard
  • Turn the enlarger off (push “focus” button on timer) and swing the safety filter out of the way
  • Push the “run” button to expose
  • Continue making 1 inch exposures all the way across for 2 seconds each

Step 7:

•Process as usual to determine the correct exposure

•Make the final enlargement on 5x7 paper

•Make sure the paper is lined up in the easel so the edges of the paper are against the tabs that stick up on the bottom and left side edge of the 5x7 position