Using a Condenser Lens for Light table

I’ve been using my old 4x5 Beseler Enlarger to scan my images, having my full frame camera mounted with an enlarging lens at the negatives.

I’ve been content with the results however the holders and process of loading is a bit of a nuisance and I’d like to improve that area. My bulb happened to burn out now and it has me thinking of redesigning my setup now to implement the desired changes.

I am considering turning my enlarger into a light table. Using one of the condenser lenses and it’s housing along with LED strips (possible upgrade from the bulbs) hitting frosted glass so I can scan on a mounted surface rather. Essential just adding frosted glass before the film negative in the process to allow a more comfortable load or to implement a proper neg holder.

Anyways, the point is… Would having a condenser lens in the process of building a homemade light table provide any benefit or create a safety netting in providing even, straight light?


Welcome to the forum, @millandr

There have been discussions about collimated vs. diffused light and a few examples of setups that you might be interested in.

As far as your proposed setup goes, I’d omit the condenser. It will probably do less good than in a (near) point source setup like an enlarger. You might also find high CRI LED bulbs that you can fit into your Beseler, but then, the film handling remains as is.

Imo, your best bet is to search the forum. Every idea, that has come up, has been discussed and reading about it might save you a few headaches.