Ollinger's Guide to Photographic Enlargers: Testrite Enlargers
Ollinger's Guide to Enlargers

Testrite Enlargers

Introduction

Testrite is still in business; they make "visual display products." I believe they manufactured enlargers which were branded under other names, but I haven't been able to verify it.


Quick Comparison

Model Format Baseboard Head Focusing Autofocus Column Ref Notes
Fotolarger 100 DC 4 x 5 19 x 23 Diffusion Rack & pinion No Parallelogram 3  
Fotolarger A1 6 x 9 cm 13 x 17 Diffusion   No      
Fotolarger BII 6 x 6 cm 16 x 22 Diffusion   No   3  
Fotolarger C 2-¼ x 3-¼" n/a Double condenser Bellows No Single post    
Fotolarger E 2-¼ x 3-¼" 16 x 22 Diffusion Rack & pinion No Single post with parallelogram 3  
Fotolarger E2 2-¼ x 3-¼" 19 x 23 Diffusion Rack & pinion No Single post with parallelogram    
Fotolarger Junior 1 35mm 9 x 12 Double condenser Rack & pinion No Single post    
Fotolarger Junior 2 2-¼ x 3-¼" 13 x 17 Diffusion Rack & pinion No Single post with parallelogram    
Fotolarger Merit III 2-¼ x 3-¼" 16 x 19 Diffusion Rack & pinion No Single post with parallelogram    
Zenith 35 35mm 14 x 19 condenser   No   3  

Key

Era: It's nearly impossible to get actual production year spans; I've provided this simply to give an idea of when an enlarger was in production.

Focusing:

Autofocus: not to be confused with what we think of as autofocus today; these enlargers don't focus themselves. What they do is offer a sort of tracking control so that once the image is focused, it stays in focus as you change the elevation of the head for cropping.

Column: all columns are assumed to be vertical unless oblique is noted. Oblique columns (i.e. angled forward) are nice at higher head elevations because the image won't expand back across the column post when the head is at the top of the post. On smaller enlargers this wouldn't be a problem, but at larger magnifications (and with lenses with shorter focal lengths), this can become a concern.

References

  1. Modern Photography magazine, October 1962
  2. Modern Photography magazine, February 1965
  3. Darkroom Photography magazine, Vol 3 #5 (September 1981)