How to Make a DIY Omega Contrast Filter Holder

Ever had a recurring awkwardness that finally made you say to yourself, “okay, I’m done with this junk”? Well, that’s exactly the feeling I had when using contrast filters on my enlarger. Every time I wanted to use a contrast filter I had to use masking tape to hold it in place during printing.

The design of some Omega enlargers requires a removable “mount” that holds the filters under the lens. After a bit of internet searching, I found that B&H Photo sells a replacement filter holder for B-Series enlargers for the low price of $269. Even used, these things are expensive. eBay had a few listed that sold for around $79.

Unwilling to part with my hard-earned cash for such a frivolous purchase, my only other option was to build one myself.

How to make your own

There are few materials and tools you need to make your own filter holder. A piece of sheet metal, a 2-1/8″ hole saw, a 3/16″ drill bit, and some tin snips. The only purchase I ended up needing was a piece of .22 6″x18″ aluminum I found at Home Depot for $12.

You can download my PDF template which you are welcome to use for free.

Print it out and use clear tape to tape the printed shape you cut out directly onto the sheet metal as a guide.

A quick tip on making the bends by hand without a brake (a tool that bends metal): Take the part you want to bend and place it against the edge of a table with a straight, flat edge. Hold the part you want to bend by the edge, in line with the edge of the table, with another hard and straight object placed on top.

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While holding the metal firmly on the table, slowly bend the metal in the desired direction.

A disclaimer

This method of DIY filter holder worked perfectly for my B66 and seems to work for all other Omega B and D series enlargers like the B5, B6, B7 or B8 as well. However, I do not own and have not used these other enlargers, so this may or may not work for these models. In the worst case, you might have to change some of the dimensions.

The shell dimensions are matched to my set of Beseler 2.5″ contrast filters. If you have larger filters like the Ilford 3″ set, you may need to make adjustments for that as well.

For the very few people who might find this article and template useful, I hope it works for you!

About the author: Chris Kuhn is a photographer who creates articles and videos about film cameras and analogue photography. You can find more of his work and texts on his website, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. This article was also published here.

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