Oh Sun-Ray Days

ad in Nov 1948 for a Sun-Ray Aristocrat enlarger for 35m to 2-1/4 by 3-1/4 negatives

Toronto. When minicams became the norm, enlargers were no longer an option but became a necessity to make prints from the tiny minicam negatives.

Amateurs reluctant to buy high end enlargers (Durst, Omega, Beseler, Leitz, etc.)  costing much more than their cameras, turned to ‘equally high quality’ models at far lower prices made by companies such as Federal or Sun-Ray. This late 1948 ad for Sun-Ray’s Aristocrat enlarger is typical of the ads of the day.

The ad emphasizes the compactness of the enlarger and how easy it fits into a very small space yet gives such remarkable “Hollywood” prints. The low price is strongly noted while the lens is given very little space, only that it is sharp, even ‘pin-point’ in focus. One one side the ad says ‘hobby’ and on the other ‘professional’ looking prints.

Cheap it may have been, but it still helped the budding amateur learn the art (I had a Federal enlarger at one time before I bought a Durst and saw what quality a few more dollars purchased).

Note: The post title is a riff on a song. “Sunny Sunny Days“. The song is sung here by, “Fredrica Stahl”. A thank you to my good friend and retired photographer, George Dunbar for spotting this piece of photo history and sending it to us.

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.