35mm enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Gerry M, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    What are the choices (other than Focomat) for compact, high quality enlarger for 35mm only? One that parts are readily available for. I have Beseler 23CII XL now. I'm trying to downsize.
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Durst M301 with a CLS 35 color head?
     
  3. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Omega B22
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    but why not get a Focomat? Autofocus, can use any enlarging lens, supreme quality, user-friendly so much that you will fall in love, and now they can be had for cheap. The autofocus feature is supremely wonderful to use. Find one without the lens, send me an email, I have a spare.

    How cheap? Check Craigslist -- I found a complete enlarger with lens at a thrift store for $35...Parts? You won't need parts -- these never wear out.
     
  5. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Price, not quality, was what scared me away. I'll keep watching. Which model??
     
  6. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    High quality construction? Parts available?
     
  7. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Will consider that. Thanks.
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    What's your definition of "compact"? It sounds like a silly question but it is relevant. For example, the B22 is just as tall as a 23c and the baseboard might be about the same size. But for taking apart and storing, it's a lot smaller.

    The Dursts do seem to be the most compact for their format.
     
  9. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Compact: I was referring (mostly) to packing for storage between use. I don't have a dedicated darkroom. If it would enlarge to 11"X14", that would be OK.
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    The extension on a B22 is, I believe, much taller than a Durst. But the Durst more compact for storage. You might need a 40mm lens to reach 11x14 with the Durst. As I recall, the head on a Durst lifts right off the tubular upright.

    I can't comment on the light quality between the 2, but I think the Durst would be easier to store.
     
  11. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Enlargers built for medium format will usually be much sturdier. All the component parts will be beefier to handle the larger parts, from the head, column, and the baseboard. This all results in a more stable platform that will be less affected by vibration and will stay aligned more consistently (though any and all enlargers do go out of alignment with use or improper setup).

    If you can get away with it, go for the medium format option. I find the smaller 35mm only enlargers are just a bit too flimsy in construction and component parts that may not last with repeated use and may cost more money and cause frustration in the long run.

    Also, some medium format enlargers such as the LPL/Saunders allow for the column to be disconnected easily without tools (originally designed as lift and rotate for floor projection) and stored separately from baseboard which makes it much more compact for storage.
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Parts? Well there's a basic one on the auction site now for a buck plus shipping. High quality? Yes. Fully alignable? No. Leitz are better for that I think. Small? Yes. It will disappear into small space. An Omega B will not. 11x14 with 50mm? Yes. Cranked to the top (it stops) puts the negative 27 inches above baseboard.
     
  13. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Bill,
    I took a look at the auction item. It's a Euro model( if we are looking at the same one), 240 volts. Maybe use a step up transformer with it?
     
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  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    While not 35mm only, Omega C-700 is sturdy, light weight and portable for non-permanent use, and currently manufactured. I have three of them remaining in my stocks, and they are very accurate quality machines.
     
  16. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    There is one enlarger that is simpler than the Focomat that is as well built - The superbly simple Leitz Valoy - A Valoy was my first 35mm enlarger and one I still miss
     
  17. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    look around for a Ic -- good, reliable, they made a lot. Even if you have to spend a couple hundred, it will be worth it. You want an enlarger at least as good as the quality of the camera...

    Another option is the Leitz Veloy -- it looks like a Ic but without the autofocus, a nice neat little enlarger. Uses the same light and lens and lens stage.
     
  18. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  19. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I've had two Omega B22s, and really liked them. Two models are available: the B22XL has a longer column for bigger enlargements. Unlike some enlargers, the B22 is easily adjustable. This also means it can get out of adjustment. Other basic Omega enlargers are sturdy. I now use an Omega C700 for small negatives. Since Omegas were popular, accessories are available. There are many less common enlargers that usually serve as well as the very best. The heart of an enlarger is the lens. Fine enlarger lenses are inexpensive for patient shoppers. Some original lenses on enlargers aren't nearly as good.
     
  20. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    The Focomat V35, also called the Leica V35 in later versions is a superb 35mm (or smaller) enlarger, but it is a large and heavy piece of equipment. The baseboard takes up a lot of space. It overhangs the bench in my darkroom! I accquired mine at quite a reasonable price, but they can be expensive. I also use a Durst M601. This is quite compact and very sturdy.The only parts you might need are 35mm inserts and a spare lamp which is the standard 75watt ES. You see spares for Durst on ebay. The laterM605 and M670 are also good, but may take up more space. I would also check the maximum enlargement possible on the baseboard with these units. Most enlargers with a straight column are limited in that way.The V35 base is 54x59cm and it weighs 22kg! The max enlargement on the base is about 38x57cm(15x22.5"). It is certainly one of the finest enlargers produced, and a pleasure to use. If you find one at a good price, and you have space for it, I am sure you would not regret the purchase. I have found myself printing far more often, and with better results since I bought mine.
     
  21. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Or use a travel adapter and change the bulb to 110v
     
  22. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    I used to have a Durst M301. Very compact, easy to store in the shipping box. The m300 & m305 were very similar machines and the parts mostly interchangable, so fairly easy to find. Does 11x14's (just).

    I now have a Omega B-22. These are all over the place, I have been given two of them. The second a B-22 XL did not have all the parts, so I canablized the standard model for them. The standard model will do 11x14 no problem, even allows some cropping. The XL will do 24x24 with some cropping, in fact I just measured it today at 26.5 x 26.5 with the 2-1/4 square negative carrier and a 75mm lens, I am making a new baseboard for it to easily do 16 x 20 horizontally or vertically. Parts are real available, but for some reason used negative carriers and threaded lensboards are real expensive.

    The choice between the two is easy, for compactness, it is a great travel enlarger, go with the Durst; for versatility go with the Omega. Since I no longer do 35mm film, the Durst will not work for me, but it sounds like it would be just what you want. My real choice would be an Omega D2V, but I have given up on finding one locally, and can not afford the shipping from distant places on a 4x5 enlarger.
     
  23. Gerry M

    Gerry M Member

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    Anyone have first hand experience with a Durst M300? Good, bad?
     
  24. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I'm sorry to be redundant about the Focomat but... I own 5 Focomats and I use Two regularly (Ic Color and IIc). Outstanding, lovely things!

    The V35 is very compact and a dream to use. So swift. So smooth. You can find a Focomat for 200$ these days...
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The Focomat may be a nice machine, however, the Durst will make as good an enlargment as your skill will allow.
     
  26. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Had an M300 many years ago. As I recall, fine. One issue with Dursts is the relative scarcity of lensboards and negative carriers - not much of an issue with a 35mm only enlarger.

    I would assume that, in today's market, you could pick up a Durst M300 or M301 for next to nothing and try it out.

    Also, regardless of compactness, some enlargers may be more suitable for repeated storage and setting up. For example, how well are the condensers secured? How repeatable is the alignment? How delicate is the mechanism?