4x5 enlargers? cheap?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Robert, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I'm wondering on what the collected wisdom is on finding reasonable priced 4x5 enlargers? I want something that can handle both 6x9 and 4x5 without too much trouble. With a reasonable chance of finding parts for it. Just B&W. I doubt I really need an extra long model. That won't manage to break the minute it shows up here. Clearly used. My MF omega handles all the my needs right now but I bought a 6x9 folder and contacting printing might not be enough if I get any good pictures-) I'm also hoping to find a cheap 9x12cm or 4x5" camera some time in the distant future so an enlarger that can handle up to 4x5 is in my future. No real rush so I guess I can wait for the right model to cross my path but what should I look for?
     
  2. b.e.wilson

    b.e.wilson Member

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    I have not studied the 4x5 enlarger market lately, but a year ago I got a Sauders 4550XL color 4x5 (an older model, well used but in perfect working condition) and a Schneider Conponon-S 50mm lens for $800.
     
  3. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I was able to pick up and omega D2v with 4 negative carriers and three so so lenses for $300 from a local dealer. I continue to see deals almost this good at used camera stores. Go shopping.
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Check E bay, there is a couple of Saunders 4500 enlargers which are wonderful. I have a Zone VI but they dont show often on E bay. For my choice if I could not use a Zone VI I would get a Saunders.
     
  5. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I checked Ebay and one 4500 is already getting close to my budget and it has seven days to go-( Well I've got time to wait for a good deal. The Omega D2 is that the one that needs a different setup for each lens length?

    The website for one local place has a Beseler CB7 for a price I could handle. Downside it's got motors and I'm not sure how much to trust something from the 60's that needs motors to work. From the sounds of it I'd only have to add a lens to it. Anybody ever seen/used this sort of enlarger? With my luck it's already sold but the website hasn't been updated.
     
  6. BobF

    BobF Member

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    Robert

    Yes the D2 and D2V require accessories like different length lens cones for a different lens, and different neg carriers and in the case of the D2 different condensers for different formats. But it is a long time durable workhorse that is still being used by a lot of printers. It can also be easily adapted to a coldlite or you frequently find them for sale set up that way.

    There are newer and slicker units out there but that usually means more $. The omegas are plentiful, cheap, adaptable and rugged great performing enlargers. They are good enough that Harry at this site:

    http://www.classic-enlargers.com/omega_enlargers.htm

    seems to make a good business out of selling reconditioned units and parts.
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Actually I'm very happy with my 30 year old B series Omega. I'm sure if I could find a D series for the right money I'd be extremely happy. I am worried about getting all the right parts for the two larger formats. I looked at the local Omega repair shop's webpage. It seems that for 150mm I'd need a different lens mount. At least for 105mm it seems the stock mount would work. The prices they've got on rebuilt D series enlargers are enough to scare anybody off-(.

    I intend to keep using my current enlarger for 6x6 and smaller. I've got all the parts for it and it works well. So really I'm looking for something for relatively low usage.
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jorge @ Sep 15 2002, 12:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Check E bay, there is a couple of Saunders 4500 enlargers which are wonderful. I have a Zone VI but they dont show often on E bay. For my choice if I could not use a Zone VI I would get a Saunders.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Hey Jorge I have a Zone VI too [​IMG] It'll be good to exchange some info with you later on.

    It's all boxed up at the moment [​IMG]

    We've got the house on the market and are planning to move further north....
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ross @ Sep 15 2002, 06:19 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jorge @ Sep 15 2002, 12:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Check E bay, there is a couple of Saunders 4500 enlargers which are wonderful. I have a Zone VI but they dont show often on E bay. For my choice if I could not use a Zone VI I would get a Saunders.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Hey Jorge I have a Zone VI too [​IMG] It'll be good to exchange some info with you later on.

    It's all boxed up at the moment [​IMG]

    We've got the house on the market and are planning to move further north....</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Just make sure you get a house with a guest room for me!!! [​IMG]

    Yes, which kind you have the type I or the type II? If you had the type I and have problems with aligment, e mail me I have a fix for you. Got from Richard Ritter, who used to be a Zone VI employee with FP before it went to Calumet.
     
  10. BobF

    BobF Member

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    Robert

    I am not suggesting you buy from Harry as his prices are high and you can get most of what he has for half to a fourth what he charges. Just mentioned him as a source of info and hard to get parts if necessary.

    As for lens cones you can get away with a 2.5" for your 105mm and even use it with a 150mm which is what I do. The only downside to this is that you can't print a 4x5 neg smaller than about 6x8 inches. I have never wanted to so I haven't gotten the 4.5 cone recommended. A D2V (for variable condenser) is a lot easier to use enlarger if you change formats often, but it will cost at least a $100.00 extra. If you go for D2 (not variable) make sure you get at least the 6x6 and the 4x5 condensers as they will cost you an arm and a leg to get later.


    Two suggestions, check out local used camera stores for whatever you decide to get, and try to get a package with most of the accessories you will need. Ebay is an option also, but prices around my area aren't much higher and you get to personnally check out the unit locally. Shipping on Ebay can also be quite high as I have seen some shipping charges as high as $75.00 added to whatever the bid price is. If the enlarger turns out to be garbage you have to pay for return shipping even if seller will refund. Check out a recent thread in Photo.net with this problem.

    After all that I have to say there are better and easier to use enlargers out there for 4x5 (or so I am led to believe) but I doubt if you can find better for the price used and your initial question included the word CHEAP.
     
  11. Prime

    Prime Member

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    You might have luck with a local newspaper or other printer. They could have something that's been replaced by digital (it might be too late, though). When my local paper went digital they donated a roomful of enlargers to an art center.
     
  12. paul owen

    paul owen Member

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    5x4 enlargers are rapidly going "out of fashion" especially here in the UK! I picked up a LPL 7451 (colour head), wall mounting kit, 2 diffuser boxes, transformer, ALL negative carriers and 4 threaded lens panels from a dealer for £500 UK pounds. The enlarger had seen very little use and parts are readily available as it is (almost) identical to the current model!! The LPL is very stable and despite a noisy cooling fan, shows minimum vibration!! Well recommended!!
     
  13. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I'm trying to find the time to check out the Beseler. I've found a little info on it and supposedly it was a serious model. If it's complete I'll go for I think. It may be older then me but then so are some of my cameras-)
     
  14. paul owen

    paul owen Member

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    I'd still be inclined to get an enlarger for which there is ready availability of spare parts.
     
  15. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I agree but it's coming with a 3 month warranty. Assuming I buy it. All the various negative holders I'll ever need and a few more. Other then the motors what can go wrong? I'm not used to this class of machine. With my Omega B66 if I don't drop it and manage to break the condensors it should last forever. What scares me about the beseller are the motors and all the features.

    Hopefully this weekend I'll give it a look see.
     
  16. John Hicks

    John Hicks Member

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    Cheap...well, of course that's relative..but the cheapest will probably be an Omega D series, preferably a D2V. Second-cheap, probably a Beseler 45MX type; the Beselers have been around a while, so I'd avoid the earlier kind that has the support struts in front of the main rails. It can be tough to fit an easel in there.

    I recommend Saunders/LPL, Durst (parts can be difficult to find) or DeVere (parts can be impossible to find in the US).
     
  17. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I bought my Omega D2 (not D II) for $300 including several lens boards, lenses, and neg carriers. I settled on the Omega because I know there are tons of parts for them on the new and used market. I also have a B600 wich has never let me down. I guess you can say I am Omega brand loyal... I use a large lens cone with a 162 mm lens for 4x5, but use the same flat lensboard for my 50mm and 105mm Nikkor's. Eventually I will get a Nikkor for 4x5... eventually