5 x 7 enlarger recommendations, pointers

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by michaelsalomon, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. michaelsalomon

    michaelsalomon Member

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    Hey all, I may be purchasing a very large collection of glass plates and negatives from the 1920's-30's. The collection is from two photographers who worked in the adirondak region of NY state. Many of the negs and glass plates are 5 x 7, with several others being 4 x 5 to odd medium format sizes. I'm having a hard time finding used 5 x 7 stuff on ebay, any recommendations on where else to look? models to look for? There are some fantastic photos from the 32 winter olympics as well as several of FDR from his time as governor of NY state. The previous owner originally hired me to contact print several of the images, but after a while decided to purchase a flatbed scanner and had the prints made at wally world. I think printing these images would not only be a great learning experience for me, but printing them in a wet darkroom on fiber paper would give many of the images the quality they deserve. Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I wrestled for several years with an Elwood 5x7 diffusion enlarger, until it and the darkroom burned up. The Elwood is as basic as an enlarger gets, but suffices to hold film, lens, and easel in the right place. Anything else is merely added convenience. One might want to improvise extras like a VC filter holder on such a simple enlarger.
     
  3. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I like Durst enlargers. For b/w, any old Laborator 138 would be fine. That should not be too hard to find and not too expensive. These things last forever.

    I could locate a few Durst 5x7 enlargers easily, also for color, but that does not help you.
     
  4. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    The Durst L138S is a well built 5x7 workhorse. They are appearing on the market at really low prices right now and there are a lot of accessories readily available as well. You will need a ceiling height of about 8'. You can also turn the head 90 degrees to project on to a wall for bigger enlargements.

    Gord
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    On a Durst 138, you would need to fashion some type of alternative negative carrier since the negla 138 would not accomodate the thickness of glass plates...at least that is true of mine.

    Beyond that, these are great enlargers...

    I agree that the images that you mention probably have some historical significance. If I were you, I would impress on the owner of the negatives that a fiber print would enable these to last for an optimum period of time.

    Good luck.
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I've been very happy with my Solar 57, which is only about 15 years yonger than your plates. I believe the Elwood is similar. They show up from time to time. There is a thread here that lists most of the enlargers made in the last 60 years. In the meantime, how about some contact prints?
     
  7. bart Nadeau

    bart Nadeau Member

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    Besler's 8x10 kit on a 45 enlarger gives you an execellent cold light source for 5x7, 5x8. 6.5x8.5 and 8x10 plates. I've used it successfully for many years.
    bart
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    On a Durst 138 enlarger, just remove the top glass of the NEGLA carrier. Works like a drean, a 13x18cm glass plate just fits in. I mean - why would you need glass both above and below a glass plate negative???

    Don't drop the top glass though - I did, and now I only have five spares left :wink:
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i've a e4 (omega) and really like it.
    i've made pretty big enlargements, and then some reductions
    using it and can't complain at all.
    i got an aristo head, but also have
    a modified e5 condensor head too ... kind of
    the best of both worlds ....

    -john
     
  10. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I have had a Solar, now have an Elwood with a cold light. Either of these will do the job for you.
    Also both Beseler and Omega made 5x7 enlargers which sometimes appear in the dark recesses of the older camera stores like B&h and Midwest. I would call them and speak to the used darkroom specialist to learn what is available.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    don't solars take a long-necked-bulb that is sometimes hard to find?

    i worked for a lady and did all her printing on an ancient solar ... and she smiled and had me look under the table ... there was a crate with boxes and boxes of the bulbs that she claimed were "hard to find" ( back in the 1980s ). she had searched a 100 mile radius and bought all their stock.

    a few years ago i searched and found a place that sold these bulbs for someone --- there weren't many of them ... maybe it was bulbman? or topbulb?

    can you use different bulbs in these enlargers ?

    just wonderin'
    john
     
  13. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    I'd second Barts suggestion for the Beseler 8x10 conversion kit on a 45 series enlarger. Had 2, still have 1 and have been using it for 20 years.

    Also something to consider, if the glass plate is exactly 5x7, you might not be able to get the full image with a 5x7 enlarger. Depends on the enlarger of course, but some crop a wee bit.

    Plus 8x10 gives you more flexability.
     
  14. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Mine has a Sylvania 211, 75W, 3000K, which is pretty far from exotic, though I doubt the grocery store has them. Not usre if it is the standard bulb, but it works fine.
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    that's good to know ... :smile:


    oh, i just goooogled solar enlarger + bulbs and found a post
    that i had made with the places that stock solar bulbs ...

    just in case ...

    http://donsbulbs.com/cgi-bin/r/t.pl/equipment.burke_and_james_incorporated.html

    -john
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    De Vere. Still in production and (unlike Durst) they support decades-old enlargers.

    Actually I have a De Vere head on my MPP Micromatic 5x7 but you'll not find many MPPs.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  17. Doug Thomson

    Doug Thomson Member

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    I'll pass on another vote for the Durst 138s ... I love mine and you can manage your glass plates without much difficulty at all.
    Good luck
    Doug
     
  18. dogzbum

    dogzbum Member

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    Love my new (second hand) Durst Labrador G139:
    20x24 vacuum board base;
    95kg weight;
    180cm height;
    tripla rotating lens turret;
    5x7" copy camera accesories;
    4x150W light setup;

    All this for about $200 US and built like a brick s**t house.
     
  19. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Beseler 8x10 conversion question

    I've been following this post because I am interested in 5x7 and 8x10 enlarging. I thought it was just the 45v-xl one could adapt to the Beseler 810 head. Is that wrong? Will it work for the older 45M, MX, etc enlargers, too?
    Neal
     
  20. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I have an Omega E with a color head. very solid and easy to align. It's a 5x7 enlarger but can also accept 4x5 and smaller negative holders.
     
  21. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Chances are those glass plates are too high contrast to enlarge anyway.
    You might have to settle for contact on AZO
    Mark