5x7 enlarger

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm looking to redeem my status as owner of a 5x7 enlarger. I used to own an Omega E5, but at the time I was only shooting 35mm and 6x6, so I gave it to someone that needed it.
    Now I have a 5x7, and I thought I was going to be contact printing those, but I'd like to be able to enlarge those negatives, and I need your advice on what enlarger is a good model to own.
    I currently use an Omega ProLab 4x5, and I love it for its lens turret with room for 3 lenses. Is there a 5x7 equivalent?

    What say you?

    I don't have a whole lot of cash to spend on this or I'd just go on a hunt. Now I'm looking to see what's best value out there. I'm thinking about placing an ad in the local papers to see what materializes, but want to know what I'm getting myself into.

    Is 210mm about 'normal' for a 5x7 neg?

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    A good 5x7 enlarger??

    Any one that you can haul to your darkroom less than a days drive away!

    I posted a challenge a while back for anyone to come up with a BAD 4x5 enlarger. The challenge is even more difficult with 5x7.

    210mm would be 'normal.'

    All things considered, if I had a choice of ANY 5x7 enlarger I'd get this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
  4. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    5x7

    Thomas-I converted and old 5x7 B+J enlarger to use with a modern zone vI coldlight
    it comes apart in 3 pieces and even has a glass carrier....and it makes great prints!! check the bay as they come up now and then
    Best,Peter
     
  5. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Well maybe a modest enlarger (compared to the hi-tech wonder which ic-racer proposed) would be its predecessor. I.e. a Durst 138S. You cannot go wrong with that one. It's possible that a few hundred of these machines have been thown into a dumpster long time ago, but there are still quite a few to be found here and there. It's just a matter of finding one close to you. Just see to that it is fairly complete, so that you don't have to chase around for bits and pieces in order to make it work.

    //Björn
     
  6. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Another one to look out for would be a De Vere 507. Very nice enlargers, neg stage and focus controls on the baseboard, sweet.
     
  7. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    I found mine locally, so you may too. No shipping. Paid $300 for EVERYTHING, heat absorb. glass, carriers, lenses, cold light, condensers, etc., etc... E4. Good shopping, Bill
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    bill,

    the E4 never had condensers. when i bought mine
    there were purchased from someone who custom made
    an adapter from an E5 so the condensers would work. the
    E4 just had an "omegalite" cold light source ( circular fluorescent tube ) ..
    sounds like you made out good :smile:

    good luck getting your enlarger thomas!
    i love mine :smile:

    john
     
  9. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Durst 138. Cheap now and built like a tank (or 2).
    :smile:
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Are these strictly condenser enlargers, or are/were they available with color and variable contrast heads? I guess one could always get an Aristo head for it, but they aren't cheap.
     
  11. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Years ago I saw a pile of 5x7 Beseler's down in Midwest Photo's basement. Theyr'e all gone now but I can still see them...

    Over the years I've had three 5x7's. The first was a Durst 138. A huge clumbsy brute of a thing with a vertical column and a scrawny table that prohibited really big enlarging. I still have one of those overblown 300 watt incandescent bulbs. (anyone want it?).

    After that I converted an old B&J 5x7 monorail camera mounted on a 3-1/2" square aluminum column. I fitted it with a Zone VI cold light head, and used standard view camera lensboards. It was more versatile than the Durst, but still wasn't the answer...

    I wanted the versatlity and proven design of my Beseler 4x5' with it's A-Frame and angled column which lets me make big enlargements.

    It just so happens that all those loons converting to digital are throwing away darkrooms (with 4x5 Beselers) like mad these days. A quick check on Craig's list, and I bagged a 4x5 Beseler...

    A few days later, and a few modifications to fit my 5x7 Zone VI cold light head, and I'm a happy camper...

    Here's a couple of photo's...

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     

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  12. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Old 138 were with condenser. Later had color head. Whichever model had the cold light option.
    I have one with condenser and a cold light head.
     
  13. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Reinhold did you make the adopter and filter holder your self,looks well made.Like to do something like that for my zone v1 #1 mod. myself. m.c.
     
  14. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Mike,

    Everything is made with 1/8" or 1/4" tempered Masonite or thin Baltic Birch plywood. Masonite is one of the most useful materials for the DIY darkroom addict; super stable, dense, and easy to work. I use a good woodworking glue (Titebond, or Gorilla glue), and avoid nails and screws.

    The negative carriers drop into a drawer, any image modifiers (contrast mask, dodging mask, filters, etc) can either lay on top of the carrier or be sandwiched with the negative as needed. I made carriers for 6x6, 6x7, 6x12, 6x15, 6x17, 4x5, and 5x7 negatives. (Altho, I could just as easily use original Beseler negative holders for everything up to 4x5. Talk about versatility!)

    The lamp house sits in a collar/negative drawer assembly which bolts onto the four retainer bosses on the Beseler's upper frame. A few shims may be needed to ensure that the drawer is parallel with the lower frame (the one that a Beseler negative carrier sits on)

    I found it necessary to mill some square corners into the round opening on the Beseler's upper frame. You can see the square cutouts on photo #3, above. I have a small milling machine, so that wasn't a big challenge. I think it could also be done using a jig saw & a fine tooth metal cutting blade.

    I managed to find my original sketches which should convey the basic idea. They were based on maximum bellows draw so as to avoid corner clipping.

    Have fun.

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     

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  15. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I found a good deal for an old Elwood 5x7 on ebay for only $25. It wasn't complete. The column and lamp house was missing. I built my own lamp housing and made a horizontal mount for it. It works great and was a cheap solution to a big neg problem.