Beginner Enlarger Question

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jmal, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Just a quick question. I have available to me an Omega C700 brand new, free of charge (my girlfriend never used it). I also have the opportunity to buy a Beseler 67SC or Durst F30 for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 in what appears to be very good condition. The 67SC has a Beslar 3.5 50mm lens and the F30 has an unidentified 3.5 50mm (I assume it's the lens that came with the enlarger). The C700 has the kit Omega lens. Would it be worth my time and money to buy one of these other enlargers or should I just work with the C700? The others look more substantial, but I'm not sure how much is really needed. Thanks for any advice.

    Jmal
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'd stick to the free C700. If you could get a Beseler 23 then maybe but the 67 is in the same class of the C700. At least not enough different to rush out and grab.

    Put the $20 into finding a better lens on Ebay.
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Go with the Omgea and upgrade the lens later if you think the lens are not up your standards.
     
  4. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    It depends on what you want to do with it. If you are using a converted bathroom, the smaller C700 would make sense. If it is permanently mounted, the Omega 67 may make more sense. Either way, get a decent lens.....f2.8 50mm Nikkor/Schnieder/Rodenstock. If you set up an enlarger properly, you can get a great print from almost anything. This is not true of the lens.
     
  5. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Do any of them include negative holders? They will run you $15-20 each.

    Definitely get a better lens. Are you strictly 35mm, or will you do MF also?
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You refer to the Beseler enlarger as a Beseler 67SC - that designation might imply that it has an included dichroic colour head. If the other enlargers don't, then you may prefer it.

    I have owned a Beseler 67C since the late 1970s, and just recently added a colour head to it for variable contrast black and white. It is a very sturdy item.

    Otherwise, issues of condition and which accessories are included would determine it for me.

    Matt
     
  7. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    My Durst F30 was a cute little thing, but not in the class of the C700 that I occasionally use. However, the kit lens on the Omega was a dog. It might suffice for snapshots. With top quality enlarging lenses so cheap on ebay, that's not an important consideration. Get the C700. As others say, try the lens and upgrade if desired. And take your girlfriend out to a special dinner. Getting a free new enlarger saves a lot of hassle.
     
  8. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. It sounds like the free C700 might be the way to go. I'll be using it in a small bathroom strictly for 35mm and 8x10 prints. I think I'll try the stock lens and compare to the prints made on enlargers with good optics. If needed I'll buy a new lens. On that note, are the Rodenstock lenses worth the extra money over a Nikkor, etc.? Thanks.

    Jmal
     
  9. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Jmal,

    There's not a lot of difference in price for similar lenses of various brands; searching for used ones on E-Bay should turn up some absolute bargains in all the top brands, with the possible exception of APO lenses. I use Rodagons, El-Nikkors, and Componons; I've seen little evidence to regard one brand as obviously superior to the others. Just go for the better-grade (usually six-element) variety, whatever the brand, and look for a good price.

    Konical
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Sometimes it can be hard to tell which lenses are the 6-element and which are the 4-element (or other) designs. For Schneider and Rodenstock, the suffixes on the model names are a clue: "-on" (Componon, Rodagon) are the 6-element designs and "-ar" (Componar, Rogonar) are the 4-element designs. I don't know how many other manufacturers use this same convention -- or at least as important, how many violate it, giving "-on" suffixes to 4-element lenses, for instance. For Fuji lenses, the EP and EX models are the 6-element designs, with EX having better coatings; Fuji's ES lenses are 4-element designs. The trickiest of the big players is Nikon, since AFAIK there are no clues in the model names; you've just got to know that (for instance) the 50mm f/4 is a 4-element design and the 50mm f/2.8 is a 6-element design.
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you actually mean new then I don't think Nikon is making new anymore. If OTOH you mean new to you then most of mine are Nikon. I've got an 80mm that isn't and my 150mm isn't either. The 80mm was because I wanted/needed the extra stop of light at F/4.0 versus the Nikon f/5.6. The 150mm because it was a great deal.

    They all seem pretty equal to me. Some of the lenses have features some people like. Lighted F/stop. etc. But they all seem to put good images on paper.