Best Quality - Most Compact?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by dancqu, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I may be forced to down size and could use
    a 6x6 or 6x7 capable enlarger. Likely would shop
    eBay. I now use an Omega B8 and have a Meopta
    dichro on the shelf. If I could some where find a
    condenser head for it that might work.

    I think though the Meopta some what more bulky
    than some others out there. I could go for a 6x6 as
    I've not shot much 6x7. Put another way, what's
    the most enlarger for the least size? Dan
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I think the Omega might be a good choice. The vertical, single column is much less bulky than a Beseler 23 series with its two girders. It would be pound foolish, though, to get one that wouldn't accomodate the largest neg you plan to enlarge. Whatever you choose, it should be able to be aligned, have no light leaks (which, of course, you can modify yourself) and be rock steady when you're using it. After that, it's the quality of the lens that matters the most. Good luck.
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Dan,

    The smallest Omegas I have seen are still bigger than a Meopta Magnifax, of which we use two. Any further size saving would, I think, be minimal, and I've owned maybe a dozen enlargers over the last 40 years.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    The smallest 6x6 enlargers I've seen are the old Durst 6xx series. Construcion quality seems high but I can't speak to their light output.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I've got an old Omega B66 bolted to the counter. No baseboard. How small do you want? By small do you mean short? Do you mean the baseboard? I stuck the colour head I got on it so I guess it's now a 6x7 enlarger.
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    The Omega B22/B22XL had a very compact head. The XL model was bulky only in being pretty tall--may not work with low ceilings. I used an XL model for many years and it was well constructed and reliable. It didn't do 6x7 negatives, if I remember correctly--only 6x6.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    It seems to me that there are 2 dimensions, height and the footprint, including space for the easel. What size prints and how much space will you have, counter space and ceiling height to work with?
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Belelar 67 is very small, almost as small as the 35mm beselar
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Hope your holiday is going well, Marko.

    You have to be careful which Beseler 67 you are getting. I have one of the Beseler 67C enlargers that I bought in the mid 1970s. It has a single, large (and fairly massive) support girder. The newer models can have either a double support, like the 23CII, or a single, much smaller support, on the more recent models.
     
  10. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Mine is just the 67. the girder is about 4 cm each side.
     
  11. dphill

    dphill Member

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    I have a Omega B66xl and a Beseler 23c.
    The Omega gets the use because at this time I don't shoot anything larger than 6x6 (8x10 pinhole doesn't count).
    Its easier to move (part-time bathroom/darkroom setup) and its easer to use. It goes up and down, with no rotational movements to worry about(alignment). The VC filters cost less because I don't have to use the 6x6 inch filters.
    Until I get a permament darkroom or I start shooting larger than 6x6, the Omega will be my enlarger.

    I would reccommend a Omega B22/B66 series to anyone who needed a condenser enlarger for 6x6 and smaller.


    Dan
     
  12. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Fujimoto enlargers come pretty compact and light-weight, though there are a lot of plastic parts on them.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Paul Howell]
    "It seems to me that there are 2 dimensions,
    height and the footprint, including space for the easel."

    I'd add weight as a part of the total bulk.

    "What size prints and how much space will you have,
    counter space and ceiling height to work with?"

    A 11x14 capable enlarger would do although 12x16
    from full frame would interest me more.

    What about the Bogen 22s from not too many years
    ago; the A or the B? Any body know the difference?
    Way way back IIRC I got started with an enlarger
    which had no condensers. I think it had a bulb
    in a large globe shaped head. Maybe a
    diffuser glass lower down? Dan
     
  14. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Bogen and Vivtair made some good mid range enlargers. For a full frame 11X14 or 12X16 I think any of the 6X6 enlargers mentioned so far will work well. The Durst will project to a wall, and the Omega to the floor for even larger prints, I am unsure of the Bessler. I have a Durst 6X6 with a color head, I have not measured the base boards, but it not much smaller than my Omega D, but the Omega is much taller and heavier. With a a Drust you need both condenser sets, 35mm and 6X6, and if you have the color head both mixing boxes. Mine has an adjustable masking negative carrier.

    Which ever enlarger you chose make sure you have good glass.
     
  15. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    You do not explain why compactness and low weight are important. I can see these two charcteristics as being more important in an enlarger that must be set up and then stowed away. I can see compactness as being important so that the enlarger will be able to be placed in a location...a 8 foot tall column with 7 feet of headroom is a very definite problem. Quality and versatility are also important. You have made no mention of budget. Of course someplace along the line budget catches up with all of us.

    My advice: Durst M70. Light, no, compact, not particularly. Cheap, no, but cheaper then ever in the past Quality and versatility, as good as it gets in an enlarger to handle up to 6x9.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A comment made on a 35mm forum told that the
    Omega B22s made good 35mm enlargers. IIRC it
    was not intended to be a complement. Dan