Compact enlarger?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mcgrattan, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    HI,

    I've not been doing much enlarging for a while as I've not had a place to work that can be made dark enough. However, I've recently moved to a new place with a bathroom and/or kitchen that can easily be made light-tight, so I might be able to work with wet prints again rather than 'hybrid'.

    However, the downside is that I have very little storage space for an enlarger, and my wife has very little patience for even _more_ photographic junk. So, I'm wondering, what's a good (and cheap-ish!) enlarger that can be stored in a very compact space? One that folds up or dismantles to a small size for easy storage so it can be put into a small cupboard or shelf when not being used.

    I'd primarily be using it for 35mm negatives, but I do shoot medium format, so being able to enlarge 120 negs would be a bonus.

    N.B. I don't have much interest in producing very large prints, so a huge baseboard or whatever isn't necessary. I'd almost always be producing 8x10 [or maybe 9.5x12] prints.

    Thanks!
     
  2. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I think the Meopta Opemus 6 would be good for you, it's good up to 6x6. It's light, pretty small and the column easily unscrews so it could be stored fairly flat. Here's a photo of my old one in my tiny darkroom, the fisheye is making it look much bigger than it is:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Blanc

    Blanc Member

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    For 135 I d use a Durst Reporter. Nice little thing for fast printing but well far from being at the top notch for fineprint...
    Durst magico should be considerated too...
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The title for this thread struck me as odd this morning, I couldn't put my finger on why. My wife remarked that its an oxymoron, she's right, as usual.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Paterson made a little 35mm condensor enlarger with a long, straight, tubular column, which easily broke down. I knew a working pro who carried one when on the road and who set it up in hotel bathrooms.
     
  6. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Except, being pedantic, it's not really an oxymoron, of course.
     
  7. R gould

    R gould Member

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    The new enlarger from patterson might be worth checking out, from all reports it is fairly compact, and comes complete and ready for both 35mm and 6x6, also year ago their bused to be a russian enlarger,I think Zenit, that used to fold up into a briefcase,you might be able to find one,Richard
     
  8. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've seen the Russian "suitcase" enlargers from time to time on eBay. I don't see one there at the moment, although this one looks pretty compact, but not as convenient to set up. A Google search turned up this photo.net thread about the model I'm thinking of. I also found this German Web site with photos. I'm sure there must be other enlargers like this, too, but I don't know much about them; I just recall spotting one of the Russian ones on eBay some time ago and thinking it could be handy in cramped quarters.
     
  9. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    There's a couple of suitcase enlargers on ebay at the moment. Might be worth a go.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Beseler PrintMaker35 is rather small, light-weight, and inexpensive. I have one....
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you have enough room (a cupboard?) for a cart with an enlarger on it, and storage in it, you could use a somewhat larger enlarger, and just roll it back and forth between your work area and your place of storage.
     
  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Durst M600 series enlargers were designed to be easily broken down and put into a drawer. Take up to 6x6. The M300 was the 35mm variant. $5 to $50 w/o lens, depending on luck. Be sure it comes with lens boards/adapters, the negative carrier and the filter drawer.
     
  13. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    For 35mm a Leica 1C provides the highest quality for the footprint. The Leica Valoy is even smaller without autofocus. However, if you must enlarge 6x6 the Durst 600 is one to look at.
     
  14. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    For strictly 35mm I'd suggest a Durst F30 or similar. Once you start looking at 6x6/6x7 or larger the problem is the column. It is large, tall, and not easy to remove from the baseboard. I have my Durst M605 condenser unit broken down in storage and it takes up considerable space. The Durst uses a metal spring as a counter balance for the head weight, so you couldn't trim the column if you wanted to - not that I would recommend that sort of vandalism!