Darkroom deal?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by LyleB, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Which of these sounds like a better deal for a total darkroom newbe?

    For $200:


    Enlarger: Durst M 600
    Lens for enlarger: Nikon EL-Nikkor 1:2.6 50mm

    25 8x10 arista.edu paper New in box
    100 5x7 arista.edu paper New in box
    100 5x7 ilford pearl New in Box
    Film squeege - New in Box
    Kodak stop bath
    Kodak developer dried
    Ilford paper developer
    Ilford fixer
    All chemicals new (not sure expiration).

    Film bulk loader
    Color Filter Set
    Safe lights (one is german, needs adapter -- the other works)
    Guide Books
    Few sets of Tongs
    8x10 developing tanks 4
    5x7 developing tanks 3
    8x10 easels (2)
    Peterson micro focus finder
    Various chemical bottles empty 1L
    1 gal liquid storage container.

    Also a premier thermostatic print dryer (70's vintage). for $40

    Or I have a chance to get a Besler 23cII with "extras" (not sure what) for $150.

    Neither of these are from experienced photographers, they were setup purchased by them on craigslist and never used. I guess my biggest question is, which would be the better enlarger for my purposes. I shoot mostly 35mm color, would also like to get into B&W. I do sometimes shoot 645, 6x6 and 4x5, so ideally an enlarger that could handle these as well. I understand the Besler is probably the most common and has parts available.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the beseler will not do 4x5, but will do the other formats you mention. The long list is tempting for you, but could be "iffy". I would go for the beseler. Just be sure the bellows are tight, and find out if it has negative carriers. Your correct, finding extra items for the beseler may be easier.
     
  3. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I'd say go beseler. I love my 23cII. The nice thing is that some arts (particularly lens boards) are compatible between the 23c and the 45 series, so if at some point you decide that you want to be able to enlarger your 4x5 negs, then the two enlargers are compatible that way. Also, the 23c is a really nice enlarger. It doesn't get as much credit as it deserves, these things are fantastic! I love my 23c, it's great. I do prefer my 45mxt in most cases, but the 23c was my first enlarger, and it is definitely a nice one! The stuff that comes with the durst doesn't grab my attention, except the el nikkor lens. Overall, the 23c would most definitely be my preference.
    -Austin
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Try talking them both down and get both if possible. The Durst is great for smaller formats, and the Beseler can be converted to dedicated 4x5.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Really? How?
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  7. kiku

    kiku Subscriber

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  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    the Durst set seems to be ready to go and it has a very nice lens included If you can talk him down a bit, it would be nicer.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Durst won't handle 6x7 or 6x9, the Beseler will.
     
  10. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    And I do have 3 x Beseler 23C II at my disposal......(probably the green one) And I met a gentleman today with a 4 x 5 camera for sale that was in my price range. Thanks for the contact for this. I needed a challenging summer project. :laugh: :D :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2011
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Neither sounds good, based on the formats that you shoot. I'd wait for a good deal on a 4x5 enlarger with a color head attached. But all that stuff that comes with the Durst might just be worth buying the enlarger for. Keep all the extras, and use the enlarger it till you find a 4x5 color enlarger; then use it as a second enlarger (good for solarizations or image blending) or sell it.

    If you get the kit, and have no use for the sheet film developing tanks, I'd be interested in purchasing them.
     
  12. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Found one

    While looking, I found several options. The two mentioned earlier in this thread or a Like-New 23c III from a fellow APUGer. This one came with 50 and 75mm lenses, 35 and 120/220 film holders and a spare bulb. It was a bit more expensive, but I was fairly certain it would be as described. The owner had bought it new, used it, and knew it's history. These are big factors for me when making a purchase of used gear.

    I had almost decided to go for this, but in the mean time, I mentioned my quest to the owner of our local camera shop. He put me in contact with one of his long-standing customers here locally. This customer offered a 23c II with 50mm lens, 35mm film holder, plus an extra bulb. Will have to eventually pick up a lens and holder for MF, once I learn what I'm doing. :smile: States it's working and in excellent condition. Price: $80. I can't pick it up until next week, but decided I couldn't let this deal pass. Hopefully I won't be disappointed. Now I just have to get going on building at least a temporary darkroom!
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Good deal indeed, patience scores a nice machine for cheap.