DEVERE Enlargers

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Emmalberto, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Emmalberto

    Emmalberto Member

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    I am looking for a second hand DEVERE 504 or 507 enlarger with floor plan, is any body aware of someone selling one of them in good conditions in Europe?
    Is anybody willing to share his/her experiences with it in B&W printing?

    Thanks and best regards
    emmalberto
     
  2. bwakel

    bwakel Subscriber

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    I've been using a 504 for about a year and it's been a huge step up from the old rickety hand-me-down that I began printing with. It's a very stable enlarger and the ability to adjust focus using the knobs on the front of the base board is a fantastic feature. The 500W of illumination is very useful and the measurement scale on the upright is handy too. The only problems I've had are (a) I suspect the coloured filters are faded as prints are about three-quarters of a stop softer when printed on VC paper using the filters than when using graded paper and (b) small pieces of the polystyrene insulation in the diffuser box can break off when and cause large white spots on the final print. Cleaning out the detritus from the diffuser is straightforward except that the act of screwing it back together can dislodge more bits!

    Barry
     
  3. Emmalberto

    Emmalberto Member

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    Thanks for your reply and, since you look knowledgable I will ask you a bit more...
    Based on the fact that I only make B&W print, what about the Ilfospeed 400HL head vs the DEVERE dichromat color head?

    thanks again
    Marco
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've been using De Vere's for over 30 years and I'm happy printing B&W with a dichromat head, but I do print colour on occasions. However a dedicated B&W head is a better option if you don't want to print colour so an Ilfospeed 400HL would be ideal/

    Ian
     
  5. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I had a DeVere 504 with a Cathomag head, it was lovely-wish I still had it.
    You can buy reconditioned ones from DeVere (Odyssey Sales)
    http://www.odyssey-sales.com/company/refurbished.asp
    They are heavy, you might need to pick it up yourself I think they are near Brighton.
    Mark
     
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Marco, the DeVere 504 and 507 models that I have used and the 504 that I own, have all been soft, so to speak, regarding VC paper contrast settings.

    I have come to the conclusion that the DeVere enlargers fitted with the Dichromat colour head, start to run out of contrast around or just over grade 4, compared to using the Ilford filters in a normal B&W diffused head. You are generally told that a colour head should get you to about grade 4½; I think grade 4 is closer to the mark.

    That said, you just need to develop negatives accordingly and you will find no difference in the final outcome, the print.

    I have been using my 504 enlarger for colour and B&W printing for the last 8 years, prior to that I did use them for a period in the eighties in a commercial lab. You can literally switch seamlessly between B&W and colour; the processing is the only complication and of course simply changing the filter combinations with a colour head.

    I have used a dedicated DeVere original B&W head on a 507, it was slightly better regarding paper grade possibilities, but that was the only difference. The very best enlargers I have used for B&W were a tabletop DeVere 504 and a Beseler 4x5 side by side on a bench, both were fitted with the Ilford B&W head, they were fast, and very precise with regard to filter variations, but were prone to failure and needed servicing about every six months or so. They were working about 14 hours solid each day, which is why they had niggling problems!

    One thing you may need to consider is darkroom size. I just did a quick measurement of my 504 free standing enlarger. You will need to allow 2.5m in height, the baseboard is 90cm wide, the depth (front to back) is 1m. If your ceiling height is a problem, and you just cannot raise the head all of the way, you simply drop the baseboard a notch or three.

    You could reduce the width of the baseboard to about 80cm by either cutting the existing one, or making your own baseboard. The baseboard on my unit is just a board that bolts to the frame supplied, simple as that. I made my own board up by purchasing some MDF covered in Melamine on all sides. All four baseboard mounts allow for individual up and down adjustments, this allows for precise alignment. In fact virtually everything on the enlarger can be adjusted in accurate and easy steps with simple tools.

    You will not regret purchasing one of these enlargers; in fact, I don’t think you will have to purchase another enlarger once you have a DeVere.

    Mick.
     
  7. Emmalberto

    Emmalberto Member

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    This was my first post in this forum and I am really amazed of the quick and high level of answers received !
    Thanks to all
     
  8. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I have been using a Ilford 500H Multigrade head on my Laborator 1200 for a few years now, and have been very pleased with it. Just dial in the grade (0-5) on the control panel and go... No issues like these described above, but I guesse with 14 hours a day, the lamps simply go bust in these six months :wink:

    For any normal hobbiest like usage, the 500H should last you for years without major servicing.
     
  9. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I have and use Ilford's MG 500 system on my DeVere bench model and in 4 years of light but regular use I've only had to change a lamp once (tempting fate here, I bet tomorrow I'll have to change another lamp).

    The MG heads are an absolute joy to use if B&W is your thing. So precise with grading 0 to 5 in 1/2 grades and exposure times to 0.1 second. Its often overlooked that density of contrast can be fine tuned by setting the program dip switch at the back of the exposure module accordingly. Where position 1 is for balanced lamps and 5 increases green light by 40%.
     
  10. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I have been using a DeVere 507 for about 2 years now.

    The main feature of these machines are that they are full force professional tools, and built to withstand very heavy use. The lab I use here in Birmingham uses them too. Because they are aimed at professional labs, the neg holders are glassless, so as to save time cleaning dust I guess - apart from my 5x7 neg holder which is glass due to the size.

    The other nice thing is service and parts support from Odyssey sales.

    Matt
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    you can get glass inserts for the carriers very easily. Mr Cad has them, ot at least did.

    I had a 504 and now I have a 10x8. soft grades for sure, so i develop for longer than most. VERY solid.
     
  12. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Tom, what head are you using?

    Trevor.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My current enlarger is a 5108 and I use the Dichromat colour head for VC papers and even with older negs I find I get around GD 2 with no filtration so it's not a particularly soft head. In addition it's fine with Pyrocat stained negs.

    Ian
     
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  15. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Ian, I also have a 5108 with the same head... which has a tendency to "fall": do you think a new spring would cure that? Such a head is pretty heavy!
    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Philippe, I'm not sure if there's someway of adjusting the tension, I'd have to try and find my De Vere service manual. Usually with Durst's there's a friction pad to stop enlarger creep and this wears over time and needs adjusting, but I've not had a problem with a De Vere.

    You can lock the head or focus with the knobs at the back just above the baseboard at the back, where the column attaches to the base.

    Ian
     
  17. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    for those saying that a MG head is better for strictly b&w printing, isnt a color head the best head for b&w printing because its basically split grade printing made easy? and even more precise than split grade printing? im asking because i am slowly aquiring darkroom supplies for some future darkroom i think im gonna have and ive been told a color head is better than a MG head. i have been printing on a saunders LPL 4500 XL for some time now and love it.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Strictly speaking a Multigrade head will be superior for variable contrast papers, and particularly for split grade printing because it's calibrated for B&W use. However in practice it's what you are used to.

    Ian
     
  19. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    got it. another question, ive used a devere 504 with color head and the contrast control is much more precise, by that i mean you have way more control than half grades like with ilford filters. does a MG head produce superior prints if both used well or when it comes down to it, is it really just which one you as a printer are used to?

    to the OP, the devere 504 i used was the best built enlarger ive ever used, that and the focomat 1c and v35 ive used are my favorite. you will not be dissapointed with the devere, its def. a professional workhorse and very easy to use.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A Multigrade head is just a more specialist colour head so it's possibly easier for some to use, but there's no differences in quality of the final images.

    Ian
     
  21. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I have a bench model 504 with the Ilfospeed head which Ian referred to. If you can find one with this configuration, make sure all the mixing boxes you need are with it, the mixing boxes are beyond scarce...Evan Clarke
     
  22. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Ian, the head is not creeping, the problem I have is different: it is very difficult to insert the negative carrier, I have to lift the front part of the head to get enough space for the carrier. Forgive my rusty english...
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's two adjuster nuts/bolts on the back, on the bit the head slots onto, I guess these can be moved back a bit to help and would pull the rear of the head closer lifting the front where you slot in the negative carriers. I just checked mine and the spring does little except hold the head in place, mine needs a slight adjustment as well.. (Your English is excellent BTW :D).

    If you want I can take some photos tomorrow.

    Ian
     
  24. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    They lift the back of the head, but not the front (the side towards me), that's why I suspected the spring not to do its job properly!
     
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's the bottom set that push the head out and seem to be adjustable.

    Ian
     
  26. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    Does the service manual explain how to do this?