Enlarger doing 35mm to 6x9 what do you think ?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Patrick Latour, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    Ok, here is my situation. I am currently shooting 35mm and medium format 6x9.

    I currently use a Durst M600 given to me by a friend. So I am stuck with a maximum of 6x6.

    I am looking for an enlarger doing 35mm and 6x9, here are my options:

    First, brand new:

    Beseler 23CIII XL VC Variable Contrast Enlarger

    Kaiser VPM9005 B&W Multigrade Enlarger

    Second, used, I am thinking about a 23CII but not sure it does 6x9.

    I do only B&W, 11x14 is a must, 16x20 on the baseboard would be nice but not a must. I have plenty of room to install it and a ceiling at 96 inches.

    Brand new or used, the choices seem limited when it comes to 6x9 bu maybe it is just my perception.

    If you have any recommendations or ideas, I am open to receive them, so give me your 2 cents.

    Thanks !!!
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Check craigslist, there are loads of Omega D series enlargers for sale every where. You may have to travel a bit, but its worth it.

    Rick
     
  3. Resoman

    Resoman Member

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    I'm almost positive that the 23C enlargers handle 6x9, and Beseler has made millions of them (slight exaggeration) so they should frequently be available used.

    Gary,
    East Snook, TX
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I just checked craigslist in Montreal, someone has TWO Omega 4x5 enlargers for FREE!!!!!!!
     
  5. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    My Beseler 23CII does everything from 110 to 6X9. The condenser is adjustable so all I have to do is change to a lens which gives me the coverage that I want and use an appropriate negative carrier.
     
  6. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    They are gone...:sad:
     
  7. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    Thanks for the information, I have seen a 23CII somewhere, but was not sure if it was doing 6x9. I searched the web but did not find any clear answer about it. I will have an eye on them now that I have a confirmation.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2010
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The Beseler 23c is great for all sizes up to medium format 6x9. The XL version is taller than the standard however, both will handle the 11x14 on the baseboard. I know mine (23C-XL) will handle 16x20 although I pretty much use the Beseler 45M for everything. Great machine, I saw an ad for a pair of them for $40. Of course, whats important is what you can pick one up in your area. Good Luck.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The Besseler 23C-II will handle up to 6x9 format. I saw one of those on your local craigslist as well. If its in your price range, it would be a good machine to acquire. Parts are fairly easy to pick up, as they still make them, and there are a million of them out there already.

    Rick
     
  10. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    Yes I saw it also, in Kirkland. It is at 45 minutes from my place. Looking at it actually.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Good luck with that, Hope you get what you need.

    Rick
     
  12. thefizz

    thefizz Member

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    I have no knowledge of the Beseler but I know you would not be disappointed if you got the Kaiser. Great enlargers and still being made.
     
  13. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    I have to admit that the Kaiser, in brand new version, is really interesting. I admit that we are not talking about the same amount of money, but it would look so nice just here, in my darkroom.
     
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  15. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I saw a 23CIII-XL with the VC head for about $70 on ebay recently. I picked up a still-in-the-box 23CII-XL locally for about $100. They are nice enlargers with loads of parts available - still made too. Should do 6x9. Carriers can be had on ebay for not too much.

    However, I must say that I really want a Kaiser. Someday I'll get one new. They look really nice. Check into it though - it might not print the full 6x9 negative. I thought I read something about that somewhere...
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

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    A enlarger is a tool that lives in the dark. With the lights out, looks won't matter.:D
     
  17. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    I know, but I am like a lot of people, I like my tools clean and sharp.:wink:
     
  18. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    I already met a girl like this :D
     
  19. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well, the way I see it the Beseler is probably the wise choice since you are on this side of the Atlantic. They are good machines and will handle negatives up to 6x9 cm. The enlargers are common, and still in production. If you need accessories and/or parts, they are readily available both on the new and used market. Kaiser enlargers look like really good solid machines, but they are not terribly popular or numerous in the US. That alone, would deter me from buying one. I've had too many machines that were not common here, most notably a Renault sedan I once owned, that gave me hell every time I've needed a part or service. The situation for Kaiser enlargers might be different in Canada.
     
  20. Patrick Latour

    Patrick Latour Member

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    No, the situation for Kaiser is not different here than in the US. After spending the last 48 hours surfing CraigList and eBay, thinking about the pros and the cons, I arrived at the following conclusion. First I will target a Beseler 23CII, since I am not in a rush, I will take my time for the good deal, so I will continue to watch the CraigList and eBay.

    If I really do not find what I want, as the last option, I will put my hand in my pocket and go with a new 23CIII.

    So far, I think it is the best strategy. When you are like me, a little bit too enthusiast about something, you loose the focus and you become interested by all kind of stuff that finally are way too much for what I want to do, or stuff that would a lot of money to put back in condition.

    So if someone knows something about a 23CII for sale, that can be a good deal, PM me. While that time I will keep my eyes wide open.
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  22. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Buying local would be preferred, however, prices may be higher and choices lower. However, if you have any way (friend, relative) of getting something in the USA and transported to you, might be beneficial. Then again, if prices elsewhere are a fraction of local, maybe paying the shipping should be considered.
    Montreal Craigslist
    First is an older 4x5, not much larger, real workhorse, I have the exact same enlarger/head, works as good as the latest model, which I recently acquired. Considering it has 2 Archival print washers and a 4 bladed easel, and other goodies, maybe half asking price might be a good deal. http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/pho/1546748349.html

    Second is the 23C, picture also shows a 4 bladed easel. Again, half asking price might be a good deal. http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/pho/1539429009.html

    You will have to temper what is a good deal because availability or lack of has a lot to do with prices
    Good Luck
     
  23. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You really can't go wrong with the larger machine if you have the space for it. Problem with these big machines is that, well, they are big and heavy. If installing in a spot where you won't have to move it, great. They're built like tanks and will take all the punishment you can dish out and more. They were designed to dependably endure hard commercial use day in and day out. If this is going into a "temporary" darkroom (read blacked out bathroom) that's going to be a problem. How would you like to lug around and set up a machine that weighs easily 50 pounds or more and is around 4 feet tall every time you want to print? Not me. I have a 4x5 Omega D4. The thing is a beast. It just barely clears the ceiling in my darkroom, but I don't have to move it. I'll never be able to wear it out in my lifetime.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The Beseler 23C can print from 6x9 for sure. I have done it many times.
     
  25. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    I owned a 23C and loved it. The model name, 23, is a clue to it's max. format. Just like 45 on the larger models. The 23 was built to handle 2 1/4 x 3 1/4, a.k.a. 6cm x 9cm. Omega enlargers built for 4x5 will work too as pointed out with the right lens, neg. carrier & condenser if you are very picky. 45 minutes is a no brainer to pick up good darkroom hardware. I made a trip like that for a complete 35mm & 6x6 darkroom. 500 miles for a complete 35mm & 4x5 darkroom. The lenses alone are worth more than the fuel to get them.
     
  26. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I use a 23C where I teach. Very easy to change between 35mm to 6x9 formats. The enlarger may be an older design but it is well built. Lens boards and negative holders are common and inexpensive. There is no heat build up to pop negatives. The neg holder is heavy. The plastic gear for elevation can degrade with time but replacements are sold as a kit. The alignment can get off if you're not careful but is easy to adjust. I prefer prints from this machine vs my LPL Dichro; but that is more a negative CI issue.