Enlarger Questions

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Lawrenceu, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    Okay, time for some anachronistic questions. I am thinking about enlargers. Right now I am using a dark bag for film loading. It works all right. I have no room for a dark room. I can however easily black out a bathroom and have a wet / dry arrangement. It will be cramped, but doable. Obviously I will have to have everything so that it can be taken down and stored when the room is a bathroom.

    I have been out of the darkroom for 20 years or so. I always had access to university darkroom so I was in great shape. Now, I don't have that luxury.

    Regarding enlargers: I am woefully ignorant. I have done a fair amount of B/W in the past in various formats. I have never done colour, but would like to try it someday. In y'all's opinion what would be some decent enlargers that could be somewhat 'portable' for a situation like mine. Should I just get a B/W and think about colour later? Also, my budget is very limited.

    At some point I'm thinking about doing a film photography / dark room class for the local homeschoolers. It is catching on in the circles in which we are involved. At that point I will need to do something else regarding a darkroom, but until then I need to work on my techniques.

    Rambling question mode off.
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    For light weight, the Omega C-700, 35mm thru 6x7 without fiddling around too much. Beseler 67, same deal as the Omega. Beseler 23c II or 23c III, BIG rugged versatile, 35mm thru 6x9cm. Some use 4x5 enlargers on rolling carts, makes it easy to set up and put away without lifting the brute(works for the 23c machines). There are plenty of good quality machines still available, just make sure whichever you end up with you can get accessories and parts for.
     
  3. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Just move up here, problem solved as I have two enlargers, sink, a jobo and lots of other stuff that will be making up my darkroom soon.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Go to the Darkroom Equipment forum, and look through the two "Sticky" threads at the top for ideas.
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    For something light but solid up to 6x6cm use, I've liked the Omega Chromega B I've had for 20+ years bought used. Dichroic color head, handles 16x20 prints no problem. A little smaller than the C700 but I think it uses the same carriers.

    Go for a Schneider componon-s, El-Nikkor, or Rodenstock lens for it.
     
  6. John R.

    John R. Member

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    For sturdiness you can't beat a Durst.
     
  7. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I'd vote for a 23c2 or 3. dual column construction, allows for up to 6x9 (i believe), readily available parts (beseler still makes the 23c3, but i personally prefer the 23c2), you can get it with a dichro head to use for color, they're beefy as hell, and are a really nice, professional enlarger. The el-nikkor 50mm f2.8 lens i have on my 23c is one of my favorite lenses :smile:. The enlarger probably won't fit into the average bathroom cabinet space, but if you have a closet near by, its not so bad to haul the 23c, as long as its not a long distance that involves many cases of stairs, though i have done that one before too.
    Darkrooms are very fun :smile:
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Dursts are my favorite for enlargers that are sturdy, but easily moved or taken apart for storage.
    Enlargers with color heads are available for the same money as B&W only units, and the color head makes VC filtration easier.
     
  9. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    I've run across a Beseler 67 for a REALLY cheap price. Any thoughts on that model?
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Get it , just make sure it has everything its supposed to. It will handle everything up to 6x7cm negs, 35mm, 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7. I think they are still made, getting parts is relatively easy.
     
  11. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Parts and accessories seem to be generally more available for Beseler and Omega as opposed to Dursts. At least in the US. Dursts do tend to be more portable than the others though. Especially the 35mm only model.

    Depending on your location, supply may exceed demand for enlargers. Keep in mind you're not marrying the enlarger - find something that works for you now then, if/when your needs change, find something else. Rick sums it up pretty well. But be careful about buying an enlarger without the lensboards and neg holders you need. You'll find yourself paying far more for the accessories than the enlarger.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Remember that with a color head, you can use the color filters with variable contrast paper for black & white. I like my Chromega Dichroic II D-5 EX which will handle up to 4"x5", but it is too large to move around in your present situation.

    Steve
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I used one happily for decades. I've switched to an Omega D6 for now, but I still have the Beseler 67 in storage in the hope of having room for a two enlarger setup.
     
  14. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I'v got a spare 67. If you need a negative carrier, lens board, mixing chambers, bulb, etc. just let me know, i don't use the enlarger ( i took it off it's chasis, it sits in a spare room). I've also got a spare el-nikkor 50mm f.4 50mm lens if you need one.
     
  15. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    Thanks for all the information. I have picked up a Beseler 23Cii XL for a really good price. All I have to do now is get it home, it is quite a ways away from here.
     
  16. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    I picked it up today. The thing has never been opened. It came with a Nikkor 50mm lens and a package of AGFA Brovira paper. I know the lens is good. Not so sure about the paper :smile: I know that one is supposed to use an 80mm lens for 6x6, but is it possible to use the 50?
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The 50mm lens won't cover the 6x6 negative. By that, I mean that it will only provide at the base board a sharp image of the centre part of the 6x6 negative. The edges, and in particular the corners of the 6x6 negative will end up less sharp and too light on your print.
     
  18. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    Some serious vignetting going on then. So, I'll need to find an 80, or would a 100 be better?
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A 100mm (or 105mm) lens will work well, but will limit your maximum enlargement size on the baseboard (11x14?). A 105mm lens will, however, cover 6x7 and 6x9 as well.

    There are probably more good used 80mm lenses around, but if you find a good 105mm, you may want to pick it up.
     
  20. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    A good 80 mm lens will cover 6x7 no problem. I use an 80 mm Schneider CompononS for 6x7 all the time, and it works like a champ, even though it's not officially rated to do so. The 80 mm Nikkor, and I believe the higher end Rodenstocks, are rated out to 6x7.
     
  21. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    ya you only need an 80mm, unless your going over 6x9. an 80 is barely cutting it for 6x9 i'd think, but it's plenty for 6x6. you can get away with a 75mm too. I really like my minolta rokkor-x 80mm lens that i use for 6x6, it works great, and i think they can be picked up for pretty cheap. I almost prefer it to my el-nikkor's, but not quite.
     
  22. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu Member

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    I'm putting the enlarger together tomorrow. I have noticed that it did not come with carriers. I know that they can be made from black core mat board, but I have never done that. Any advice?
     
  23. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I would reccomend buying some. They are kind of pricey for what they are, but not crazy. I believe i saw some on here for sale not too long ago. They always pop up on ebay too. or you could just buy them new from any of the online stores for a bit under 100 bucks a pop. might be worth it, if you order chems and paper and stuff at the same time!
     
  24. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    The small Durst for 35mm only are really nice and small. An old Omega B22 (or B8) also be worth considering. If you are cramped, It may make sense to make a cartB8)that has your enlarger, timer, paper, a tray ladder for the developer, stop. etc. It will be much easier in a cart. Also consider getting some LED safelights. I use the opri-led festival lights in both amber and red and they are great....plus they are easy to swap in the bathroom.