Enlarger - second thoughts (35mm or 6x6/6x7)

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Matus Kalisky, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Hello,

    more than a year after I started to consider getting an enlarger here I am again. Meanwhile we moved into a rather small flat what implies some limitations. Still - the kitchen size should allow me to give some darkroom activities a chance - say prints up to 8x10 or so.

    So - the plan is to look for a 35mm OR 6x6/6x7 enlarger. I would go for a 35mm model only if it should be considerably smaller then a 6x6/6x7 model.

    Currently I shoot 35mm (a bit, but more is planned) , 6x6 (quite a bit) and 4x5 (less than I would like to). As I do not plan larger than 8x10 prints and given the space conditions the 4x5 for the near future out of question - this leaves the two smaller formats as candidates for enlarging.

    I want to do ONLY B&W - on multi contrast baryt/fiber papers. I will also do 4x5 contact printing and want to use the enlarger as a light source.

    Given on what I have read I would prefer an enlarger with a diffused light source.

    The question is:

    Which enlarger is stable, reasonably compact (or easy to take apart), but still align-able. Also if some spare parts (bulbs etc) are necessary - for which models there is a chance to find some (and where)

    Should you have some particular model in mind - please do mention what accessories it should come along. I know there is lot of small stuff one needs to actually do something.

    thank you in advance
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    First thing that comes to my mind: Rollei RDE.
    Make shure that the negative carriers are with it and the power supply (basicly a transformer).

    I have one in Holland, waiting for me to come back and start working with it.

    Peter
     
  3. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    As long roll film is involved: Dunco II 67 (Dunco Berlin) but if you also want to do 4x5" I should make a choice on Kienzle (Germany).
    They make all kind of enlargers even over 8x10" format if you want. Further the support of both companies is excellent.

    Best regards,


    Robert
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Have you considered placing the enlarger on a cart [trolley] that can be placed out of the way? That way you may be able to have an enlarger that can enlarge 6x6s and 4x5s.

    Steve
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Since you're in Germany, stick with the ones mentioned above. Durst is a very compact device in the 600 series(6X6) I think they're also small relative to other comparable brands in the 800 series.
     
  6. Marcus S

    Marcus S Member

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    If space is a problem, the small Durst F 60 will work very well. You can use it for 35, 6x6 or 645.
    It makes prints on the base up to 11x14. Larger prints (16x20 or 20x24) can be made by floor or wall projection.
    It is sturdy and simple but of very good quality. It is designed to be taken apart in less than a minute and will not to take up much space when stored.
    Since it is a condensor unit, the quality of light can be altered by placing a simple diffusion sheet of plastic or glass in the filter drawer.
    Don,t let the small size of the F 60 fool you. With a quality lens it is capable of doing excellent work.
     
  7. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    - Peter -
    I do not seem to be able to find much information on the Rollei RDE - would you be so kind to share some or even post a few comments once yours arrives?

    - Robert -
    No 4x5 enlarging planned - the tools are way too large - even if I would put the enlarger on a trolley - I have no place for that either.

    I will check out the Durst models - both the F60 and the 600 models - should I prefer some against others? Are there any caveats I should be aware of?

    thanks
     
  8. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    Till 6x6 (cm) the Durst M605 is a very good and reliable enlarger.
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Another vote for the Dursts. The small 'amateur' models, like the 606 and x60's were made to be taken apart quickly and stowed in a kitchen drawer. The '3' series 35mm enlargers were really tiny. These enlargers had a large quick release knob securing the post to the baseboard.

    Look on ebay for an idea of the models of older Durst enlargers.

    If you get a Durst make sure it comes with a complete set of negative holders and lens boards.
     
  10. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Yes, Durst enlarger could be a viable solution - there are quite some on german eBay. However - they come in different models (mean the 6xx) with different heads so it is for me hard to judge what accessories should come along (apart from lenses) such that one can start in either 35mm or 6x6.

    As most of them seem to have a color head - do theses need different condensers for different formats, or do the color head work on a different principle ... ?
     
  11. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I was in your position. I shoot 35, 6x7 and 4x5. So naturally I wanted an enlarger that does all of those. Hard to come by on a budget. Accidentally I found a 35mm enlarger for free, with some papers too. It's a durst B30. Ok, but not more. I think there are lots of enlargers like this given away. Usually in the local paper ads. That's how I found mine at least.

    Still don't know where to go from there. My current plan is to build my own enlarger head, with a lensboard. And use the focusing rack from the B30. But I think I will mount it on a bigger baseboard, and add something that adds height to the column, so I can get bigger prints.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Colour heads are usually diffusion light sources, so you don't need different or movable condensers to switch film formats.

    For some colour heads, you can replace the "diffusion chamber" with a smaller or larger one. This allows you to match the chamber to the film size. The purpose of doing so is to shorten exposure times when you are using smaller films.

    In any case, if you have the "diffusion chamber" that works with your largest film size, it will work well with smaller film sizes too.

    Different manufacturers have different names for the diffusion chambers.

    I don't have any Durst equipment, and haven't used Durst equipment for 30+ years, so you should look further for Durst specific answers, including whether the Durst equipment you are interested in has the ability to switch diffusion chambers.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Matt
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I bought my enlarger with will handle 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5 I was shooting 35mm film. I have since added MF cameras and do a lot of 6x6 enlargements too. Some time in the future I many get into the 4x5s. The enlarger is a color enlarger so it has built-in filters and a diffuser. I have not printed color yet, but I use the filters on the variable contrast papers.

    I noted at the time I was shopping that the color 4x5 enlargers were going for less, typically, then MF and 35mm enlargers. I encourage you to get a color enlarger that can handle from 35mm through 4x5 so that you have a future growth path if you choose to use it.

    Steve
     
  14. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    Omega C330 - pretty nifty and light. Lovin mine
     
  15. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I started to think more seriously also about the Meopta Opemus models (5, 6, 7) - and then come across THIS one. It is on the pricey side, but seem to contain all the necessary accessories including the color head. I only do not know whether the negative holder (as show in the picture) is suitable for 24x36 (or 6x4.5) too - or only for 6x6 ... ?

    So - any experience on the Opemus models would be appreciated.
     
  16. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    That's a 6x6 glass carrier and if you look at the sides of it's handle, you'll see two things that control the masking blades. There two more at the right side of the carrier. You can crop the image as you wish with them but if you need something more permanent with a 6x4,5 frame you'll need to replace part of the carrier. I don't know if the carriers between Opemus 5 and 6 are interchangeable, but there are lots of parts for the 6 variant. If they are, you'll probably need an "Einlegemaske 4,5X6", which has the two metal frames. In case you want to keep some of the glass (for flatness), you can remove the lower one and replace it with the 6x45 mask.
     
  17. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I had a Durst 606 for a while. Great enlarger, well built and compact. Size matters. The larger the unit, the more stable it will be.