Enlarger suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by gamincurieux, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I will soon be wanting to print bigger than I've been able to so far (generally 35mm only, biggest 30x40cm), having recently bought this ENORMOUS all black in color 20x24 Saunders easel for a song. I call it 'The Beast'. Only 3 things stop me from printing big right away - I need bigger trays, a bigger washer, and a bigger enlarger. I currently use a Durst M605 color head which I'm very happy with I'd like to say (except for the dumb recessed lens board Siriotub for 50mm!). I found it absolutely mint 2nd hand, also for a song, and have put a fair bit of effort into 'customizing' it just the way I like it with regards to neg carriers & glass & so on. The new easel will of course collide with the column. Therefore I'm asking anybody for their suggestions on a replacement enlarger that will let me use this new big easel with it, bearing in mind why I've been so hooked on my M605 thus far & what I might like to have in the new one (of course it's gonna be 2nd hand, not new!). Again, predominantly printing 35mm with option to do medium format on it. Must be able to have an oversized 35mm carrier to do black borders. I don't want anyone to do my shopping for me, rather I'd really appreciate suggestions as a starting point, something for me to start looking at, because aside from the M605 I hardly know what else is out there. Your thoughts will be appreciated. Many thanks, Paul
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,820
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Hi, often you can mount the enlarger column onto a small shelf on the wall (instead of to the baseboard). This allows using a low desk or table to hold the easel.

    Jon
     
  3. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,345
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Bangkok, Tha
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I remember reading about a photographer who mounted his enlarger to the wall and moved the baseboard up and down his purpose-built cabinets. From memory he would slide the baseboard out of one slot (size x) into another slot (size y) - thus giving him movement for enlargement both ways; head upwards and baseboard downwards.
     
  4. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank, but wall mounting isn't an option, can't do things like that in rented property in Australia :wink:
     
  5. Davesw

    Davesw Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Aptos Califo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I love my 23 c (Bessler) I do not make large prints at this time however it looks as if the 23 c is able to swing the head to horizontal to do projection prints on a wall in a reasonable fashion. I have also seen this model with base board removed and the column and head mounted on the wall thus allowing the easel to Be lowed to floor level if needed.
    The 23c is a workhorse as far as I am concerned and lens boards and neg carriers are not a problem to obtain.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,820
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Can you reverse the enlarger column on baseboard? Then weight the baseboard down and project over the edge of the table.

    Jon
     
  7. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,345
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Bangkok, Tha
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My 6x7 enlarger allows me to rotate the head and project onto the wall. Not sure if the Durst allows that, but could be an option if it does.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Get two base cabinets about the same depth as the enlarger baseboard, unbolt the column from the baseboard, mount a piece of 2x6 flat across the back of the two cabinets so the giant easel fits with a few inches to spare. Screw a few cleats to the sides of the cabinets to support a piece or pieces of melamine coated shelving material that will support the easel. Bolt the column to the piece of 2x6. If you have a real wide space between the cabinets, glue and screw a couple of pieces of 2x4 to the bottom or edges of the 2x6 to form an inverted U channel.

    Or:

    Extend the top of a counter off the side of a cabinet and brace it well, reverse the column on the easel so the head is over the floor and screw the easel to the extended countertop.


    Or: buy a Componon 40mm wide angle lens. :smile:
     
  9. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Probably should've mentioned too - I can't project onto the wall, and I'd rather not be reversing & doing it on the floor. I doubt a 40mm lens would make any difference because the M605 column is straight & the head does not come out far from it. I guess what I'm thinking of is something with an angled column - the higher it goes up the further out it comes. Gotta be a color head, thereby diffuser - I hate condensers :wink: Either that or a multigrade head. Only thing that worries me about 2nd-hand is that the filters may have faded over the years. I was lucky with my M605, it really was mint.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,509
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That large easel might be a problem, in terms of centering the image, with many enlargers except some very large ones (5x7 and 8x10).
    If you could give the dimensions from the center of the easel to the top edge, I could check my 'tipped forward column' 4x5 Omega and see if it would even work on that. I know my 4-blade Beseler 16x20 easel is just able to center the image and the easel hangs off the baseboard on 3 sides.
     
  11. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    From the center of the 20x24 easel to the top edge it is 13 inches (it is 26 inches from front to back).

    Thanks for checking that for me!

    I've just seen on Ebay here locally a Beseler 45MXII Enlarger with Dichro 45 Computerized Color Head..... wondering if that might do it.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,509
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll check my enlarger.

    In terms of the Beseler, if its a good deal, just get it and get a different easel if needed. That is a good enlarger :wink:
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,458
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can you reverse mount the head on your M-605? I could do that with the M-601 and project onto the floor for 16x20 and up. Make sure you put loads of weight on the baseboard if you try this.

    Rick
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I know about floor & wall projection quite well, but I cannot do either, space & layout of the darkroom doesn't really permit. My only option is to go up :wink:

    You know, I might only ever do 16x20, but even if I only ever go that big I sure would like to use this new easel, it really is quite an incredible thing. The upshot is I want an enlarger that will take this easel on the baseboard without problems. If I can't then it becomes a convesation piece, and I then have to go find & spend a fortune on a 16x20 easel to be able to print that big on the M605. Looks like it'll go that way.

    Sorry, thinking out loud!
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,509
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Large 4 blade easels can bring $$ on e-bay.
     
  17. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The problem is, 4-blade easels rarely come up for sale in Australia. You really have to be watching Ebay all the time. This GIANT Saunders I have just acquired, for a song I might add, popped up all of a sudden here in Melbourne with just a couple of days to go before auction end. Nobody else bid, and I got it for starting price. Couldn't believe my luck, nor could the seller quite believe his! It really is a big beautiful easel, the whole thing is black, very straight & true blades, perfectly flat, paper grooves for every size, blades move effortlessly & precisely by turning the 4 knobs.... you can see why I want to use it. On the other hand, my much smaller (30x40cm) 4-blade Saunders easel was bought from an Ebay seller in New York, and while it was kind of a bargain, the shipping charges put paid to that. I'd say almost 95% of the time that the only way to get yourself a decent 4-blade easel (Saunders or something) here in Australia is to get it sent from the USA, but it'll cost you. They rarely come up 2nd-hand here, but for a small fortune you can get a new LPL or some other kind from the stores here.
     
  18. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,458
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One way for you to go "up" is to find an Omega B-66XL(or any other "XL" model) The XL stands for extended length on the column. The added height should allow you 20x24 inch enlargements without reversing the head or wall mounting.

    Rick
     
  19. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    OK, looks like it..... who in Australia's got one???
     
  20. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    And talking about selling easels on Ebay, I run the risk of selling it for $50, like how much I paid for it. Then again, it might go for $350. That's Ebay. But, you know, I like it, and whether or not I can actually use it I reckon I'll keep it.

    Unless I'm made an offer I can't refuse.
     
  21. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    Stratford-up
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I am pretty sure I have reversed the column on a 605 (turn head and column through 180deg), put some serious weights on the baseboard, placed the whole thing on the very edge of a table and projected onto the floor

    Worked fine - but is hard on the knees.

    It helps a lot to have a friend give you a hand with reversing the head and column - they are surprisingly unwieldy but is otherwise fairly straight forward

    The biggest problems I had were :-

    Low levels of illumination at 20x24 from a 35mm Neg - had to turn the safelight off to clearly see the image

    A long stretch to focus the image

    Very long Exposure times - do stop the lens down at least one stop - it improves the sharpness considerably and sharpness (or lack of it) is highlighted most clearly in BIG prints


    Alternative to floor projection is to just turn the whole head 90deg and project on to a wall

    The three problems I highlighted will still be true but it’s easier on the knees.


    The upside of big prints is dodging is much easier to do - you have more space to play with and more time to do it

    Have fun

    Martin
     
  22. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Again, I really don't have room to do floor projection. My darkroom is also my kitchen (not that I use it much for cooking mind you, but a kitchen makes the perfect darkroom if there's nobody else to disturb), there's only room for me to stand there between the enlarger & the stove! The easel would not fit there on the floor. Maybe it would fit there snugly, but I'd have to literally be stepping over it. No, my only option is to go UP. So, I'll keep my eye out for something like an Omega D5-XL.
     
  23. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,509
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    On the Omega D5500, set up to make a 16x20 from 4x5 with a 150mm lens, I measure 16" between the center of the projected image and the column. So, based on that your easel would fit just fine. I suspect a D5-XL would have a similar or identical forward slant to the column.
     
  24. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you for looking at that for me!

    While I think about it, I SHOULD be able to use this easel straight up with a DURST Laborator 1200, shouldn't I? I'm thinking it might be a little easier to find one of those than any Omega etc around these parts.
     
  25. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,509
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Laborator 1200 has a straight column, but even the forward slant on the Omega is small. The major factor is how far out the lens is mounted from the column. I'll bet that Durst would be OK with you easel.
     
  26. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I thought of the Laborator 1200 because they're relatively plentiful & they are a serious lab enlarger that would've been doing big stuff.... but yes, remains to be seen if it comes out far enough away from the column.... though in theory it should come out a lot further than it does on the M605, huh? Enough to do 16x20 at least. Surely. The weight of it might buckle my bench legs! I'm wondering if filter fading over time is really a serious consideration.