Enlargers for color printing?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by SkipA, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I have a Beseler 45 MCRX with a Universal 45 head, with both the B&W variable contrast controller and the Color controller. I just started printing color again, and the color controller is on the blink. I'll either need to get it serviced, or buy another head like the Dichro 45s (current Beseler model). I will check to see if Beseler will service the Universal 45, but I've heard that the Dichro 45s is the better head for color printing, so buying a new or used is my easiest route.

    Or ... I might just buy another more modern enlarger and color head. Used ones are plentiful. The only downside is having to collect all the negative carriers and lensboards I need again.

    So with all that in mind, I'm considering options.

    I could buy a new Beseler Dichro 45s head for $1900, or find a used one (for probably FAR less money).

    I could buy an altogether different enlarger. If I have to spend money, I might as well upgrade. My main limitation is height. My darkroom is a converted bedroom with an 8 foot ceiling.

    Aside from Beseler, are there any 4x5 or 5x7 enlargers still being made new with color heads?

    If buying used, what are some good enlargers for color printing?
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    omega dichroic head, D series enlarger. I don't see any point in buying new darkroom equipment (unless you're running a lab) these days when people are giving it away.
     
  3. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Yeah, I've been searching ebay, and even though I haven't yet come across my dream machine (which I actually haven't even identified yet), I can see that people are giving them away. So I think the best policy is to decide on the enlarger and head, and then wait for a nice one to pop up.

    Omega D series with dichroic head? Are those still made or serviced? One problem with electronic gear is that capacitors often go flakey after a while. I want equipement that can be serviced.
     
  4. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Electrolytic capacitors usually fail, particularly if the equipment has sat unused for several years.

    The good news is that replacements are readily available and not expensive, although the labor to replace them may be.

    - Leigh
     
  5. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I last used this Universal 45 color controller in 2002, 10 years ago. Unfortunately, figuring out what's wrong with it and fixing it is beyond my ability.
     
  6. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Just hold out until you find a good used 45S head. Then your chassis and neg holders, etc. are still good. You could even sell the Universal with the working B&W controller and recoop some or all of the money spent on the 45S.

    I bought a used 45S and sold a Universal with the color controller only for about even money several years ago.
     
  7. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    The Omega D Dichroic II head has: wires, bulb & socket, panel-illuminator lamp & socket & illuminator lamp switch, and cooling fan. The Omega D Standard Power Supply has a 120v-22.5V step-down transformer, wiring and input & outlet sockets. The power switch is the only moving part. The dichroic head and the power supply do not contain any capacitors.

    If you need voltage stabilization (only needed for color work), you’d buy the solid-state voltage stabilizer that plugs into the back of the power supply or you can use a line stabilizer. I don’t know what components are inside of the solid state voltage stabilizer.
     
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I have one.

    Bought it used as a backup for my Ilford Multigrade 500H, then decided it would take too much effort to change if needed.

    If you're interested I'll unpack it and check it out.

    - Leigh
     
  9. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I think that's best too, David. The idea of a Durst 5x7 or 8x10 enlarger always makes me long for one, but it would be impractical in my current location (wouldn't fit). For now, the Beseler is here, working fine except for the color head, and fits the space I have.

    I've got a lead on a Dichro 45s head from a member here. Hopefully that'll work out for me.
     
  10. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Thank you Leigh. If my other option doesn't pan out, I'll take you up on that.