Enlarging: Where to start?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by johnfromnorwich, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich Member

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    I've come back to photography after a 20 year break and I've really got the medium format b/w bug. The kit is so cheap and the image quality is just amazing. I've shot 50 or so rolls of 120 and I'm starting to reliably get results that I like, but currently I can only scan my negs. If I wanted to start enlarging, where would I start? Just a basic setup that woud allow me to print up to 10 x 8 from 6 x 7 negs. I'm in the UK if that helps - middle of nowhere, North Wales so any purchasing would almost cerainly have to be done online. Any help appreciated. = John.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There'll be a few UK APUG members near you why not try and meet up with one or two. There's not as many 6x7 enlargers in the UK, someone else will have to point you to a make/model, as I print my 6x7/6x9 with a 5x4 enlarger, but all enlargers print up to between 16x12 & 20x16.

    Ian
     
  3. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Hello John,

    From your user name I had assumed you were in Norwich. Anyway, I've used Second Hand Darkroom Supplies for a few darkroom items, purchased others new from various dealers and also used eBay (which I'm not that fond of). You could look at RK Photographic or Nova darkroom for a new enlarger such as one of the Kaiser series. For medium format work I use a Meopta Magnifax 4a Colour which will enlarger up to 6x9 negatives, it is generally robust, however I have managed to break two fine focusing knobs. If you want to enlarge 6x7 negatives you will probably need a 100mm or longer lens.

    Ctein's book 'Post Exposure' is excellent on issues to do with lenses, paper contrasts etc.
    http://www.elsevierdirect.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780240804378

    RK Photographic (www.thedarkroom.co.uk)
    Nova Darkroom (www.novadarkroom.com)
    Second Hand Darkroom Supplies (www.secondhanddarkroom.co.uk)

    For materials I would recommend:

    Silverprint (www.silverprint.co.uk - very broad range)
    Morco (www.morco.uk.com - phone them up, excellent service)
    There are others like Calumet who I've used a few times.

    Tom.
     
  4. El Gringo

    El Gringo Subscriber

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    There's usually quite a few 6x7 enlargers on eBay at one time and you can pick them up for a bargain at the moment. The only problem you might have is that most people won't post them as enlargers are so heavy/bulky and when they will it costs a lot.

    I picked up a second-hand Jobo/LPL C6700 which works really well up to 6x7. You can still buy them new so its quite easy to get hold of accessories as and when you need them.
     
  5. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Hi John,

    I use an LPL/Saunders 6700MX colour head for my 6x7 enlarging with a 105mm f4 Schneider lens.
    This allows me to print up to 12"x16" - bigger than you are currently looking at, but will allow you to go bigger at a later date. :smile:

    You'd need trays too - 3 (dev, stop, fix), safelight, tongs, chemicals and of course a lightproof space to enlarge in.
    You should be able to get a decent 6x7 enlarger and accessories at a fair price - my enlarger cost me AUD695.00 about 5 years ago; have seen other APUGers comment on these being cheaper again.

    Of course the same enlarger with just a B&W head sells for about AUD295-395. If that's all you'll be printing, this would be a cheaper alternative again for you. Mr Cad has a good selection of used equipment (Croydon) - and a pretty good mail-order service if I remember correctly. http://mrcad.co.uk/

    Good luck!

    - Nanette
    www.nanettereid.com
     
  6. pcyco

    pcyco Member

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    hallo

    you also can look for a kaiser enlarger (they go up to 6/9 i think so) made in germany (if you by it from an shop the fees will not be so high compared to *bay.
    a used rodagon lens (80mm)
    good aesels are expensive, for large formats i us self made cartoon things (works well)
    trays (all kinds self made, adapted plasticboxes, etc.)
    with this equipment i enlarge also 135films up to 50/60 cm (condensor head) for exhibitions. no problems till now

    analog greetings

    thomas
     
  7. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Forgot to mention that I can also print 6x9 on the MX6700 by using a universal mask minus the masking blades. Works a treat!

    - Nanette
    www.nanettereid.com
     
  8. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Some of the LPL enlargers are quite good - The C7700-Pro is solid and capable of reasonably large enlargements. On the other hand, the C6600 shows how cheap the lower end can be.

    As El Gringo says, these turn up fairly regularly on ebay and fetch wildly different prices - Over the last few weeks, seen a C7700 remain unsold at 99p, and another go for over £160. Virtually all have been "buyer collect". Having just boxed up one to ship overseas, I now know why !

    If you were in Norwich I could have pointed you to a C6600 for the price of a beer, and a C7700 for £135ish.
     
  9. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich Member

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    Sounds promising at least. I take it that those prices are excluding lenses?
     
  10. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    The C6600 is minus lenses and PSU, the C7700 I believe includes lenses, easel, trays, and a bunch of other stuff. Would need to check on that though.
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    John, NOVA, is pretty good for materials, chemicals and hardware.

    Hardware - they have both new and second hand enlargers - as well as loads of other stuff.

    I have a Kaiser 6x9 Enlarger - very nicely made piece of kit.

    Martin
     
  12. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Don't know your personal experiences with eBay, John. Four years ago I snagged a clean and perfectly operational old Japanese Lucky 60M enlargers for which they make up to and including neg carriers of 6x7 in size and I snagged it for $50.00 USD including shipping. At the time I was not even processing my own film but I knew I could not pass it up. All that to say that there are deals to be found, even once in a lifetime deals like this. Try hitting local small colleges and high schools and see if any are foolish enough to be unloading their film darkroom gear at pennies to the dollar. You never know what you might find out there in the digital wasteland.
     
  13. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich Member

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    Lots of info - and thanks for the PM Ian. One more question: I have seen a Durst 800 with 6x6 and 6x9 holders. Will I be able to put 6x7 in the 6x9 and if so will I need to mask it around the edge?
     
  14. El Gringo

    El Gringo Subscriber

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    You'd probably be able to find a 6x7 holder second-hand somewhere but it is very easy to make a mask out of some cardboard, or something similar.
     
  15. Marizu

    Marizu Subscriber

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    Hi John. You didn't say exactly where you were in North Wales but there is a shop called Cambrian Photography in Colwyn Bay. They're well worth a visit if you're travelling along the A55. Although they're quite a big shop, it's the second generation of a family business so they have lots of film experience and enthusiasm. They also have quite a few secondhand enlargers. They sorted me out with a 6x7 darkroom for a good price when I wasn't exactly sure what all the bits that I needed were.
    Good Luck!