Help and Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by unohuu, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    I was searching Craigslist looking for background muslin and ventured to Darkroom Eqpt. Lots of inexpensive enlargers. I want one now, but know nothing of them. Here is my quandry. I will have to have this portable since I will be using our downstairs shower room. I will have to have a table for the enlarger and a board/table over the toilet.

    Which little enlarger might be great for darkroom novice?
    I shoot more 25mm but also use a 645.

    Besler 67P Enlarger

    Besler 50mm 3.5 lens

    Rodagon 80mm 5.3 lens
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    Durst F30 enlarger with Besler 50MM 1:3.5 lense
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    Besler 23C Enlarger, a Gralab 450 time
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    Besler 67 c


    These are all less than $100 if you are in the Minneapolis area!

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2006
  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Any of these should be fine to get started with, and there is no reason why you couldn't keep using them for many years on down the road as well. They all will handle your 645 negatives (and smaller) as long as you have the right negative carriers (you can get them easily enough if they do not come with the enlarger). At some point you might change lenses, or not, but these enlargers should be easy to use and should work well forever if you take care of them.

    - Randy
     
  3. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Is there any reason that you can not set up a table and bench for the enlarger and trays near the shower room?

    Moving enlargers around is not good for their alignment. Aligning an enlarger is a PITA but critical to sharp results.

    The Beseler 23c seems the best of the choices listed. Tne 80mm lens will serve nicely for medium format. A top quality lens for 35mm is recommended such as an 50 mm Apo Rodagon N.
     
  4. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Forget the Durst F30 - it's 35mm only.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've used a Beseler 67C since I bought it new in the 1970s. If it is one like mine, it has a massive single girder, and mechanics that withstand the moving process better than many (although Claire is right - stationary is better). It is limited to a maximum negative size of 6x7. It was originally supplied with all necessary condensers, so unless someone has discarded one of them, it can handle everything from Minox to 6x7, with the appropriate carriers and lenses. The current models use the same carriers and lens boards, so there is no shortage of same. There are also colour heads available, and probably variable contrast heads too (I've never seen one of those separate from a new enlarger). You can get parts, and can talk to people at the factory too!

    A Beseler 23C series enlarger adds the ability to use 6x9 cm negatives. They are bigger, but plentiful on the used market, because they are well suited to schools and group darkrooms. Most of the same observations apply to them too.

    Unless you need to go larger, both are good choices.

    Matt
     
  6. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Advice truly appreciated. The basement shower is quite small. There is a little corner by the furnace I could place an enlarger and a second small space by the laundry tub, but that might put electrics at risk...I am t hinking a rolling cart for the enlarger so I can wheel it into the shower when needed. Otherwise I have to put off the dream for a while.
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Unohuu,
    I'm using a microwave cart for the same thing.
    Also use a projector table from one of the local schools for other items that aren't especially portable.
    67C sounds as though it should do prety well for you depending on the lenses available. The first thing I'd do though, is toss that 50/3.5 lens & replace it with a decent Nikon/Rodenstock/Schneider item.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I use a really nice stainless steel microwave cart with casters, two shelves and a sturdy wood top that I bought from a Target store in Washington State. I think it was about $40.00.
     
  9. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Even though the F30 will only do 35mm negatives it is quite small and works well in a small area. It is also very easy to disassemble and store away. I still have mine and they are capable of producing really good prints.
     
  10. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Luke,

    I operated in just the manner you are proposing for several years. Be as creative as you can with your space and enjoy yourelf.

    Neal Wydra
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Luke,

    In 40 years' experience, sometimes with temporary darkrooms, you need to smack an enlarger about a bit in order to destroy parallelism. This is, in my estimation, a minor consideration, despite my customary high regard for Claire's advice. Of course if Ms. Anthrope emerged from the darkroom she might disagree with Claire...

    Cheers,

    R. (www.rogerandfrances.com -- take a look at the free 'our darkrooms' module in The Photo School)
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Perhaps single tray processing will help keep your
    dream alive. I've been using the single tray method
    for a few years. A tray and more than the usual
    dilutions of chemistry used one-shot makes for
    a lot more roomy darkroom.

    A second tray is needed for holding and alternate
    trays wash method. Dan
     
  13. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I moved two Durst enlargers in and out of cupboards for many years, they were a C35 (35mm only) and a M601 (up to 6x6 with appropiate condensors), however I have a LPL (Saunders in your part of the world I think) C7700 as my smaller formats enlarger these days and it actually breaks down into 3 bits very easily (baseboard, column and Head). Takes minutes to pull apart or put together and I've only done it a couple of times (now have a permanent setup) Might be an option if you don't have a cupboard big enough to put a erected enlarger.