Help buying enlarger or 6x7 b&w work

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Kimmutikainen, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Kimmutikainen

    Kimmutikainen Member

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    Hi,

    I am looking to buy an enlarger in the near future and need some help. This will be my first enlarger and my fiest time in a darkroom printing. I have been looking at http://www.kienzle-phototechnik.de/Enlarger.html and the A67 version with the 90 apo componon lense. Why buy a new enlarger you say, mainly because I am afraid of buying something that wont work as I am not sure what tell tales and possible errors to look for.

    When it comes to the enlarger mentioned, it is some configurations to choose from air is here that i need some guideance. Split vc etc.. What setup to choose if i decide to go for one of these?

    Thanks in advance

    Br
    Enlarger newbie
     
  2. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Well, for starters, I would want to see the enlarger, I don't see any pictures on the site. Can they put you in touch with someone who has one, so you can look at it first hand? I would want to do this, speaking for myself.
    VC papers are quite popular today, and for good reason, though some folks prefer graded papers, so this would be an important decision, and one that would be difficult to make without using both graded and VC papers yourself first. Is there a way you can use a darkroom before you invest in this? Would you buy a new car if you are driving for the first time?
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I agree with George's suggestions. I would add that you consider a 4x5 enlarger in case somewhere along the line you want a larger format. Also I would think that a used enlarger in good condition could be a better investment and deciding what type of light source such as condenser or cold light as well as if you will be using variable contrast filters or a vc lamp system or a color head if you will be printing color. I've been using an Omega D2 for well over thirty years and it functions as well today as when new. As more labs and individuals go digital there should be some decent enlargers out there wanting a good home.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  4. Kimmutikainen

    Kimmutikainen Member

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    Hi ,thanks for the replies. here is the direct link to the PDF with picture and specs: http://www.kienzle-phototechnik.de/Vergroesserer/pdf/E/A67_prospekt_E_internet_290404.pdf

    I would love to try out a darkroom beforehand and different papers, but it seems hard to come by here in Bergen. I got an offer to see an APUG members darkroom who resides in Bergen a few months ago. Maybe I should try that first before deciding on the enlarger.

    I am all for a good secondhand enlarger, but I recon I will not be able to see if everything is as it should be, and thats the reason for my hesitation to buying a used one here in Norway.

    Br
    Kim
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Some universities have non-credit photography courses that include darkroom also a local photo lab or professional photographer with a darkroom may permit you to visit. For the most part the enlarger should move smoothly, lock in position and be able to be leveled as well as being rigid. The most concern would be with the type of lamp and having a good lens.

    Jeff
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    For B&W printing any head with Yellow and Magenta filtration (Or Green and Blue lights) should work fine. A white-light enlarger with a filter drawer (for Ilford Filters) will also be fine.

    If this is your first time enlarging, I'd try to get some 35mm enlarger for less than $100 and teach myself how to make a few prints. Then you will be then in a better position to know which of those $2000+ enlarger systems is right for you.

    In the USA there are perhaps a hundred enlargers available for less than $100USD like this ( http://cleveland.craigslist.org/pho/2788670503.html ) you could try to get someone to ship one to you. Also, if you advertise to pay shipping in the Classified, someone out there probably has a non used 35mm enlarger they could send you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2012
  7. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I highly suggest you take him/her up on the offer. You will not only get your hands wet, but see how she/he set up his/her darkroom; which is invaluable. A Apug mbr also gave me the opportunity to see his DR and that time I spent in his darkroom was more valuable than the reading of tech manuals/forum reviews and other non-physical methods combined.

    As many have suggested to me - although the best gear is exciting to get, spending on papers and chems adds up fast too
     
  8. Johnkpap

    Johnkpap Member

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    Hi Kim

    The places i would look for a Nice Used Enlarger would be Second hand / Junk shops and local Auctions

    I pickeded Up my Durst L1200 an a Govement auction for only $600.00 some years ago, I also bought a nice Kaieser 6x6 enlarger
    at a local junk shop for $20.00 with trays and developing drums timer ect, yard sales and and car boot sales are other places they show up.

    The other place is $BAY and other online auctions

    Regards

    Johnkpap
     
  9. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I always recommend buying an enlarger with a VC head rather than color or condenser. If an enlarger isn't somehow bent or the bellows leaks, there isn't all that much that can go wrong. I've had a ridiculous number of enlargers and they all have similar quality as long as they are properly aligned. I decided I liked the LPL 6700VCCE simply for it's convenience.
     
  10. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I would definitely look in the used section on foto.no/bruktmarked (too bad the Kaiser system V on there now, is only 6*6) and finn.no, you can get some really great deals these days.

    Also, if I was to buy something today, I's probably try and look for a VC head enlarger of some kind. Getting a 6*7 enlarger would probably be "safer" than buying a 35mm only enlarger (in my view).
    It seems that medium format is a more "pro"/enthusiast format, so the equipment is more likely to have been used by someone who knows what they were doing and someone who took care of the equipment more than your average student/family.

    I would definitely go look at the darkroom if you have the option :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2012
  11. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    If your buying your first enlarger I recommend buying used. I also recommend used El Nikkor 6 element optics.

    If you can relax your negative requirements to 645; you can purchase a used Durst 601 or 605 located in Europe. 605s pop up on e-bay frequently. Some look almost new with the packing box.

    The A67 lacks lens tilt to correct converging lines. The Kaiser VPM 7/9005 would be my first choice if buying new.