Help me find a 4x5 enlarger!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by TimF, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. TimF

    TimF Member

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    Hi all! I'm slowly building up my darkroom and am trying to find an enlarger that will take up to 4x5 negatives. Can anyone suggest places to look in Australia, particularly in SA? I'm on a pretty small budget - is it unrealistic to hope for something that at least works for $200-$400? What models should I be searching for in this price range? Or should I just build my own?
    So far I've tried vanbar, local camera stores, ebay, gumtree and the last 2 issues of photographic trader but haven't seen anything at all let alone anything around my budget.
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hello Tim and welcome to APUG. Not sure what brands are common in Australia, in the USA Beseler, Omega, Durst are common, and all are pretty good. Pricing is all over the map however, inexpensive ($10) ones sometimes are available. Good Luck in you search.
     
  3. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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  4. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    I think you're trying the right things so far. Total Photographics in Kent Town usually has a few used enlargers in the back room, but it's rare that they'll have anything capable of 4x5. As to your budget, enlargers can be priced with big variation; some sellers still want the big bucks, some people are just happy to get rid of them, getting one for the right price is a matter of luck and persistence.

    Another suggestion is to keep an eye on the local auctioneers, such as MGS etc. They usually list their upcoming items on their websites.

    Good luck!
     
  5. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    Hi Tim, I think your budget is quite realistic but you will need patience to wait for the right enlarger to come along, especially in a smaller city like Adelaide. I've got a spare Beseler 45 and a load of lensboards and carriers but I'm in Melbourne and I hate to think what the courier cost would be for something so big.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Try Craig's List. If it is in your area, you can drive over and pick it up. Many people would just like to get the enlarger out of the garage and you can help them do that if you like what they have.
     
  7. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Some of the Adelaide guys will probably chime in here. Otherwise, you will probably have more luck looking around Melbourne. There are usually a few available. Some people here often have one or two surplus to requirements. :wink:
     
  8. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Very few on the scene in ADL - I've been looking for ages also. And unlike our US counterparts, the $10 enlargers are like pigs flying; if you are lucky enough to find one for that price, you definitely deserve a medal! :wink:

    Total Photographics are the guys I'd suggest as well, although they have had nothing in the way of 5x4s for quite some time. They do have the final edition of the Photographic Trader (RIP), which often had 5x4 enlargers listed. Pretty sure it had some listed, but can't remember prices off the top of my head.

    The Melbourne option is a good one, a day trip could land you a nice souvenir. . . . . .
     
  9. TimF

    TimF Member

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    Cheers everyone for the replies! I've been bothering total photographics and they have my number in case anything turns up :wink:
    I'll keep an eye on auctions too, good tip.
    Melbourne day trip eh.....
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I know there are a few around because TAFE auctioned 20 DeVere 504s about 18 months ago for $150 each - I got one. I suspect that if you posted a few WTB ads that one might come out of the woodwork. Maybe a Wanted poster in the windows of Total Photo and Atkins would get you somewhere?

    PS assuming you're not Tim D and we already know you :wink: you should join the rest of us Adelaide film nerds for monthly pub-night and film-trash-talking. It's like a camera club without the oneupmanship and competition.
     
  11. raoul

    raoul Member

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    Has anyone seen if there are still second hand 4x5 enlargers at Vanbar et al? They've had some listed on their site for quite a while...
     
  12. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    These thing appear from time to time - at one stage I had four of them (down to a sensible one now!). I have found two through work alone. I'll keep my eyes peeled...

    Marc!
     
  13. IanFromGosford

    IanFromGosford Member

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    You could try making your own.

    Great to see more of us getting into film. I've had a 4x5 for years but could only use part of the negative in my old 6x4cm enlarger because of the high cost of 4x5 enlargers. I tried building one but getting even illumination was a problem. I finally got lucky and got hold of one from a colour lab closing (of all places) in Adelaide. For $800 they gave me a Durst 5x4 enlarger, Wallner Analyzer and Timer and 150mm lens. Works great. This leads to a couple of things. First, pro labs are still closing down, and need to sell their gear. Collect from them if you can because you need to know what does what! (manuals are mostly lost by now). Second, you'll need more than an enlarger. You need a lens (say 150mm) and this could be an extra. My guy threw in the lens free because it had to go somewhere. Third, enlargers are either diffusion or condensor, colour or mono. Diffusion is cheaper; colour has correction filters that are ideal for variable contrast papers. The choice you make may influence both price and what you can do. All that having been said, I think with a bit of common sense you could build your own diffusion enlarger by copying the Durst design, which is pretty simple, and using Ilford's variable contrast filters for filtration. Getting everything square would be the tricky part, as would be the need for cooling (Durst uses a 200W dichroic bulb which gets pretty hot) without introducing vibration. I'm happy to post the basic Durst measurements if you're interested. Good luck.
    Ian.
     
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  15. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Maybe Vanbar Melbourne is worth a try. They did purchase a number of various format enlargers from the State Library of NSW some time ago (so that's likely a dead lead) but they do seem to be buyers.
     
  16. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Last weekend they had a giant Japanese 5x4" enlarger in Vanbar Fitzroy, amongst other things - dusty, but in super nick. Wasn't cheap though...

    Marc!
     
  17. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    You just ought to take your time and wait for the right deal. Someone was giving away a free Durst 138 a month or two ago, and i just got a complete darkroom, with a Durst 1200, that i can say is an entirely recommendable enlarger, even with two Ilford 500 heads, and a shitload of darkroom gear (including a huge PVC sink, 50+ litres of chem concentrates, loads of papers and films), all in all for the equivalent of 500 aussie bucks. Just wait for the right deal.
    I put up a classifieds on a big danish site, somewhat like craigslist, you ought too as well.
     
  18. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Now if I could just find a column to fit my LPL 5x4 head to - I'd have a complete 5x4 enlarger!! :smile:
     
  19. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Can't you get one fabricated? Some aluminium box section with a gearing system would be pretty easy to do here in Oz.
     
  20. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Hadn't actually thought of that. . . . although I also have to admit, I'm certainly no DIY handyman brainchild either.:D Maybe I need to research that a little further as it could make for an interesting project.
     
  21. SMBooth

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    I've got a Durst CE 1000 taking up space . The plastic gear which drives it up & down is broken and no light source
     
  22. LJH

    LJH Member

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    You could also do it in timber (well, the upright anyway).

    And, you wouldn't need to gear the whole height. A sliding box over the upright that can be pinned in to predrilled holes would set the general height. From there, have a geared rise/fall system just on this outer box for the fine focus.

    Then again, you could always fix the head to a wall and make a variable height table under it!
     
  23. TimF

    TimF Member

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    Happy to report mission success! I picked up a Durst Laboratec 1200 with an Ilfospeed Multigrade 500 head and exposure control system from the classifieds, for not too much over my budget. I'm counting that as a seriously lucky find.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Great! Enjoy.
     
  25. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Good pick up Tim, did you find it in SA?
     
  26. TimF

    TimF Member

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    Yep, from a guy down at Seacombe gardens who was getting out of darkroom printing in favour of scan+inkjet printing. He got it ex Flinders uni apparently.