IFF 13x18cm or Durst Laborator 1200

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Trond, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I'm in the process of buying a large format enlarger, and had almost decided on a wall mounted Durst Laborator 1200 with color head and a range of lenses and mixing chambers for formats from 24x36mm to 4x5".

    Now I'm also considering a floor standing IFF 13x18 color enlarger which also includes a full range of lenses and mixing chambers for all formats up to 13x18cm. This one is also half the price of the Durst. According to the seller, the IFF is very large and heavy. I just found out that the IFF can be wall mounted as well.

    There is much information about Durst enlargers available, but I have found almost nothing about IFF enlargers.

    Does someone here have experience with IFF enlargers? The only things I know is that they were very expensive, and made in Florence, which doesn't tell me very much.

    I'll get more details about the IFF, model and what kind of lenses it includes, soon.

    Thanks,
    Trond
     
  2. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Anyone here who has used IFF enlargers? The model in question is Ampliator, and now I've got a photo of it.

    Trond
     

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  3. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    we have got - as a present (!!) a huge Ampliator 13x18...
    I didn't realize it was an IFF (is yours from Firenze?... sorry - just read your post again..and you mention Florenze.)

    if so - ours is - looking at your image - somewhat newer, but with a "normal" B/W head on it.
    it is HUGE and I think it weighs at least twice or the tripple of what a Durst 13x18 does!!
    Mounting that on a wall sounds crazy to me..

    That said - it is a VERY easy enlarger to work with! The negative holder is much easier than the one on my Durst, and the focusing - changing of lenses - changing of condensors are all "fool proof"..

    A joy to use!

    PS: as an owner of both - I really like to work with the Durst, but must admit, the Ampliator is much easier...
     
  4. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I still find it incredible that equipment such as this can be had for free! I'll have to pay for this one, but considering what it probably cost when new, it's a giveaway.

    Anyway, these enlargers were made by IFF (Industria Fotografica Firenze). The company still exists, and was until recently owned by Manfrotto. Their webpage, http://www.iff.it/ mentions nothing about enlargers, so I assume that they have been out of the enlarger business for some time.

    The wall mount is no longer available, so it will have to stand on the floor. It includes 230, 135, 80mm lenses. Possibly a 50mm too.

    Still waiting for more details and photos of the Laborator, I won't buy anything unless it's complete, so I haven't made up my mind just yet.

    Good to hear from someone who is using one! It looks like a monster, good that it's a usable monster.

    Thanks,
    Trond
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2009
  5. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    yes - but Denmark IS strange this way!!

    I just had to dump (!!) a Durst Laborator 138, as we have NO room for more big enlargers (except, if anyone would like to donate an 8x10"...). I used it mostly for spare parts..

    So now we have the IFF and two well working Durat Laborator 138, and that is more than enough....

    By the way; our IFF looks a little different than the one in your picture (maybe it is just the head).
    I'll go and take an image of it, if you want to compare...
     
  6. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Yes, a photo of yours would be nice.

    Trond
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Interesting enlarger. If you get it I suspect you will become the APUG 'resident expert' on these.
     
  8. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    who are you talking to?:wink:
     
  9. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    He he, I suppose there will be two experts here if I decide to buy the IFF-enlarger. I'm quite a bit of a nerd when it comes to technical things.

    Btw. the color head uses two 250W halogen lamps, and is according to the seller much brighter than a Laborator 1200 (he used to have one of those too).

    I'm now leaning towards the Ampliator: it's obviously a high quality product, it can enlarge 5x7", it's located much closer and it's almost half the price. The downside is the availability of parts, but on the other hand it seems quite robust.

    Trond
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Where have the spares of IFF gone to?

    That dichroitic head was designed for 2x 340W/36V lamps.
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Sorry, no offense, to you expert opinion on these enlargers!! :smile: I was referring to just the Ampilator which I misunderstood to be just the color head (yours is B&W right?).

    I'd be intereste in seeing the innards of that color head .

    Also, i'd like to see pictures of your (gandolif) enlarger.
     
  12. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Ok, I have made up my mind and have bought the IFF Ampliator enlarger. The Laborator is probably a safer choice when it comes to parts and support, but the Ampliator looks so exciting...

    I contacted IFF today, and they told me that they have no parts or documentation for their enlargers, but suggested that I should contact Manfrotto, since they were their former owner. The are only manufacturing suspension systems for lightning and such these days.

    I'll post some photos of it when I have it installed, including some of the innards of the color head ;-).

    Trond
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2009
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Your next task then shall be to find out what Ampliator means...
     
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  15. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Hm, good question. It seems like that they had the habit of putting funny names on their equipment, much like Durst. The condensors for the IFF Eurogon enlarger at least have names like Jota, Kappa, Sigma and Omega.

    Trond
     
  16. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    The word ampliator is latin:

    Ampliator (one who increases the number, augmenter)
    - derived from the Latin word ampliare (enlarge, augment, intensify)
    -- derived from the Latin word amplus (great, large, spacious)

    Found on http://www.myetymology.com/

    Trond
     
  17. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Just to let you know that you are not alone. I have an IFF Eurogon (takes 5x5"). I got it more or less by accident and right know it is lying on my living room floor. One colour head and one B/W. 500W in both versions.
    If anyone within traveling distance from southern Sweden always dreamed of owning an IFF feel free to contoct me. It is a good enlarger, but I have an DeVere 5108 that takes my 8x10" as well as 4x5" so I don't really need it.
     
  18. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    The enlarger is now in the back of my car, and it's larger than I imagined. It's probably usable as it is, but it will take some work before it's ship shape. Will post photos soon.

    Trond
     
  19. rjr

    rjr Member

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    I use a IFF Eurogon, 9x12, a beauty named "Agathe". :wink: But I have no time to respond in detail ´til later tomorrow.

    Just two short notes - there is not much to break with these enlargers, It takes Durst lens boards, the lamps are standard halogen bulbs, the scale illumination is made with standard 12V 5W-car bulbs.

    And if you mount it, never release the stop without having installed the head first. The weight in the column would fall down and chances are you´ll be hurt.

    Roman
     
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  20. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Hello,

    I've just carried the Ampliator, in parts, up the stairs to our flat. The enlarger has been modified by the previous owner. The counterweight is placed outside the column, so it was very easy to disengage.

    Attached is a digisnap of the enlarger and my son ;-).

    Trond
     

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  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  22. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I have examined the enlarger more closely. There is a bit rust here and there, but it doesn't seem to matter for the operation of the enlarger. It was very dirty, and I have cleaned the exterior and the inside of the colour head.

    Some felt in the light traps will have to be replaced here and there.

    The previous owner was obviously fond of tape, it will take some work to remove all of it from the baseboard.

    The enlarger powers up fine and the fan, the lamps and the filters work fine. The fan is quite noisy though.

    One interesting thing is that the colour head is located in the front of the enlarger. The large rear part of the head is actually a lamp house for when the enlarger is used with condensors. It contains a turret with three lamp sockets, one of them occupied by a large opal lamp. That part of the enlarger has probably never been used, and I don't have the condensors

    Will post more photos later today.

    Trond
     
  23. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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  24. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Trond,

    welcome to the exclusive club of IFF enlarger owners. Seems like all of them have gathered at APUG... all four or five of them :wink:

    Mine was loud, too. Check it for misalignment, it might have turned in the spring-tensioned mount. But it will never whisper, I´m afraid.

    Did you get the original transformator? Mine burned through some years ago, IIRC it wasn´t the core that was damaged but the wire clamps. A friend of mine rewired it completely and since then it works like a charm.

    One other source of trouble is the illumination of the filter scales, the bulbs have a tendency to jump out of the socket.
    But be assured - as long as nothing is missing, you´ll never need spare parts for the IFF, since it´s not meant to break. :wink:

    I alway wondered but never looked into it. Your son might have enough room to sit in there. :wink:

    But you got a light mixing chamber? I own three of them for the 12x12cm-type but I only use the largest box since it´s so bright and exposure times are still rather short with the 9x9-chamber. Replacing them with a DIY-kind is pretty simple.

    I´m interested in close ups of the base board and the wall bracket mount. Agathe was delivered as a floor projecting enlarger to be mounted on rails, the base board would be a simple table placed under the lens. A friend of mine welded a steel table, we mounted a kitchen board as baseboard on it and clamped the enlarger onto it.

    A price note - a few years ago IFF listed the price for the basic 12x12cm bw condensor model with ca. 5000EUR.

    Wthat makes you think it´s from the 70s? Mine was built in 1995 -I talked to the original owner, a tiny italian who went and got it at the factory :wink:- and looks pretty much identical to yours, the only visible difference to me is the negative carrier.
     
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  25. calceman

    calceman Member

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    I have a IFF 4x5 enlarger with colour head. The head can be tilted to project horizontally or vertically. The heavy part is the column, around 40kgs. Easy to use. Opened the beast for a clean: its mostly wires going to the halogen lamps, so no real need for parts if something break down. Same for the power supply... Definitely built to last...
    Between the 4x5 and 5x7 enlargers, I would go for the biggest format. The reason being that my 4x5 automatically crops a bit of the 4x5 negative (maybe I do something wrong, but what can go wrong?). My guess is that the larger light source from a 5x7 enlarger will be beneficial on a 4x5 negative.
    You are in Oslo... Maybe we could meet sometimes...
     
  26. rjr

    rjr Member

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    >The reason being that my 4x5 automatically crops a bit of the 4x5 negative (maybe I do something wrong, but what can go wrong?

    Perhaps because the head was made for 9x12 cm (plus a little bit of overhead)? That´s what is written on my Eurogon.

    Roman