Is Durst M805 the enlarger I should buy?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Henry Alive, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    I want to buy a new enlarger in order to make B&W prints as big as 16x20.
    I have the possibility to buy the following one, that I understand it is a very good enlarger:
    - Durst M805, with Bimacon 75.
    I have not seen this enlarger yet, as it is far from my city. These are my questions:
    1.- Could I print 35 mm and 6x6 negatives with this enlarger, without buying anything else?
    2.- What is Bimacon 75?
    3.- are there negatives carrier glassless for both 35 mm and 6x6 format?
    4.- Is this enlarger a good option, or would you prefer a diffusion one?
    Thanks for your comments,
    Henry.
     
  2. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    1. Yes, provided the enlarger comes with an 80mm lens and a large enough negative mask.
    2. It's a condenser, see here. (It never hurts to Google before asking :wink:)
    3. You can put glass (AN on top, clear below) or metal masks in the carrier. Ask the seller what comes with his M805. For 6x6, glass is recommended (some would say obligatory).
    4. Highly personal. I much prefer condensers for b&w, but other people don't. A condenser head gives more contrasty & more grainy enlargements. Diffusers are softer and smoother. Again, you can look this up through Google. This is a useful Wikipedia article.

    I have never used the M805 (M700 instead). But all these higher-end Dursts are great. Key point is that you ask the seller what comes with the sale. It can be very difficult to obtain missing parts.

    Good luck, Sander.
     
  3. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Thanks Sander, but let me make another question:
    I understand that, since the enlarger has a Bimacon 75 condenser, I can make prints from 6x6 negatives with a 80mm lens and an apropiate negative carrier. However, I am not sure if I would be able to print from 35mm negative with this condenser (in your link, it is mentionated that it is needed a Bimacon 75 and a combination Bimacon 75 + Femocon 50, for 35mm and smaller film sizes). Could I be able to print 35mm negative with the Bimacon 75?
    Thanks,
    Henry.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    You would be able to print anything smaller than the condenser's limits. The only downside might be slightly less light for the 35 mm frame than you would get with a condenser meant for 35. On the other hand, you gain in less stuff to keep track of and store.
    You will likely want a 50mm lens for printing the 35 if the enlarger doesn't have one, especially if you want big prints from 35.
     
  5. boswald

    boswald Member

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    A favorite trick of Durst fans is glass(anti-newton) on top, glassless below. Small parts are not hard to find, as there are a lot of these and, we talk. Someone has said, Beselers are Fords and Chevys,
    Omegas are Volvos, and Dursts are Mercedes- in a sense of sturdiness, not luxury/cost. I drive
    a ford, a volvo, and an dodge pickup, but I print with Dursts.
     
  6. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    bdial said it already, but yes, you can print 35mm negs fine with just the Bimacon 75. The Femocon 50 is only an supplementary lens that collimates the bulb's light onto the smaller area of the 35mm negative. So you will lose some light without the Femocon 50.

    I myself have a separate condenser for 35mm but I never use it. The condenser for 6x6 does the job for both formats; leaving it in the enlarger saves swapping.

    bdial is right in that you should probably want to have a 50mm enlarger lens as well. A good 50mm is brighter (easier focusing) by a full stop than an equal-quality 80mm, and with the 50mm you can make bigger prints from a 35mm negative.

    BTW, in 35mm I also do the 'trick' of having AN-glass on top and an open metal mask below the negative. This gives the best of two worlds: really only one surface of glass to keep dust free, and a flat-laying negative nonetheless.