Looking at an enlarger, price feedback

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Brian Legge, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    The last time I was in a darkroom was during high school. I'm looking to set one up in my garage.

    I currently shoot 35mm, 6x4.5, 6x6 with a smattering of 6x9. I figure I'll probably give 4x5 a shot at some point and want to buy/build with that in mind as the price of enlargers is so low at this point.

    I found an offer - $215 for the following:

    Beseler 45MXT
    Aristo head (they don't know anything beyond that)
    Schneider Componon-S 2.8/50 lens
    4x5 and 2x2.5(?) carriers
    Trays
    Timer
    Lightbox
    Grain focuser
    ...etc

    So on the positive side, the price seems decent for the body, head and random odds and ends it includes.

    Down side, it doesn't have the carriers I'd need and I'd need a longer lens for medium format (odd that it has a 50mm lens and only large format carriers, but it sounds like the people purchased it for their son who never got around to using it). They've had it in storage for several years and believe it works, so I don't have much in the way of sign on on its condition.

    I'd have to rent a truck to move it (I don't think it would fit in my sedan and I'm nervous about taking it apart) and put a decent chunk more into it for carrier - 35mm and 6x6 at a minimum. That would probably add another $150 to the price.

    Any thoughts on the price? I've only been pricing this stuff out the last few weeks so and an still getting up to speed.

    Thank you in advance for any feedback, I really appreciate it.

    Edit: I should note that I'm not in a rush on a purchase. I'm fine waiting for a good deal. 4x5 enlargers don't seem as plentiful around here though with the exception of older D2s.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2010
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Thats a tough call to make, have you tried talking the seller down in price? On the plus side, you can mask the 6x7(2x2.5)carriers for both your formats for free, and only need a 35mm carrier. You know, everone will start to chime in about getting theirs for free or little to nothing. Your best bet is to try talking the seller down on price. BTW, it shouldn't be too hard to disassemble the beast for loading into the back of a sedan, maybe only remove the base from the column. I stood a Beseler 23cII up in the back of my wifes Expedition, the 45mx is slightly larger.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If the enlarger is in good condition, the price is reasonable. Carriers are not that expensive, maybe 10 or 15 each tops, and 30 give or take for an 80 mm lens.

    Don't disassemble any more than you need to fit it into the car. Most likely if you just take off the base board you'll be all set.

    For serious enlarger rescue, you need at least a hatchback :smile:
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    remove the head which is easier and it reduces the height by a huge degree. But the cold light head is not large to begin with

    You can make negative carriers from mat board, and lens aren't that expensive these days.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Price vs availability. I have purchased them locally for a lot less but if they are rare where your at, then its not a bad price. New, the enlarger is about $2,000.

    The carriers use can be had for $10 to $20 plus shipping. An older but excellent lens, maybe $20.

    Can you get it in my removing the baseboard? In either case, take the head off, its easy, requires no tools.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Thank you for the feedback all. I'll talk with the seller and see what they say.

    The other bit that I didn't think through; I assume Aristo means means cold head and dealing with bulb availability issues? I saw a thread on the recent bulb run - how much should I expect to pay for a bulb (assuming I can find them)?
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You also have the option of finding a color head which works for color or VC B&W or graded B&W
     
  8. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I got my 45MX in my Mustang by just taking off the base, IIRC. If you're sorta patient, you should be able to find the other carriers and lenses you need for reasonable prices as well. You can also mask down the 4x5 carrier to hold the smaller formats, so that's not as hard as needing a lens.
     
  9. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    i concur about price (fair) and removing base to transport

    re. light head... probably a cold light head - i ordered a bulb from a firm in NY/CT or MA (i could find name if need be) for my zone vi cold light head. they manufactured it easily - cost me less than $150 delivered.
     
  10. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Check Craigslist every day. I found a Beseler 45 MCRX in excellent condition with Schneider 50mm, 80mm and 150mm lenses and carriers for 35mm, medium and 4x5 for $50.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Seems like a good deal.

    True, you can get an enlarger and good ones for $50 or less, and sometimes for free. BUT, all the miscellaneous stuff will cost plenty. Trays, timers, grain focuser if you want tone, tongs, etc, etc, etc, and soon, you'll be spending enough to go over this offer. I got my enlarger (D2 and D-II) for practically nothing but that was only a start. Before my darkroom was functional, I spent few hundred dollars.

    Assuming everything passes your visual and possible functional testing, why not offer $200 and see if seller takes it?
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If you get this thing, it will fit in a compact car. Remove the base board AND the cold light. it's just held in place by gravity(or fear of falling)
     
  13. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    So I came across a deal I couldn't pass up today.

    Beseler 45 MXR with 4 lenses (2x50mm, 2x80mm), condenser head, 5 carriers (35mm, 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x9, 4x5), a few easels (including an adjustable one), 2 safelights, multiple filter sets, trays, tongs, grain focuser, various other darkroom gear for etc. Basically everything I'll need minus chemistry the look of it. $100 in total. Even includes some slightly older paper I can use while I get back up to speed.

    Thank you to those who suggested waiting.

    I'll need a longer lens and I'm not sure how well the 4x5 non-glass carrier will work, but I'm definitely happy with it over all. The carriers cover everything I shoot. The enlarger and lenses seem to be in good condition.

    Evidently the guy bought it from local pro who went digital a few years ago for $100 and decided to pass it on for the same price. It blows away a few offers I almost went for previously. Now i just need to clean up a space in the garage and do a bit of light proofing and I should be set.

    This will be the first time I set up a darkroom. I used one for a few years but this will be an interesting learning experience. :smile:
     
  14. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Great find! Have fun setting it up.
     
  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    :cool:Outstanding!!!:D
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Most 4x5 film is on a stiff enough base to hold very well in a non-glass carrier. Unless you are projecting on the wall, your magnification ratio will be small enough that at f11 or f16 the negative will easily be all in focus unless the film has been creased or damaged.
     
  17. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Find out if the Aristo head is a VCL4500 complete with the power supply and is working. If so, that would be worth the price alone. The bulbs are not currently being made and run about $400 each. It takes a blue and green bulb which last a very long time. There have been a number of discussions regarding the comeback of the bulbs.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/