Meopta Enlarger with Wings??

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by stormbytes, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    I've been perusing eBay, looking at picking up a new, compact enlarger. Actually came across 2 units that interest me very much.

    Both are made by 'Meopta'; the first is the Opemus 5a Medium-Format enlarger, and the second an Axomat 5a 35mm enlarger. I've always used just one enlarger for both 35mm/mf simply because it's what I had (back then, a Saunders/LPL 4550 VCCE). Nowadays I don't need anything that big, and the thought of having 2 enlargers, each setup with dedicated format-specific lenses and negative carriers is a welcomed prospect.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience using these (Czech-made, I believe) models, and what they thought of them.
    Also, as reflected in the subject, one of these units has what appear to be 'wings'; half-circle metal straps on either side of the lensboard.

    What on earth are these for anyway?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Steinberg2010

    Steinberg2010 Member

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    I have an Opemus 4 - I think the wings are for supporting a large roll of 35mm (maybe from a 250 exposure back?). It's a fine enlarger for a small darkroom/beginner (as am I) I would have thought that a larger professional model might be more vibrationless, but it does fine for me and I've made some nice prints on it.

    ~S
     
  3. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    The "wings" support your negatives if you print in a roll, rather than in strips.

    I used to have two Meopta enlargers (OPemus & Opemus II) and they were both great little users. I traded them up for a LPL6700MX as I had a 6x7 and they only went to 6x6.

    Now I've got my hands on a 5x4 head, so will eventually trade up - once I get all the other parts I need. . . . . .
     
  4. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Interesting, I've used the Saunders 4550 VCCE, considered by many to be the Rolls-Royce of enlargers. It does up to 4x5 and is probably as stable as they get. I would think with the smaller units vibration would be less, not more, of a problem because there's no fan cooling or other 'moving parts'. In fact, the small footprint would, I think, allow me to dedicate an enlarger to each format (35/6x6).

    I own a Beseler 67 VC. The worst, most cheaply-made, unfriendly piece of $800+ garbage I've ever bought! Nothing is geared. Everything is tension-adjusted, with the worst engineering I've ever seen in a supposedly US-made product, if this one is at all. I absolutely hate it, which is part of the reason I'm 'upgrading'.

    I might just go with the Meopta Axomat 5a for 35mm, and pick up a Beseler (original - blue) 23C II for 6x6 if that would be a better combination.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Daniel, the older 23C's are solid machines. Question, why not use the 23C for 35mm?
     
  6. davidmasek

    davidmasek Member

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    You might want to see this web: http://www.meoptahistory.com/index.php for info on Meopta enlargers. I have both Opemus 6 and Magnifax 3a. Both are ok, I prefer Opemus for 24x36 and Magnifax for MF. Magnifax is 6x9 and is more robust.
     
  7. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Fotch -

    I'm thinking about printing 5x7's on the road in the Winnebago. I can maybe just pull it off with the Axomat. The 23C is just not a mobile instrument, but I got it for a song so...
     
  8. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Hi Daniel

    I recently acquired an Opemus V which I believe is pretty much identical to the Va. The build quality is adequate - I would say utilitarian, but not cheap and nasty. It's not a work of mechanical art like my Leitz V35 and the head will certainly vibrate if you bump it, but I don't find that to be a problem in practice (I turn it on and off at the mains switch on the wall so I don't give it any bumps while printing). If it comes with a Meochrom head then you can use it with multicontrast paper. It's quite compact.

    Andrew