Meopta Opemus 5a Enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by TPPhotog, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've been offered a Meopta Opemus 5a" Enlarger. So far I've found that when it was made it had the following spec:

    Lens: Anaret 4.5/80.
    Condenser lens: two-lens of 105 mm diameter.
    Lamp: opal max. 150 W.
    Enlargement: max. 6.2x onto the base plate.
    Weight: 9.3 kg.
    Years of production: 1982-84.

    I would be using it with 35mm negs (B&W) of course and was wondering if anyone has experience with this make - opinions would be welcomed. I guess I could get it for around £25.00.

    Kind regards Tony
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    My first enlarger - ah, you never forget your first love - was an Opemus 6x6, most likely the direct forerunner of the machine you're talking about. Very sturdy with a focusing device. They used to be around 100 pounds sterling in the seventies so this price you will have to fork out is a laugh. Buy the thing! if it is in good working order. The lens is not bad either although it meant for 6x6 negs. For 35 mm film a 50mm lens would be a better choice. You will need some filters if you want to do printing on VC paper.
    Regards
    Hans
     
  3. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans,
    Thank you for your very quick reply :smile: I'm trying to find out if it has a 50mm lens fitted now, but if not there's plenty around for virtually pennies these days. Also happily I already have the filters as I frequently hire, beg, borrow or steal darkroom time LOL
    Regards Tony
     
  4. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    I had an Meopta Axomat 5a which must be similar. I do recomend the brand, very robust. My enlarger was modular, I could and did change the condensor head for a dichroic one. Size of enlargement may be an issue but mine could swing for wall projection. The lens makes a big difference obviously. At £25 it's gotta be a steal though.
     
  5. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    John,
    Thank you also. I believe it can be rotated 180 degs on it's baseboard allowing me to project onto a lower surface or the floor :smile: I think I'll take a couple of negatives over to have a look at it and if it looks clean then it could be added to my family before the weekend.
    Regards Tony
     
  6. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Meopta Opemus 5a Enlarger Update :D

    Just a quick update and to thank Hans and John for your kind advice.

    I am now the proud parent of a Meopta Opemus 5a Enlarger. When I arrived with the seller I found that it was fitted with a colour head and a 50mm Meogon Lens. It can be rotated either on the baseboard 180 degs as well as through 90 degs for wall projection. The neg holder is adjustable for 35mm up to 6x6. Whilst I was there I also picked up a transformer; timer and easel. Due to the colour head and other goodies I happily offered £55.00 for the lot which was happily accepted. It's going to need a little time invested giving it a clean but other than that it looks perfect.

    Many thanks once again guys Tony :D
     
  7. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Well, Tony, a colour head is even better for VC paper printing. Make sure though how the cc values of the filters compare with Ilford/Agfa. Only 55 pounds for the lot? Leaves you some change for a few pints at the Lens & Tripod pub.
    Hans
     
  8. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans, Well (hic!!) there is that advantage of course. Finding it was a colour head did throw me on what to offer, but as he was so happy with the offer I don't feel quite so guilty :confused: Before you and John replied I wasn't sure if I should touch it as it's a new one on me.

    I've had a good look over it and it's exactly what you and John said it would be ie very sturdy and the focusing is surprisingly very smooth. In fact I would go as far as to say that it feels better than ones I've used in hired darkrooms and at colleges. I tried a sample focus onto white A4 paper just to check for sharpness and it's spot on. After I've given it a good clean I'll try some test prints then it's Selenium toning experiments here I come with negatives developed in Rodinal of course LOL

    Kind regards Tony
     
  9. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Just one thing I remember, if you have the same neg carrier as I did, you can ensure sharp focus by pulling the neg carrier out a little to use the split line focusing system.
     
  10. maxby

    maxby Member

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    Great deal especially with a colourhead and all those accessories. I own a Opemus 6 with a colourhead and have no regrets. Perhaps you might want to upgrade the enlarger lenses.
     
  11. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    John - Thanks for the pointer, I've given the split line focusing system a try and that part works a treat.

    Maxby - Think after all night playing (got to bed at 3am LOL) I have the hang of the colourhead. An upgrade on the lens looks like a good idea.

    This is going to sound like a typical newby question now :D The only thing I have not been able to get is an even light accross the paper. In landscape the left and right sides of the image has light fall-off. Any advice would be very welcome as always :smile:

    Nearly forgot to say my son who will soon be 14 yrs got to print his first picture last night. Looks like I'm in trouble with my wife again as he's now also hooked on traditional darkroom. He even said "this is much cooler than using PS" :wink:

    Kind regards Tony
     
  12. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Tony, If my memory serves me well, you might need a different lens board (a metal ring really) for your 50 mm if you want to use it for a 6x6 enlarger. Antway that is how it works on my Durst 605. The big name in Meopta in the UK is RK photographis in London. tel: 020 8349 4568 www.meopta.co.uk They will know.
    Mmmm Tony & Son, Traditional Printers..sounds right
    Greeting
    Hans
     
  13. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans,
    Many thanks for that link and tel no - it will come in very useful :D
    "Tony & Son, Traditional Printers" sure look good on a shop front between all those digi shops LOL
    Kind regards Tony
     
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  15. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    As to buying another lens: the Meogon S is a very good lens. In fact the late Barry Thornton in his book "Edge of Darkness" was waxing lyrical about it. Try it out first and save a few bob. The landlord of the Lens & Tripod pub will be grateful :cool:}
    Hans
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans,
    Thank you once again for even more very useful help :D Well I'll never be as good as Barry Thornton, so any lens he liked will never be limiting for my modest abilities - I'll get one on order. The Lens & Tripod pub I hear is doing a wonderful single malt Rodinal these days LOL
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Seem to remember that Meopta lenses are made by Schnieder

    I have a Meopta enlarger - 35mm, it's as new, went to the local tip and a BMW estate pulled up alongside, I asked what are you doing with the enlarger (in his boot) he said skippng it. Got a complete darkroom setup for nothing, all I'm using is the f2.8 Nikkor Enlarging lens

    Ian
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Ian - And to think I thought I was doing well getting a darkroom setup for £55.00 LOL Once I get the light problem sorted I think the Meopta is going to be a beauty. I think it might be lens board that's the real issue. The upgrade for the lens is because I only have f4.5 to f22 :wink:
     
  19. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Tony-Memories of 25 years ago are coming back. The lensboard, is it dome-shaped? If so you may try and turn it around so that the lens gets closer to the lamp. Hope that's correct.
    Regards
    Hans
     
  20. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a full set of insrtuctions on www.meopta.cz for most Meopta enlargers - even in English.

    My Opemus 6 has the round dome-shaped lensboard - dome up for 50mm, down for 80mm. I use Anaret-S lenses in both sizes. I've compared them against anything from Nikkor to Schneider, and still see no reason to replace them!
     
  21. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans / Ole,

    Many thanks for your help here. I have the dome lens board with the dome upwards. What I am finding is that when I set the negative carrier for 35mm I have a straight edges nearest and furthest from me, the left and right sides do not have straight edges and this is where the light fall off is.

    As an experiment I held an old Zenit 58mm lens in the dome and found I could just about make out the straight edges on the 2 sides. Light fall off was not as bad.

    I've cleaned all the glass and lenses except the one in the colour head, as I've not been able to work out how the get it out so far without taking the whole head apart.

    I am missing the drawer for correction filters, but nothing I have read in the manual or online seems to suggest that this is significant.

    Kind regards Tony.
     
  22. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Tony,
    Did your enlarger come with the right light mixing chamber? See Meopta's website. www.meopta.cz. Is the halogen lamp fitted properly?
    You do not need a filter drawer since you have the filters inside the colour head.
    Greetings
    Hans
     
  23. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hello Hans,
    Looking at the website and the 2 manuals that I got with it, everything looks right. I found that the top of the light chamber wasn't seated properly and have corrected that which has increased the light output. Halogen lamp is as snug as a bug in the proverbial rug.

    I tried another experiment with the better light output using the 58mm Zenit lens. Wide open I get an almost perfect 35mm image. However if I close it down a couple of stops then the soft edges come back. Sounds like I may be using the Zenit lens stuck on with blue-tak until I can try another lens, but my brains getting as fuzzy as the edges at the moment :D
    Kind regards Tony
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2004
  24. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Tony,
    A bit of a conundrum within an enigma etc. Is the lensboard straight and fitted properly? The negative holder put in the right way (not upside down)? Is the fuzziness still there (with the Meopta lens) if you stop down? Screws tightened so lens board doesn't slip down?
    I dunno...PM Ole or give this shop in London a ring.
    Hold on ,do not give up....
    Hans
     
  25. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hi Hans,
    Never even thought of checking the lensboard with all the screws I've been taking out and putting back :smile: Just checked it and it looks good. Happily the negative holder only goes in one way, but did check frosted glass above and clear glass below which they are. Bedding the top of the condensor has at least given me the outline of the 35mm edges with the mask. Fuzziness is still there with the Meopta lens, but I am getting suspicious of the lens now.

    I tried the London shop but they only came up with the idea's we have already tried here ie bulb being bedded and dirt in the condensor. Must admit the Durst down the road from me is getting tempting, but the part of the image I'm printing with the Meopta is beautiful ... so fear not I'm not giving up just yet :wink:

    Many thanks for your help on this one, two (or even more) heads are much better than one and chatting about it is stopping me using it as an historical doorstop LOL

    Kind regards Tony
     
  26. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Tony,
    If you look through the lens..does it look clear..no dust, no coating of dirt, no fungus, no sticky aperture blades? Another thing: try and borrow another 50mm enlarger lens and see how this works. The 35mm template not upside down?
    Regards
    Hans