Mid Format Enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Magnus, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Magnus

    Magnus Member

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    I am looking for a dedicated Mid Format enlarger ... 6x6 negative format, I have always used an Opemus 6 which served me well until it was damaged during a move.
    I have a 35mm (Leitz/Leica) and a LF enlarger which I would like to keep dedicated for their formats, I have the space and thus want a dedicated 6x6 enlarger.
    I have never really gotten into enlargers as I bought the complete darkroom in one go.

    What will I be looking for, which brand/type, I only do B&W to max. print size of 30x30 cm It would be nice to have a MG type.

    I live in europe so US enlargers like Besselers are hard to get. I would sincerely welcome any advice.
     
  2. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Opemus are very common in EU so you might get one one for free or a song :smile:
    Then there are AGFA, Kaiser, LPL and Durst(and perhaps many more). I don't know the model numbers but Durst has some reputation here in DK so they might be worth a look.
    Regards Søren
     
  3. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I'm not familiar with what's available in Europe but you probably could find a medium format Durst or LPL on the used or new market. Both are well-respected brands worldwide and can be configured for condenser/dichro/variable contrast.
     
  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    BTW
    the opemus range don't differ much from 2-5. The 6 is bigger in negcarrier ( and I think the lens plate) and the std is smaller IIRC.
    Søren
     
  5. lajolla

    lajolla Member

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    Check out the small Durst M670 Variable Contrast enlarger. You can reach Durst in Brixen, Italy at telephone 0472/810111
    You could also consider the much larger Durst M805, which easily adapts to all medium formats simply by changing negative carrier masks. Good luck.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey there magnus -

    i have and use a durst m601 ... i am sure you can read bad stuff as well as good stuff regarding this enlarger. mine is from the 70s, it was bought at either a yard sale or through a department store that sold photo-stuff, and i have used it steadily since 1981. it can be reversed on its base and can be made to project on the floor ( i've done this a bunch of times ) and the head swivels to allow wall projection.

    can't really say anything bad about it ...

    good luck!

    -john

    ps. it is pretty small ...
     
  7. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    A Durst would be perfect.

    .
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Magnus,
    I use an Opemus 6. I looked at other types too, when I bought mine there was a very good darkroom shop in town (that dates me, I fear).

    I looked at Durst, Kaiser, LPL, and whatnot - but decided on the Opemus 6 with colour head as the sturdiest and most reliable of all. I now use the Opemus for everything up to 6x6, and a Durst 138S for larger than that. None of the enlargers have ever let me down or needed "fiddly" adjustments.
     
  9. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Sturdy with colorhead ? or should that be sturdiest ?
    I had an Opemus 5 with colorhead but I replaced the head with the standard with filterdrawer. I felt that the heavy colorhead made it swing as a pendule on a clock.
    Regards Søren
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I use a Kaiser which I think is one of the best.
    You can build one by either getting each part seperatelly or one already set.
    You can change and replace each of its parts: the head, the lenses, the rail, etc and so you can make it color, BW, multigrade, you can add autofocus and nail it to the wall. It has all the swings and tilts and movement an enlarger should have.
    It goes up to 6x7 or 6x9.
    Plus unlike most enlargers, its not ugly. Its made mostly from black plastics and black painted metals.

    And its German! Since you are from Munich, I can't think of a better choice for you!
     
  11. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    I really like my Omega D2V.
     
  12. Magnus

    Magnus Member

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    Thanks all for your replies.

    I should of known it would be like asking for the best film on the market :smile:

    My choice has now been limited to 13 brands .... :smile:

    I think I might just go for an Opemus again, my old one was simple, cheap and good ..... and you basically get one for free with the purchase of a 10-pack of Tri-x ....

    greetings,

    Magnus
     
  13. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    How can you go wrong with an Opemus ... good old Meopta !
    .
     
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  15. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Hi Magnus,

    I'll make it even more complicated for you by voting for Fujimoto. I have the G70 model and its great. The option of switching between the condenser and diffuser light source is a nice feature.

    I have used Durst, Meopta and LPL in the past and agree they are all well made.

    But any enlarger is only as good as the lens you use.

    Peter
     
  16. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've always wanted a Durst 606 (or a 609!).. it _seems_ much better than my Omega B-600 which I don't care for.
    1) it's wobbly, goes out of alignment
    2) it's tough to align without resorting to bending the column with your bare hands
    3) negative carriers are tough to find
    4) no lens board, just a thread for m39
    5) it's kind of cheap.. doesn't feel like it's well-made

    despite all of that, i've made some very nice prints with it and a good enlarging lens..
    The Durst 606 has that condenser\adjustable negative carrier so you can print anything smaller than 6x6.. ah well..
     
  17. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    Kaiser is a good choice. I have one, but it doesn't see much use.

    Durst still offers enlargers and they are great quality but not cheap. Depends on how much money you have. If you have a deep pocket, a new Durst would be the best choice IMHO. I have several (but I bought them used.)

    Kienzle is also to be considered. These things are built like a tank. I used to have one with mechanical autofocus.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have only ever owned one enlarger, the Durst M605, and found it very good. It was secondhand when I got it and must be 25 years old but is showing no signs of wear. I know it does 35mm, 645 and 6x6 but as far as I am aware it doesn't cover 6x7. The light box has a lever for 35mm or 6x6.

    I had toyed with the idea of a 6x7 camera such as the Pentax. I have a 6x6 folder(Agfa Isolette 1) but 6x6 cameras are rarer and if I had my time over again I'd go for an enlarger that covered 6x7.

    Then I saw this reply and it made me wonder. Will the M605 also cover 6x7? There's no mention of it doing so in the handbook and the seller never gave me any 6x7 masks.

    Can anyone cast light on this?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  19. lajolla

    lajolla Member

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    The M605 indeed can print 6cmx7cm negs (2 1/4x2 3/4in) with its switchable mixing box set to the 67 position. All you need to acquire from a vendor or from Durst in Brixen (tel 0472/810111) are the following Durst neg carrier and parts:
    One 'sinoneg' negative carrier
    One 'sixma 67' metal mask insert for 6x7cm format negs for the sinoneg carrier
    One 'sivogla an' anti-newton glass for the sinoneg carrier
    or you can use the sinoneg carrier in a completely glass top and bottom configuration by getting one 'sixgla' clear glass insert to use instead of the sixma67 metal insert. Good luck.
     
  20. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There is a theme in these answers - stick to the major brands. It's good advice. Durst, Kaiser, DeVere, Meopta, Beseler, Omega all have good reputations and have been around for many, many years. Choose something you can get accessories and replacement parts for. That may limit your choice depending on where you are. Then look at the operation and features. Choose something you like to use, because you will use it for years. I would advise getting something that can handle 6X9 even if you only use 6X7 or 6X6 now. You never know what you will pick up in the future.
     
  21. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Time for some threadjacking :smile:
    If wanting an enlarger for 6X7 - 6X9 which ones other than the Meopta Magnifax will cover 6X9 ?
    Reason for this is my AGFA Clack(6X9), Pentax 6X7 and a possible (in far future) move into 6X9 viewcameras. 6X9 enlargers dont seem that common.
    If I stumple over a good deal on one I might take it though I havn't got any darkroom some some time to come. I'd just disassmple it and keep it under my bed untill the day.......
    Regards
     
  22. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks for your help. Just a couple of things for clarification. You mention the switchable mixing box set to the 67 position but my M605 only has a 66 position. Can I take it that from what you say this covers 67? You'd think that Durst would have labelled it 67 but its clearly 66 on mine.

    I have a sirioneg carrier which certainly takes 35mm inserts, 645 inserts and 66 inserts. I have measured the gap without inserts and it is a max of 6 cms x 6cms, so I presume that the serioneg carrier accepting 67 is different. As this was the only sirioneg carrier I got with the Durst, this may explain why there is no mention of anything to do with 67 in the accompanying handbook.

    Looking at the 6x6 sirioneg carrier it would appear that a 6x7 opening would be possible within the same overall outer dimensions of the carrier so hopefully the logic of this would lead to the belief that a new 67 carrier would solve the issue of enlarging 67 negs in the M605 enlarger.

    In the case of 35mm, 645 and 66 the metal inserts come in packets labelled SIVOPAR 35, 645 and 66 respectively and the metal inserts are labelled sivoma and sixma followed by 35, 645 and 66 respectively.The sixma going in the lower part of the carrier and the sivoma in the upper.

    Presumably there is also a SIVOPAR 67 packet which contains two metal inserts called sixma 67 and sivoma 67. If I obtained these and the carrier which covers the 67 negs I could project 67 negs glassless just as I do with 66 negs.

    Alternatively I could use the 67 sixma metal insert and the SIVOGLA AN special glass to prevent the formation of newton rings.

    In fact I have the SIVOGLA AN packet which seems to have 3 identical pieces of glass in it. These measure 6.5cms x 7.5cms and it says on the packet that it is to be used in place of the upper format mask.

    As each piece of glass looks identical but were in the same packet I am assuming that each piece is indeed identical and there are 3 pieces to correspond to the upper format mask for 35mm, 645 and 66.

    In fact if I am right then one pice of glass would be sufficient as I can only have the neg carrier set up for either 35mm 645 or 66 at any one time. The only need for three pieces of glass would be if I had three SIRIONEG carriers set up for anti-newton glass in 35mm, 645 and 66.

    Does this sound a logical deduction on my part?

    So quickly summarising. I can use the 66 box for 67 negs but need a 67 carrier and a set of 67 inserts which are called SIVOPAR67 and consists of sixma and sivoma metal pieces. Alternatively I can use anti-newton glass Sivogla instead of the upper metal insert so I'd have the sixma 67 lower metal insert and the sivogla upper insert.

    This is all getting quite complex to set out on paper and I appreciate that two minutes face to face in conversation withthe enlarger beside us would resolve things simply. Unfortunately it can't be that way.

    Crucial to the issue and simplifying as much as possible: Does the 66 lightbox cover 67 adequately and can I obtain a 67 carrier which has the same outer dimensions as the carrier which goes up to 66?

    I presume Durst in Brixen is U.S. based. I am U.K. based and would want to contact a U.K agent first before considering the U.S. with its additional possible problems of postage and payment.

    Thanks

    Pentaxuser
     
  23. lajolla

    lajolla Member

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    I would urge you to to contact a qualified Durst vendor in the UK, or to simply call Durst Tech Support in Brixen, Italy at tel 0472/810111 to provide you with definitive information about your particular M605 model.
    As you have correctly pointed out, you will need to test your mixing box by acquiring either the 'sixma 67' metal insert mask or the 'sivoma 67' insert mask and then use one of these masks in tandem with the 'an sivogla' glass that you already have, using both within the 'sinoneg' negative carrier that you also will need to acquire. The 'an sivogla' glass will fit into the top of the 'sinoneg' carrier, and you can use either one of the two 'sivopar 67' mask inserts (the 'sixma 67' or 'sivoma 67') in the bottom of the carrier. All these parts are currently available from Durst. I am not familiar with the 'sirioneg' carrier that you now are using.
    Once you have the appropriate sixma67 or sivoma 67 mask insert and the appropriate 'sinoneg' carrier, you can then see if your mixing box will provide even illumination across a 6x7 test negative inserted in your new carrier?
    The M605 'Classic' series that I am familiar with has a switchable box marked 67, which does indeed cover the 6cmx7cm format. Good luck.
    My apologies to Magnus and to all for the thread hijacking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2006
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks for all this. In fact it was my fault for highjacking and I apologise but as you had the knowledge I thought I'd better strike the iron here while hot rather than hope you saw my thread somewhere else.

    Pentaxuser
     
  25. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Sorry for insisting on the OT, but there are actually two models:

    M605 "Sirio" which goes up to 6x6 only
    M605 "Classic" (black limited edition) which goes up to 6x7

    The "Classic" is a recent reissue (1998-2000). You most probably have the older "Sirio" unit, which would explain why 6x7 mirror box is not available on the head.
     
  26. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    To say thanks for the information, I'll have to risk a continuation of the highjack. You're right mine is the older model( probably 1980s).

    Looks as if I am stuck with only being able to do a maximum of 6x6 unless the 67 neg carrier fits the older machine and the 66 box allows sufficient light coverage.

    Pentaxuser