Newbie enlarger question!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Andy K, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    In a bit of a hurry here and this is a real 'newbie' question!


    I am currently getting set up to do all my own processing at home. I have an opportunity to buy an enlarger on ebay at a real knock down price. However I am not sure if it is a colour or bw enlarger. I am also not sure of the difference between a colour and a bw enlarger. So my question is this: As it is my intention to only produce black and white prints, can I use a colour enlarger to produce black and white prints?

    Any answers within the next thirty minutes would be great! lol!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    The techies will be along shortly, but basic answers are yes you can (and many of us do) print b&w on a colour enlarger. Also another advantage is that you can dial in the filter settings for changing contrast.
     
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Excellent! Thanks Tony! Right back to ebay! lol!
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Yes you can make black and white images with a color enlarger. If it is color it is almost surely a diffusion enlarger. If it is black and white it is most likely a condenser, unless it has a special head. Post a link to it if you want some more information.
     
  5. 127

    127 Member

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    The difference is in the controls. However there's no problem using a colour enlarger for b&w - in fact it can be easer.

    A colour enlarger has three dials, which control the amount of yellow, magenta and cyan light.

    When doing bw on VC paper, increase the magenta to get more contrast. You can balance it with the yellow filter (increasing yellow reduces contrast).


    Ian
     
  6. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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  7. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    I wouldn't sweat it. There are so many enlargers available no on the used market that you will have no problem finding something suitable in your price range. As far as Ebay is concerned, you can find bargains if you know what you're looking for. But haste makes waste. Do your research now and don't get in a hurry with Ebay!
     
  8. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Andy There's plenty out there so better luck next time. Not heard of that make before but a quick google has one in a shop in Cambridge for £85.00. I wonder what the small wooden figure was though? :smile:
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    That had me curious too Tony!

    Wfw, I figured that auction was a good bet as it wasn't just the enlarger for sale. I've been looking for a while now, but only at enlargers advertised as 'black and white', hence the 'can I?' question above! Thanks for the advice though, less haste is always wise.
     
  10. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Andy - Given the choice I'd always opt for a colour enlarger for all the reasons already posted here. The convenience of dialing the colours as Ian said will have the same effect on B&W as using filters, without the disadvantage of having loose filters that can get scratch lying around. Also I prefer the diffused light to the harsher condensed light.

    After lots of advice here on APUG I eventually went like a bull at the gate for a Meopta, although I needed to do some work on it the "tractor" technology made it easy for me to strip and rebuild over a few hours. The real advantage though is I can use it for 35mm to MF negs :wink:
     
  11. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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  12. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I most likely will. I like the option to project onto a wall or the floor, presumably to make larger prints than the column height will allow.

    Ps. Thanks for the link.
     
  14. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    You are correct :wink:

    Also the split focus facility is wonderful and I don't have to worry about using a grain viewer thingie (see I can be technical). All I do is select the size of print I want, pull the neg holder forward and make slight adjustments to get the split focus lined up a bit like focusing with a camera. Then push the neg holder back in and print away.
     
  15. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Andy,

    don´t worry - the Krokus enlargers aren´t that cool and most of the rest in this "kit" is junk. 45 UKP are 70something Euro - thats what I paid for a Durst D659 with 3 lenses, trays, 3 replacement bulbs, a 1960s professional enlarger for 35mm to 6,5x9cm. Ok, in Germany, where all prices are lower than in the UK....

    if you want to go cheap, small and functional, look out for the czech Meopta... Axomat, Opemus - they are sturdy and offer excellent quality at low prices.
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Errrrm Read the thread he's ahead of you :wink: LOL
     
  17. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Grmpf.

    That happened while I was writing the reply - I didn´t refresh the thread and forgot to send it for a while. <g>
     
  18. 127

    127 Member

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  19. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Dammit! Missed out again... think the winner used a bidding program :mad:

    Ah well, there'll be other chances. :smile:
     
  20. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Andy it's a shame as I was watching and thought you had nailed it with the final flurry that went on towards the end. Keep watching for them as it went for a song ... happy bidding :wink:
     
  21. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Just wanted to re-iterate what has been said about the Meopta - solidly made (probably used to be made in a tractor factory; but hey - you WANT solid in an enlarger!). I had one for 35mm for several years and it never gave me a problem.

    Just a suggestion: forget getting a B&W specific enlarger - the extra cost of one with a colour head is minimal and it's so much easier to use for B&W, as others have pointed out, by dialing in the VC settings. The diffusion head of a colour enlarger will also help to reduce the effects of the inevitable occasional scratches on your negatives compared to the the sharp, all-revealing light of a condenser based B&W enlarger :smile: ...


    Good hunting. Cheers, Bob.
     
  22. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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