Price of enlarger

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by pbryld, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    Hello.
    (quick note: I am located in Denmark)

    As some of you may have figured out by my posts around here, I'm new to photography.

    I don't think I should be jumping into doing my own enlargements yet, but if I stumble upon cheap equipment I may just buy it for future use (or start doing it...).

    I haven't even developed my own roll of film yet, as I am looking for film tanks.

    I found this guy who is selling an all new one for about $50, a Paterson Universal System 4, which should fit 135 and 120 film. The extras include a NIB 135 enlarger. I don't shoot 35mm but I might just take it, as it seems rather cheap. He is 15 mins by car away, so I don't have to pay for any kind of postage.

    Anyways, I am shooting MF, so I need an MF enlarger. If I buy one that fits MF, will I ever get to use the 35mm one?
    And how much should one cost? I found one in the area as well I can pick for for $140. It a Durst M605, that apparently can fit 6x7 negatives and is like new.
    Is that a reasonable price? And if any of you know of this enlarger, is is any good? It seems it only comes with a 50mm lens (Schneider). I don't know anything about enlarging, so what is a lense like that the best for?

    Sorry for all the questions.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011
  2. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Darkroom equipment is cheap today, and I would say that the prices are fair. Just make sure that the kit that you buy is complete since having to buy one small spare part will usually cost more than you payed for the rest of the kit (make sure you get the right negative carriers and lens boards).
    When buying enlargers the transportation is usually the hard part so if you get one close to home it will be perfect.

    Good luck
     
  3. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Never say never. One day you will fall in love with 135. If the enlarger is cheap, and if you have no room problem, seize the occasion I say.

    (somebody might say this is "unethical" because it deprives a potential actual 135 user of an enlarger. Bah! Hambug! :whistling: )

    EDIT: you can specify your country in the personal settings.
     
  4. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    I am sure I will end up using 135 cameras!
    But is it better to use a dedicated 35mm enlarger as opposed to a MF-capable one?

    And I will go to the settings immediately.

    Also thanks to both of you :smile:


    EDIT: I have space issues, but I am also a hoarder (spelling?), so I am forced not to care :tongue:. At 17, I am afraid I'll end up like those in the TV shows :F
     
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    If you have space issues the best solution would be to have one MF enlarger with lenses and negative carriers for the different formats.
    Of course, if you want to do 135 a Leitz focomat V35 is in my opinion the best enlarger to get (I have two just in case one breaks down) but I think the Durst 605 will serve you well for both small and medium format
     
  6. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Get a MF enlarger,they are capable of printing 35mm,with the right lens/condenser/masks Etc, you should be able to pick an enlarger with the bits for both MF and 35mm complete quite cheaply today, and that is your best bet, getting a cheap 35mm only can be a false ecconemy, as I found to my own cost a few years ago now,
    Richard
     
  7. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    Is there anywhere I can read about what I need for the different formats? As mentioned it seems that there is only a 50mm included with the MF-enlarger.
     
  8. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Good enlarger lenses are not hard to find and they are cheap today. If you get just one lensboard with 39mm thread you should be able to find lenses for both small and medium format without too much trouble.
    Negative carriers are harder to come by so make sure you get the ones that you need.

    As for lenses the rule of thumb is the same focal length as a normal lens for that format (135 - 50mm, MF - 80mm and so on). Some people prefer longer lenses and the only drawback with that is that it is harder to find the space to make large prints.
     
  9. DAP

    DAP Member

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    If you shoot medium format making an initial purchase of a medium format enlarger makes more sense than getting a 35mm enlarger and then later getting a 2nd medium format enlarger.

    The Durst M605 is a very nice enlarger (I used to have one). It can handle anything from 35mm to 6x6 with the proper accessories. It is relatively small so moving it is not much of an issue. IF all the parts come with it I would lean towards that direction. Some of the little doo-dads that you want to make sure it comes with:

    * Hinged master negative carrier
    * 35mm and 120 format negative inserts
    * at least one flat lens board and one dished lens board
    * 135 and medium format condensers (if it is a B&W model)

    Obviously make sure it is working when you collect it (head works, gear-driven column works, bellows/focus works and doesn't have holes, etc).

    Lenses can be easily bought and shipped so I wouldn't stress too much about them.


    If you just want to dabble and are not sure that you want to do much darkroom work I see no issue getting the $50 35mm enlarger and experimenting.
     
  10. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    I guess trying everything out with the cheaper enlarger is a good idea.

    What about 6x7?


    Is there some place on the internet where I can read about enlarging? Honestly I have too look up some of these things/words, so it would be nice to just read all about it.

    I'll also be sure to make a list of things to look out for..

    Thanks!
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I thought it would make sense to keep my LPL enlarger (35mm up to 6x7cm) when I got a 5"x4" enlarger so I could do the smaller formats on one and larger on the other. However, the last couple of times I have done 35mm, I used the large enlarger and it works fine.


    Steve.
     
  12. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

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    Try the library...
     
  13. DAP

    DAP Member

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    The original M605 was only designed to do up to 6x6. I know the M605 was reissued as the "M605 Classic" which I have heard could do up to 6x7. I never saw the "Classic" model in person so I don't know how to tell the difference between the two (other than the obvious give away of included 6x7 masks)...somebody on the forum might know if the word "Classic" is located on the chassis somewhere.

    As far as the Durst parts are concerned - the official names are very confusing (I haven't owned my M605 for years so I won't be able to help you much). You might want to search and see if there is a free pdf instruction manual out there somewhere on the internet to flesh out the details.