Replace my Omega B22 XL with a D2?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by ignatiu5, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    Hello,

    I have the opportunity to pick up an Omega D2 enlarger locally, and I’m just trying to decide if it’s better than what I have now. It was listed as a D2, so at this point I’m assuming it’s exactly that, and not a DII or a D2V. Cones (although I’ll likely not need them) and and some negative holders included, no lenses. A little dust, good bellows, good overall condition, according to the seller. I haven’t seen it yet, I wanted some advice before I drove to the town where it’s located.

    I shoot 35mm, 6x4.5, and recently was gifted a Rolleicord for 6x6. My lust for a Pentax 6x7 SLR (and a set of lenses) has thankfully been held at bay by the fact that my current B22 XL won’t handle that negative size, and I haven’t bought a bigger enlarger because I don’t have a need yet. A chicken and egg that has saved me from myself. The B22 has been perfect for my needs, since I need portability to shuttle it in and out of the bathroom each printing session.

    My question is this: for my printing needs today (6x7 purchases wouldn’t happen any time soon, and I’m never going to 4x5), is the D2 an upgrade over my current rig? Positives or negatives of one versus the other? Is the D2 too big for easy moving around?

    The cost of the enlarger isn’t really much of an issue; I’d be able to sell the B22 for around the same price.

    Thoughts and advice would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have D-II and D-2 but both of them have a lamp housing that are labeled D-II. The only way I can tell them apart is because one of them have geared up/down crank and the other one does not. (former is D-2 and latter is D-II). However I hear Omega itself has used name overlapping two different models. Also, these are very modular. Over time, it appears people swapped parts. My D-II have the variable condenser and more later D-2 does not. I am telling you all this so you know, until you have the unit and inspect it, you can't expect anything.

    Don't over pay! I picked up my first one at a second hand camera store for $40. It included still usable lens. All I needed was cleaning. Second one was free but were missing few parts. Kind soul on this forum shipped me the missing parts.

    Either D-2 or D-II, forget moving unless you put it on a cart. It's huge and heavy. (also top heavy)
     
  3. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Ah, the memories of countless hours in high school, in the darkroom with a venerable D2 (back in the late 60's it was already venerable!) The D2 is an imposing monster, standing 5’ tall. If you’ve got 7’ ceilings in your darkroom, look elsewhere for an enlarger or assume its placement on a relatively low base support, not a standard counter! Its sturdy double I-beam construction has become standard for many enlarger designs, and once you’ve got one of these things adjusted properly they are absolutely rock solid. While recommendations were to not try to print 135 with the 4x5 condensors, we did it just fine back then without fooling with condensors...the slower printing times were beneficial for dodging and burning in! We just left it set up for 4x5 because we had that size film in a press camera for night football with ASA 1250 Royal X film.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The D2 is too big to move around easily. Most people who need to move them on a regular basis use some sort of cart.

    Aside from the ability to use negs bigger than 6x6, there isn't really anything the D2 would give you that your B22 doesn't. Except perhaps, a backache.
     
  5. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    I didn't realize it was so massive. The pdf manual that I came across was scanned at a resolution that made the specs impossible to read clearly. It looks like a no-go for my needs; too tall and too heavy. Perhaps someday when I have a permanent darkroom...

    Many thanks for your insight and quick responses,

    ignatiu5
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'm not sure if I'd call it MASSIVE, but it's big. Here's a picture of mine to give you an idea.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tkamiya9/4307163021/

    The enlarger is sitting on a standard sized folding table. You see a Gralab timer for size reference. My safe-light is about a foot away from my ceiling. I understand, there is an XL type that is larger.

    I have never measured the weight but it's heavy. This thing is made of steel and aluminum. No Plastic.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    By the way, many D-2 and D-II does not have provisions for Multi-grade filters. Some have drawers and some have a way of using variable condenser tray for filters as well, but you may need to resort to under-the-lens arrangement. That's what I do. I fashioned a bracket out of home-depot type stuff and mounted an Ilford under the lens bracket permanently under the lens. Works well.
     
  8. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    Unfortunately, a cart isn't really an option in my case. The bathroom entrance is such that there's only enough space for the baseboard to squeeze through. I don't think a cart would ever make it.

    I've read lots of rave reviews for the D2/D2V, and was hoping for some major leap forward for stability or improved alignment ability, but it doesn't sound like it's enough to justify the hassle.

    Now I don't have to obsess about getting a 6x7 :smile:
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you shoot anything larger than 6x6, get it.

    If you don't, don't.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How about a furniture dolly? I did that for few weeks and it is do-able. It is a great machine if you can get it at a reasonable price. Parts are available second hand and it is so durable, even ones in pretty bad shape are rebuild-able.

    I seem to run into one every couple months. If this deal doesn't work out, it's probably not a big loss.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Get the D-2 only if you have the room for it. Your B-22XL is more than capable of handling everything you've listed. You may even be able to get larger prints with the XL than the D-2 could give, due to the extended length(hence-XL) of the column. If you plan on acquiring a 6x9 or larger then you definitly need the D-2, or just get it, and have a reason to buy more cameras in larger formats(yummm --more camerasss --biggerrr negativesss --ooohh yaaa). A rolling cart about the same size of the baseboare can be bought or fabricated to roll that bad boy around easily. You may just buy it to have more than one machine, so you dont have to switch around so much.

    Rick

    Rick
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    More... More... More....!!

    That's how I ended up with 3 enlargers!
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Yea I know-- Thats why I have five enlargers and two more being shipped here. I believe in "he who dies with the most toys,WINS!

    Rick
     
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  15. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    What the heck, I'll go take a look at it. If it's too heavy for me to lift, so be it, but I really only have to move it about 15 feet from the office to the bathroom. Worst case scenario is a 40 min drive. $40 obo for perhaps the last enlarger I'll ever need? Too tempting not to at least check it out.
     
  16. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    ...and that's how this illness starts... :smile:
     
  17. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Here's my 6x6 Chromega B enlarger next to a 4x5 enlarger (beseler cb7). The wide angle perspective make the comparison a little tricky. But you can see a 4x5 enlarger head is about 6x bigger to do the same thing, the baseboard is about 50% larger, frame is more substantial, etc... It also requires a cooling fan which my 6x6 enlarger does not. To get it up on the table, I put an eye hook in the ceiling (hitting a floor joist above), and used a come-a-long to lift it into place. The little enlarger is easier to use, so I keep it for the small stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    If the price is right, I'd say jump on it. I was given a D3 about 20 years ago, and in fact, still have it. Bought a B4 in CT to use in the bathroom of my apt. It became my "travel" enlarger, and worked well making prints up to 16x20 in the spare room on Maui. Once back in TX, I built a new darkroom in '04 and installed a D5XL w/Chrometrol. Fantastic piece, improved my prints with infinite adjustment control.

    Granted, I do shoot 4x5 as well, and use it for that when I do. BUT, don't ever say you'll never shoot LF. Once you do, you're hooked. Go with the D2, and really see what your prints can become.
     
  19. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    I bought it yesterday. For $40 (including a 75mm Componar), I couldn't say no. I lifted it a few times, and you guys are right: it IS big and heavy, but not unmanageable. It came with 35mm, 6x6, and 4x5 negative carriers and assorted cones. I'll dust it off, download the manual, align it, and try it out with my EL-Nikkor 50/2.8. If I like the way it handles, I'll keep it, shop for a cheap 645 carrier for my Bronica negatives, and sell off the B22XL (don't have space for two enlargers). Otherwise, I can always resell it, no harm, no foul.

    In the future, I'll look around for a Pentax 6x7, but I am never shooting 4x5! I am never...shooting...4x5. I...am...why is this slope so slippery???

    Anyway, thanks for everyone's insight and suggestions, much appreciated.
     
  20. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you have a 6x6 carrier, you don't need a 645 carrier. I'm printing my 645 films wiht 6x6 and it works just fine. I don't mask it either.
     
  21. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Dont dump the B-22 just yet. Carefully pack it away, and have it as a back-up unit. If, in the future you have the room for it, you will have a dandy dedicated 35mm or 6x6 for some quick work. I da that with the C-700's-- one for 35mm, one for 6x6, and two more for spares at this point. I also hane a B-22 set up w/ C-700 dichro head(and the condenser head).

    Rick
     
  22. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    I would keep both, and probably use the B22 as a dedicated colour rig, but I physically don't have storage space for them both in the apartment. As it is, the D2 is sitting in the middle of the dining room floor until I have time to get it set up.
     
  23. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Take the B22 off the baseboard and put it under your bed.
     
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I don't have the D2. I have a D4, which is about the same size but a little more heavy. There's a B600 sitting in the darkroom right next to it that doesn't see much use at all. I wouldn't trade that D series enlarger for anything.
     
  25. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I have a much loved D-II, which used to live in a little darkroom in Carnegie Hall many years ago, where it was used for the printing of Irving Penn's work, along with several others. My father knew the two guys who ran the lab, and managed to get the enlarger from them when they closed up shop. It still works flawlessly, alongside our old Durst 606, which will be joined by a Durst Laborator 1000 with Pavelle 401 in the next few weeks.


    I really do love my Omega, and can't stand the Beseler 23Cs that I work on here at school. Some of them are hideously out of alignment, and only one of them has a Schneider mounted in it. Student abuse has clearly taken its toll, but I really hate the Beseler negative carrier design, much prefer the two interlocking plates with pin cutouts and register grooves of the Omega D carriers.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The reason I prefer Beselers is that you can tilt the lens board. You might be able to do it on some Omegas, but none of the ones I have used. This is of a lot of use to me.