Returning after many years - need an enlarger for color and b&w

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by JWK1, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. JWK1

    JWK1 Member

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    The title pretty much says it. I am recently retired and the wife is encouraging me to dig out all my old Canon F-1s and Nikon F4 and start shooting again. I've looked hard and long at going the digital route, but it just doesn't add up for me yet. I bought a Nikon D70 about a year after they first came out and have been underwhelmed ever since. My brother just got a Nikon D7000 and it is much better, but there is just so much that just bugs me.

    Anyway, I'm looking to commit myself to film for a number of years. I plan on finding a b&w film to use for awhile and then would like to move into doing some color work. I know from my work in college that I will never be satisfied with b&w alone, but at the same time I do not want to be without it. I would also like to get a medium format; not sure what exact format, but probably 6x6.

    So for what enlarger do I scour C-List and eBay? I want something that is sturdy enough and I can get the film carrier to be square with the base and stay that way. I've also read about cold lights, condensers and dichroics until my head hurts. I'm figuring a dichroic head is probably the best compromise, but I've read stuff about old heads with dust baked onto the filters, etc. I don't know anything about these, whether they can be reconditioned, filters replaced, etc.

    I need advice and information and can't wait to get started. Thanks!
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Welcome to APUG.

    Available enlarger depends on part of the world you are in. Here in US, ones from Omega and Beseler are plentiful. Mine are B&W only but I have two Omega D2, one I purchased for $50ish and the other free. They were both sourced locally.

    If you pay attention to APUG classified, we see plenty of them come across. The only problem is shipping these any distance will cost far more than what these are actually worth. If you have a camera club, art school, or even a brick and mortar photography stores, nearby, you may find one from those places as well.

    I've also seen them thrown away when someone passes away and the family cleans up the "junk".
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have several enlargers for sale. Where are you and what are your needs.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Welcome!

    I would heartily suggest including some location information in your profile information - especially if you are looking for darkroom equipment!

    If you are concerned about privacy, something relatively vague (e.g. west coast of Canada in my case) will still make a difference.

    As you refer to "color" work, I am assuming you aren't Canadian :smile:.

    Hope we can help!
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Hello and welcome to APUG. As mention before look up APUG classifieds.

    Jeff
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    any durst enlarger will not dissapoint you!
     
  7. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    For color printing you need a dichroic (color) head that allows you to adjust the color of the light source to compensate for any color casts. This is also useful for B&W as you can adjust the contrast when using a mult-contrast paper without needing filters. I have an Opemus V with Meochrom color head that was cheap (well, free for me) but solid enough in a good old-fashioned Eastern European way. I think the choice of enlarging lens is perhaps the most important consideration. A six element lens from Rodenstock, Schneider or Nikon (EL-Nikkor) would be an excellent choice. For 35mm work you'll want a focal length around 50-80mm and for MF something in the 75-105mm range. A good 75mm or 80mm lens might work for both, especially if you don't require large enlargements from 35mm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2012
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I've had a Beseler 23c, Omega D2V, Leitz V35 color and a 6x7 LPL with a VC head. I prefer the LPL to all of them just because of the VC head. It is just much more convenient than separate filters or a color head. They all make the same quality of prints if they are aligned and have a decent lens.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    don't sweat the selection of an enlarging lens too much. any six-elementname-brand lens will be goodif stopped down to f5.6-8.