SF/MF, What Enlarger?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Niallman, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Niallman

    Niallman Member

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    Hi, I'm thinking of buying a TLR camera to experiment with MF. Unfortunately my Durst B30 enlarger is 35mm only, unless it undergoes surgery! Any reccomendations on what would be a good second hand enlarger to get for both formats and which won't break the bank! I presume I'd need two enlarger lenses as well.
    Cheers!
     
  2. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    From experience I can vouch for the Meopta Opemus series of enlargers. These usually come with glass carriers and have masking strips in the neg holder. Ideally you'd want 2 lenses, an 80mm and 50mm, you can get away with an 80mm for smaller enlargements from 35mm if you can only stretch to the one lens.
    I also have a LPL C6700 which will do 35mm to 6X7, this is less agriculteral than the opemus and smoother in use, but cost me twice as much.

    One caveat with the Opemus is that some earlier models had a smaller that usual thread, and new lens mounts for these aren't easy to come by, spares for the later models, however, are available, at least in the UK.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    In the past I have used and do own the Omega C760XL. I would sell mine since I haven't used it in years. IM me if you are interested.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Niallman,

    Unless space is a prime consideration, it's probably worth going directly to a 4 x 5 enlarger. Like lots of other darkroom equipment, they're selling for bargain prices on E-Bay right now, often very little more than for MF models. Since 4 x 5 enlargers are bulky, heavy, and a pain to ship, it's probably a good idea to look for one which you can pick up in person.

    If you're thinking of MF now, LF may be just around the corner. A 4 x 5 model will probably meet all future needs; a MF may not.

    Konical
     
  6. Solinar

    Solinar Member

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    Welcome to medium format photography. If you have the space to work with, bigger is better. For a small guerilla darkroom, where space matters, the Durst M605 would be an ideal choice, as it'll do a 6x7 neg. You'll have a choice of either the model with a variocontrast or the one with a traditional condenser head that uses a less expensive opal bulb.
     
  7. Niallman

    Niallman Member

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    Thanks all for your helpful advice. I've a good list to start with!
    - Niall.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi there niallman ...

    i agree with konical, and would go right for a 4x5 enlarger, even thought you aren't there yet.

    you can get d2, d3's pretty cheap, and down the road you will have no problems if/when you decide to get a larger format camera. :smile:
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As your in Europe your first choice should be a Durst anything from a 601 upwards preferably someting like a 670, there's plenty secondhand. Other than Durst - a Meopta or an LPL.

    Make sure it has a colour head as this gives a nice soft light source for B&W as well alllowing you to use the colour filters for multi contrast papers. Additionally you can do colour !

    You will need two lenses a 50mm and an 80mm
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I hadn't noticed that you were in Dublin. It's definitely not worth the shipping cost from the U.S. Better to buy locally and put the money into the lenses. That said, if you can find a Philips enlarger like the one I have for sale with all the accessories included (because otherwise accessories will be hard to find for Philips), it's a fine enlarger.
     
  11. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I would also recommend getting a 4x5 enlarger for the possiblity for future growth. It would be a good investment.
    Use your original enlarger for 35mm and the 4x5 for MF & LF.
    gene
     
  12. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    You're going to love medium format!! What's been said above is completely accurate and reliable. I more than second the advice Konical has offered. I too originally progressed to medium format from 35mm and bought a Beseler 23CXLIII which has been an excellent piece of equipment. BUT....the large format bug infected me as I kinda suspected it ultimately would and I've succumbed to an LPL5400 4x5 machine. So.....I think you should consider purchasing the largest format enlarger for which you have the funds and the space. You'll be delighted in the end!
     
  13. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    hi Niall, I love the DeVere 504 with the Multigrade head. Enlargers though are like everything else though its good to try before u buy, which is very difficult in Ireland. I suggest you rent a few sessions in the Gallery of Photography in Temple Bar as they have several different ones.
     
  14. Niallman

    Niallman Member

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    Thanks for that Fintan, excellent idea. Just won a cheap and cheerful Yashica TLR on ebay so now I just have to get a bigger spool for my neg tank and then I'm set!
     
  15. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    The Gallery of Photography have all film dev equipment also, its quiet during the summer. Have fun
     
  16. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Let me add my vote for getting a 4x5 enlarger.
     
  17. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Bigger is Good

    Mostly for rigidity, even if you never use 4x5. I'm fond of my Durst 670 Color, but at the same time it wiggles ominously every time I use it (Doesn't seem to be a good way to bolt it to the wall -- maybe with a side bracket aross the top of the post...)
     
  18. jeanba3000

    jeanba3000 Member

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    I have an old Durst M800, maximum size of film 6,5 x 9 cm, a great enlarger, heavy and very stable, with a Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm lens. Not very expensive these days in second hand. If you want more possibilities for the future, a 4x5" enlarger may be a better choice. The Ahel 12 is an affordable 4x5 enlarger too.
     
  19. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Having got my Meopta Opemus working as I want it I'd recommend one of these. You can work with 35mm and MF formats, it swivels to project onto the floor or wall. Also it's almost tractor technology so even a technical idiot like myself was able to give it a complete strip-down and rebuild over about 24 hours. I picked up mine at a cost of £12.00 (subtracting all the other darkroom bits I got) plus another £16.00 for a modern transformer.
    Tony
     
  20. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    If you have no intention of shooting large format then you cant go far wrong with the Opemus Magnafax 4. It goes up to 6X9. Built like a brick outhouse with a truly impressive negative carrier. If you use VC papers the meograde head is a very useful addition.