Smallest, cheapest enlarger for MF

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Anupam Basu, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    I have been printing 35mm with a Durst F30 in my bathroom. It's small and lightweight and was dirt cheap on EBay - my ideal setup really except that it wont do 120 film.

    Is there an enlarger that will let me do both MF and 35mm and be cheap and compact - I need to fit it into a closet after use and so compact and light is good!

    As for format, I want to do mainly 6x6 negs from my yashica mat, I also shoot 6x9 pinholes with a modified Brownie 2a but that isn't essential if it adds to the bulk and cost.

    If I might add another naive question to this - I notice Arista sells something called a Holga enlarger. I would expect this to be junk but let's say I stick a Rodenstock or Nikkor lens on it - what would be the effective difference in quality between this and a real enlarger?:smile:

    Thanks,
    -Anupam
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hello, Durst F60 with the 75 condenser is a nice small enlarger. Cannot do 6x9, though.

    Jon
     
  3. Kobin

    Kobin Member

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  4. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Thanks for the link. Hmm vignetting at 6x6 certainly won't do - so I guess that's out.
     
  5. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Consider the Saunders 6700.
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I can't recall having seen an MF enlarger that goes to 6x9. I know that several go to 6x7, but it seems that by the time someone is making a 6x9 format enlarger, it's close enough to 4x5 to go all the way there. Perhaps it's just that 6x9 is a rarer format, whereas there's enough of a 6x7 user base, Pentaxes, Mamiya RB/RZ, etc to justify a 6x7 enlarger, which is only slightly larger than 6x6 square.

    Rollei / Honeywell / Nikor made a decent 67 enlarger that was relatively small and light, and I've seen a few of those floating around at swaps. Got one with a color head but no power supply for $30 bundled with an Agfa Isolette recently. This one comes apart with two wing bolts, one column to base and one column to head. Very quick to reassemble. Actually, if anyone has a 6x7 negative holder for one, I'd be interested.

    Lee
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I have a LPL C7700 which comes apart for storge very easy. You can remove the head from the column and the column from the baseboard in about 2mins or less. The 3 pieces can then be stored in spots that a intact enlarger wouldn't fit.

    I had a Durst M601 that was fairly small. I used to store that in a cupboard but you need the height in the cupboard for the column. I use to sit it on the floor under a clothes rail.

    EDIT : I best read the question... A Durst M601 can only handle up to 6x6 negs. Scratch that one. I do have a early Meopta Magnifax that does 6x9 and is actually more compact than the M601. It has a fairly small baseboard and is quite heavy for it's size, but still moveable.
     
  8. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Just a suggestion.

    You should check out your yellow pages for local high schools or arts colleges in your area. Ask around for good, used gear.
    I mention this because a school upriver from my city closed its wet darkroom down and has 4 high end Omega enlargers on hand. Even my local arts school is slowly ending the darkroom aspect of its photography program so more equipment will be on the market. I picked up this information at the local coffee shop and it pans out as true.
    It can,t hurt to get on the horn and put the word out. Heck,I placed an add in the paper 4 years ago for an enlarger and got 15 hits in 2 days. Lots of gear stored away in basements and closets.

    Good Hunting,
    Mike
     
  9. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    The Beseler 23C goes to 6x9.

    Check ads on places like Craigslist. I got the 23C and a 67C for $40 total (including a couple of lenses and old spiders...).

    I also picked up a 4x5 and a 5x7 enlarger for free (minus the cost of renting a van to pick them up). Granted, the guy who got rid of these had about 30 poeple interested. Since I could do a local pick-up, I won.

    There are more enlargers out there than users.

    Matt
     
  10. atenlaugh

    atenlaugh Member

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    I have one of the Beseler 23's that goes up to 6x9. It's not that much smaller than a D-2, though, which does 4x5...like your post says... whereas 67 enlargers are significantly less bulky (an Omega C700 is probably about half the size, and half as heavy - although that's an entirely unscientific estimation).
     
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Omega B22.

    If you want a color head, get the Chromega B - they're even cheaper than the B22's.

    35mm, 645, 6x6.

    I agree that the Besseler 23c will do 6x9, but it is larger and heavier!!

    David
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Haven't seen a 23C in close to 2 decades, and never used one, so didn't recall the 6x9 capacity. Thanks for the reminder. But IIRC, it's not small, right? Doesn't it have the wide, braced back frame instead of a column.

    Cool... what were they asking for the spiders alone? Or were they charging more if you didn't take the spiders?

    Lee
     
  13. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I guess it just looks small now that I have 2 LF enlargers in my garage! If I can fit one in my car, I will deliver the 4x5 to my brother for Thanksgiving.

    I was going to clean it up, but I figure the enlarger and old spiders can just get packed in a big garbage bag. Hmmm, that seems to be the logic the person who gave the enlargers to me used!

    Matt
     
  14. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Not sure how available they are where you are, but the Meopta Magnifax 4 will cover up to 6x9.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  15. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Omega B 22s are nice up to 6x6, pretty compact and there always seems to be some on eBay.
     
  16. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    For sheer cheapness you can go for the old Federals enlargers from the 1950s. Mine tends to vignette at the corners of 6x9 though.
     
  17. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    I have an Omega B-22 I use exclusively for 35mm, but it will cover 6x6 nicely. I just use my D-II for that, and 4x5. SImple enlarger to use, built well, and usually cost more to ship then it will to buy, got mine delivered to the doorstop with all condensers, neg holder, and a schnider 50mm componon for $75.
     
  18. nihraguk

    nihraguk Member

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    I use a Meopta Opemus 6 that goes up to 6x6. Pretty alright as an enlarger, though not as sturdy as I'd like it to be.

    I think its cheaper than the LPL/Saunders or Beseler equivalents brand new, but if you have a large used enlarger market then that consideration sorta goes out the window.
     
  19. haris

    haris Guest

    I don't know for shure but Meoptas enlargers, being comming from former Earstern Europe country, Chezkoslovakia (now Czeck republic) were allways cheaper than Western products. And if you look at prices of new products Meopta is still cheaper than Dursd, LPL, etc... So, look at some enlargers from former USSR or former Eastern Europe countries. Especially secondhand. I belive those are cheapest.
     
  20. haris

    haris Guest

    True. I have Magnifax 4, and it goes up to 6x9. But it is out of production. New version, still in production is Magnifax 4a. Try www.meopta.cz
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use an Opemus 6 with colour head. While not the smallest enlarger, it's quick to set up and to pack down in its box after use.

    The quality is very good, even the Anaret-S lens is better than anything else I've tried!
     
  22. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, I broke down and bought a used Philips PCS130 with PCS150 color controller via eBay. It's $74 delivered to my door, and as delivered it should handle 35mm and 6x6, with 6x7 possible with another condenser (which might be hard to find, so if the OP wants to do 6x7, he should look for one with that condenser set from the start). It's not arrived yet, but it looks flexible and interesting (it uses an unusual additive color system rather than the more common subtractive filtration). It's got a 40-inch column, which might or might not be a problem for the OP. This model seems to pop up once a week or so on eBay. (Note that the PCS2000 is similar in some ways, but it's a diffusion enlarger that only supports up to 6x6.)

    The comment about Eastern European enlargers reminded me that I've seen occasional eBay auctions for a Soviet model that folds up into a suitcase. Try searching on "(Russian,Soviet) enlarger" on eBay to find these. Actually, I just checked, and here's an auction for one. The ad doesn't specify what formats the enlarger supports, though, and I've a suspicion it won't do anything bigger than 35mm. Still, for compact storage, it'd be hard to beat!

    Perhaps the OP could chime in with some more specific information on storage requirements. What are the big constraints? (Column height, baseboard width or depth, weight, etc.?) Are there any hard limits (columns no more than 35 inches, say)?
     
  23. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I have one of these, although the lamp and carrier housing on mine looks older, more the shape of the oval lamp on earlier Leitz models (but obviously nowhere near the build quality). It does 35mm or smaller only, and the lens threads are not standard. Very basic and the lower end of the quality range. I haven't attempted to use it yet.

    Just for information, has anyone seen Meopta in the USA? I've seen their spotting scopes and binoculars advertized some places, especially online in the US, but can't recall ever having seen a US darkroom distributor or the enlargers for sale here. But I haven't been in the market for an enlarger for over 25 years, so I could have missed a lot.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2005
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Freestyle had been selling them up until a couple of years ago, but don't list them any more.
     
  25. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    Don't know why nobody have mentioned the awesome AGFA Varioscope 66.

    goes to 6x9 and the light and lenses are great and easy to use.
    I think they are cheap enough..
    I just got two as a gift, as nobody seems to want them anymore..
    go figure.