Step by step, inch by inch

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Christopher Walrath, May 24, 2008.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I am going to make my way toward making my own prints. I shoot 6x45, some 35mm and some 4x5 may be on the way. Is there an enlarger that will cover both 35mm and 6x4.5?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    There are many. If you have the space you probably should go with a 4x5 even if you just start off with lenses and carriers for 35 and 645. But if you're lacking space, Beseler 23C's are plentiful and can take anything up to 6x9.
    In MF enlargers, I'm partial to Durst, as they knock down easily, if necessary and they are a little more compact. But pieces aren't as common as bits for Beseler and Omega.
     
  3. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    Are you going to be printing color or black & white? If you shoot some 4x5 it would be worth getting a 4x5 enlarger if you have the space for it. For printing 35mm and 6x4.5 I would get a Durst though I am not sure how common they are in the USA. Even if you are not going to print color a color enlarger is useful for printing multigrade/ polycontrast paper.
    The important thing is to get good quality enlarger lenses, budget lenses are not worth bothering with. The new price for good enlarger lenses is high but look on ebay - you can often get quality glass for a fraction of the new price.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    B&W. $ would be a factor. Small and MF when I get it. Shooting P/N 55 4x5 so 4x5 enlarging won't be in a hurry. What should I look for in a lens?
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The $ factor is almost irrelevant lately, if you are able to be patient and watch for deals. Lots of 4x5s that are pick up only on ebay go for very short money.

    Similar deals exist on Craigslist. Then there is networking, I was recently offered a 4x5 with a color head for free.
    The patience part is waiting for one to show up that's within resonable driving distance.

    As for lenses, you might be able to get away with a 50 for 35 and 645, though an 80 would be better for the 645 negs. If I were going to start with just one, I'd use an 80, however.
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Mmmmmm... A 50 mm enlarging lens doesn't work so well with 6 x 4.5, at least not with the 50mm f/2.8 Nikkor (late sytle) that I'm using. I concur though that if you are limited to one lens for now, make it a good 80 mm lens. You'll have no problem with either 35mm or 6 x 4.5 as long as you don't expect 11 x 14 prints from the 35 mm negs. Up to 8 x 10 should be within reach for a good number of enlargers.
     
  7. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    A 50 mm is really only good for printing up to 24x36mm though with care you can ude them for selective enlargements from bigger negs.
    Other than that, as a rough guide I would say 75 mm for 6x4.5cm to 6x6cm, 80mm for up to 6x7, 100 mm for up to 6x9cm and for 5x4 either 135mm or 150 mm.
    There are exceptions to this Rodenstock make the Rodagon-WA 60 mm that will print from 6x7cm negs

    I found this site http://www.mxv.co.uk/stock.html they are in the UK but will ship worldwide, their prices look reasonable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2008