Two Enlargers, reasons wanted

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Robland, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Robland

    Robland Member

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    I'm building a DR and have the opportunity to place 2 of the same enlarger side by side. I'm looking for reasons why this would be useful. I have 1 example of a dual enlarger set up, i.e. results from Bruce Barnbaum, his cover page of Tone Poems ~ Book 2. http://www.barnbaum.com/tone2.html I discussed this with Bruce at his workshop.

    Is there another compelling reason to have a 2nd enlarger? (besides parts, I'm the only one using the space) I guess I could set one for 35mm or 120mm diffuser box and the other for 4x5. I'm a non-pro, and do not have all the techniques understood..Masking etc? Do advanced techniques require a 2nd enlarger or make the process much easier?
     
  2. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I some times do dyptich and triptich prints that require two or three enlargers and easels. It can be done with one but it is more work. I also have several people who use the darkroom and have their favorite setup. For a single user a single enlarger is all you really need.
     
  3. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I have two 4x5 enlargers setup in my darkroom. One is diffusion the other condenser.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My darkrooms have always had two enlargers since about the mid 70's, but like you suggest one for 35mm % 120 the other for large format work used to be a 5x4 enlarger, now it's a 10c8 enlarger. This is a very practical set-up, and I often use the 2nd enlarger for paper flashing.

    Ian
     
  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I am going to be setting up a darkroom in the next few months and have done a bit of hunting and gathering. Initially I may have three, a 5X7 Zone VI, a Durst 1200 and a Beseler 45V-XL. The Zone VI will probably stay, however as I get settled in one of the others may go if I find myself not using it. Shooting a variety of formats, I may find that three is the magic number. Bill Barber
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Colour and Black and White.

    Diffusion and Condensor.

    One enlarger set up for just flashing paper.

    One set up with a dropped baseboard, for large prints, while the other is optimized for small prints.

    A backup, in case the main unit goes wonky.

    A chance to teach your friends/kids/significant other how to print while you are doing your own work.

    Just some suggestions.

    Matt
     
  7. phenix

    phenix Member

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    Two enlargers: one diffusion (color head) and one condenser. I would like to have a single enlarger with two heads (diffusion and condenser), but I have instead two enlargers. With the condenser I like to do more crude prints, while with the diffusion I like to work more refined (although only B&W).

    Why two enlargers? Why two cameras? Why two films? …or more… Why RC and FB papers? Because they all have different “personalities”: from functionality to manipulation and results.

    BTW, you won’t necessarily need to have both enlargers installed at the same time. One can always be stored in an accessible place, and picked up when needed. I doubt you’ll run both equally – I use the diffusion on a current base, while the condenser only occasionally (maybe because my negs. need more work…).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  8. weasel

    weasel Member

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    When I had my permanent darkroom I used two enlargers, an omega d2 for the big stuff, and a leitz focomat for 35.
    If I had the room I would do it again.
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    When I retired and started photography full time I was shooting 35mm. That grew to 6x7. I was about to buy a 35mm-6x7 enlarger when the seller of the 6x7 camera warned me that most likely I would go to 4x5, so I bought a 35mm-4x5 enlarger. While shooting 4x5 with an 8x10 friend I discovered a need for an 8x10 enlarger. The 8x10 cold light is now the light source for my 7x17 contact printer. I can't carry anything heavier. I can no longer afford a porter because I bought all this equipment. I may have arrived, but even I am not saying that because I have only been retired five years.
    John Powers
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use three enlargers,
    Two condensors with exact setup lenses ect. so that I can work on two negs at a time, I like having the prints back to back when developing.
    the third enlarger is diffusion and I use it for portraits where smooth skin tone is important and also I flash with this enlarger.
    I find this the most practical and efficient setup for show printing if one has the room.
     
  11. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I've had a Saunders LPL 670XL for many years and used it exclusively for 35mm. Now that I shoot MF and LF, I've picked up an Omega D2. The Omega handles 4x5 work and the Saunders covers 35mm (which I now rarely shoot) and 6x6.

    Dan
     
  12. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    A lot of good reasons already listed, I'll add mine though they are probably already covered.

    I have two nearly identical Durst L184 Dichro enlargers. The reasons behind getting the second (I already had a Beseler 4x5 as a second which was replaced) were as follows:

    1) it's a pain getting a negative in the glass carriers perfectly clean and free of Newtons, so once I have that set up right, I'd rather not remove it until I'm done. The problem is that sometimes you get stuck on a print, or need to walk away from a certain image/print for a day or so in order to get a fresh perspective. In the past that meant that I either had to remove the neg or not print at all for a few days. With 2 matched enlargers I can just move on and print on the second one.

    2) backup, getting parts and repairs for many enlargers is not quick or easy now a days. Having a second enlarger means that I can continue to work, and meet deadlines even if one enlarger craps out on me.

    3) Diptychs are far easier to do and match if you can do them side by side

    4) while one test print is drying down or washing, I can start on a second negative.

    5) BY getting a "matched" second enlarger all mixing boxes, lens boards, neg carriers, light bulbs, etc are interchageable between the two. Exposure times are the same and the "feel" of working the enlarger is the same because all the controls are in the same places.

    6) in the event of a tornado my house now has far greater ballast
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  13. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    Colour and Black and White.

    Diffusion and Condensor.
     
  14. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    I have a DeVere 504 with dichroic head which I use for for 120 and 4x5 in b&w (and soon colour). I have a Durst 138s with condensor head for 4x5 and 5x7, in b&w. I find having the two means less messing around with setup. I also use the Durst for negatives which are better suited to the condensor head.
     
  15. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Others have listed all the reasons I can think of. I just added a second 4x5 enlarger for some of the reasons listed but have not had a chance to use it yet. It is a Beseler 45 MXT and I am not used to aligning it. My other is a Beseler 45 VXL.

    I added a second because it was so cheap that I couldn't resist. I got the enlarger with a 45S Dichroic light source for under $400. It even came with Nikkor 50/80/135 mm lenses. I plan to set up the second for 6x7 format and the first for 4x5 which I use the most. The 4x5 is already set up for flashing. The light sources are redundant.

    A couple of downsides of having two enlargers:
    • What about three?
    • Uses a lot of space
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Good point.
     
  17. haris

    haris Guest

    All above reasons plus: less chance to drop lens when changing film format/lenses. Also, less need to change condensors/mixing chambers when change film format. It would be best if one could have 2 enlargers for every film format one use, 1 with diffuser, second with condensors, and then you can think about point light source, cold light, and other variations, so 10 to 15 enlargers would do :smile:
     
  18. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Dang, I wish this thread hadn't started as I'd just about sorted things out for my new darkroom. Zone VI for 6X17 negatives, Beseler 45V -XL with cold light head and Durst 1200 for everything else up to 4X5. The confusion comes from owning another Durst 1200 and only having room for 3 enlargers. So do I set up both the Durst 1200s and ditch the Beseler or go with my original plan? Bill Barber
     
  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I went to a work shop with Jerry Ulesman back when he was doing all his combinations on enlargers and you need mulitple enlargers for that. Personally I find the space on my counter more valuable than the second enlarge which sits unused in the basement. I would need to have a much higher volume of work to need the other enlarger even though I work in the darkroom everyday.
    Dennis
     
  20. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    Because you can!
     
  21. waileong

    waileong Member

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    Reason? Cause they're dirt cheap.
     
  22. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Exactly the mix I have. My reasoning is that 35mm is a pain to work with and really requires a glass carrier and the Leitz enlarger is simply a pleasure to use!
     
  23. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Different sizes sometimes work better in different enlargers. My big enlarger is a bit dim and a bit awkward for 35mm, so I found a 35mm enlarger for that size and for the occasional 16mm frame. Somewhere along the line I got a Minox camera with its dedicated enlarger. I think I've only used it once, but it is the only way to print from Minox negatives.