What 4x5 enlargers are out there?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ezwriter, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    I have a Beseler 23c for 35mm and 120 work but the enlargers i see on Clist either
    -don't know what its for, estate sale,etc
    -only work up to 120 size.
    'What enlargers ,used, can i get? thanks
     
  2. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    Simmons Omega D series. I actually have three in my garage, two of which I'd like to get rid of. Live near Boston? :D
     
  3. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    Depending where you are, there should be a few Beseler 45 series maybe some LPL 7452 (aka Saunders 4550) along with the Omega D's

    Those would be the most common in North America. All with a variety of light sources available.
     
  4. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    I assume you are in US—in Europe, especially UK and Ireland, you will find a used De Vere 504 relatively easily, or you can buy a refurbished one from Odyssey Sales. If one comes your way, wherever you live, consider it, as they are built like a tank and preform very well. Otherwise, the Saunders/LPL 4550 is pretty impressive, too, and quite popular in US. I assume you are looking for up to 4x5, above that it gets harder, look out for an Elwood.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    if in europe ,also look for a durst l1200, if you're lucky or consider to go for 8x10 and start contact printing.
     
  6. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

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    The Beseler 4x5 will allow you to use your current negative holders.
     
  7. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    no they won't. You can use the same lens boards
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Beseler 45M series, great machine, lots of them available for little or nothing.
     
  9. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Know of a pair of L1200 enlargers for sale in the UK. Collect only (not mine).
     
  10. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    I had to smile when I read of rawhead's three Omega D enlargers, since three is how many I have. Then I remembered the fourth one I got free with the purchase of a dry mount press. It was disassembled and on the way for scrap when I rescued it. This summer, I was at a photographer's yard sale. He mentioned having 2 or 3 4X5 enlargers and a 5X7 Omega he wanted to sell. I made the mistake of getting his phone number, and that 5X7 keeps running through my mind, even though I already have a 5X7 Elwood. There must be a good reason for having an extra 5X7 enlarger, isn't there? Elwood is a name to add to your list of enlargers to watch. The 5X7 ones sometimes show up on eBay. They are almost always sold for pick up only, no shipping, so you may be the only bidder in your area and get one cheap. With one of those, you can do 4X5, and start looking for a 5X7 camera. :smile:

    Len
     
  11. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    The most common in the USA are Omega D series, Beseler 45 series, and LPL (Saunders/LPL 4500II, 4550XL, Omega/LPL 4500/4550). All will produce excellent enlargements as good as your capability. All are solidly built and parts are available.

    My preference is for the LPL because it works very smoothly, and offers some nice accessories, such as a masking frame for the negative carrier stage, and a remote focus wand--ingeniously simple and effective, for when the head is "way up there" and you want to use your grain focuser.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    If you can find a Durst 138 series enlarger in good condition it will be in a class by itself. Technically
    a 5x7 enlarger but excellent for anything smaller too. Lots of them out there at reasonable prices at
    the moment, but its harder to find one that doesn't need some work. Otherwise, I'd opt for one of
    the abundant Omega D series. Sometimes enlargers can be had for free. I've turned down plenty of
    them. Have too many now.
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I am currently using a 45MX with a cold light head and custom filed out glass carriers with oversized AN glass. If I had it to do all over again, I would have got an LPL 4500II with a VCCE head for above neg stage multi-contrast work since finding a similar system for the 45 has proven futile.

    Beware though, wet printing this format IE, finding a clean neg that will not leave black spots in skies, etc. on prints is *fully* brutal. Even using such techniques as "Dust-Bracketing" I have still yet to produce a single salable shot that would be worthy of gallery space in my 7 months with the format. And yes, I am ruthless with dust control...

    Don't get me wrong, once you actually find your self with a usable neg, they print to 16x20 with nearly zero effort, getting that one is the issue.

    So far, from a artist's productivity standpoint, medium format has left large format, well...in the "Dust"....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    What gives? Dust can be controlled with any format. Same rules, just different amts of surface area.
    120 roll film is probably the worst because it's relatively flimsy and generally made on acetate. But the less the magnification, the less the dust and blemishes themselves show. So in this respect, the larger the format, the better.
     
  15. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Having only used Omegas for LF so take it fwiw, I gotta say nothing beats Devere enlargers and the front dual hand controls for focus and enlargement. and they're built like tanks as noted previously.
     
  16. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    What gives is that unlike medium format, the film it self is exposed to more handling and had proven to be very problematic for me in terms of dust. Even my 6x12 backs are a breeze compared to sheet film. Maybe we live in different climates Drew, I took my 4x5 skiing twice today, once this morning at sunrise, -18F and again just now at 14F. Your insights are very valuable Drew, but they do not diminish my daily experience.

    And for what it is worth, I did not get into 4x5 to make the same size prints with less magnification, I got into it because I need to be able to make much larger prints.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Not a projection printing problem. That problem has no relation to the format, enlarger, carrier, darkroom dust control (unless you load you holders in the darkroom), head type, etc in printing. Please do not blame it on projection printing! Vacuum your film holders!!!
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Omega D5-XL Super Chromega Dichroic II Enlarger for 35mm, 120, and 4"x5"
     
  19. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    Who wants to borrow my Adams Negative Retouching Machine ?

    Ron
    .
     
  20. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I think one of the worst parts about these forums is that people assume I am doing it all wrong and they are all right. What people don't realize is that I have spent not hours but full days researching this issue and have taken extraordinary measures to control dust, including using individual anti-static bags for each holder. In fact, I am willing to bet that I do a lot more than most to control dust.

    All but two of the pros I have contacted who shoot LF said that they are much happier scanning their film and using other than darkroom prints directly from the negs, even if it means getting rid of the dust in post and then outputting to an LVT for wet printing. These are people I have talked to on the phone like John Fielder, Jack Dykinga and others at that level.

    I am not blaming anything on projection printing, I am just warning the guy, dust on the film pre-epxosure can be a *very* problematic thing if you want to wet print. If you scan, it's easily correctable.
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ok, I see the point you were trying to make. But dust on the film during exposure is an issue with EVERY sheet film size not just 4x5. Spotting prints is a learned art.:D

    Personally I think the concept of scanning film is absurd. Are there no good digital cameras on the market? The only logical reason to use film is to make a print on photographic paper. I guess some people don't like the look of photographic paper and to each his own. I know the glowing image on an iPhoney is more appealing to my youngest child.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  22. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I can tell by the quality of the images you've posted that you take this seriously. I've no doubt that you've gone to extraordinary measures, too. I think you may be on to something with the dry air where you live. Is there any way you can control the relative humidity in your darkroom/ loading room? Have you considered a humidifier, maybe letting it run for a while before loading/unloading/printing?
     
  23. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Don't worry IC, you are still on my go to list...:smile:

    Actually, it has really not been a problem with any other format. Example, I just souped two rolls of 120 shot in my 6x12 back using the 4x5 today, perfect, no dust. And yes, spotting is a part of printing, but it is the black spots left on the paper by the clear holes on the neg that are a pain, you either have to spot the neg or bleach the print.

    Sometimes I just want to go back to MF where I know for a fact I can produce. But I am going to stick it out..it's been a horribly dry year. I load my film in the bathroom after a run the hot shower for a few, it's humid-ish....
     
  24. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    U could just buy a graflarger back and a copystand and use camera as your enlarger.
     
  25. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I think the OP is asking what enlargers are suited to 4x5...

    Omega D2 or D5 are relatively common and cheap. As has already been mentioned, the Beseler 45M (in all the various flavors) is also common and cheap. There are others too...these. Are just the two types I'm familiar with.

    I have an Omega D2 in storage that doesn't get used much...