What compact enlarger would you choose?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Chuck (CA), Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    What is you choice of a compact enlarger that will do a decent 11x14?

    Or, what is you recommendation/s?

    Thanks in advance for your input
    Chazz
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Member

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    New or used? B&W or colour? I liike my Omega B66 which is bolted to the counter.
     
  3. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    Sorry about that, didn't mean to be short on information!

    Figure on a new enlarger and for b/w.

    Thanks for the post
    Chazz
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Omega b600 for negs up to 6x6. Use a good lens such as a nikkor.

    Brian
     
  5. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I was going to say buy used you'll save a lot of money but then I went and checked the prices on B&H. They've got the Omega C700 for around $210. You'll need a lens and negative holder but that's not much more then a good used model would set you back. I haven't really looked at the new enlargers but at that sort of price hard to argue for used.
     
  6. EUGENE

    EUGENE Member

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    Chazz, what will be the size of the largest negative you will be using with that enlarger? I,m not sure what you mean by a "compact" enlarger. Your choice of focal length for the lens will determine if you can make an 11X14 enlargement on the baseboard. For example, a 50mm lens should allow 11X14's on the baseboard, from a 35mm negative, on most small and medium format enlargers being manufactured today. An 80mm lens would do the same with a 6X6 negative. I would stay with the Besseler and Omega brands for easy access to service, accessories, and replacement parts. The Saunders LPL enlargers are highly regarded, as are Durst, but accessories are not as easily available. There are many good small- format enlargers for sale in the used marketplace. Look for those name brands.
     
  7. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I can't imagine why you would want new when there are currently so many new condition used enlargers for sale now. People switching to digital are flooding the market with excellent equipment at prices I dreamed of 20 years ago. You can get twice the quality for half the price of new. Gee, that works out to 1/4 the price [​IMG]

    But I would second Eugene's comments on brands except that even Durst and Saunders can be excellent buys used if you get a full complement of accessories with the purchase. You need to settle on what your max format will be and then start researching not only enlargers but especially the lenses and other accessories you will need.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think if I were looking for a small and medium format enlarger today, I'd want one with a tiltable lensboard and negative stage. This will let you do perspective correction by tilting the easel, but instead of stopping down to get the image in focus, you can apply the Scheimpflug principle just like on a view camera. I'm not sure which models do this offhand, but I think one of the Kaisers does, and maybe Durst.

    Another thing to think about is what type of head you want. Some people find a condenser head to be the sharpest, but it's less forgiving of dust, scratches, and grain. Cold light produces a smoother look, but prefers a contrastier neg. Variable contrast cold light is another option available on newer enlargers.

    The best deals on lenses are used. Get the best you can afford. Rodenstock, Schneider, and El-Nikkor are all decent. 6-element designs are generally better than 4-element designs, and the Apo versions are outstanding.