What would you do? (Darkroom enlargers) relics from the past

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by freespiritedone, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. freespiritedone

    freespiritedone Member

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    Penniless now...
    got a mother ****ing darkroom enlarger purchased a few years back from a newspaper photographer. The damn thing is pretty to me. On the surface it appears to be some techno-gadget from the future...not the past. But, I have deduced it's all in perception. Question is now... what the hell do I do with it? I called around local photo shops and discovered its US dollar value to be only around fifty bucks. this particular model was made by KODAK in Rochester, NY around 1950. Damn thing still works fine. got a piece of condensor glass manufactured back then with American engenuity and quality in mind. Irreplacable. My thoughts now... are perhaps, when I expire... lnto the eternal darkroom... I should put it in a simple will or donate it to the Smithsonian Institution. What would you do?

    More later.....

    do you own any particular Darkroom Enlargers you would never part with?

    What would you do?
     
  2. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I have a Kodak from about the same time period. My is a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 condenser model. It has an Ektar lens. Works great.

    I would suggest you use it if you need it. If you're looking to get rid of it, you're right, it's not worth much. Not to say it isn't a good working piece. Too many enlargers and not enough photographers. Does it have lens and negative holders? Is the lamp house and condenser stage all polished aluminum? Post a picture. Love to see it.

    Do I own an enlarger I'd never part with? I have 3 enlargers now, 2 Bes 45Ms and the Kodak. The Kodak was my father's, so I feel more attached to it, but hey, it's just an enlarger. Then again, I sold it to a friend 20 years ago and now he gave it back. Go figure.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    use them and past them on to the next generation. And there will be a next generation of film users.
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Funny how one feels about equipment.

    I started my printing business in 1991 and the first piece of equipment was a 20 inc rc black and white processor. This machine has been a wonderful working device, now it is old and parts not available.It is still hanging in and I think it is too stubborn to quit and be put to pasture.
    I have a problem, I do not want to scrap the processor when its done its last print, as it has stood by me through thick and thin, 6 moves , constant changes.
    I think I should be loyal to a trusted friend, therefore I have decided to make a working correction table out of it with all the racks, bushings , wiring intact and use it in my correction area and we will work together for years to come.
    Maybe I am getting sappy, about this but !!!
     
  5. freespiritedone

    freespiritedone Member

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    follow-up to that ol' darkroom enlarger

    In responsed to the tread ... what would you do?

    I have not had the opportunity to photograph the ol' Model A...
    but I have entered comments into my personal journals.

    here is what i wrote on the what I affectionately have called "The Orb"

    the Orb... better known as the Precision Enlarger of days gone by.

    I have dubbed thee the orb because your top appears as a small globe and looks to me like a piece of scientific equipment one may find in a lab of the future. but, you my friend are a thing of the past. Who is to say that you have outlived your usefullness. Circa Circa... the light you provide is like that of a glass fiber optic. Perhaps, this is why your creators dubbed you the Precision ""A" You give me an aperature of my own choosing and refusing to judge my incompetencies. You may be considered an antique in some regard by your digital young, but you still give me a deep satisfaction.

    You are timeless in an age of time.
     
  6. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I have an ancient Kodak 8 1/2 by 6 camera with a couple of lens without shutters so it's stop down to f125, off caps and start the timer. I've had some great fun making pictures with it. I did intend to take it with me when I go to meet my maker but by the time I get it and the other bits and pieces that I want to take with me there will be no room for me in the box.
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Les, isn't your darkroom, a large box? Just bury you in that thing. You will have plenty of room for all the bits and peices, and a darkroom in which to keep you occupied in the next life.

    BTW I have a 6 1/2x 8 1/2 too with a lens including full waterhouse stops for it.
     
  8. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    I would make sure you have a following of heirs that admire the object and the function as much as you. If you don't yet, adopt! I, on the other hand, am on the collecting end of your antithesis: I just recovered a 5x7" IFF Ampliator enlarger from the garbage heap, and am trying to figure out the many things about it:
    Where to fit such a HUGE machine for one
    How it works, for another...
     
  9. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    As the lead for my photography group I get lots of stuff left at my door step. For example, I have a Zone VI enlarger in the garage that a friend of mine dropped off.
    I usually donate them off to schools or other non-profit art organizations. You can look in your area for doing the same. Get a tax write off.
    As to the Zone VI I waiting for another friend to take it away. If he doesn't then I'll be posting on Ebay or here on Apug.
     
  10. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I'd like to hear more about the Zone VI, Robert. I'm currently using a Beseler Dichro 67 and am thinking about upgrading.

    Bruce
     
  11. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I don't know much about it. I know the lens are top of the line. My friend has money and always gets the best. He went digital and I ended up with his darkroom and camera equipment. He wants me to either sell or donate that which I do not think would sell well. He had a Besler 23CII plus a Omega B-22.
    They went to a local Art and Communication Magnet school.
     
  12. linda

    linda Member

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    I'm setting up a darkroom after a 15-year hiatus (most everything lost in a flooded basement!), and am considering a Beseler 23C series 2 enlarger online. The price appears to be good, but I don't think I know the enlarger. I shoot 4x5, 2 1/4, and 35mm. Is this a good all-round enlarger if I want to print from all these formats? Anything I should look for? Thanks! I can't wait to get going again after all this time.
     
  13. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Hi Linda,
    (That's my wife's name, too :smile: ) The 23C is a good enlarger, but not big enough for 4x5. If you want to print 4x5 you'll have to step up to a Beseler 45 series or similar.
    Bruce
     
  14. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    You'll need to go to the 45 series of Beseler to handle over 6X9. I feel that I'm right at the comfortable limits running 6X7 in the 23C with cold light or dichro heads. There are entire darkrooms being given away or sold very cheaply. Most of the 4X5 rigs of most brands are honest pieces of machinery. Try to buy into a system that leaves you a reasonable chance of locating lens boards, carriers, light sources, etc.
     
  15. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Good conversation piece.

    I do not jnow how much space you have at home the the thing would make a very striking planter by removing the top of the diffusion head and filling it with ivy. It would be very interesting to see people's first reaction to an autofucia enlarger. Perhaos, if not considered sacrilege, you could paint it Kodak yellow, with magenta and cyan colored plants.
     
  16. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Depends on why you want to dump it. Are you getting out the darkroom, want to replace it with a newer model? If you are looking at buying a newer model, if you have room why not keep it so you can do muiltiplue negative print tricks? I keep an old Burke and James Solar that I had in college at my parents for 20 years, then used it as a second enlarger until I moved and no longer had room for it and my D 3, so I gave to the Goodwill, I check it lasted 2 days and was sold.

    Regards