Which Enlarger?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mtbbrian, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Like a lot of you I have "darkroom dreams", and if all goes well I will be in a place that my "darkroom dreams" could very well become a reality.
    So it gets me thinking and looking at enlargers.
    Which is why I am making this post.
    I shoot mainly 35mm and 6x6, in color and b&w.
    The thing is that I sometimes do dibtychs of two adjacent frames, on the stip of negatives in the 6x6, which would make for a negative of about 6x14.
    So I am guessing I could fabicate something from a 4x5 negative carrier.
    What would be a good enlarger to do this with?
    Any other advice for buying a used enlarger would also be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Brian
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Any 4x5 enlarger with a glass carrier would work. Just make a mask out of something. Ruby lith I guess. Or maybe thin black paper if you're printing colour.

    If you're pringing colour you'll be happier with a colour head.

    If you make big prints you might want something that handles big sizes better.
     
  3. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    My plan is to print no bigger than 11x14.
    Brian
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I know that many folks are very committed to one brand over another, I am partial to Omega myself, but I think that any of the professional brands are capable of producing excellent prints, Omega, Bessler, Durst, as well as several others. As mentioned above I would invest in a color head, glass 4X5 carrier, and good lens.
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Brian,

    I just measured my Omega DII and the opening in the negative stage is 5". You could probably open it up to 14cm, but it looks as though there might be some vignetting from the bellows. Ocasionally a 5x7 enlarger pops up on ebay.

    BTW: I second the dichroic head. Makes life much easier.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Likewise, my 4x5" Durst L1200 based enlarger has a maximum or 120mm width at the negative carrier.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Go for a 5x7.

    Almost any brand at this size is built to professional standards.

    Personally I'd avoid Durst because their long-term product support was always lousy, even in the days when they made enlargers. If you can find/afford one, De Vere are unbeatable AND still in production.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  8. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Brian,

    Good points above, of course. Put the emphasis on the enlarging lens(es) rather than the enlarger. Consider Componon, Rodagon, or El-Nikkor as good bets.

    Konical
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If it's only two 6x6 negatives why 14 across?
     
  10. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Maybe I wasn't that clear, sometimes I do diptychs, where I print two adjacent frames, like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    but how does that add up to 14? The frame including the border is 60mm. Twice that is 120mm. Even if you add 10 mm each side of border it's not image area. Won't matter if it's fuzzy etc.

    I just don't see how you need 14 total. I'd argue if the image area is really 55mm you need 55m twice plus the gap between the two frames. Around 115mm total I bet.
     
  12. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Perhaps my calculations are wrong? Or maybe I should have put 14 cm.
    Each frame is 6cm after all, right?
    Brian
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Can you print the 2 frames closer together so that the total length is about 12.5cm or so? I think a 4x5 enlarger would do a 6x12.5 OK without vignetting.
    Actually the diagonal of the 4x5 is 16.3 cm and the 6x14cm is 15.2 so I think even at 6x14 a 4x5 enlarger would work just fine.
     
  14. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    You ought to be ok with a 4x5 enlarger without having to go for the 5x7. As for which one, I suggest "the one that you can get your hands on". I have two Beselers, a 23C and a 45MXT, and both are fine machines; I've used Omegas before that were also perfectly acceptable.