Wife says can keep 2 of 5 enlargers. Rest need to go as we are moving. Help please

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by rx7speed, May 22, 2013.

  1. rx7speed

    rx7speed Member

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    I have a couple enlargers and right now not sure which would be the best to hold on to. She says I can keep two of them but right now I'm at a loss as to which two to keep. Can you all lend a hand.

    I deal mostly with 35mm stuff but plan on upgrading one of these days to get medium format equipment and even if possible something large format.

    The enlargers I have on the block are a
    Durst M370 color (was thinking of keeping this as is just for the color aspect)
    Besler 45MCRX (has both condensor and cold light heads)
    Besler 23CII
    Besler 67CP
    Omega B-600 (one I've been using the most just cause it was there and first one I grabbed)


    Any suggestions on which you guys would keep and why or what the differences really are between them?

    Thank you much for your support
     
  2. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Keep the Beseler 45MCRX and the Durst. The Durst has a dichro head on it I assume, which makes VC printing with a diffused light-source a snap, and the 45MCRX can do what ever the the 23C and the 67 can as well. The fact you have a cold light and condensor is good, and it is adaptable to a dichro head or maybe even the fancy new LED heads that are being sold over here at some point. I've found every 23C I've ever used (23C, CII, CIII, CIIIXL) to be rickety and imprecise in comparison to my 45M (original version of the MCRX)...

    Can't speak to the B-600 as I've never used one, but they look like they're on the same level as a Beseler Printmaker, or other similarly priced entry-level condensor enlarger. The Durst isn't really a Durst, but it's still a Durst, if you get my drift, which means it's made to a higher standard than other entry-level equipment. Like I said, the fact it has a diffusion head on it is a plus for variety as well.

    My 2¢.

    Edit: the 45MCRX also has you covered out to 4x5 format, obviating the need to worry about getting another enlarger if you went up to LF. Other pluses include easy to source spare parts, and cheap lensboards.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Beseler 45MCRX and the Beseler 23CII would give you 4x5 through sub-miniature capacity, and some interchangeability of parts.

    And colour heads are available for both enlargers.
     
  4. rx7speed

    rx7speed Member

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    Not really into the sub minature stuff. Only have 35mm for now and if anything I would rather go larger. With that is there anything the 23C II would do or any advantage for it over the 45MCRX other then size?
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Well, don't discount size :smile:.

    I find 4x5 enlargers aren't necessarily ideal for 35mm (or smaller).

    I wouldn't recommend the 23CII over the 45MCRX. I would recommend the two of them as they complement each other well.

    And the 23C series enlargers are so prevalent that there are lots of accessories available.
     
  6. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Keep 3, and she'll live with it. Include the Beseler 67 in the "keep" pile. Along with the 2 that the other guys say. Call it a compromise.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Just though of something perfectly awful, but I'm not married, and I'm saying this on account of the women around where I live. My compromise with any of these women around here, if one was my wife--that I will keep 3 enlargers, and trim it down to 2, if she lost the same amount of weight as the third enlarger weighs. (hope I don't get thrown off here).:D
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    i have four enlargers. My wife just stays the hell out of my darkroom and I stay the hell out of her office ...

    having said that -- if you do a lot of 35, do yourself a favor and find a Leitz Focomat IC. Keep the 4 by 5 and the 6 by 7.
     
  9. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Speaking for myself, as a married man, I can tell that you aren't. :whistling:
     
  10. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    Does she get to keep all her shoes.......?:whistling:
     
  11. MARKNABIA

    MARKNABIA Member

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    If my wife tell me that, I'll tell her to leave the house I'll keep all enlarger...:laugh:
     
  12. rx7speed

    rx7speed Member

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    Partly why I'm willing to get rid of the enlargers. She is letting me keep the camera's, strobes, softboxes, backgrounds and such. I know if I don't give on something here I could find it all missing.

    plus 5 enlargers are a little hard to hide even more so the 45MCRX.



    I admit I'm lost here on suggestions though. It seems everyone is in agreement with keeping the 45MCRX. regarding the others though whats so special about the Beseler 67 or the Beseler 23C II? I don't know enough about any of them to be honest other then I know some will do larger formats then others and some do color if you get the right head and some do color up front as is. Otherwise though what really makes the 23c or the 67 worth keeping with the 45?
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Having two enlargers is really useful. You can set up each enlarger for a different favourite format or workflow, or you can use one for flashing and the other for exposure, or you can set up one for negatives that benefit from a higher contrast light source and the other for negatives that benefit from a diffused light source or ....

    And the advantage of the 23C II is that it will print up to 6 x 9 (2.25" x 3.25"), so it and the 45MCRX will be able to both cover almost all the medium format choices.

    I like the Beseler 67 - I've owned one since the 1970s, and if my darkroom was permanent and had the space, I would have it set up with my Omega D6. I just think that the 23C II and 45MCRX duo is the most effective. I believe as well that they share the same lens boards.
     
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  15. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Alternatively, you could move to Australia and I could "store" some of that stuff for you!

    (I only have three pairs of shoes, so there's plenty of room :tongue:)
     
  16. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Perhaps it time to pickup #6, that will teach her. :D

    Roger
     
  17. donkee

    donkee Member

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    a big +1 for keeping the 23C II and 45MCRX. That will cover you for a number of formats and the few parts that are interchangable is an added bonus.
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Have you used any of them? Which do you like best? Which is in best condition? Which has the most useful accessories?
     
  19. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    only two? I'd keep the Omega and the big Beseler 45. Then find someway to keep the Durst too! MAybe hide it in the garage?

    I've got an enlarger stashed in the attic and one in a storage shed in another county.

    My wife an I have an arrangement: I don't complain about her shoes and hand bag habit and she doesn't complain about my camera and enlarger habits. It works for us.
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another vote for the Beseler pair. Frankly, if push came to shove, I'd keep the Beseler 45 MCRX and let all the rest go. You could pick up a dichro head for it for around $300 +/- and you'd have everything you want to do covered (variable contrast, color, b/w, 35mm, 2 1/4, 4x5) that you can do with an enlarger. If you really want to keep two, I'd keep the 23C and the 45MCRX. The Beseler 67 and Omega B600 are fine if you need a lighter-weight enlarger that you can move in and out of a temporary darkroom on a regular basis, but they're not the most stable in the world. I currently have a Beseler 45-series enlarger, and a 23C II (I think it's an XL, but I don't remember - it's not currently in use). They're both solid as rocks (the 23C was an enlarger of choice for many school darkrooms, so that ought to tell you something about how rugged they are). I just don't use the 23C because I can do everything it does with the 45, and more, and the space where it was is now taken by my UV exposure unit. The one thing that would be convenient to have interchangeable between the two Beselers that isn't is the negative carriers. Not a big deal when you're only shooting 1 or 2 formats, but when you get into 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 4x5, 35mm, and 24x56mm (Xpan negatives), your negative carrier collection explodes. But yes, the lens boards are interchangeable between the two.
     
  21. agnosticnikon

    agnosticnikon Member

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    I'm waiting for the day when the post starts: My HUSBAND says I have to get rid of a couple of enlargers, cameras, etc. I'm sure there's many reasons for this. I'm lucky my wife is interested in photography too, so our usual problem is who is going to use which camera, or lens.
     
  22. Noble

    Noble Member

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    Let me preface by remarks by saying I've only used a Beseler 23C III and 45mxt (not the latest iteration).

    The Beseler 45 is a rock solid piece of machinery that works for everything up to 4x5. The other thing is it is American and still manufactured. The 23C is also American and still manufactured. As was mentioned the 23C covers most of the normal medium format sizes. With that duo you can enlarge just about anything you will ever shoot. It is nice to have different enlargers set up for different formats. If someone was in Europe I would recommend a European model that had plenty of parts in the used market over there.

    The Durst might be worth keeping if you really plan on doing color in the future. Depending on your geographic region enlargers and enlarger accessories can go for next to nothing. But the problem I have found is sometimes the thing you need for whatever reason just doesn't pop up when you need it. You already have a color setup. Unless you can get a good price for it or swap it for the same price as a Beseler color head I would be reluctant to let it go.

    If I were you I would research what makes a good enlarger. One thing you seem to be overlooking is how solid the support column(s) is. The Beselar 45 is solid. The Beseler 23C is pretty respectable. It is the choice for many institutions. I don't see the Beseler 67CP being in the same league.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2013
  23. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I only have space to use two enlargers (both Beseler M series of different vintages). I have my Durst M605 and F30 packed away. I'd probably keep the 45 and then choose between the 23C and the baby Durst based on future space/format needs. This assumes that the enlargers are complete and do not have any special wish lists for obscure carriers or condensers. That is where the Beselers score in N.America - they are ubiquitous.
     
  24. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    better watch out...

    ... she heard you say that!!!:confused:
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That would be my solution of choice.
     
  26. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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