Would this be an OK enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by MattCarey, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Hello,

    this enlarger has not moved on eBay, even after being relisted 3 times.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=29985&item=3878890527&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

    It so happens this is pretty close to where I live, so I could just drive up and get it.

    Would it be worth offering the guy $25 for it? I realize that it won't do MF or LF, but it could be a start.

    My situation--contact printing stuff on the way. No real darkroom. I would set this up in a bathroom and tear down when done.

    Thanks for any comments.

    Matt
     
  2. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Make your offer

    I think for $25 you will get your moneys' worth. Plan on replacing the lens as it is not a top quality optic. Look for a 2.8 El Nikkor, Componon S or Apo Rodagon in 50mm.
     
  3. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Had one of these in the 1970's. Don't expect anything other than 35mm 8x10. Variable Contrast printing has to be done with a set of filters in the draw.

    it will work fine. I had mine in a temporary bathroom darkroom and it worked fine. I got a small piece of wood to put over the sink and this baby isn't heavy.
     
  4. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Make sure you can get bulbs for it and you are willing to use sheet filters for VC paper.

    The lens is probably junk.
     
  5. 127

    127 Member

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    The easel with it is probably worth the best part of the starting price.

    In cases like this, I'm a big believer in grabbing something, trying it, see how it works out. At the very worst, you'll have a MUCH better idea what to look for when you're ready to put down big bucks for your "real" system.

    Ian
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In its day this was an excellent enlarger more than capable of far larger prints than 10x8 as long as you get a decent lens.

    Bulbs are easily available, as is a colour head if you wait patiently. I've an M601 essentially the same but up to 6x6 and it's still superb after 20+ years.

    You could try the wanted adds on this site for a colour head. I should add its still a good enlarger its just colou heads became intregal in Durst enlargers and not a separate add on.
     
  7. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Sure, if he'll take $25 for the lot - the easel and the bulk film holder together are worth that (if you had to go out and buy them). The enlarger is a bonus then. You are close by, so you don't have to pay the shipping cost. This is probably why he isn't getting buyers. It isn't worth the cost of shipping in today's market.

    -chuck
     
  8. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I would look for a better enlarger. You don't have to spend a fortune but for $100-150 or so if you are patient you can do a lot better probably including a better lens. By the time you are done buying safe lights, trays, print washer, all types of containers both measuring and storage, thermometers, focusing scopes, paper safe,timer, etc,etc,etc the enlarger will only be a percentage of the cost. If you just want to get your "feet wet" I would suggest looking for a complete package. If that package contained a similar quality enlarger to the one you are thinking about and most everything you needed than I would get the package. If you are going to stock your darkroom piecemeal then as I mentioned I would look for a better enlarger. Hope this makes sense.
     
  9. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Matt, by the way, another great source for used enlargers in the bay area is CraigsList. www.craigslist.com. Go to For Sale, type in "darkroom" or "enlarger" in the general for sale category, and you'll see tons of stuff, all within driving distance.

    -chuck
     
  10. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I think it will be a good enlarger for 35mm.
    A better lens (used) will improv the "enalrgability" as suggested by the other members.
    The beslar is not a bad lens for starters though.

    If I were you I'd buy one of those TV-carts with casters and bolt the enlarger to it, so you can roll it in-out of the bthrooms and keep all your stuff in he cart.
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have a similar durst with a color head as a second enlarger. It can easly be turned to project to the wall so you can make 11X14 or 16X20 without much effort. It has a filter drawer so you can use either Kodak filters. Even if you upgrade later a small 35mm is a good backup.

    Regards

    Paul
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's a bit over subjective.

    Actually Durst enlargers are one the best European made enlargers (Italian so think Ferrari) and if it's in good condition then it would be extremely difficult to do better regardless of price. It appears to be going for a song, and the savings would more than pay for everything else needed.

    The build quality of the M301 & M601 is the same as more modern Durst's only differances are better integration of colour head, cosmetic and more plastic parts on later models. When this model was in production Durst also made a cheap & cheerfull 35mm enlarger, racking my brain cell I think it was a CL35.

    If I was looking for an enlarger having seen and used a great variety I'd only buy a De Vere or a Durst. I've 2 + Durst's and a hybrid De Vere/Johnsons 5"x4". (A friend has the other half of the De Vere/Johnsons hybrid).

    As it happens I'm happily bidding for 5"x4" & larger Durst's and De Vere's of a similar vintage to the M301 as having used Durst's for over 30 years I have every confidence that they are one of the best enlargers available.
     
  13. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Taking the suggestion to check Craig's list, I found this
    http://www.craigslist.org/sby/sys/62048373.html

    It is a factor of 10 up in price from the ebay listing I found, but it will do larger format.

    He claims a 4x5 holder, but can enlarger do 4x5?

    Matt
     
  14. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    No it can't. I think he means 6x4.5 as it is between 35mm and 6x6 in the list.

    Bob.
     
  15. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I have rethought this idea--and I think the first enlarger (Durst M301 for $40) is a better fit for me. I have to admit that with my time constraints (which are just getting worse*) a small, cheap enlarger makes sense. If I want to enlarge 4x5, I will take it in to a lab. For now, 35mm enlarged, 6x9 and 4x5 contact for me!

    I sent a message to the guy with the Durst.

    Matt

    * Kid #2 on the way in two months. I figure no time for darkroom for a good 6 months after that!
     
  16. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    I have been using mine for a while. I have the colour head, the colour analyser and the copy head (never used). Get rid of the small base. The analyser is not useable any more, have not been able to get the mercury cells. But the enlarger is great for 8X10. Had a minor problem with the lense (since replaced), it started to come apart! So, if the aperture ring starts getting loose just make sure it is not coming unscrewed. It can come to pieces.

    Tom
     
  17. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Chuck--good call.

    I just got 2 enlargers from Craig's list. Both Beseler: a 23C and a 67C. The 67C needs some cleaning, but the 23C looks to be in good shape. The 67C is missing the board as well. Two enlargers, 3 lenses (All beslars, 2x50mm and 1x75 or 80mm), $40.

    Now I need to get some negative carriers (6x9 and 35mm) and I am on my way!

    Matt
     
  18. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    beslars are not bad lenses to start with, even though you may want to acquire some good lenses.
    Rodenstocks, Nikkors are the best (IMHO)