DeVere 504 Question
I'm looking at a used DeVere 504 enlarger and am new to the enlarger market and not sure what they are worth these days. I've not seen it, but the owner indicates that it has a color head, condensers for medium format and 4x5 and is in good shape and functional. He has an extra bulb for it, but doesn't sound like it comes with any lenses, negative holders, etc.
He's asking $800 for it. I've heard that these are very good enlargers, but have no idea how they compare with a D2 or other enlargers I've been looking at for substantially less money.
Any help is much appreciated.
That seems high to me. In the States, the few that I have seen sold tend to go between $250 and $600 for a complete enlarger (I personally would be willing to pay a premium for a devere). Obviously condition plays into the equation. The thing that worries me the most is the lack of negative carriers or lens boards (I wouldn't worry too much about the lenses themselves...enlarger lenses are a dime a dozen in the current market). Depending on where you live it could be difficult to find the parts you need at a reasonable price (in the US, DeVere enlarging equipment is pretty darn rare - you would probably have to order the parts from a dealer in Canada or the UK, pay top dollar, and have them shipped internationally...or have them custom machined locally. If you are in the UK finding them would be MUCH easier). Personally, I wouldn't spend more than $250 for an incomplete Devere (taking into account the PITA factor of locating parts).
About 6 or 7 years ago, I paid $750 for 1986ish floor standing 504 in excellent condition, with negative carrier, inserts, lens boards, color head... So he seems very high. It's a much better enlarger--sturdier, easier to align, easier to make big prints..--than an Omega.
Hey...A fellow Wisconsinite! With a DeVere no less (I am jealous!)
Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
For the replies so far. I'm not even sure what year the enlarger is, but this gives me some good reference. I'm checking to see if it comes with any negative carriers and lens boards, but it still sounds high for this market.
They do appear to be great enlargers though...
Another Devere 504 user here Canada, I have the table top model with the condenser head. It's a great enlarger, been printing 35mm on it for two years now. However I don't have the 120mm crystal and the negative mask for 6x6. So even in a Commonwealth country I know I am on a quest for the holy grail.
Just make sure it has everything because this is the Aston Martin of enlargers and it will be the equivalent of owning an Aston Martin in say South Dakota.
I was wrong
the enlarger does come with negative carriers and lens boards. Sounds like it's in working order, the condensers are in good shape, it has a timer and an extra bulb.
Question is whether $800 is too high. It's certainly out of my budget. I wasn't anticipating spending more than $500 for a good enlarger...
Personally, I think it's too high. $500 would be more reasonable, but still high. Is the timer the standard De Vere one?
I agree, 800 is high. I got a newer 504 floor model, Dichromat 500w Head & Transtab with universal timer, several lens boards, light boxes, all formats of neg carriers, all in perfect shape for $250 and that was 2 years ago. They are great enlargers. There are a 250w 1 bulb and a 500w 2 bulb color head models. If you get one do make sure it comes with at least one of these: light box, neg carrier, and a lens board. You can get these on the used market but they are not too frequent. You can also find parts at khbphotografix in Toronto and Odyssey in the UK. But plan to pay a premium for them.
If its a floor model make sure you have some space!!! They are huge and stand tall. You need at least an 8ft ceiling.
The best feature to me are the neg and lens stage controls that are in the perfect place!
Thanks everyone. I've made a counter offer to the seller based on the good advice I've received. He has it listed on craigslist for $1 and says he wants to see it go to a good home and asks for offers, but turns out he won't take less than $600 for it, which is probably fair, but his ad is a bit misleading.