Keep an eye on ebay, the cheapest ones are (usually) "buyer collects". A good starter would be something like the LPL7700 with colour head - Avoid the LPL5xxx series, they have a cheap & nasty feel to them. If this is your first enlarger, look for one with:
- Lens (75mm will cover both 35 & 6x6)
- Negative carrier & masks
- Transformer (for colour heads)
- Condensers (needed for some B&W heads only)
- Masking frame
I would echo the recommendations for an LPL 6X7 enlarger. I just bought a used one with a dichroic head for a very reasonable price, and it is a quality piece of equipment.
Patterson have just introduced a new enlarger which comes ready for both 35mm and 120 6x6,which looks very good value for money and worth looking at,Richard
Shameless plug time-- I have an Omega B-66 Pro Lab out fit to sell with lenses and a condensor head and a dichroic head, for 35mm and 6x6cm. i'll even kick in a digital timer and an easel, plus a couple of other necessities.
My advice is to find a medium format enlarger that will accommodate negatives up to 6x9, just in case you pick up a 6x9 camera in the future. Some medium format enlargers only take negatives up to 6x6 or 6x7.
If you want new then I'd suggest Kaiser which can be found at:
Kienzle found at:
but if you are looking for second hand then Durst is by far the best option as there is a huge amount on the market and they are quality unlike meopta or LPL which IMO are junk.
get the following PDF which lists the last made models and will give you a grounding in what was/is available. There are a lot of older models out there too.
The simplest to use are the ones with with vario heads which just use one dial to alter contrast but the colour heads work too by using yellow and magenta. Or you may opt for a B+W head and use ilford MG filters but you need to make sure you have a filter drawer for those otherwise you need an under the lens filter holder as opposed to over the lens (and film) drawer.
The M805 is a pro level and very good and have corresspondingly higher prices. The Modular 70 is very good too as is the M670
I'd suggest the M670 or equivalent older model is the minimum for your requirements. Just be careful about which head it has with it and also whether is has mixing box for bot 35mm and 6x7 (which also covers 6x4.5 and 6x6) format.
If you want to use 6x9 the the M805 is required or even the L1200 but the L1200 is big and heavy.
Personally if money is no object I'd go for a Kaiser 4560 or 4471 otherwise a durst M805 or Modular 70. Or M670 if you are on a tight budget.
I'll back that up - my second enlarger (which I still own) is a Saunders LPL 670XL with condenser head. Handles up to 6x7 and carriers can be found cheaply online. I also have an Omega D-II (I'll also second that recommendation) which handles 2x3 and 4x5 duty.
Originally Posted by macrorie
Great responses - thanks for all the suggestions and advice.
This Interweb is a great resource and the friendly, helpful members here put the cherry on top.
I now have a lot of learning and research to do...!
It goes without saying - Once you start messing with medium format, the sweet call of large format becomes difficult to resist.. Might be worth your while biding on that DeVere 507.. :D
I don't think that I could ever reccomend a more well built easy to use enlarger than the Besler 23C. All of the ones that have been made are in my opinion the best possible way to enlarge 110 up to 120 film yourself. They are made so well and are very easy to use.