I think the sensible thing to do is buy another enlarger and flog this one. I'm ready to hit the Buy Now button!
I got a great copy of the Componon-S 50mm. I'm 99% sure this will fit the enlarger I am going to buy if M39 LTM is the standard mount.
GBP40 is an OK-but-not-great price but again, that enlarger looks more over-complicated than I would be comfortable with. It has a lot of extraneous electronics (filter-control box and timer) and cables and things (THREE bulbs!) that can fail. In working condition it's probably really neat to use but maintenance and reliability is now the real problem because no one makes these things any more, not for a price you want to pay.
What you want is a lightbulb in a metal box with bellows and a lens on the front, and you want it capable of doing medium format (yes really). And that's ALL - no fancy electronics or shutters built-in. You will need an external enlarger timer but that's kind of a plus because it means you can use an f/stop timer eventually and not be stuck with whatever built-in timer the enlarger (like that Philips) comes with.
Look for something like an LPL6700 - not necessarily that model, but something with that sort of mix of features:
- mostly-metal construction
- non-round column (they're bendy)
- single halogen bulb (no LEDs or cold lights) of a readily-available type
- external stabilised transformer is good but not critical unless your power is wonky
- preferably some dichroic filters (C, M, Y knobs) for colour printing
- standard thread mount for lens
- supports at least 6x6 or 6x7
For reference, I got an LPL7700 off eBay in brand new condition with two excellent lenses for AUD60 (GBP38)... in Australia, where photo gear is a ripoff. You could also try looking at photo swap-meets and doing a bit of haggling - you just need patience and you will soon find an excellent enlarger, maybe even a complete darkroom setup, for very little money.
Alternatively as a hacky measure, could you raise the shutter slightly internally above the lensboard, e.g. by gluing a thin layer of black plastic to the back of the lensboard for the shutter to ride on? Just thick enough for the rear of the lens to clear. That assumes the lens only pokes through by about 3mm.
Oh darn it, I was waiting all night (3am now) for your reply.
I literally ordered a newer boxed version of the Philips PCS 2000 about 10 minutes ago! This was £10 GBP more and he said the Newton glass was only really required for medium format negatives (I hope I am not sounding like an eejit here! LOL)
For whatever reason nobody seems to be selling enlargers here in Ireland and to get any of Ebay that will post is a rarity, the only others (and I have been living on ebay for too long) were entry level type efforts.
I am delighted to get a box with it as I've decided to make my tiny bedroom a temporary darkroom. That means I can stick it back into the cupboard and I currently have little space where I am living. I should be able to build an Ansel darkroom next year and I can buy the biggest baddest enlarger I like.
I know what you saying about simplicity although compared to my Quantum Physics assignment which I should be doing instead of trawling Ebay it shouldn't be too complicated (what is LOL). It is supposed to be quite rigid, has 3 readily available bulbs (I checked), the power here is not wonky, it does colour and this is something I may get into, my Schneider-S fits the mount (the manual said so), it does support 6x6 although I'll try 35mm first and try and master this first.
I read a lot of reviews all night and it seems like a good unit and the seller seems to be an experienced and genuine fellow.
I'll see if anyone in the local University club wants to buy the other one and I'll fire the Ilford Multigrade filters in with it. If not Ebay, I did pay £28 plus £15 postage (£43) for the PCS 1000 and there were a lot of bids on it!
So £65 for something that is next to new, boxed, higher spec and works is fine by me! The cost of a night out on town here without the hangover
It seems London is the place to buy darkroom equipment, they are giving it away but you need to collect it!
I hope I'm right and maybe I'll put up a few photos here (can you do this here?) to see what you think.
Developing last Saturday's roll tomorrow, Delta 100 pro, and I'll use the fixer for the previous roll you were advising me about (lack of fixing time)
Since you've ordered it and it looks like it's in working condition, then by all means use it! It will certainly make good prints once you stick that Componon in there. If you've got any 6x6 film, you might actually find that easier to handle and print than the 35mm. Certainly you get higher quality with less effort.
And if you're studying QM, you can learn to fix and/or hack electronics for when it breaks
Yes, you can upload photos here but you need to be a subscriber to post to the gallery. Or you can upload to flickr and then post links in this thread.
The PCS 2000 is a serious piece of kit. I haven't enlarged with it yet (still the darkness to sort) but this unit was basically new. The Componon screws in nicely and no messing about.
It can also do 16" x 12" and super rigid!!!
It makes the other enlarger look like a toy.
I was 'pseudo' enlarging at maximum height with a few XP2 negatives and using the Micro-Focus finder it looked remarkable.
QM doesn't teach you much about fixing electronics and thanks for the optimism (only joking)
Over the holiday period I should get my collapsile shelf and shutters made for the windows.
The negatives from the forest last week looked good mainly using the Red 25 filter. Ansel's books take a long time to get through but he is the master!!!
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Glad to hear it's working!
You should be able to get started by taping a couple of towels over the window and working at night.
Congratulations! And enjoy.
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Thanks polyglot, and I never thought of towels. These are cheaper than buying plywood and a joinery project (retired from all that LOL)
Thanks to rubyfalls also
heavy drapes and night time are good for enlarging.
Nighttime is fine as I am nocturnal
Window light above door entrance covered.
I have a blackout blind already in although the horrible orange street light directly outside gets in around the edges. I can block the edges out by shoving towels in.
For the wet-side I will have to do it all over again in the bathroom.