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  1. #1

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    Help me choose an enlarger!

    I'm currently looking for an enlarger that does 35mm and medium format in black and white.
    I'm considering a Beseler 23c ii XL, Saunders LPL D6700, Honeywell Nikor and an Omega Chromega B Dichroic, as these are all up for sale within my area on craigslist/kijiji.

    Which one would you guys recommend for a total beginner like me starting to get into the hobby, and how much would you spend on each of these?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG.

    What size medium format do you want to use the enlarger for?

    Are you in the US, Canada, or ??
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    I'd take the Beseler or the Chromega.

  4. #4
    winger's Avatar
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    I've used Beselers and Omegas and would recommend both. I'd used a 23C in a classroom-type darkroom and they held up very well, so that was what I bought when I built my darkroom. Pricewise, it depends on the condition and goodies that come with it. There's a pile of other stuff you'll need if you're just starting out. Most is relatively easy to find, but some are harder than others (and it seems to be just whatever I'm looking for has suddenly become rare).
    One thing to think about is whether there's any chance of wanting to go to 4x5. I didn't think so at all when I got my 23C. I am now (and lucked into a Beseler 45MX).

  5. #5

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    i have an LPL c7700 - its great. does colour and b&w, is readily available and goes pretty cheap. plus it take up to 6x7 negatives.

  6. #6

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    I have had beselers, omegas, and now I have an Saunders/LPL XLG 5500. Best enlarger I have ever used. I would go with the Saunders. Don

  7. #7

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    I'd buy the one that had the negative carriers, and if possible, a lens or two. It's the extras that will run you more than the enlarger. Any of these, assuming they're in good shape, should be fine. I suspect the Saunders would be the best too, but again, condition and the other necessary tid bits you'll require need to be factored in. Make sure the condenser(s) are in good shape and are actually there! It's craigslist stuff.

    If you can, try and find a photographer that is selling a complete darkroom set up. The trays, film washer, safelight, etc can all run into serious money (for me anyway) if you have to buy them new, or have to pay shipping on individual used items.
    Last edited by momus; 12-18-2013 at 07:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm located in Canada.

    I'm leaning towards the Omega as the seller is including equipment such as developing tank and trays all for a price of $50. It also comes with a 120 negative carrier so I think I'll just need another lens should I decide in the future to pursue medium format.

    How much would you guys pay for a good condition Saunders?

  9. #9
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I think $50 is a very good deal if it works and comes with lens, carriers, baseboard, timer, and darkroom developing equipment. Thats an inexpensive start with a nice sturdy machine.

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    Parts can be a problem for some of the ones you listed. Without hesitation, I would get the Beseler. It the price is to high, I would look for another Beseler 23. The other stuff, trays, tongs, etc. thrown in won't make up for any shortcomings to the enlarger. Good Luck.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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