B22/D2 enlarger advice wanted
I'd like some advice regarding Omega B22 and the D2 series enlargers. I just started back in the darkroom and bought a B22 in great condition. I'll be using it for 35mm and 6x6. I realize the B22 is regarded as "student" enlarger. What benefits if any would I gain using these 2 formats by moving up to the D series enlarger assuming that I'll be using a good quality lens ( Rodenstock/Schneider) for both formats?
Thanks for any input!
we used a B22 omega enlarger for many years in a gang darkroom, and found it to be more than satisfactory. In fact it was very popular and several people bought one of the same type when setting up their own darkrooms.
I have never heard that enlarger be refered to as a "student enlarger". The D series, is much larger and a very good stable enlarger as well.
If you want to move up in format size then the D would be an advantage, but if you are getting the results you want from the B22d, why change.
I think that a B22 might be known as a "student enlarger" because they are rugged enough to withstand the use and misuse of a student population using a school darkroom.
I used one for a few years in a shared darkroom that I maintained. It was old when I started, and even older when I left, and with the exception of keeping it clean, I never had to do anything to maintain it.
If it is in good shape, and properly in alignment, and lamps are still available, it can probably last you forever, and give good results.
I own a B22 and a D5. In fact, I also have a Chromega B, which is the color head version of the B22.
The only reason I bought the D5 last year was because it was available for $100, and I thought that I might one day move up in format. I presently have 35mm, 645, and 6x6. Still using the same lenses, so the prints look the same.
Keep the B22! (even if you move up some day )
If you replace the self-tapping screws with honest-to-goodnes machine screws ( w/washers and nuts ) you can make a B22 far more secure, and make it easier to align critically. THIS done, make, or find, a glass carrier... and you've got a brilliant improvement of a great enlarger.
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I've had two B22s, and highly regard them. They have indeed given good service in student darkrooms. It is possible for them to get out of alignment, but they are also easy to realign. Unlike competative enlargers, accessories for many films are available.
I also have both the B22 and the D2. Both great enlargers, and the negative stages can be aligned, unlike (at least some time ago) the Beselers.
To your question, the quality of the light path, optics, and etc. are the same for both, if the lens is the same. If you don't need a larger format, I would use the B22. Beautiful machine, and a cold light head would be cheaper, if you decided to get one.
I have a B66, which isn't that different from a B22, and I find it to be a very well made and quite capable enlarger.
I also have a Beseler 23c (non-XL) which I was going to start using for the larger formats, but the lower cost for VC filters, cold light heads, and negative carriers makes me think I should save the money and get a better lens for the 6x6 format.
Ideally, if you have the room, use both! I wish I could.
I have a B22, a DII & a D2. The DII is the same as the D2, only an earlier model and has a condenser. Isn't that what the B22 is? A condenser? I have been using the D2 because it has the color head / diffuser light source. I can just dial in the filters on it. I can't be sure, but I think the B22 had a filter holder underneath the lens. This makes a difference. Also, with the D2, you can take a 35mm negative and enlarge it a lot more or crop it a lot more.
I guess it depends on what kind of light source, what kind of filtering, and how big of an enlargement you want.
Good luck! It's a GREAT piece of equipment, even if it's old.
Given everything is aligned properly, 35mm and 120 prints will be the same from either. The D series only gets you the ability to print 4x5. Then you better get all the proper condensers or the variable condenser and I think there is a third small one for the 35 and 120 in the D.