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  1. #1
    luke_h's Avatar
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    Bogen Super Pro enlarger?

    I am seriously eyeballing realestate in my basement to get set up with a simple printmaking area and already own a Bogen Super Pro enlarger with a 35mm carrier.

    I'm admittedly wet behind the ears with enlarging since I've only ever used what was provided to me (an ancient Omega from the 40s and newer Omega from the 90s..)

    I'm curious if this enlarger I have will get the job done effectively, or if I should look for something more common.. I'm new enough to this that I don't know the difference between this enlarger and a condenser head enlarger (or if this is one)

    Here's a photo of this Bogen:


    Currently it has a 50mm Schneider lens of some sort in there.

    The goal is mainly 35mm prints with the ability to do 6x6 and 6x9 medium format prints. However, the 6x6 carrier I ordered for it on ebay is the wrong size (way too small..)

    I'm just looking for thoughts before I really spend any money trying to get set up with this enlarger. If it's best to go with something newer, I'm open to suggestions. Also, if anyone knows where I can get carriers that fit it, that'd be great. Ebay has been a waste of my time/money up to this point. Apparently this enlarger is bigger than most of the common Bogen ones, but looks similar. I do like the setup for the vertical travel. It works smoothly.

  2. #2
    reellis67's Avatar
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    These are perfectly functional enlargers as long as you have the accessories that you want. Parts are hard to come by online for these, so if you want anything that you don't already have, it may be difficult find. Having said that, there is no reason that I know of that you can't work with this enlarger for just about anything you want to do. My first enlarger was a Bogen with a color head and it worked well until I upgraded to a 23C.

    - Randy

  3. #3

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    From the look of things, what you have there is an enlarger with a condenser head. I am not familiar with that model enlarger, but since you are already set up with a 50mm lens and a 35mm negative carrier, I'd say give it a go for prints from 35mm films to start. I don't know how much experience you have developing film, but if it's not much that's the place to start. The skills you pick up are easily transferrable to larger formats.

    Certainly, the 50mm lens is not suitable for medium format work. You will need at least an 80mm optic to cover the 6x6 (maybe 6x7) format and something around 100 - 105mm for the 6x9 format. Of course, the longer lens will cover smaller formats as well, but you maximum print size for a given head height will be smaller. Some enlargers also use different condenser sets for different formats. Don't know about yours, maybe someone else here will know.

    Oh and by the way, I love that refrigerator and kitchen table. Chrome, formica, and naugahide; how retro can you get?

  4. #4

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    Criminy, that thing is humongous. Bogens were usually ~30" tall & capable of doing just slightly larger than an 8X10 when fully raised.
    If you take the lamp housing off you should find a condenser just above the neg. stage. Every Bogen I have ever seen has been condenser.
    You'll more likely have to fabricate a neg carrier for your enlarger. Are you sure it'll only accomodate 6X? negs?
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #5

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    Dear Luke,

    It looks as though it has a filter drawer. If so it should serve perfectly well, at least for a while. Of course if a 4x5 Omega or Beseler with a dichroic head falls in your lap, jump on it.

    Neal Wydra

  6. #6
    luke_h's Avatar
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    Ok, well I'll lay out my skills When I used a similar Omega enlarger from the 40s, I didn't have any 'skills' I just printed photos for the school yearbook. I figured everything out from a notecard on the wall with rudimentary instructions on developing film and printing paper.

    I've been developing my own 35mm and 120 film at home for a year now, and have that down. I even develop film fatter than my scanner likes, knowing that someday I'll be using an enlarger to make prints.

    This summer I took a class at a community college, and made about 200 8x10 prints in total (screwups and keepers..) But I got back into the swing of things, plus had real instructions on how to use the enlarger. Things like the effect of lens aperture on the enlarger, etc...

    I don't believe mine has a filter drawer, as that's where a glass lens sits, almost like a big magnifying glass (condenser???)

    In class, I just used a cheap Ilford filter kit and held it with my hand in front of the lens (while moving it around to not show scratches..)

    The reason I bought this enlarger last year is that supposedly it handles up to a 6x9cm negative. I just don't know where to find the carriers other than waiting patiently for an online auction. That's as big as it goes, I believe. If any of you have any information on the Super Pro, I'd love to hear it. If worst comes to worst, I can probably buy some sheet metal and make my own 6x6 carrier if I get desperate. I like the idea of the simplicity of this enlarger since all I want to do is b&w printing. My 6x9cm stuff comes out of 100 year old box cameras, so quality is lost at the negative level. My 6x6 stuff is going to be more important to me though, since I'm using my Yashica Mat, but plan on upgrading to a Bronica or Hasselblad in the future.

    I have since purchased a time-o-lite timer. I just need to build a countertop to set things on..

  7. #7

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    Dear Luke,

    The below the lens Kodak Polymax filter kit is a steal right now at B&H www.bhphotovideo.com.

    Neal Wydra

  8. #8
    luke_h's Avatar
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    Are those cheap because the paper is going by the wayside? I think the colors are slightly different than the Ilford multigrade filters? I see the polymax ones on ebay for a pittance as well

  9. #9
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Doh! I just sold a 6x6 carrier that would have fit this... You can make a carrier easily with mat board, which is easier to work with and isn't likely to scratch your negatives.

    - Randy

  10. #10

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    Luke,

    "Are those cheap because the paper is going by the wayside?" - That would be my guess.

    "...slightly different than the Ilford multigrade filters?" - Almost certainly, but they seem to work well with Ilford papers.

    ebay can be a great place to get stuff. If you can get a set in good shape, why not?

    Check out ebay item 270082943497. You may get the whole kit for the price of a new Ilford set.

    Neal Wydra

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