I am looking for a second hand DEVERE 504 or 507 enlarger with floor plan, is any body aware of someone selling one of them in good conditions in Europe?
Is anybody willing to share his/her experiences with it in B&W printing?
Thanks and best regards
I've been using a 504 for about a year and it's been a huge step up from the old rickety hand-me-down that I began printing with. It's a very stable enlarger and the ability to adjust focus using the knobs on the front of the base board is a fantastic feature. The 500W of illumination is very useful and the measurement scale on the upright is handy too. The only problems I've had are (a) I suspect the coloured filters are faded as prints are about three-quarters of a stop softer when printed on VC paper using the filters than when using graded paper and (b) small pieces of the polystyrene insulation in the diffuser box can break off when and cause large white spots on the final print. Cleaning out the detritus from the diffuser is straightforward except that the act of screwing it back together can dislodge more bits!
Thanks for your reply and, since you look knowledgable I will ask you a bit more...
Based on the fact that I only make B&W print, what about the Ilfospeed 400HL head vs the DEVERE dichromat color head?
I've been using De Vere's for over 30 years and I'm happy printing B&W with a dichromat head, but I do print colour on occasions. However a dedicated B&W head is a better option if you don't want to print colour so an Ilfospeed 400HL would be ideal/
I had a DeVere 504 with a Cathomag head, it was lovely-wish I still had it.
You can buy reconditioned ones from DeVere (Odyssey Sales)
They are heavy, you might need to pick it up yourself I think they are near Brighton.
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Marco, the DeVere 504 and 507 models that I have used and the 504 that I own, have all been soft, so to speak, regarding VC paper contrast settings.
I have come to the conclusion that the DeVere enlargers fitted with the Dichromat colour head, start to run out of contrast around or just over grade 4, compared to using the Ilford filters in a normal B&W diffused head. You are generally told that a colour head should get you to about grade 4½; I think grade 4 is closer to the mark.
That said, you just need to develop negatives accordingly and you will find no difference in the final outcome, the print.
I have been using my 504 enlarger for colour and B&W printing for the last 8 years, prior to that I did use them for a period in the eighties in a commercial lab. You can literally switch seamlessly between B&W and colour; the processing is the only complication and of course simply changing the filter combinations with a colour head.
I have used a dedicated DeVere original B&W head on a 507, it was slightly better regarding paper grade possibilities, but that was the only difference. The very best enlargers I have used for B&W were a tabletop DeVere 504 and a Beseler 4x5 side by side on a bench, both were fitted with the Ilford B&W head, they were fast, and very precise with regard to filter variations, but were prone to failure and needed servicing about every six months or so. They were working about 14 hours solid each day, which is why they had niggling problems!
One thing you may need to consider is darkroom size. I just did a quick measurement of my 504 free standing enlarger. You will need to allow 2.5m in height, the baseboard is 90cm wide, the depth (front to back) is 1m. If your ceiling height is a problem, and you just cannot raise the head all of the way, you simply drop the baseboard a notch or three.
You could reduce the width of the baseboard to about 80cm by either cutting the existing one, or making your own baseboard. The baseboard on my unit is just a board that bolts to the frame supplied, simple as that. I made my own board up by purchasing some MDF covered in Melamine on all sides. All four baseboard mounts allow for individual up and down adjustments, this allows for precise alignment. In fact virtually everything on the enlarger can be adjusted in accurate and easy steps with simple tools.
You will not regret purchasing one of these enlargers; in fact, I dont think you will have to purchase another enlarger once you have a DeVere.
This was my first post in this forum and I am really amazed of the quick and high level of answers received !
Thanks to all
I have been using a Ilford 500H Multigrade head on my Laborator 1200 for a few years now, and have been very pleased with it. Just dial in the grade (0-5) on the control panel and go... No issues like these described above, but I guesse with 14 hours a day, the lamps simply go bust in these six months
Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
For any normal hobbiest like usage, the 500H should last you for years without major servicing.
"The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true.
" - William M. Ivins Jr.
"I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White.
" - David Burnett in 1978
"Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?
I have and use Ilford's MG 500 system on my DeVere bench model and in 4 years of light but regular use I've only had to change a lamp once (tempting fate here, I bet tomorrow I'll have to change another lamp).
The MG heads are an absolute joy to use if B&W is your thing. So precise with grading 0 to 5 in 1/2 grades and exposure times to 0.1 second. Its often overlooked that density of contrast can be fine tuned by setting the program dip switch at the back of the exposure module accordingly. Where position 1 is for balanced lamps and 5 increases green light by 40%.
I have been using a DeVere 507 for about 2 years now.
The main feature of these machines are that they are full force professional tools, and built to withstand very heavy use. The lab I use here in Birmingham uses them too. Because they are aimed at professional labs, the neg holders are glassless, so as to save time cleaning dust I guess - apart from my 5x7 neg holder which is glass due to the size.
The other nice thing is service and parts support from Odyssey sales.