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  1. #1
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    What is a good diffusor enlarger for medium format

    Hello, as the title says really, I will not be getting one yet, but have no idea what is good or bad and tips and pointers in the right direction would be a great help for me.

    Kind Regards
    Paul

  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I am sure you will get many opinions, but I like my old Omega D2 fitted with a new Aristo cold light. It is a rock solid enlarger, and there is something intrinsically rewarding about using something that is about as old as I am.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
    Jeff L's Avatar
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    There are many good enlargers and they're nearly all free now. LPL, Omega, Beseler. I have an LPL that's Rollei branded and it works perfectly for me. Make sure before you purchase that you can find the neg carriers that you'll need. You may find good free stuff on Craigslist or Freecycle.

  4. #4
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    I would go with a color head if you want a diffusor and might eventually do color. Not sure what is common where you are, but all the major brands are at least very good. I have a couple of Omega D5s. Not the best (from comments I've seen), but I can easily get parts and the price was right. I have an Ilford multigrade head on one of my D5s and it is a great setup for black and white. They are also relatively common, but I do worry about service in the future. The Chromega head is very simple and mechanical, so I figure I can always fix it.

  5. #5

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    I use an Omega D2 with an Aristo VCL4500 (4x5) variable contrast cold light. I only print B&W and this lets you control the contrast on multigrade papers without filters. You can expose different areas of an image at different contrasts. It is very versatile but not cheap.

  6. #6
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    2nd vote for a color enlarger, even if you never intend to do color. They are good diffusion enlargers and have the filters for VC printing built right in. I'm not a fan of cold-light heads, which are very popular in the US. Their light consistency issues drove me up a tree. I prefer constant light output at all times, without having to worry about warm up. There are better ways to get perfect diffusion than cold light. Also, condenser enlargers have an unwarranted bad reputation. They are just as good as diffusion if the negative contrast is adjusted accordingly.

    I'm sure cold-light owners will protest. It's just my experience and humble opinion.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #7

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    I have a Beseler 23CII with a color head. It will do up to 6x9. Easy to use, just dial in the filtration for the contrast settings. I also have an old Omega DII that was made between 1947 and 1952. It does up to 4x5. Having a diffusion enlarger and a condenser enlarger allows me to choose which one is best for which negative.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Virtually all the suggestions are for enlargers that are quite rare in the UK, apart from LPL. The best choice is a Durst M600 series, these were the most common enlargers, an M670 is a good choice, and as others have said you need a colour head as that's a diffuser anyway. Be aware that not all MF enlargers will take 6x7 so if you wish to print that format you need to ensure that you buy a model that does.

    Ian

  9. #9
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Paul, there are very few bad enlargers in MF, so anything made in the past 30 years that has been looked after will be good

    As Ian Grant points out, Durst were the most common manufacturer in the UK and still have a good service and support vendor - http://www.northernphoto.co.uk/

    The Meopta Magnifax 4 was also both well regarded and good value for money.

    Enlargers are simple devices, so there is little to go wrong unless they have been misused or dropped

    As well as EBAY, NOVA (http://www.novadarkroom.com/cat/203/Enlargers.html) and Second Hand Darkrooms (http://www.secondhanddarkroom.co.uk/...k/info.php?p=3) are always worth a look.

    If you get a Colour Head its very important to make sure it comes with a working stabilised transformer

    It’s also worth investing in a good Enlarging Lens

    Good luck

    Martin

  10. #10

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    enlarger

    just picked up an older minolta color enlarger....after using a beseler 4x5 with a cold lite all these years I'm amazed at the quality of the prints from this little machine...if you can find one buy it..make sure it is working and get the lensboards with it or you are in trouble
    Best, Peter

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