Enlarging: Where to start?
I've come back to photography after a 20 year break and I've really got the medium format b/w bug. The kit is so cheap and the image quality is just amazing. I've shot 50 or so rolls of 120 and I'm starting to reliably get results that I like, but currently I can only scan my negs. If I wanted to start enlarging, where would I start? Just a basic setup that woud allow me to print up to 10 x 8 from 6 x 7 negs. I'm in the UK if that helps - middle of nowhere, North Wales so any purchasing would almost cerainly have to be done online. Any help appreciated. = John.
There'll be a few UK APUG members near you why not try and meet up with one or two. There's not as many 6x7 enlargers in the UK, someone else will have to point you to a make/model, as I print my 6x7/6x9 with a 5x4 enlarger, but all enlargers print up to between 16x12 & 20x16.
From your user name I had assumed you were in Norwich. Anyway, I've used Second Hand Darkroom Supplies for a few darkroom items, purchased others new from various dealers and also used eBay (which I'm not that fond of). You could look at RK Photographic or Nova darkroom for a new enlarger such as one of the Kaiser series. For medium format work I use a Meopta Magnifax 4a Colour which will enlarger up to 6x9 negatives, it is generally robust, however I have managed to break two fine focusing knobs. If you want to enlarge 6x7 negatives you will probably need a 100mm or longer lens.
Ctein's book 'Post Exposure' is excellent on issues to do with lenses, paper contrasts etc.
RK Photographic (www.thedarkroom.co.uk)
Nova Darkroom (www.novadarkroom.com)
Second Hand Darkroom Supplies (www.secondhanddarkroom.co.uk)
For materials I would recommend:
Silverprint (www.silverprint.co.uk - very broad range)
Morco (www.morco.uk.com - phone them up, excellent service)
There are others like Calumet who I've used a few times.
There's usually quite a few 6x7 enlargers on eBay at one time and you can pick them up for a bargain at the moment. The only problem you might have is that most people won't post them as enlargers are so heavy/bulky and when they will it costs a lot.
I picked up a second-hand Jobo/LPL C6700 which works really well up to 6x7. You can still buy them new so its quite easy to get hold of accessories as and when you need them.
I use an LPL/Saunders 6700MX colour head for my 6x7 enlarging with a 105mm f4 Schneider lens.
This allows me to print up to 12"x16" - bigger than you are currently looking at, but will allow you to go bigger at a later date.
You'd need trays too - 3 (dev, stop, fix), safelight, tongs, chemicals and of course a lightproof space to enlarge in.
You should be able to get a decent 6x7 enlarger and accessories at a fair price - my enlarger cost me AUD695.00 about 5 years ago; have seen other APUGers comment on these being cheaper again.
Of course the same enlarger with just a B&W head sells for about AUD295-395. If that's all you'll be printing, this would be a cheaper alternative again for you. Mr Cad has a good selection of used equipment (Croydon) - and a pretty good mail-order service if I remember correctly. http://mrcad.co.uk/
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you also can look for a kaiser enlarger (they go up to 6/9 i think so) made in germany (if you by it from an shop the fees will not be so high compared to *bay.
a used rodagon lens (80mm)
good aesels are expensive, for large formats i us self made cartoon things (works well)
trays (all kinds self made, adapted plasticboxes, etc.)
with this equipment i enlarge also 135films up to 50/60 cm (condensor head) for exhibitions. no problems till now
Forgot to mention that I can also print 6x9 on the MX6700 by using a universal mask minus the masking blades. Works a treat!
Some of the LPL enlargers are quite good - The C7700-Pro is solid and capable of reasonably large enlargements. On the other hand, the C6600 shows how cheap the lower end can be.
As El Gringo says, these turn up fairly regularly on ebay and fetch wildly different prices - Over the last few weeks, seen a C7700 remain unsold at 99p, and another go for over £160. Virtually all have been "buyer collect". Having just boxed up one to ship overseas, I now know why !
If you were in Norwich I could have pointed you to a C6600 for the price of a beer, and a C7700 for £135ish.
Sounds promising at least. I take it that those prices are excluding lenses?
Originally Posted by paul_c5x4
The C6600 is minus lenses and PSU, the C7700 I believe includes lenses, easel, trays, and a bunch of other stuff. Would need to check on that though.
Originally Posted by johnfromnorwich