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  1. #1

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    Enlarger suggestions please!

    I will soon be wanting to print bigger than I've been able to so far (generally 35mm only, biggest 30x40cm), having recently bought this ENORMOUS all black in color 20x24 Saunders easel for a song. I call it 'The Beast'. Only 3 things stop me from printing big right away - I need bigger trays, a bigger washer, and a bigger enlarger. I currently use a Durst M605 color head which I'm very happy with I'd like to say (except for the dumb recessed lens board Siriotub for 50mm!). I found it absolutely mint 2nd hand, also for a song, and have put a fair bit of effort into 'customizing' it just the way I like it with regards to neg carriers & glass & so on. The new easel will of course collide with the column. Therefore I'm asking anybody for their suggestions on a replacement enlarger that will let me use this new big easel with it, bearing in mind why I've been so hooked on my M605 thus far & what I might like to have in the new one (of course it's gonna be 2nd hand, not new!). Again, predominantly printing 35mm with option to do medium format on it. Must be able to have an oversized 35mm carrier to do black borders. I don't want anyone to do my shopping for me, rather I'd really appreciate suggestions as a starting point, something for me to start looking at, because aside from the M605 I hardly know what else is out there. Your thoughts will be appreciated. Many thanks, Paul

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, often you can mount the enlarger column onto a small shelf on the wall (instead of to the baseboard). This allows using a low desk or table to hold the easel.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    I remember reading about a photographer who mounted his enlarger to the wall and moved the baseboard up and down his purpose-built cabinets. From memory he would slide the baseboard out of one slot (size x) into another slot (size y) - thus giving him movement for enlargement both ways; head upwards and baseboard downwards.

  4. #4

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    Thank, but wall mounting isn't an option, can't do things like that in rented property in Australia

  5. #5

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    I love my 23 c (Bessler) I do not make large prints at this time however it looks as if the 23 c is able to swing the head to horizontal to do projection prints on a wall in a reasonable fashion. I have also seen this model with base board removed and the column and head mounted on the wall thus allowing the easel to Be lowed to floor level if needed.
    The 23c is a workhorse as far as I am concerned and lens boards and neg carriers are not a problem to obtain.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Can you reverse the enlarger column on baseboard? Then weight the baseboard down and project over the edge of the table.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    My 6x7 enlarger allows me to rotate the head and project onto the wall. Not sure if the Durst allows that, but could be an option if it does.

  8. #8

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    Get two base cabinets about the same depth as the enlarger baseboard, unbolt the column from the baseboard, mount a piece of 2x6 flat across the back of the two cabinets so the giant easel fits with a few inches to spare. Screw a few cleats to the sides of the cabinets to support a piece or pieces of melamine coated shelving material that will support the easel. Bolt the column to the piece of 2x6. If you have a real wide space between the cabinets, glue and screw a couple of pieces of 2x4 to the bottom or edges of the 2x6 to form an inverted U channel.

    Or:

    Extend the top of a counter off the side of a cabinet and brace it well, reverse the column on the easel so the head is over the floor and screw the easel to the extended countertop.


    Or: buy a Componon 40mm wide angle lens.

  9. #9

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    Probably should've mentioned too - I can't project onto the wall, and I'd rather not be reversing & doing it on the floor. I doubt a 40mm lens would make any difference because the M605 column is straight & the head does not come out far from it. I guess what I'm thinking of is something with an angled column - the higher it goes up the further out it comes. Gotta be a color head, thereby diffuser - I hate condensers Either that or a multigrade head. Only thing that worries me about 2nd-hand is that the filters may have faded over the years. I was lucky with my M605, it really was mint.

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    That large easel might be a problem, in terms of centering the image, with many enlargers except some very large ones (5x7 and 8x10).
    If you could give the dimensions from the center of the easel to the top edge, I could check my 'tipped forward column' 4x5 Omega and see if it would even work on that. I know my 4-blade Beseler 16x20 easel is just able to center the image and the easel hangs off the baseboard on 3 sides.

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