Scored a new Saunders C6700 for almost nothing
One of the last two photo stores selling a small amount of film in the craphole city where I live, has evidently given up on some of its inventory. I noticed a few months ago that in the tiny darkroom section they had brought a few boxes out from the back (never opened). Two of these boxes formed a Saunders LPL C6700 (color dichroic). Each time I went back to the store I noticed they were still there. Since I already have an enlarger that accomodates 35mm and 4x5 (the two formats I shoot), I didn't bother to ask how much they wanted for this thing. But this morning my curiosity finally got the best of me and I asked. What the hell, right? Answer: $200. I said "hmmm, would you take $200 including tax"? Answer: ok.
So now I have this thing (still unopened). I don't know what to do with it but how could I not spend $200 on a brand new enlarger that retails at KHB or Adorama for $1200-1300 (plus 15% tax plus who knows how much for shipping).
I don't know if I should keep it boxed or if I should use it to replace the beater little Durst enlarger I use for flashing. Seem like a shame to use a nice good quality dichro color enlarger for nothing but flashing.
The store has some other boxes I should really check out. I noticed an 18" Rotatrim for example. Again, I already have a Rotatrim, but what if they'll sell me this one for $20?
Things like this are truly sad in the sense they show how absolutely dead analog photography is in some parts - although Montreal is a special case, having been continually raped of anything worthwhile since 1976 - but that's a topic for another forum.
Sad indeed, Michael. The funny part is that most people I talk to, who are even remotely interested in photography, get bigger eye balls when they find out I do all my own processing in a stinky darkroom still. They are impressed that someone is still willing to go through the trouble, and when we continue to speak they often confess they wish they were doing it themselves.
A guy who gave me my 'new' Minolta C3 enlarger was reminded of how much he had loved his darkroom, right at the moment he handed the enlarger over, and hesitated, if only for a split second.
I wonder how many people actually still WANT to do darkroom work, but won't for reasons of thinking they can't get the equipment anymore, that film/paper isn't available, etc. Just today I had an encounter with someone who has shot nothing but digital for the last ten years, and jumped right into shooting 4x5, with the intent of shooting 8x10 in a while, just so she can print in a darkroom. Go figure. Do people not have time or room? Or do they not have a kitchen pass from their significant others? Are they not even aware of the possibility? Or have they really chosen to step away from the darkroom forever?
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
I'll be in Montreal next week.
Any hints as to which store has these boxes?
Thomas - you raise an interesting point I think about sometimes, which is that some potential darkroom workers might never get to it because they are overwhelmed by how seemingly difficult it can be to find equipment or materials - and sometimes it can also seem quite cost prohibitive if one looks at the prices on new gear these days. I'd add that at least in my city, sometimes the stores can be ridiculously stubborn about not discounting stock they have been sitting on for decades in some cases. Simon's Cameras is a good example of that here. Once upon a time in ye olde tymes, you could barely get in the door there it was so busy. And they stocked everything under the sun. Obviously things have changed, but they have lots of stuff they never sold, and never will at the prices they are asking. The glass counters are full of all sort of gear, but literally none of it has moved in as long as I can remember. And I'm talking decades here (a brand new army green Leica R3 for example, to show you how long this stuff has been sitting there). And yet every time I ask, they won't budge on any of the prices. I can only guess at the nifty darkroom gear they've got in the stock rooms. That's why at this other store I didn't even bother to ask for a price on this enlarger until today. I just assumed they'd want full retail. I was really surprised they actually priced it to move - and that in the past several months nobody was interested.
BainDarret - the store in question is Photo Service. They are located on Notre Dame street in Old Montreal.
Thanks for the store name, Michael R.
The days when you could walk into a camera store and buy a Beseler, Omega, Pixur or Durst enlarger off the shelf are indeed long gone and I miss them. I also miss not being able to select from vast choices of Ilford, Agfa, Kodak, Leonar or Kentmere papers and shelves full of exotic developers. As for the attitudes of the proprietors of camera stores they are, sometimes, beyond comprehension. I once worked for one such who let his busy photo retail business slip away because he refused to do business with suppliers he didn't care for, even though they had the goods customers wanted. On the other hand the internet provides a huge source of new and used items for the darkroom worker. I acquired a Speed Graphic, some lenses and all the necessary equipment to process the film all in a week and with just two phone calls to Kijiji advertisers last fall. This was the impetus that got me back into shooting film. Having outfits like B&H and Adorama and the rest available online is simply amazing with the choice of goods they sell. The retail landscape has certainly changed but you can still get the goods. It is, however, likely more difficult to come by the knowledge needed to equip oneself with the equipment and materials required to set up a darkroom. Where once you could walk into a camera store and the staff would be eager to set you up with all you needed for darkroom work you are more likely to be steered towards digital these days. Looking it all up on the internet can be confusing for anyone new to the subject. Perhaps the answer is in mentoring those photographers who want to give it a try.
Last edited by BainDarret; 08-17-2012 at 06:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Man a rotatrim for $20 is an amazing deal especially 18 and longer.
Haha - well I don't know what price they'd actually ask for it but maybe I'll find out for fun. Although unlikely to be $20, if we go by the deal I got on the enlarger the discount should be pretty deep. The one they have is 18" but is a single rail model. Still good though.