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  1. #1

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    Advice on buying an enlarger

    Hi everyone,

    This is provably a common thread....

    I am going to be setting up a darkroom in my house to do B&W prints from 35mm and 120mm negatives.

    I am looking for a small enlarger that can be set in a cart and store away when done printing.

    Looking at:

    Beseler - Printmaker 35 Condenser Enlarger with Lens Kit
    Beseler - Printmaker 67 Condenser Enlarger

    Will these ones do the job? I'm not sure if these ones handle 120...

    Any suggestions, advise or comments

    Thanks in advance for all the help.

  2. #2
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    What size 120: 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9 cm... ?

    Durst M600's are probably the nicest small, easily stowable MF enlargers. They made series for 6x6 and 6x7, not so sure about 6x9.

    Look for what's available on ebay. If you get a Durst make sure it comes with negative carriers and lens boards - advice for all enlargers, really.

    I would stay away from the Printmakers - they are a poor value compared to what else is available in used enlargers.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  3. #3
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinetango View Post
    Beseler - Printmaker 35 Condenser Enlarger with Lens Kit
    Beseler - Printmaker 67 Condenser Enlarger

    Will these ones do the job? I'm not sure if these ones handle 120...
    The Printmaker 35 is 35mm only. The Printmaker 67 will also do 120 film up to 6x7. You don't say where you are (country), so that will make a difference in people's replies/advice.

    If in the US or Canada, I would recommend the Beseler 23C over the other two. It is a heavier duty machine and will take all 120 formats up to 6x9. Parts and negative carriers are common and readily available. It is heavier than the other two, however.

    If weight and size is critical, and your 120 is 645 or 6x6, I would look into a Omega B22. Same factors as the Beseler 23C, but lighter and smaller.

    The Durst is a fine machine, just harder to find and get parts and accessories for IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by cinetango View Post
    This is provably a common thread....
    Yes.

    BTW, "120" is an arbitrary size designation for the film. It's just "120", not 120 millimeters (120mm).

  4. #4

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    I'm kinda partial to the old Omega D2's with the variable condenser. Solid construction, widely sold, and suitable negative carriers/lenses out there for just about any format from 110 pocket films up to 4" x 5" sheet films. I started as a kid with the inexpensive Omega B-22 (which itself will handle 120 negatives up to the 6x6cm square format) but the D2 is the last B/W enlarger I'll ever need.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The predecessor to the Printmaker 67 is the 67C, and is a better choice. Most of the accessories are interchangeable between the two versions. I used a Beseler 67C for decades as my enlarger, and still have one in storage in case circumstances permit setting up a two enlarger darkroom.

    Many of the 67 series enlargers have colour heads installed. They are an excellent option for black and white use, if a diffusion head meets your needs. In the last couple of years of use I installed a colour head on my 67C.

    I've attached a photo of my 67C with colour head, showing the cart I used and the bathroom I used it in.

    There are also variable contrast black and white heads available, but they are less frequently found used.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Beseler dichro 67_0028b.JPG  
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6

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    I really enjoy my 67. I use a Minolta 50 and 80 lens for 35 and 6x6 with great results. Ive picked up most size film holders for a few bucks on eBay. It's easy stable and durable. Good to buy a spare light bulb before yours burns out t

  7. #7
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Advice on buying an enlarger

    Are you dead set on a condenser setup? Do you mind the trade ofd of keeping the surfaces clean and using filters in a tray?
    Dichronic enlargers can usually be had for a little bit more and offer the advantages of less effects from dust, and dial in filtration.

  8. #8
    rjbuzzclick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nexus757 View Post
    I'm kinda partial to the old Omega D2's with the variable condenser. Solid construction, widely sold, and suitable negative carriers/lenses out there for just about any format from 110 pocket films up to 4" x 5" sheet films. I started as a kid with the inexpensive Omega B-22 (which itself will handle 120 negatives up to the 6x6cm square format) but the D2 is the last B/W enlarger I'll ever need.
    This is what I use as well. It covers all of my formats, is mechanically simple, and was very inexpensive.
    Reid

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  9. #9
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newt_on_Swings View Post
    Dichronic enlargers can usually be had for a little bit more and offer the advantages of less effects from dust, and dial in filtration.
    Dichro (i.e. colour head) enlargers also give you the option to try RA4 printing at some point. For a small(ish) enlarger that will handle both 35mm and 120 (up to 6x7), I'd pick the LPL C7700.

  10. #10

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    Do you live somewhere in TX? I have a nice enlarger I need to get rid off.

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