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Thread: What enlarger?

  1. #1
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    What enlarger?

    Possibly a normal and often question ask. I decided to began printing the photos (b&w), at least a few or the best I can get in an film, insted of scanning them. What enlarger I shoud get in the terms of relationship between quality and price.
    I know that the C35 and others are the good for entry level, but I do the three formats of film, but in terms of printing I want to do 35mm and MF (6x6, the format of my MF camera). So what model to look for, since I have a few here in Portugal, but normally (the cheapest also) are only for 35mm.
    Or do you advice in getting a 35mm only enlarger and them in the future a MF? I do have a room size limitation, since the "bathroom" is small!

  2. #2
    jp498's Avatar
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    Medium format enlargers aren't all too big. Beseler is kind of big, Omega is much lighter. I don't know the good brands in Europe. You want a good lens which you may have to purchase separately. I use a 80mm componon-s for both 6x6 and 35mm. El-nikkor and Rodenstock are great too.

    The other consideration is the light source. Cheap will be a bulb and condensor setup, which tends to show dust more easily but are simple and bright. I use a color (dichroic) head to print B&W which is a diffusion light source, and I can adjust contrast with the color dials when using variable contrast paper. You can get good quality for a low price, perhaps not minimal price, but still for a very good value as there is an over-supply of used enlargers.

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    If you can find one an Omega D2 will handle your 35mm, 120 and up to 4x5. It has a single column. I have used it with a condenser, cold light and now for a number of years an Aristo VCL4500 light source (no longer produced). That light allows dialing in contrast levels similar to what jp498 mentioned but is not a color head so you would be limited to B&W. With a condenser or cold light you can use filters to vary contrast. Variable contrast papers are more economical and available than keeping a supply of graded papers.

    As for size, if you have a room that can be made light tight you would only need running water to wash film and prints. My first darkroom had no running water so I washed film and prints in the kitchen. Once they are developed and fixed light or darkness are not an issue.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    I'm not sure which brand of enlargers are available in your country, but finding a Durst may be the answer for you. Here in America, we have many models to choose from, from basic 35mm only up to 10x10 and even larger. I have an Omega D-6 with a lens turret for 3 lenses and several negative carriers for half dozen formats from 35mm through 4x5inch. I also have a Beseler 23Cii that can handle everything up to 6x9cm., and another Omega(C-700) that does the same.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5
    PDH
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    Dursts are common in your part of the world, I would recommend a Dusrt F60 with a masking carrier, need 2 lens with lens boards,
    50mm and 75mm. Has a small foot print, enlarges up to about 11X14 inches, can be turned to shoot to the wall for 16X20.

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    In Europe, you may be able to find a used Durst MF enlarger for sale, at a reasonable price - they make some excellent equipment, and are much more broadly available in Europe than here in North America. I used to use a Durst 606, which was a good solid enlarger which you can probably get for very little money today. There are many other newer models that you could do well with.

    You may want to look for a school which offers a class, which will give you a chance to use some enlargers and get a better idea of what you want/need.

  7. #7
    Rhodes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. One big irony is that my course department had a darkroom and after deactivation I tried to get the enlarger (a durst 1000, I think), but it already was in the inventory, so it's rotting way in one corner there! Every time I see it I have a urge to steal it... ehehhe!

    PS: what I have avaliable here is: http://www.olx.pt/nf/search/ampliador

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    I use a Durst M601 for 6x6, and it can also do 35mm. It is quite small and very solid. I use Ilford Multigrade filters in the holder that fits under the lens. The Durst M670 and M605 are also very good. These enlargers are more likely to be available in Europe. LPL, Kaiser and Meopta are also popular in Europe. I
    have only tried the Meopta Magnifax IV and found it to be quite good, although I personally preferred the Durst equipment. Alex

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    If you can, try to get an enlarger that permits use of 6 x 7 or even 6 x 9 negatives.

    That way, if something like a Mamiya 7 or a roll film back for a view camera comes your way, you won't have to replace it.

    Something like a Durst M800.

    There are other enlargers besides Durst, but the impression is that Durst is easily found in Europe.
    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

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    I'd second the Durst M6xx line - Reasonably compact and plentyful in Europe. The LPL C7700 is also pretty common (at least in the UK), so that would be a contender. With the OP being Portugal, you may have to travel or pay quite a bit for shipping if nothing can be found locally.

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