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  1. #1
    jaydebruyne's Avatar
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    Help With Vintage Enlarger

    I have just inherited two enlargers. One was my father's and the other my grandfather's. I'm assuming t'll be clear which is which from the photos. I'm really really hoping my grandfather's enlarger works and is usable as it's just beautiful (I'm assuming it's vintage. Either way I think it's stunning).

    Can anyone help me out regarding the technical aspects of both of these enlargers and if the lenses are good quality etc. (The Paterson lens attaches to the more modern enlarger.)

    I'm new to analog photography and up to now, develop my film at home and scan the negatives. I'm yet to wet print so I'm hoping I can start by using either one of these enlargers.

    Any help would be fantastic!

    Cheers
    Jay
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013-12-15 20.27.25.jpg   2013-12-15 20.28.27.jpg   2013-12-15 20.32.02.jpg   2013-12-15 20.32.35.jpg   2013-12-15 20.39.19.jpg  

    I'm going to run with both hands...

  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Hey, J. I am not familiar with those enlargers. The lenses indicate they were both used with 35mm as 50mm is a typical enlarging lens focal length for 35mm. Basics to see if they work, I suppose. Inspect what wiring you can. If it looks to be in good shape (read: no risk of self-electricution) then plug one in and see if it lights up. If not, number one culprit would probably be a bulb. This is a good source for enlarger bulbs. Next thing to do if all seems to be operating would be to put in a negative and make sure the movements work, both the main elevation on the mast for cropping and print size adjustment and also the close focus on the enlarger assembly itself.

    Great luck in inheriting those. If they work they will get you on your way nicely.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    An older Meopta (Axomat?), that seems to be missing the negative holder unless you have it in a box or something. Nice sturdy enlargers, not much to go wrong with them. A bit limited, as it only takes 35 mm negatives, but a nice start. The other one I don't recognize - maybe a Paterson of some sort - just a guess.

    Here is some Meopta history: http://www.meoptahistory.com/?id=312
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4

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    I believe the one in photos 3 and 4 is a Paterson 35, it looks like the filter drawer is missing.

  5. #5

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    The Opemus is a 35/6x6 enlarger. It was made by Meopta. You should be able to get a negative carrier on ebay.

    The other one is a Paterson enlarger. I've never seen one before but Google image search turned up a few examples on ebay.

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    I may be wrong on the "35 mm only" with the Meopta.

    I think you need to measure the size of the negative gate on the Meopta to be sure that it actully takes 6x6. The Opemus takes 4x4 and smaller, not 6x6 as factus10 says.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7

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    The Meopta needs a negative carrier, which you should be able to find. I've had excellent results making them from mat board, so that's also possible, and very easy to do. The bigger enlarger is one I've never seen before. Your Meopta lens is one of the budget ones, but will work just fine to get you started. It's not going to give you a very bright image for focusing though, so assuming the lens is the usual 39mm threads, a Nikkor 50 2.8 will make things easier on that end, and give you sharper prints. I paid $18 for my Nikkor lens, which is pretty amazing considering the quality. I really like that Meopta enlarger. Looks like it will be easy to get lined up and leveled.

  8. #8
    jaydebruyne's Avatar
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    I think it's the Opematus 6x6 (as per the link Jerevan supplied) http://www.meoptahistory.com/?id=312 (Opematus, is that a spelling mistake on the site? Mine has a Opemus label on the front).

    I measured the negative gate and it's definitely a 6x6. I have found a company which sells the bulbs and a 35mm insert(?) - http://www.thedarkroom.co.uk/opemus-6-insert-24x36.html

    Would I need both?

    Question: the two 'wings' at either side of where the carrier goes, what are they used for? As I've seen them on Opemus negative carriers also.

    Thanks so much for all the help, I really appreciate it.

    Cheers
    Jay
    I'm going to run with both hands...

  9. #9
    jaydebruyne's Avatar
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    I just had a reply from the shop above regarding the Meopta:

    This look s like one of the very first Opemus enlargers. Getting a negative carrier for it will be extremely difficult to give you an idea I have only seen two of this model before and I have been selling enlargers for over 45 years.

    Getting a negative carrier will only be a start of you problems as you will not be able to get a lens board that will fit it.

    I understand you would like to get it going however I would advise you look for a newer enlarger if you would like to give me a ring I will happily explain the problems you will have rebuilding this enlarger.

    ----

    Bummer! Maybe I'll work on the Paterson 35 in the meantime.

    I'm going to run with both hands..
    I'm going to run with both hands...

  10. #10
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Well, that's a pity. Also, while the lenses will work OK for small enlargements (4x6" to 6x9" should be fine) I wouldn't expect much quality from them on bigger prints. This isn't a real problem though, since you can get a good 6-element 50/2.8 (Componon, Rodagon or EL-Nikkor) for about $20 to $40 and that will be better than any film you put behind it.

    Since you're in London, good enlargers should be plentiful too. I'd expect you to find a good modern (more rigid) medium format enlarger with a good lens or two for under 50 pounds. A slightly bigger, sturdier enlarger will also help with making prints from 35mm.

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