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  1. #1
    MattKrull's Avatar
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    Compact Enlargers

    I've been shooting film for a year and a half, developing in my basement but never enlarging (just scanning). I am currently taking a darkroom class (using a Beseler 23c). So far I've only done contract prints and Monday I start making actual enlargements - so I'm really inexperienced. I am loving the hands on aspect of it and the incredible sharpness of a small enlargement (looking at 4x6 working prints) vs scanned and sub-dye printed image.

    The thread on tiny darkrooms (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/1...arkroom-1.html) has given me hope of having my own dark room. The only place in the house I can setup a darkroom (for reasons of marital bliss) is the basement bathrooom. It has a toilet, tiny sink, and 28" shower all in the space of a phone booth. Until reading the above thread, I had only even known enlargers like the Beseler 23c; big and heavy beasts.

    Since learning about the existance of the Durst M600 and other compact and easy to disassemble enlargers I have hope. The idea of having my developing trays stacked vertically on shelves in the shower, instead of taking up valuable horiztonal space is great.

    I can get an Meopta Axomat II locally for $40 (not sure on what exactly is included with it), but the reading I've done suggests it can only do 35mm. Can anyone suggest a good compact enlarger that can do both 35mm and 6x4.5 (or larger), so I can keep an eye out for it?

    It seems like these small enlargers use glass in the negative carrier. I've read that some people have newton ring issues. Are there any small enlargers that don't have glass, or alternatively, could an insert or carrier be lazer cut to make it glass-less? Is having glass even enough of an issue to wory about?

  2. #2
    ROL
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    Good for you. I think the situation is normally reversed, most small enlargers do not have glass carriers because it is not as necessary with smaller film formats (135) as with larger. You can make your own neg. carrier out of virtually anything, mat board being frequently used.

  3. #3
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    We have a small Durst F60 and can do 35mm or 6x6. For medium format it needs to use the 6x6 accessory condenser.

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

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    How about a UPA-5M Portable Enlarger

    http://ussrphoto.com/wiki/default.as...ContentID=1511

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    We have a small Durst F60 and can do 35mm or 6x6. For medium format it needs to use the 6x6 accessory condenser.

    Jon
    +1 on that. I have a Durst F30 (35mm only model of that) that I could easily pack into a small box. It's incredibly easy to use, even more so than my fantastic LPL 6700DXL. If the bigge rbrother is anythign like it, it'll be incredibly easy to use and very portable. I wouldn't cheap out on something older, Russian, beat up, etc. I started on an old Omega and had all kinds of issues, with the Durst and LPL things are incredibly smooth and easy.

    I wouldn't hesitate to take the Durst with me on vacation or a long road trip, It makes beautiful 8x10s, and is tiny. I've seen M60s for under $100. I got my F30 for $25.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  6. #6
    MattKrull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    How about a UPA-5M Portable Enlarger

    http://ussrphoto.com/wiki/default.as...ContentID=1511
    That is utterly awesome, and other than the inability to do larger than 35mm, would be absolutely ideal (it also gives me an idea of making my hardcase/base for whatever I end up with).

    The filters seem to attach below the lens. I'm guessing getting replacement filters would be difficult? Can it use the ilford sheet style filters (one of the photos in the link has some sort of opening showing that looks like a beseler's filter holder)?

    The Durst F60 also looks really promising.

  7. #7
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Just checked-- for a tad over $100 on the famous auction site, you can get an M600 in nice shape shipped.

    If I wasn't so pleased with the LPL, I'd jump on it myself as a replacement for my F30.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  8. #8
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKrull View Post
    That is utterly awesome, and other than the inability to do larger than 35mm, would be absolutely ideal (it also gives me an idea of making my hardcase/base for whatever I end up with).

    The filters seem to attach below the lens. I'm guessing getting replacement filters would be difficult?

    The Durst F60 also looks really promising.
    You can use below-the-lens filters. I have Kodak Polycontrast filters with a holder. It functions like a christmas tree stand pinching onto the lens. They work great! Ilford also makes filters set up like this, but they're a bit pricey. In a pinch, you can hand hold regular cut filters below the lens, but this doesn't really work if you have dodging and burning to do.

    I, too, have thought about making something similar for my F30 or similar. Basically, mounting the column to a reinforced briefcase with enough room in it for the column, set of 8x10 trays, developing tank, a couple graduates, and a small repackaged bottle of Rodinal, as well as small bottles of Ilford MG, Stop, and Kodafix concentrates. I have some designs mocked up, but haven't had the time lately. If I can find a scanner, I can email scans of my sketches and measurements.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  9. #9

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    I have an Omega B-600 if you're interested. Nice and small, yet it will do 35mm and 6x6. It's complete w/ filter drawer, bulb (extra bulb too), 35mm neg carrier, etc. PM me if you're interested. Works great, and it will be inexpensive. It's easy to take in and out of my bathroom. The B-22 I just bought is gonna stay in there I'm afraid because it is pretty big!

    When buying enlargers, try and get a complete one, or the lens boards, neg carriers, etc will eat you alive.

  10. #10

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    Because enlargers are SO EXPENSIVE to ship, you are best off finding one local to you where you can go a pick it up.
    I just shipped a Durst F30 to my nephew. And it cost me $30, cheapest way US mail.
    The enlarger only cost me $25.
    As for specific models; I like the Durst setup, IF the seller still has the original box. My M600 packs well into its relatively small box for storage when not in use. I have a C series Omega and the box is 2x the size of my M600s box. Much more clumsy and difficult to handle.
    Since you want to also do 6x4.5, for the Durst, you need to start at the F60 (6x6 format) or M600.
    As for glass/glassless, it depends on what the prior owner did. I have my M600 set up for glassless 35mm. But for 6x6 it would have to be glass, as I did not buy the glassless negative masks for 6x6. I do not know if a 6x4.5 mask is available for the older enlargers. Parts for the older Durst will be difficult to find, and when you do, expect them to be relatively expensive. Durst was not a popular enlarger in the US.

    And I second what momus said about the cost of parts.
    I have a Durst L1000, and finding missing parts was difficult and the cost of the parts more tripped the cost of the enlarger.
    So what was originally a good deal, in the end was NOT a good deal.

    As for you darkroom. You will have to be creative.
    I use the half-bath in my house to print with my M600.
    I put the enlarger on the toilet, and turn 180 degrees to process on the counter, using an old Honeywell rocking print tray. The rocking print tray lets me process using only ONE tray, so I don't need much counter space. Then I take the finished print to the kitchen to wash.
    If you can find a tray stacker, give that a try. The Honeywell rocking print trays are difficult to find on eBay, because they were not a popular item when they were sold back in the 70s.
    Last edited by ac12; 02-07-2014 at 04:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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