I've always wanted a Durst 606 (or a 609!).. it _seems_ much better than my Omega B-600 which I don't care for.
1) it's wobbly, goes out of alignment
2) it's tough to align without resorting to bending the column with your bare hands
3) negative carriers are tough to find
4) no lens board, just a thread for m39
5) it's kind of cheap.. doesn't feel like it's well-made
despite all of that, i've made some very nice prints with it and a good enlarging lens..
The Durst 606 has that condenser\adjustable negative carrier so you can print anything smaller than 6x6.. ah well..
Kaiser is a good choice. I have one, but it doesn't see much use.
Durst still offers enlargers and they are great quality but not cheap. Depends on how much money you have. If you have a deep pocket, a new Durst would be the best choice IMHO. I have several (but I bought them used.)
Kienzle is also to be considered. These things are built like a tank. I used to have one with mechanical autofocus.
Check out the small Durst M670 Variable Contrast enlarger. You can reach Durst in Brixen, Italy at telephone 0472/810111
You could also consider the much larger Durst M805, which easily adapts to all medium formats simply by changing negative carrier masks. Good luck.
I have only ever owned one enlarger, the Durst M605, and found it very good. It was secondhand when I got it and must be 25 years old but is showing no signs of wear. I know it does 35mm, 645 and 6x6 but as far as I am aware it doesn't cover 6x7. The light box has a lever for 35mm or 6x6.
I had toyed with the idea of a 6x7 camera such as the Pentax. I have a 6x6 folder(Agfa Isolette 1) but 6x6 cameras are rarer and if I had my time over again I'd go for an enlarger that covered 6x7.
Then I saw this reply and it made me wonder. Will the M605 also cover 6x7? There's no mention of it doing so in the handbook and the seller never gave me any 6x7 masks.
The M605 indeed can print 6cmx7cm negs (2 1/4x2 3/4in) with its switchable mixing box set to the 67 position. All you need to acquire from a vendor or from Durst in Brixen (tel 0472/810111) are the following Durst neg carrier and parts:
One 'sinoneg' negative carrier
One 'sixma 67' metal mask insert for 6x7cm format negs for the sinoneg carrier
One 'sivogla an' anti-newton glass for the sinoneg carrier
or you can use the sinoneg carrier in a completely glass top and bottom configuration by getting one 'sixgla' clear glass insert to use instead of the sixma67 metal insert. Good luck.
There is a theme in these answers - stick to the major brands. It's good advice. Durst, Kaiser, DeVere, Meopta, Beseler, Omega all have good reputations and have been around for many, many years. Choose something you can get accessories and replacement parts for. That may limit your choice depending on where you are. Then look at the operation and features. Choose something you like to use, because you will use it for years. I would advise getting something that can handle 6X9 even if you only use 6X7 or 6X6 now. You never know what you will pick up in the future.
Time for some threadjacking
If wanting an enlarger for 6X7 - 6X9 which ones other than the Meopta Magnifax will cover 6X9 ?
Reason for this is my AGFA Clack(6X9), Pentax 6X7 and a possible (in far future) move into 6X9 viewcameras. 6X9 enlargers dont seem that common.
If I stumple over a good deal on one I might take it though I havn't got any darkroom some some time to come. I'd just disassmple it and keep it under my bed untill the day.......
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