RH Stopclock or Devere
Ok, it's like this, I've about £250 to burn on the darkroom. Now I'm currently running a Durst 370 which is a really nice little enlarger. But I really fancy a Devere 203 or 540.
On the other hand I could do with a decent timer, especially as I'm using split grade printing more and more.
I suppose head says get a nice new RH while heart say 'go for the big Devere'.
Or is there a compromise?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
On the 2nd-hand market, you shoould be able to get both for your money. If you don't think so, try to sell your enlarger first, and you'll see how much used enlargers go for. Seriously, the enlarger should come first, then the timer.
Go for the DeVere. I have used a 203 and it was superb. Easy controls, smooth movements and built like a brick out house. Mind you I'm not 100% sure you will get a 504 for as little as £250 but I could be wrong.
Thank you both for the advice.
To be frank I am a little surprised as I expected the logic to be:
a) Durst is a good enlarger - so long as the lens is a good 6-element and the enlarger is optically and mechanically in alignment then the DeVere will not project a significantly superior image.
b) Proper control of exposure will make all the difference in the creation of a fine print.
c) Therefore the most effective purchase would be of an RH timer.
Clearly, however, a 'professional enlarger' will make a significant difference.
I do not question what you have recommended - actually I'm rather pleased that you did. But just in what way(s) will the DeVere turn out better prints than the Durst?
I need no convincing that it will be a much nicer tool to use.
Thank you again,
OK, here is my opinion: The DeVere is not going to make better prints. The RH stop clock neither. Spend the money on a nice weekend trip with your mate!
Seriously: Is your current lab timer insufficient? Do you use a metronome and a manual switch? If so, buy a timer. Or even an exposure meter.
If you run into any limitations with the Durst, buy an enlarger.
Last edited by Petzi; 06-09-2006 at 07:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Unless you've got plans to move into large/larger format, I can't really see much point in getting a bigger enlarger. As you say, as long as everything is optically and mechanically aligned and you're using good optics, the Devere won't make any difference. Are you using a decent lens? This (IMO) is your first priority. Assuming you're using good glass and your enlarger is good enough, I'd go for the RH stopclock. Blights
Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.
Thank you for you thoughts. My lenses are, for 35mm El Nikkor 2.8 50mm which I understand to be a good glass, for 6x6 I use a Durst Neonon 5.6 80 mm. I was advised when I bought it that it was a good lens and that has indeed been my impression when using it. My negs usually come from a M6 or a Bronica ETR, of Mamyia c330. For me sharpness has never been a problem. Getting a print that I'm really happy with however is. So far my greatest success comes from using split-grade and lots of test strips. Here I think that the RH timer would be a big help.
Originally Posted by Blighty
On the other hand the Durst M370 although in excellent condition (I've had it from new) is very much a hobbiests tool. As yet it is fine, but, as it is now getting much more use than it did, I'm not sure how long it will still be mechanically taut. An other problem which I think will soon be significant is the rather limited amount of enlargement that can be done on it - it can barely do 12x16 without the column getting in the way.
Ideally Ralph is right - go for both, but I am by nature an incremental sort of person!
I found that using an enlarger that is designed for a larger format than I need, I get more even illumination.