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  1. #1

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    Help and Advice Needed

    I was searching Craigslist looking for background muslin and ventured to Darkroom Eqpt. Lots of inexpensive enlargers. I want one now, but know nothing of them. Here is my quandry. I will have to have this portable since I will be using our downstairs shower room. I will have to have a table for the enlarger and a board/table over the toilet.

    Which little enlarger might be great for darkroom novice?
    I shoot more 25mm but also use a 645.

    Besler 67P Enlarger

    Besler 50mm 3.5 lens

    Rodagon 80mm 5.3 lens
    ______________________________
    Durst F30 enlarger with Besler 50MM 1:3.5 lense
    _______________________________________

    Besler 23C Enlarger, a Gralab 450 time
    ___________________________________

    Besler 67 c


    These are all less than $100 if you are in the Minneapolis area!

    Thanks
    Last edited by unohuu; 09-04-2006 at 08:37 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: punctuation
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  2. #2
    reellis67's Avatar
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    Any of these should be fine to get started with, and there is no reason why you couldn't keep using them for many years on down the road as well. They all will handle your 645 negatives (and smaller) as long as you have the right negative carriers (you can get them easily enough if they do not come with the enlarger). At some point you might change lenses, or not, but these enlargers should be easy to use and should work well forever if you take care of them.

    - Randy

  3. #3

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    Is there any reason that you can not set up a table and bench for the enlarger and trays near the shower room?

    Moving enlargers around is not good for their alignment. Aligning an enlarger is a PITA but critical to sharp results.

    The Beseler 23c seems the best of the choices listed. Tne 80mm lens will serve nicely for medium format. A top quality lens for 35mm is recommended such as an 50 mm Apo Rodagon N.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #4
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Forget the Durst F30 - it's 35mm only.
    Louie

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I've used a Beseler 67C since I bought it new in the 1970s. If it is one like mine, it has a massive single girder, and mechanics that withstand the moving process better than many (although Claire is right - stationary is better). It is limited to a maximum negative size of 6x7. It was originally supplied with all necessary condensers, so unless someone has discarded one of them, it can handle everything from Minox to 6x7, with the appropriate carriers and lenses. The current models use the same carriers and lens boards, so there is no shortage of same. There are also colour heads available, and probably variable contrast heads too (I've never seen one of those separate from a new enlarger). You can get parts, and can talk to people at the factory too!

    A Beseler 23C series enlarger adds the ability to use 6x9 cm negatives. They are bigger, but plentiful on the used market, because they are well suited to schools and group darkrooms. Most of the same observations apply to them too.

    Unless you need to go larger, both are good choices.

    Matt

  6. #6

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    Advice truly appreciated. The basement shower is quite small. There is a little corner by the furnace I could place an enlarger and a second small space by the laundry tub, but that might put electrics at risk...I am t hinking a rolling cart for the enlarger so I can wheel it into the shower when needed. Otherwise I have to put off the dream for a while.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  7. #7

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    Unohuu,
    I'm using a microwave cart for the same thing.
    Also use a projector table from one of the local schools for other items that aren't especially portable.
    67C sounds as though it should do prety well for you depending on the lenses available. The first thing I'd do though, is toss that 50/3.5 lens & replace it with a decent Nikon/Rodenstock/Schneider item.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I use a really nice stainless steel microwave cart with casters, two shelves and a sturdy wood top that I bought from a Target store in Washington State. I think it was about $40.00.

  9. #9

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    Even though the F30 will only do 35mm negatives it is quite small and works well in a small area. It is also very easy to disassemble and store away. I still have mine and they are capable of producing really good prints.

  10. #10

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    Dear Luke,

    I operated in just the manner you are proposing for several years. Be as creative as you can with your space and enjoy yourelf.

    Neal Wydra

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