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  1. #1
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Enlargers, enlargers everywhere...

    I'm in a pickle. I've been offered enlargers at good prices or free in about every shape and size, but the one that takes the cake is a Beseler 45MX. I just don't know what to do! Space is a consideration, but that enlarger would allow me to print 4x5 when I get to that size. I had my eye on a 23C Series enlarger before everyone started offering me other ones since the largest I'm doing is 6x9, but this would allow me to grow into 4x5 and also make the medium format panoramic pinhole camera I've been wanting to do. I already know the thing is huge...

    So let's say you were me. You don't shoot 4x5 yet but you're thinking about it in the near future. The largest you shoot is 6x9 and you plan to aquire better cameras in that format. Most of your enlargements will be made from 35mm negatives, but you expect enlargements from larger negatives to become more and more prominent as time goes by.

    What would you do?

    I want to get this decision made before my boyfriend's vacation comes around at the end of this month so that I can go get whatever enlarger it is that I choose. I'll also be getting my printing supplies at the same time. Any advice is appreciated.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  2. #2
    wfe
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    I picked up a 45MX with a Saunders 11x14 four blade easel, timer, two lenses and an assortment of negative carriers for $125. I don't do 4x5 either and ended up selling it minus the easel. It was too big for my darkroom.

    Regards,
    Bill
    ~Bill
    "Real Art is a Thin Breath Exhaled Amidst a Struggle in the Mind"
    Fine Art and Portraits

  3. #3

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    The 4x5. When I got my 4x5 I didn't have a 4x5 camera yet. I did plan on getting one but I got the enlarger first.

    If you go the other way you'll soon start having an enlarger collection. Or at least you will when you decide you really need a 4x5.

  4. #4
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've kind of decided that.

    I'm going to ask him what he has for negative carriers, etc...and then browse lenses. Crap, guys...I'm going to start printing by the end of this year. I'm so excited.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  5. #5
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    I had the same delima a few months ago. I passed on the 4x5 enlarger because I don't have the space for it. The way I see it, I found several good deals on 4x5 enlargers this past summer. If/when I do step up to 4x5, I don't think I'll have a problem finding another good deal.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  6. #6
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    I second getting the 4x5 if you can. If you have the space available, I think this is the right solution. And in the mean-time, until you get an LF camera, you can always print anything up to 6x12 cm in 120 format...
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
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    I got my 4x5 enlarger a while ago but I still don't have the room to set it up. I've never even considered that it was a bad idea. The space issue will pass, but the good deal may not come around again for a while. Then again, I already had a 4x5 camera and I have some ideas for making the space. These things are really big, so be prepared to dedicate some space to it. The baseboard is significantly larger than the one on the 23C, in both length and width. For what it's worth, I ended up with an enlarger collection anyway (2 23Cs and 1 45MX)...

    - Randy

  8. #8
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    Stephanie,
    If you think you might go to 4x5 someday, believe me, you will!

    I would suggest getting the 45MX. They are very versatile, even if you don't shoot 4x5. It's very easy to switch from 35mm to 6x6 to 6x9 to 4x5 without having to switch out condensors. There are also many used and new parts available to increase its versatility.

    I have a dedicated 35mm enlarger so I can print at the same time as my kids, but use the 45 for everything else.

  9. #9

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    If you have the room, and if you think you'll get into 4x5 eventually, I think you should get the 45MX. I used to own a Omega DII. It's a 4x5 enlarger, but I don't think it was much larger than a 23 series.

    If you do end up with more than one, I'm looking for an enlarger for 35mm only.

  10. #10
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Well, the 23C series stuff is my second choice because it will at least do 6x9. If I can't get this one (and he may be having second thoughts because he's not getting back to me on it, even after the first note I sent) I'll start looking 'round for a 23C II or III.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

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