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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    Thanks. Just a few points.

    - I do shoot 4x5 and 6x6 right now
    - I am located in Europe - Germnay so an enlarger from US makes little sense

    Some more questions:

    - You say - get the best - but which ones are "the best" ?

    - Which models are more stable / easier to align ?

    - What are you experiences - what do you use - likes/dislikes ?
    Lucky you, you are in Germany, That means, beside secondhand enlargers, you have option of atleast two manufacturers which make new enlargers located in Germany. One is Kaiser and second is Kienzle. Kaiser is cheaper and their enlargers for me look simillar to Durst(I didn't use them, so it is just by appereance on pictures) , and Kienzle is not that popular, is expencive, but whenever anyone talked about them, you can hear only the best about their enlargers.Then you have two German manufacturers of enlarger lenses, Rodenstock (under Linos company) and Schneider-Kreuznach. For other stuff nedded for laboratory you have Kaiser (trays, washers, timers, easels, and everything else), Jobo. And there are of course Rhdesigns from UK (exposure meters, timers, flasher, etc...) Heiland from Germany (exposure meters, timers, motorizes filtered heads for your enlarger - Splitgrade system, etc...), Paterson from UK (stuff for darkroom), Novadarkroom from UK (everything for darkroom).

    So, if you by new, there is atleast one German manufacturer for whatever you need, and if you can't find something made in Germany, there is in some other European country manufacturer for that. If you buy secondhand, situation is simillar. My first look would be at www.leicashop.at and www.fotoimpex.de, and of course manufacturers web sites.

    In Germany, for buying, you really have limitless options...

    Me personally use Meopta Magnifax 4 and Opemus 5 (not manufactured new anymore), Rodenstock and Schneider lenses and other stuff for darkroom made by different manufacturers

    Good luck.
    Last edited by haris; 02-20-2008 at 05:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
    No things in life should be left unfinis

  2. #12

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    Oh, one more thing. Europe (Germany included) is about 1/3 more expencive than USA, no matter buying new or secondhand. So, price difference will cover expences of importing custom/tax. But, when you include cost of transport of sometnig as heavy as enlarger, I think it is better to buy atleast enlarger in Germany.
    Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
    No things in life should be left unfinis

  3. #13
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Matus I would suggest a 5x4 enlarger, within reason any 5x4 enlarger will be reasonably made, with reasonable alignment built in. That said, there are some enlargers that seem to be better at alignment than others.

    I have personally owned and used a variety of enlargers and some thoughts for you are here.

    The cheapest and quickest and smallest way into enlarging, would be the Meopta enlargers. Whilst they do have a 6x9 enlarger, it is largish and will not do 5x4. Their 6x6 enlargers will get you going for your 6x6 negs. You can get a B&W model and use filters in a filter draw. You will need a 75 or 80mm lens for 6x6 negs.

    Currently in many parts of the world, Ilford has a special box of 8x10 B&W RC paper with a set of B&W enlarging filters. The box has 75 sheets of paper and the rest of the space is taken up with the filters. It is incredibly cheap because these filters do cost a fair bit of money. This filter kit will work with any B&W enlarger with a filter drawer.

    Any B&W enlarger you purchase should have a filter drawer above the enlarger lens; I would stay away from older enlargers without a filter drawer.

    The Meopta enlargers also take a colour head, the B&W head lifts off and the colour head goes on. I had a Meopta 5 enlarger, which I bought as a B&W enlarger, later I bought a Meochrom 3 colour head and started doing all of my B&W and colour work with this head.

    The Meopta enlargers are around in huge numbers and will be cheap, they come from Eastern Europe so they are very well made and can be adjusted and fixed by the user. The Meopta enlargers will fold down and can be stored into a standard 600mm wide kitchen cupboard, I’ve done it.

    With 5x4 enlargers you start to get into some large and heavy units, generally you will require a solid base to sit any of these on.

    For 5x4 negatives you will be well off using a 150mm lens, some people use a 135mm lens, I have, but I prefer the 150 lenses for this format.

    The LPL Japanese sourced enlargers are really good value for money, however there is no adjustment possible with these enlargers. The factory matches the column and enlarger head for a perfect fit. You should check that the serial number on both of these is identical. I owned the first model they manufactured called the LPL 7541, it was an excellent enlarger. The head can have different modules attached, which takes a few seconds to do. There is a dedicated B&W module and a colour module.

    The DeVere 504 bench top models are in my humble opinion, the best small 5x4 enlargers ever made. They originated from the UK, still do, but not at any price most of us could afford. The alignment possibilities of these enlargers are the best I have ever seen, simple, quick, and rigid. The alignment is done with two tools, a screwdriver and a sechskantschlüssel (Alan Key) and is brilliantly logical.

    Secondhand DeVere enlargers are now quite cheap, compared to what they cost new. My current enlarger, which is a DeVere 504 free standing model from 1981, was bought by me for $2,000.00 7 years ago. The lab that purchased it new paid $23,760.00 without any lenses. Bench top models in my country are now selling for the $500 – $750 these days. They are a steal at that price.

    Living where you are, you should find a plethora of Durst enlargers. Durst enlargers are often considered the absolute best by many lab workers, their top models were, but most of these were really large freestanding models. Their bench top models were also around but were a bit thin on the ground in 5x4 size. Durst enlargers were manufactured in Italy.

    I have used an array of top enlargers in an industrial photo lab I worked in, I also moved around in industrial photo lab circles. What I saw in this country were mainly DeVere, followed by Durst then followed by Beseler in number of enlargers being used. There were other enlarger brands, but their usage was tiny by comparison.

    In another country it will be different again, so I think you will find that there will be plenty of Durst, DeVere, LPL 5x4 enlargers in your part of Europe.

    If you live near Tübingen, there is a camera shop in that town that specialises in Leica equipment, they are an official seller. They once had a thriving darkroom section, which is not so thriving these days. Down the back there were two old enlargers for sale, one was a 6x9 and the other was a 5x4. Both B&W, the 5x4 should be able to do everything for you. It took filters in a filter drawer. I saw these in July last year, they may or may not be sold, and you will be able to find them with a google search.

    Mick.

  4. #14
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Bei so was
    http://cgi.ebay.de/Kaiser-Vergroesse...QQcmdZViewItem
    liegen Sie sicherlich nicht falsch - ich würde erwarten, dass dieser Apparat ziemlich billig weggeht. Mal sehen!

    Not a bad choice - will probably sell cheap.

    Regards,

    David

    Und für diejenigen, die (etwas) mutiger sind/And for those a little braver:
    http://cgi.ebay.de/Focomat-2-a-Color...QQcmdZViewItem

  5. #15
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I agree David, would be nice to know what kind and size the Zeiss lens is though.

    Mick.

  6. #16
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    I agree David, would be nice to know what kind and size the Zeiss lens is though.

    Mick.
    Bet it's a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar!

  7. #17
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    I can wholeheartedly agree with those who like the DeVere 504 bench enlargers. I am very happy with mine and the Ilford 500H head which works pretty well with variable contrast and graded papers. The enlarger is relatively small but quite heavy, so it is better to have it in a permanent location rather than hoist it in and out for each printing session, as I had done that with my previous one, a GEM504 - it was doable but not fun.

    Best of all, the guys who made and serviced this machine are still in business and happy to answer questions or help you on the phone. Parts are available, but not cheap. They are at www.odyssey-sales.co.uk. I bought a refurbished one a while ago and I was impressed ever since.

    Perhaps the only thing I would like to change or solve on this enlarger would be a slight light leak around the negative carrier. It is in a horizontal plane, so if it does not bounce off some angled surface or a sloping wall it should be of no problem. I did Kodak K4 safelight tests with the enlarger on (test paper in other parts of my darkroom) and did not find it to be a problem, though.

    Rafal.

  8. #18

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    Get an enlarger to print your largest format: 4x5 If you buy something smaller you will regret it every time you would like to enlarge a 4x5 negative. Keep an eye on ebay.de where there is usually a Durst L1200, or similar, for sale for relatively little money. You will not need another enlarger ever again unless you start shooting larger than 4x5. Good luck!

  9. #19

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    Oh, thank you very much. That is a lot of useful information.

    In general there are plenty enlargers on the auction site (and I guess even more forgotten in closets), but the problem is that rarely it is stated up to which format does the given enlarger goes. Is there anything like a webpage with overview of different enarlgers with basic specs?

    - Mick -

    - I guess I do not need the constrast filters if I would get an enlarger with color head, right ?

    - by the "No adjustement possible" with LPL enlargers you have in mind no alignment possible ?

    - yes, there are many Durst enlargers here around, the problem is I do not know the differences (age, quality, "class" ...) so it is hard to choose.

    - David -

    I have checked those ones (and others as well too) - but it is just a bit too early for me to buy one. I will be moving beginning of April.

    - Renato -

    6x6 versus 4x5 - I am still considering. I guess that at the beginning I will limit myself to 8x10 prints for economical reasons - that is only 2 times enlargement from 4x5 - does such a small enalrgemement look good at all ? Also the size may be an issue ...

    ****

    At some point I would maybe like to ask about your opninion on particular enlarges on sale, but I would (probably) wait so that I do not have to move it twice.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post

    In general there are plenty enlargers on the auction site (and I guess even more forgotten in closets), but the problem is that rarely it is stated up to which format does the given enlarger goes. Is there anything like a webpage with overview of different enarlgers with basic specs?
    As long as the seller states the make and model number it is usually possible to google that information, as well as finding a few reviews – sometimes even from reputable sources.

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