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  1. #1
    ignatiu5's Avatar
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    Replace my Omega B22 XL with a D2?

    Hello,

    I have the opportunity to pick up an Omega D2 enlarger locally, and Iím just trying to decide if itís better than what I have now. It was listed as a D2, so at this point Iím assuming itís exactly that, and not a DII or a D2V. Cones (although Iíll likely not need them) and and some negative holders included, no lenses. A little dust, good bellows, good overall condition, according to the seller. I havenít seen it yet, I wanted some advice before I drove to the town where itís located.

    I shoot 35mm, 6x4.5, and recently was gifted a Rolleicord for 6x6. My lust for a Pentax 6x7 SLR (and a set of lenses) has thankfully been held at bay by the fact that my current B22 XL wonít handle that negative size, and I havenít bought a bigger enlarger because I donít have a need yet. A chicken and egg that has saved me from myself. The B22 has been perfect for my needs, since I need portability to shuttle it in and out of the bathroom each printing session.

    My question is this: for my printing needs today (6x7 purchases wouldnít happen any time soon, and Iím never going to 4x5), is the D2 an upgrade over my current rig? Positives or negatives of one versus the other? Is the D2 too big for easy moving around?

    The cost of the enlarger isnít really much of an issue; Iíd be able to sell the B22 for around the same price.

    Thoughts and advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2

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    I have D-II and D-2 but both of them have a lamp housing that are labeled D-II. The only way I can tell them apart is because one of them have geared up/down crank and the other one does not. (former is D-2 and latter is D-II). However I hear Omega itself has used name overlapping two different models. Also, these are very modular. Over time, it appears people swapped parts. My D-II have the variable condenser and more later D-2 does not. I am telling you all this so you know, until you have the unit and inspect it, you can't expect anything.

    Don't over pay! I picked up my first one at a second hand camera store for $40. It included still usable lens. All I needed was cleaning. Second one was free but were missing few parts. Kind soul on this forum shipped me the missing parts.

    Either D-2 or D-II, forget moving unless you put it on a cart. It's huge and heavy. (also top heavy)
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
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    Ah, the memories of countless hours in high school, in the darkroom with a venerable D2 (back in the late 60's it was already venerable!) The D2 is an imposing monster, standing 5’ tall. If you’ve got 7’ ceilings in your darkroom, look elsewhere for an enlarger or assume its placement on a relatively low base support, not a standard counter! Its sturdy double I-beam construction has become standard for many enlarger designs, and once you’ve got one of these things adjusted properly they are absolutely rock solid. While recommendations were to not try to print 135 with the 4x5 condensors, we did it just fine back then without fooling with condensors...the slower printing times were beneficial for dodging and burning in! We just left it set up for 4x5 because we had that size film in a press camera for night football with ASA 1250 Royal X film.

  4. #4

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    The D2 is too big to move around easily. Most people who need to move them on a regular basis use some sort of cart.

    Aside from the ability to use negs bigger than 6x6, there isn't really anything the D2 would give you that your B22 doesn't. Except perhaps, a backache.

  5. #5
    ignatiu5's Avatar
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    I didn't realize it was so massive. The pdf manual that I came across was scanned at a resolution that made the specs impossible to read clearly. It looks like a no-go for my needs; too tall and too heavy. Perhaps someday when I have a permanent darkroom...

    Many thanks for your insight and quick responses,

    ignatiu5

  6. #6

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    I'm not sure if I'd call it MASSIVE, but it's big. Here's a picture of mine to give you an idea.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tkamiya9/4307163021/

    The enlarger is sitting on a standard sized folding table. You see a Gralab timer for size reference. My safe-light is about a foot away from my ceiling. I understand, there is an XL type that is larger.

    I have never measured the weight but it's heavy. This thing is made of steel and aluminum. No Plastic.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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    By the way, many D-2 and D-II does not have provisions for Multi-grade filters. Some have drawers and some have a way of using variable condenser tray for filters as well, but you may need to resort to under-the-lens arrangement. That's what I do. I fashioned a bracket out of home-depot type stuff and mounted an Ilford under the lens bracket permanently under the lens. Works well.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    ignatiu5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    The D2 is too big to move around easily. Most people who need to move them on a regular basis use some sort of cart.

    Aside from the ability to use negs bigger than 6x6, there isn't really anything the D2 would give you that your B22 doesn't. Except perhaps, a backache.
    Unfortunately, a cart isn't really an option in my case. The bathroom entrance is such that there's only enough space for the baseboard to squeeze through. I don't think a cart would ever make it.

    I've read lots of rave reviews for the D2/D2V, and was hoping for some major leap forward for stability or improved alignment ability, but it doesn't sound like it's enough to justify the hassle.

    Now I don't have to obsess about getting a 6x7

  9. #9

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    If you shoot anything larger than 6x6, get it.

    If you don't, don't.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #10

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    How about a furniture dolly? I did that for few weeks and it is do-able. It is a great machine if you can get it at a reasonable price. Parts are available second hand and it is so durable, even ones in pretty bad shape are rebuild-able.

    I seem to run into one every couple months. If this deal doesn't work out, it's probably not a big loss.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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