Last year I lost DR space and wanted to migrate to a smaller enlarger. After much thought I bought a like new Durst 601. I can recommend either the 600 or 601 as the best bet for a quality 35mm/MF enlarger. If you need a small footprint a condenser enlarger avoids the transformer which can go bad. The 600/601 easily breaks down for storage.
Get everything you need with the Durst enlargers as parts are expensive. The beauty of the Durst is their universal glass carrier. One part holds small and medium format negs. I doubt you need a glass carrier if enlarging to 8x. The Durst uses a reflex mirror system which resists buckling the neg when in a glassless carrier.
LF is a hassle, especially for beginners. Its not jut the size of the enlarger, consider the size of the camera/developing equipment.
I tried processing prints using a color drum. I work with fiber and ultimately decided 11x14 single tray development worked better for me. You must completely wash out the tray between prints. I use 2L plastic paint pails to hold the chemicals.
The ultimate quality, small 35mm enlarger is the Valoy II.
Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 02-10-2014 at 07:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.