People in these forums time and time again keep suggesting 4x5 enlargers to EVERY-AND-ANYBODY. Silly! If one does not do 4x5" then one does not need a 4x5" enlarger. Why stop with 4x5"? Why not 5x7" ? Or why not 8x10"? Hey.. you never know..
Originally Posted by Konical
With very rare exception nearly all 4x5" enlargers are less comfortable and more hassle for handling 35mm negatives than enlargers that have been more optimized for the format..
On the other hand. going even to large format does NOT even tend to demand an enlarger.. Let us recall that many of the photographers held so strongly in esteem in these forums did/do contact printing. Sure some of the 4x5" cameras offer a lot.. but then that's why most people use them with rollfilm backs (and that's 6x9cm and not 4x5").. and if the urge is really to larger format then I'd say skip that 4x5" and go to (at least) 8x10".... You see it really is not so clear-cut where one may go.. better to follow the path of where one is..
Just as one tends not to get just that "one camera" (because there are NO IDEAL for every application cameras) one should be prepared to accept the notion that one may, over time, replace an enlarger or maybe get another one or two depending upon one's needs.. In my little darkroom I have, for instance, 3 operational enlargers: A Focomat Ic I use for 35mm B&W, a Minox I use for B&W Minox negatives and a Durst 900 I use for everything else (to which I have colour head, cold light and various condensors etc.). . I don't do large format at this time so I'm set up to handle nearly everything up to 6x9cm.
To add "insult to injury" as Nick as pointed out.. not only do you guys keep chiming in with the 4x5" disinformation (which does little but confuse beginners that really don't understand what 4x5" entails ) but then keep throwing out these "local" brandnames (often not terribly good ones at that) as if the world was these America brands--- which are, compared to some of the brands more widely available in many countries are vastly inferior (Agfa, Durst, DeVere, Homrich, Leitz, etc).