Enlargers... Which one?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Flyboy00, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Flyboy00

    Flyboy00 TPF Noob!

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    Well, here I am posting my first thread.

    I am about to setup a darkroom and desperatly trying to figure out which enlarger I should buy. The idea is to make 35mm and 6x6.

    Someone told me to get a Durst enlarger with a multigrade head (what does it mean?) but reading through the site I became more and more confused...:confused: (technical terms, contrast, condensor, diffuser...etc) and now I just don't know what to do!

    MAYDAY...

    Thank you all for helping me out!
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Durst make excellent enlargers. I have one myself.
    Multigrade head:
    Paper used to be made in various 'grades'. Normal was Grade 2 - this produced an image with a full range of grey tones from black to white when printing an 'average' negative.
    To add more contrast (remove some of the greys) you used a 'harder' grade of paper (Grades 3 - 5). To put in more greys, a 'softer' paper was used (Grades 00 - 1). This allowed you to compensate for negatives that weren't 'average'.
    Multigrade paper was introduced to get rid of the need for having lots of different papers. Multigrade can be made to behave as if it is normal, hard or soft by using filters.
    A multigrade head is a unit that fits on an enlarger and has the filters built in, rather than having to have them seperately.

    Enlargers come in two kinds - condenser and duffusion.
    A condenser enlarger uses a bulb and a system of lenses to shine the light through the neg for printing.
    A diffusion enlarger produces a soft, even light without the need of lenses.
    Condenser enlargers work better with low contrast negs. Diffusion enlargers work better with higher contrast negs.
    The end result of the two is the same so I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  3. Flyboy00

    Flyboy00 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reply.

    Now that I am much wiser with all thoses technical terms, which enlarger should I buy. What brand, model, etc...

    I know it's like buying a car (not a very creative example), there are so many different models but at the end they all get to the same result. But there are sports cars and family ones...

    So, from all the experience out there, which one would be the best? I would like something in the middle range, not beginner and not expert... 35mm and 6x6, that has a A4 size capability.

    Thank you again, sorry to ask all theses questions but it's really not easy!

    Cheers,

    Flyboy00
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    You can't go wrong with Durst. But check out Omega as well.
    http://www.omegasatter.com/v2/products/displaycategory.cfm?CatID=47
    Their C700 is a good one.
    There is quite a variation with enlargers. Cheap is cheap and the expensive one are only worth it if you are going to print for a living.
    It's best to look at the middle-range ones. Good, solid and stable that are easy to use for a beginner and keep pace with you as you improve and progress.
    Even more important is your choice of lens. The difference between cheap and expensive lenses can be quite staggering. Again look at the medium range. Everyone has their own favourites but I would strongly recommend the EL-Nikkors. They give good contrast and resolution for a reasonable price.
    Remember: a cheap enlarger with a good lens will give better results than an expensive enlarger with a cheap lens.

    Try looking second-hand. There are bargains and you can get a better piece of kit for your money.
     
  5. Flyboy00

    Flyboy00 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you!

    Well, I will look around for second hand enlargers but here in Hong Kong people are BIG digital fans!!!

    Guess will look around on e-bay...

    Cheers
     
  6. duelinthedeep

    duelinthedeep TPF Noob!

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    i've also been looking for an enlarger but i really dont know what to buy:|
    i'm just a beginner.
    is the Omega C700 a wise buy?
    would it matter if i buy it used?






    gracias.
     

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