help with enlarger ID

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by tedzap, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. tedzap

    tedzap TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am thinking about getting back into shooting with film, and also developing and printing in B&W. I started looking around for enlargers and am not sure what I should be shopping for. Any advice? It seems for a couple hundred you can get a lot these days.

    Here is one that is fairly convenent and comes with a lot of extras. The gentleman is a professional photographer and says he will supply me with "everything I need to develop and print" for $150.

    The enlarger he has is reported to be a Beseler that does up to 4x5. It has a zoneIV cold light system as well as the original condeser setup. However, looking at the image I am not sure what model it is.

    Can anyone identify this enlarger? Is this a "pro" model or a "hobby" model? It doesn't seem as substantial as some others I have looked at. I have the room for a large projector, and as prices are so low it seems that I can probably afford whatever I decide on.

    Here is a picture of the enlarger in question.

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for the input,
    -Ted
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    this looks more like an OMega than a besler 45. Omega's have a very good rep, and have been a work hourse in many pro labs.

    it will depend on how much is included i.e. which lens, how many negative carriers , etc to know if the 150 is a good deal.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's an Omega. If it does 4x5 it is a D-series.

    Look here and click on "Discontinued Enlargers" on the left.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Its an older Omega D2, the predecessor of the D2V. The difference between the two is that the D2 requires a completely different condensor set (the silver "can" just above the negative carrier) for each different focal length enlarging lens. Which generally means that you need a different condensor set for each format you are printing.

    The "newer" D2V had a variable condensor setup that could be adjusted to match a range of lens focal lengths by simply rearranging the elements. These enlargers have a black "box" just above the negative carrier instead of the round silver can. The front of the "box" hinged open to give access to the condensor elements.

    Both models could handle negatives from 35mm through 4x5 and lenses from 50mm through 150mm. The lenses need to be mounted on appropriate lens mounts, called "cones", as the bellows have limited travel. 50mm lenses are mounted on a flat plate-like "cone". Longer lenses are mounted on increasingly deeper cones. The picture shows what appears to be an early EL-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8, or very similar lens, mounted on the appropriate flat cone. This would be the choice for printing 35mm. There are two 4x5 negative carriers lying beside the base of the column. One is an open glassless carrier and the other is a glass carrier which sandwiches the negative between two glass flats providing excellent negative flatness.

    The illustrated enlarger has been mounted on a custom counter/table that allows the baseboard to be removed to print larger prints on a lower surface. The normal factory configuration has the column bolted to a one piece baseboard that would sit on top of a counter surface.

    This is definitely a pro level enlarger, though its quite old. The condensor sets would be hard to replace if missing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  5. tedzap

    tedzap TPF Noob!

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    Thanks.

    Would the ZoneIV cold light system that comes with it work with all the formats? Would I tend to use this setup, or would I end up trying to use the condenser setup? It was my understanding that the zoneIV system replaces the condenser arrangement.



    Thanks again!
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It should.
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Yes, like other types of diffusion light sources, it will work with all formats without adjustment. There are some issues:

    1. While light output is excellent for 4x5, these heads are a little dim for 35mm. Modern fast papers generally help.

    2. Most of these cold light heads perform very poorly with variable contrast papers. Their spectra were too limits and certain colors too weak for the papers to deliver proper contrast with the various filters. There were some made with special tubes (special phosphors and gasses) that allowed them to work adequately with VC papers. Unless the head is clearly marked, it will be a bit of trial and terror to see if it is usable with VC papers.

    In general, diffusion heads produce better tonality, particularly with larger prints. They also make film grain, in real B&W not chromagenic "mono-color", less visible. They were generally the preference of pictorial photographers.
     
  8. tedzap

    tedzap TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help. The enlarger comes with a couple of lenses and lens carriers, and I shot him a question about the VC paper issue.

    Looks like a reasonable deal to get me up and running.
     

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