Need some advice on buying an enlarger

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by hughesdih, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. hughesdih

    hughesdih TPF Noob!

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    I'm wanting to buy an enlarger. Does anyone have any advice on buying one? Things to consider/look for? Specific models? I'm a poor college student so price is a real limitation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    if its just for 35mm black n white any enlarger will do, as with cameras a decent lens is what you need, the enlarger is just a light source, get one off ebay, cheap as chips, if you need colour then get one with a densitometer/timer and dial in filters built in, all decent makes will do,(fuji,durst,LPL etc) hope this helps. H
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    there are a wide variety enlargers available these days at very cheap prices.

    I would suggest you think about what formats you will be using, not just now but in the future.

    When reviewing used enlargers look for several things that are important:

    light tight bellows (if they have them)

    is it in alignment


    what type of light source are you looking for? a color head can be used for both color and black and white, while a cold light head or condensor head will need additional color filters if you want to print color as well as black and white.

    Be sure it has the negative carrier (s) as some off brand enlargers may create problems with finding replacement parts.

    Beseler, Omega, Saunders enlarger parts are easy to find .

    Because of the available number of enlargers that can be found these days i would op for a professional model rather than a consumer model. They are better built and even if they are old will out last most of us.
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I've got the Beseler 23c and I love it. Sturdy and well built, I paid $40 for it from some guy selling it on craigslist. Look around and you'll find something you'll like.
     
  5. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    I've also got a beseler, cheap and functional, but now I'm looking for one to handle 4x5 as I foolishly got a large format camera.

    Now all my 35mm looks.......like 35mm.:grumpy:
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I can't remember which model it is, but there's a black and white Beseler that enlarges 35mm to 4x5 up to 16x20. It's an older model, with a traditional head and a large rectangular frame about 60 degrees holding the base and head together. There's a control bit mounted to the frame that controls motorized movements of the head up and down.

    Damn I wish I could remember the name. I'll see if I can look it up, or perhaps someone else knows which one I'm talking about. Anyway, market price for them right now is about $250. They're a joy to print with.
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you may be talking about the 45 series, as that is the only beseler that will handle up to a 4x5 negative.

    i have never seen one that was black and white, all blue, black or gray.

    we had one at the lab that had a ilford vc head that was white , perhaps that was what your thinking about.
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    hahaha I meant only that it had the head was for black and white printing, not that it was actually colored black or white.

    I'm speaking of the one with the large oval-shaped gray head with a regular hot lamp. I presume it must be the 45 series if you're correct about there only being one Beseler enlarger than can handle up to 4x5 for black and white prints.

    I could have sworn I saw a Beseler with a dichro head that could print 4x5 color negs up to 20"x24" but perhaps it wasn't a Beseler. The thing was gargantuan...must have been a good 4 feet tall.
     

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