Which enlarger - another question

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by vonnagy, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    Ok, i've been investigating the things that i need for a darkroom. Now about this enlarger stuff, what do i look for?

    Basically I want to do medium and large format prints in B&W (hopefully i'll have my dad's yashica next time he visits nz).

    I am not too keen on a used or el cheapo brands, I don't won't do this darkroom stuff half-assedly (is that a word?).

    So for a good enlarger:

    1. What brands should I look for?
    2. What price (in USD) should I expect.
    3. Anything else I should know?
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I have a Beseler 23C that I use for 35mm up to 6x6cm, and an Omega DII that I use for 6x6cm to 4x5in. These are both older models, and they still work great. I'm sure the more modern versions are even nicer. Saunders is also a good brand. You see a lot of Omegas, Beselers, and Saunders in college darkrooms.

    You'll want a 50mm enlarging lens for 35mm negs, an 80mm to 105mm for MF, and a 135mm to 150mm for 4x5. Nikkor and Schneider lenses are some of the best.

    If you are buying MSRP expect to pay $600+. But about 1/4 that on Ebay for some pretty nice equipment. Maybe you can find a local photo store that is trying to clear out the film darkroom gear and avoid the shipping.
     
  3. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    thanks matt,

    What does MSRP stand for/mean?

    So around $600+ USD range - is that with or without the lens?

    I've been looking on trademe.co.nz (nz's ebay) for some gear, but i think i would feel a bit better about going to some camera shops for the enlarger.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

    yeah, $600+ without the lens, which new will also be $300+, or about 1/4th that on Ebay.
     
  5. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    I recently bought a Saunders 6600 through EBay for $160Cdn with a 50mm lens. I like it so far. Everything works smoothly and they never require alignment.
    The common thing I hear when buying an enlarger is you can skimp on the enlarger but not the lens.
     
  6. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    Ooops, I missed the part about large format negs. Maybe if I took a hammer....
     
  7. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    'tis fine matie, I am just trying to get all the feedback i can as i am looking into diving into the darkroom, thanks for your input.

    unfortunately with this ebay stuff, is doesn't come into handy when you are trying to ship stuff to nz :cry: but i am thinking about buy some stuff when I go to the states mabes in October. Hopefully the kiwi buck will still be strong then!! 70 cents to the USD whooohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    Another question

    Say i get an enlarger for medium format with the 80mm to 105mm lens - I will be able to do 35 mm prints from this still but not large format? if i go for the big daddy lens, i'll be able to do everything? So for the money if you were to go all out and were quite serious, would it be wise to get the large format lens here?
     
  9. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    You can use an 80-105 to print from large format but you won't be able to get the full frame. I wouldn't use a 135mm lens to print 35mm. To get 8x10 prints, the enlarger head would have to be pretty high. And any sort of movement or vibrations is really going to show up on the print. I use an 80mm lens for my medium format and 35mm.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    50mm enlarging lens for 35mm film

    80mm (75mm to 105mm) for 6x6cm

    150mm (135mm to 150mm) for 4x5in

    You'll notice that theses are the "normal" focal length lenses for the formats. If you use a 135mm lens for the 35mm it's like a telephoto, while when you use the same for 4x5 it's wide angle, just like if it was a 135mm on the camera.

    Any enlarging lens can probably be put on any enlarger. What dictates the max format is the size of the light source and the neg carriers.
     

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