Choosing between two darkroom equipment bundles

justin wright

TPF Noob!
Dec 14, 2020
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Hey everybody! First time poster here! I am planning on purchasing darkroom equipment and am looking for advice. There are two people in my area selling complete setups and I would like your opinions on which one would be the best purchase! One is a slightly more complete setup with a Beseler 45MCRX and the other includes slightly less equipment with a Durst F60 enlarger(cheaper option).

I'd really appreciate your input! Here are my options:

Beseler 45MCRX, $475- Beseler Enlarger Complete Darkroom All The Fixins

Durst F60, $150- Darkroom Setup with Durst F60 Enlarger.

Would you all consider the extra expense of the Beseler 45MCRX kit to be worth it? Thank you so much!!!!!!
If you're planning on getting into large-format, then spring for the Beseler.
I would.

I see a lens on the Beseler, but there is no mention of lenses, lens boards, and negative carriers. These can add up $$$ fast, if you don't have the lens and negative carriers that you need. Been there, done that, $$$.

If you go Durst, I would personally get a better model than the F models. The M601 would be my minimum of the 6x6 Durst enlargers.
The listing only mentions a 50mm lens, so you are only setup for 35mm film.
Find the instruction manual for the F60 and STUDY it, to determine what parts you will need for any other film format.
Warning, Durst is long out of the enlarger business, and spare parts can be/is difficult and expensive to find, in the US. Easier if you are Europe. Been there, done that, with a large format Durst, $$$.

But logistics may also come into play, the Beseler is BIGGER and HEAVIER than the Durst.
The Durst would be better for a temporary darkroom.
Go with the Beseler regardless. Those things are build like tanks.
Offer $50 for the F60. It's unlikely the seller will ever get more than that for it. It's a compact enlarger for 35mm which is a good place to start with darkroom work. It includes a lens and some other things you'll need.
looks like neg carriers for 35 and med format in the last pic. also has a nice selection of trays and that model of Beseler you can still get parts fairly easy. If you ever need any. I think the Besler package is the better deal.
Ask to see the front element of the lens,
From experience front of the lend gets touched whilst focusing in the dark
Ask to see the front element of the lens,
From experience front of the lend gets touched whilst focusing in the dark

he he, and people ask why I put a lens hood on my enlarging lens.
To keep my finger away from the front element.

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