Vivitar E34 Ebay find post purchase questions

grokglock

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I was looking for enlargers when this popped up on ebay:
Vivitar Model E 34 Photo Enlarger in Original Box | eBay

for the price of $36 I thought what the heck it includes 50 and 75mm lenses and seemed to be in great shape. I bought it without doing much research so now I am trying to gather some more intel about it.

This enlarger will go in my home darkroom. I shoot mostly now 645 medium format. Can anyone lead me to a review or indepth information about this enlarger? The auction stated that it was complete with the negative carriers but I am wondering where I could find a reliable source for replacement components for this piece. Maybe this thread can become a "go to" for other vivitar e34 owner's I believe Holga also made an enlarger very similar to this one.

What about the build quality and print quality? I am excited as this is my first enlarger at home and for the price I am not expecting a ton but hopefully enough to get me off the ground and printing at home with decent results. For about $50 shipped to my house I don't think it was a bad deal but maybe you guys can give me some advice.

Does anyone know how to mount a higher quality lens to this enlarger? Any information is appreciated.
 

webestang64

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Very nice beginner enlarger. I have one that I bought 30 years ago as a beginner, still use it for contact sheets. You do not want to use the Vivitar lens that come with it, not that great on sharpness. I use Nikon (Nikkor) enlarging lens (39mm screw mount) on mine. Build quality is good, mine has all metal parts and a nice base. It's just a good simple inexpensive enlarger that should get you off to a good start.
 
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grokglock

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Very nice beginner enlarger. I have one that I bought 30 years ago as a beginner, still use it for contact sheets. You do not want to use the Vivitar lens that come with it, not that great on sharpness. I use Nikon (Nikkor) enlarging lens (39mm screw mount) on mine. Build quality is good, mine has all metal parts and a nice base. It's just a good simple inexpensive enlarger that should get you off to a good start.


Thanks! Hopefully it includes the 645 negative holder. I will probably use this lens for some 8x10 work prints and as I gain more equipment I'll upgrade to a nice 80mm lens for my 11x14 prints. What is the largest print you have made with this enlarger? Do you think it's capable of 16x20?
 

webestang64

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Never used it for 120 but 35mm film, 11x14 enlargement. I mounted the enlarger backwards on the base, set a few books on the base to weight it down. Then hung the enlarger over the edge of the table to a lower table to do 16x20's. And invest in a good grain magnifier. Best way to make sure the focus is perfect.

I've moved up to a Ilford 500 cold light multigrade enlarger. Can print film up to 4x5......
:headbang:
 

bsinmich

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If you stop the lens down and use longer exposures you can get away with the cheap lens they came with. I used an old Federal for a long time and learned a lot of the things,like turning it around and using the books as a counter weight to make bigger enlargements. As you go to the larger sizes the exposure times will get longer.
 
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grokglock

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If you stop the lens down and use longer exposures you can get away with the cheap lens they came with. I used an old Federal for a long time and learned a lot of the things,like turning it around and using the books as a counter weight to make bigger enlargements. As you go to the larger sizes the exposure times will get longer.


Thanks for the tip. Ive usually made my prints at f8 but at home I will have all the time in the world I can try f16 even. My only concern is I don't believe this enlarger has a 645 carrier.. I might have to fab one up from card stock. That is what most worries me.
 

webestang64

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If you stop the lens down and use longer exposures you can get away with the cheap lens they came with. I used an old Federal for a long time and learned a lot of the things,like turning it around and using the books as a counter weight to make bigger enlargements. As you go to the larger sizes the exposure times will get longer.


Thanks for the tip. Ive usually made my prints at f8 but at home I will have all the time in the world I can try f16 even. My only concern is I don't believe this enlarger has a 645 carrier.. I might have to fab one up from card stock. That is what most worries me.
Mine came only with a 35mm carrier.
 
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grokglock

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Well I received the enlarger and unfortunately its missing the lenses. does anyone know what lens mount this enlarger uses?
 

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