Any opinions on Saunders/LPL 670CXL enlarger?

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Lee Shively

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Any opinions on Omega/Saunders/LPL 670CXL enlarger?

I have a tiny darkroom with a low ceiling and limited workspace. Although I'm strictly an amateur, I've started upgrading my equipment to try to improve efficiency. Right now I'm using a Leitz Valoy for 35mm and an Omega C700 for 6x4.5 and 6x6. The Valoy is capable of producing excellent prints from 35mm negs but it's a pain to use, especially with VC filters (no filter drawer). The Omega is okay but it has a number of limitations in use that can be a pain as well. I've done a little modification to both enlargers to improve them but now I'm thinking of buying one enlarger to replace them both. I'm used to processing my negatives to print best with condenser enlargers so that's what I'm looking for. The Omega/Saunders/LPL 670CXL is within my price range and will fit in the space I have without going through the ceiling. I know nothing about its reputation for print quality or reliability. Does anyone have any experience with this enlarger?
 
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Ian Grant

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LPL enlargers are fine perhaps not quite a sturdy as Durst, but are wel made ang good value for money. Choice of lens makes just as much of a differance.

But why not get a colour head model your current negs will be fine and you hardly need to change your processing. Then you just dial in the filtration. Other advantages are far less problems with dust or small scratches on negs. I switched about 18 years ago adding a colour head to my Durst and would never go back.
 

waynecrider

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There was a pretty good deal on a color head model over in Photonet just a day or so ago. I got mine thru Ebay just recently and am looking forward to using it.
 
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Lee Shively

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The LPL comes in a variable contrast model and a dichro model. I considered the VC model but it's out of my price range in the new market--don't know about used. My past experience with color enlargers for black and white was not pleasant. I had a Fujimoto that was given to me by a friend who had never used it. I used it for about a year and never made more than a handful of prints I thought looked decent. The results from the old Valoy are much better despite the hassle in using VC filters. I'll look into the Durst as well.
 

tbm

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I started the resumption of my darkroom work three years ago with the Omega/Saunders/LPL 670CXL enlarger and it worked beautifully in every aspect except for one: when I needed to change the Ilford filter in the filter drawer to another grade during buring in sections of a print, the enlarger head would swivel from right to left, forcing me to start all over again in making the print. Thus, changing filters while making a print was a nightmare. I recently bought the Saunders MXL dichroic enlarger from someone via e-Bay and its filter dials are a wonderful replacement for the horrid filter drawer scenario. Nevertheless, the Omega/Saunders enlargers are otherwise a delight!
 

brimc76

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I had the LPL 670 DXL for a few years and printed B&W on it without any trouble. It was a good sturdy enlarger, very reliable, and with the right lens combination I'm sure you will enjoy it. I only switched recently because I wanted something for 4x5 and didn't want to keep both enlargers.
 

hortense

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Enlarger Height

Here is a suggestion regarding limitations for enlarger height posed by your ceiling. Mound your enlarger on the wall (into a stud or cross-piece across two studs). Now, you can cut your enlarging bench so you can have a drop-leaf arrangement. That is to say, place runners down the side of the oppenning so you can take the top and situate it down as far as you need for big enlargements. Only problem might be if you have back back that doesn't bend well.
 

raucousimages

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I use an LPL 4500 and have had no problems at all. I love the brand but no matter how good the enlarger don't cheat yourself on the lenses. A fair enlarger with great glass is better than the best enlarger made with poor lenses. I switched all of my lenses (50,80,150,300) to rodagons two years ago, it was the best single equiptment purchase I made for my darkroom.
 
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