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Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by tikal, Jun 14, 2011.
What would you say is the best enlarger for black and white 6x6 negatives?
I don't about "the best" but I have an Omega D-2 and D-II. They are great.
I like my B-22, particularly because it easy to move since I don't have permanent darkroom. It is a single column enlarger that easily detaches from the base and isn't heavy at all. 6x6 is the largest negative a B-22 will accommodate. The only other enlarger I have used is a motorized Beseler 45 with a color head. Nice enlarger but huge.
Lens will matter more. As far as the enlarger goes, all that matters is that it be straight and rigid, i.e. not vibration-prone. Try to get one with a dovetail column and not a circular post as the latter can be quite flexible. LPL6700 and 7700 are pretty common, affordable and rigid.
The best is the one with the tall column so that you can print a 20x20 - 24x24" print on an easel, a Componon-S lens, glass and glassless neg carriers for your film sizes, found within driving distance and costs less than $100. Oh and comes with a colour head as well.
So where in the world do you live? Makes a difference in recommending a specific model.
How much room do you have? Used 4x5 enlargers are somewhat oversized, but if not worn out, can be a treat to use.
Welcome to APUG.
Your question is most likely impossible to answer, but there are lots of good answers to the similar question:
"What would be a very good enlarger for black and white 6x6 negatives?".
From another thread, I take it you are in San Diego, California. Both Beseler and Omega enlargers have a number of good models and their availability (including parts and accessories) should be good where you are. There are other good choices as well. I'd suggest looking through sources like eBay and Craigslist and any used photographic equipment retailers near you, and seek opinions here about anything you find.
Personally, I have had decades of good service from a Beseler 67C, and recently have enjoyed using an Omega D6. A Beseler 23C series enlarger is also a good choice.
EDIT: I realize now that the San Diego location actually referred to another member.
Omega C700 is a good condenser enlarger at a very affordable price, I have one at home. Its very light and portable if you plan to do bathroom enlarging.
I use on a daily basis LPL/Saunders 6700(diachronic) and 6600(vc) series enlargers which are diffusion. These have great build quality, so good that I picked up a lpl 670xl(slightly higher end) for myself when one was available at the right price. And these can take the abuse, you find them in universities or community darkrooms.
If you are doing exclusively 6x6 pick up a nice bright 75/80mm lens, that is the most critical part of any enlarger.
Another vote for Omega C-700 for light weight and stability. If you can leave it set up all the time then a Beseler 23C series is great. These are beasts to move though, very large and heavy, rigid, and once set up properly, dead accurate.
I'd say one that you have and that works. Good lens and a timer that is accurate.
Thanks guys I really appreciate all your comments. Anyone know where to get C41 chemicals in Montreal?
Another vote for the C-700
I am extremely satisfied with my LPL VC7700 VCCE. For 35 mm negatives I use the Rodenstoch Apo-Rodagon 2.8/50 mm and for 6x6 negatives I use the Rodenstock 4.0/80 mm. The buildt in filters are a pleasure to work with and the the rig is very stable. Height ajustment is very easy as the weight of the enlarger head is counter balanced by a spring. The light is diffuse and very evenly distributed so you get very good sharpness with minimal dust problems.
Fred Picker used to say the best enlarger for 35mm was the Zone VI 5x7 enlarger. What he meant of course is that well made large format enlargers are best for any smaller format as they tend to be much more stable. I've used Omega DII's mostly over the years usually with a Chromega color head for B&W. I presently have 2 D2V's to go into my upcoming darkroom and will use them for every thing up to 4X5. So I vote for the old tank Omega D2.