Enlarger choices

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
177,076
Messages
2,429,053
Members
94,123
Latest member
Munky
Recent bookmarks
2

Curtis Nelson

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
21
Location
Lehi, UT
Shooter
4x5 Format
Hi,

What are my choices for an enlarger that handles 4x5 negatives? I know the Beseler 45 and Omega D-2, but are there others?

Curtis
 
OP
OP

Curtis Nelson

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
21
Location
Lehi, UT
Shooter
4x5 Format
Donald,

Thanks for the replies. I guess what I'm looking for are exact model numbers, so as I sift through the stuff on eBay I'll know what I'm looking for.

Curtis
 

Alex Hawley

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
2,893
Location
Kansas, USA
Shooter
Large Format
Any of the four brands mentioned will do the job Curtis. Actually, the typical descriptions on E-Bay listings are a good source for seeing what features each model has.
 

jp80874

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
3,488
Location
Bath, OH 442
Shooter
ULarge Format
Curtis,

Several of us have been talking in another thread about the
Saunders/LPL 4550XLG Enlarger ( 1 2 )
Ron Musick just bought one and was asking questions about start up. Everyone commenting was happy with the enlarger including me.

Of the possible types to consider, this is a variable contrast which as you may know means you can dial in the contrast rather than change filters.

Good luck.

John Powers
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,082
Location
Portland, Or
Shooter
Large Format
Are you looking for color or b&w. Condensor or defused light? My personal choice is Omegas.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
1,095
Location
Fond du Lac, WI
Shooter
Multi Format
I have and recommend a De Vere 504 enlarger with a color head. These are _very_ well built, and they are still in production. Hence, you can get manuals, parts... The controls for raising/lower the head and for changing focus are right below the baseboard.
 

Loose Gravel

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
928
Location
Santa Barbar
Chevy/Ford? Omega/Beseler? The basic enlarger is just a box with a light. Make sure that whatever you get, you can align it.

I have 2 Beseler 45Ms for BW work. There are lots of these around. I use one for 35mm and 6x7 in the condenser mode. I use one with an 8x10 cold light which is nice for this gives me much more even illumination than a 4x5 coldlight. It also made the jump from 4x5 to larger sizes easier.

Also, consider size and how much room you have.
 

raucousimages

Member
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
825
Location
Salt Lake
Shooter
Large Format
I was trained on an omega I now use a saunders 4500 VCCE for 4x5 and a antique elwood for 8x10 and my children use a Vivitar VI all fitted with Rodenstock Rodagon lenses. I have also used Beseler and De Vere, They will all do the job but dont cheat yourself on the lens, Buy the best you can. Any enlarger with a bad lens is a bad enlarger
 

Bob Carnie

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 18, 2004
Messages
7,734
Location
toronto
Shooter
Med. Format RF
I agree with loose gravel

As long as you can align the enlarger I think , durst,deveere, omega , saunders are all good tools.
I do prefer omega condensor , as they are very easy to align and very adaptable for parts and different heads.
For specific printing techniques , changing the filters in the head is a piece of cake to do.
 

argon

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
7
Shooter
Medium Format
I think that the reason why Besselers and Omegas are so preeminent is because of the volume of accessories that are readily and reasonably $ available. I had a Durst for a while and the cost of acquiring any extra neg carriers or parts was just killing. I traded it for a Besseler and have been able to find and afford almost all of the neg carriers that I need.

best

argon
 

doc4x5

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Messages
33
Location
Portland, Or
Shooter
4x5 Format
Each model has strengths and weaknesses. Read forums, talk to local folks if there's a group of LF devotees in your area. If you print B&W variable contrast, consider a dichroic head for its infinite variability of adjustment for current and future papers. I have used a Beseler 45 for 20 years but still am occasionally frustrated (more so since Bruce Barnbaum pointed them out at a recent workshop) with the need to refocus often, (when you open the negative stage it drops down, rather than remaining rigidly fixed), and the focusing track getting in the way of burning and dodging tools. Bruce touts the Saunders and I am certain it's terrific. At this time though I choose to spend my resources on film, paper, chemistry and travel. If I win the lottery though... (do I REALLY have to buy a ticket to win?)
 

Will S

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
716
Location
Madison, Wis
Shooter
8x10 Format
Bob Carnie said:
I agree with loose gravel

As long as you can align the enlarger I think , durst,deveere, omega , saunders are all good tools.
I do prefer omega condensor , as they are very easy to align and very adaptable for parts and different heads.
For specific printing techniques , changing the filters in the head is a piece of cake to do.

I've never aligned my D2V condensor. Does anyone know someplace I can get instructions? I know that Harry has a tool at classic-enlargers.com, but I seem to remember that it is a bit pricey.

When I was researching 4x5 enlargers I decided on the Saunders, but got a great deal on the Omega and I have been very happy with it.

Thanks,

Will
 

Charles Webb

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
1,725
Location
Colorfull, C
Shooter
Multi Format
For what it is worth, I have used both the Omega D series and the Besseler
Mx? 4x5 for more than 40 years, Have no complaints with either when properely aligned and fit with the best glass possible. The Besseler may be a bit less inclined to move/viberate/shake when an airplane flies over than the D2 due to the double frame system holding up the head. I have my D2 tied to the wall with lite cable (motorcycle throttle/brake cabel) and turnbuckles.
Takes a pretty good thump to move it. Know nothing of the newer models, I assume they are excellent, but in my 40 years I have found nothing wrong with Besseler even though my preference is the 4x5 Omegas. I personally would not buy a condensor head when the color heads and cold lights work so much more efficient and better for me personally. Many people love
condensors, I swear at em! Years of using them has caused me to make such a statement. :smile:
 

Ole

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
Messages
9,250
Location
Bergen, Norway
Shooter
Large Format
I use a Durst 138S with condensors. Overkill for 4x5 and smaller, but a really nice piece of equipment. Rock solid, no electronics (thus no "artificial stupidity"), and everything stays in place. I was lucky enough to get four negative holders with it, two with glass and two without, as well as six extra glasses. I also got a CLS200 colour head, but without a power supply. So I'm just using the condensors.
 

removed account4

Subscriber
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
29,853
Shooter
Hybrid
hi curtis

if i could do it all over again, there is a chance that i would buy a 8-10 enlarger from the start. there is a chance that you will have the same sickness it seems most people get when they are doing 4x5 camera-work, that is they keep getting larger and larger format cameras, until they don't need an enlarger anymore and just do contact printing --- that is unless you are tom yanul :smile: http://hometown.aol.com/ yanulpan/lab.html.

i started off doing labwork for someone that shot 5x7 b&w exclusively and when i bought my first LF camera it was a 4x5. now, almost 20 years later, i have a 4x5 enlarger and a 5x7 enlarger, and i shoot negatives & paper up to 8x10. if it matters at all, i have a omega d3v (military contract) with extra large condensors ( can take 6" film ) i can use for formats between 8mm & 6x6", and another omega ( E4 ) that i can enlarge full sheets of 4x5 film ( and show those funky edged on a sheet of polaroid #55 film ) all the way to 5x7" format. the omega isn't the diffused "solar" enlarger that i was trained on, but just the same i don't have to search evilbay for bulbs.

good luck figuring out what you can fit in your darkroom, i have a feeling that will be the deciding factor (since enlargers are dirt cheap these days), so you will have room to grow ...

-john
 

Claire Senft

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
3,239
Location
Milwaukee, W
Shooter
35mm
I vote for Ebay and Durst.

Although i could never have afforded my Durst S45 if not for fools rushing to digital I have been completely satisfied with it. there is ussually a Durst s45 or L138S listed on Ebay. These items are usually sold with a good range of accessories. Accessories are also regularly available on Ebay. These are large floorstanding enlargers and are about 7 + feet taal. Make sure it will clear the ceiling where it will be placed. Most of the time you will be required to pick it up as the seller will not want to ship it. They are very heavy but can be taken apart into 3 major pieces. If your experience is like mine you will never again waste 1 minute aligning an elarger. These enlargers are a sheer joy with which to work.
 

tomishakishi2

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Messages
40
Shooter
Multi Format
I have Devere and Durst. The Durst is well built but IMHO less instinctive than the Devere, which has build second to none. As well as condenser and Diffusion, you should also consider whether you want wall mounted, table top or free standing. IMHO wall mounted is better (often cheaper and certainly smaller) if you have solid walls to tap into. No vibration from the floor/bench and any vibration from a knock disappears almost instantly unlike floor/desk mounted enlargers. My huge Devere 10x8 will still be tethered to the wall at the top when I get round to it for extra stability.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford Photo ADOX Freestyle Photographic Photo Warehouse Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom