Larger enlarger needed

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jayd, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Jayd

    Jayd Subscriber

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    I have a M600 which is a great enlarger for formats up to 6x6 CM
    The Durst strong points: sturdy compact construction, light tight cans rather than bellows so no worries about bellows deterioration, they take generic medium base coated screw in bulbs, are very light efficient I even put a dimmer on mine so I could lessen the light output, and the filter drawer is right up front.
    I have and have been spoiled by the Durst M600's sturdy compact high efficiency design but I have finally made it to real medium format 6x7 and need bigger capacity up to 6x9 preferably but I could live with 6x7 since I will proabably never get a 6x9. With the ever-increasing scarcity of labs doing film and the lower cost of used enlargers I'm thinking of color as well as B&W.
    Unfortunately I don't know the goods and bads about the enlargers I have been looking at The Bessler 67 series, The Chromega, and the Durst, any others? I left out the Bessler 23 series because I just don't like the huge size and erecto set appearance. I have to admit I don't even know if diffusion or condenser is better and for a certain model do I need a set of condensers or something else to do the formats I want: 110, 35mm and 6x7 maybe 6x9, I do know one needs a 50mm and 75mm lens and lens boards and negative carriers but that is all.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  2. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I use Beseler 23's on an almost daily basis. They're great enlargers, and we have about 15 of them in the school darkroom. You may just want to make the jump to a 4x5 enlarger but that may be too big for the space you have. Another enlarger to look at if you're only look to do up to 6x7 is the Philips PCS 130/150. If you have the 150 head you can also do color enlargements, and they have a similar form to the Durst you own. The only complaints I have is that it's hard to find lensboards for them and you need different condenser sets for larger format which can also be rare.

    Hope you find an enlarger you love!
     
  3. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Since you have already experienced the wonderful Durst enlargers, I don't think you will be happy with anything other than a Durst. A Durst L1200 with a Dichro head will enlarge any size neg up to 4x5. You will never need another.
     
  4. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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  5. kiku

    kiku Subscriber

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    Why is 6x7 "real medium format' versus 6x6? Kiku
     
  6. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    It is a religious issue :cool:
     
  7. OP
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    Jayd

    Jayd Subscriber

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    Why 6x7

    Well KiKu it's a combonation of things: first is I was trained to shoot and print without croping and I still prefer as little post camera editing as possible. Combine that with my strong dislike for square images (feeling they look un natural),the small size of 645, So I think of 6x7 as the beginging of real medium format with 6x9 being the ideal meduim format.
    I have racked my brain over and over trying to think of a way to covert the Koni Omega to 6X9 or even 8 but it just isn't possible. so maybe someday I can afford a Linhof, Fuji, Maymia or Graflex XL wich will do 6x9.

    Jay
     
  8. OP
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    Jayd

    Jayd Subscriber

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    I should have mentioned I am in the Midwest part of the USA.
    Jay
     
  9. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    If you have looked on U.S. eBay, you probably already know that it is easier to find negative carriers, lensboards and other accessories for Omega and Beseler enlargers. But if you are really sold on Dursts, by all means hold out for one.
     
  10. Simplicius

    Simplicius Member

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    Having used a Durst M600 I can safely say that I don't miss it one bit, I have a Kaiser VPM 9005 System V. Goes up to 6x9 and is superb. I'd suggest you try to locate one of those. The multi-Contrast head is so easy to use and also if you are shopping for one, shop for the 1.5 metre column. and they are still in busines and you can buy parts. I have picked up 4 neg carriers now so i don't need to swop out masks for 35mm, 6x6, 6x7 & 6x9.
     
  11. Simplicius

    Simplicius Member

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    pick yourself up a Zeiss Super Ikonta C folder - super lens, razor sharp and a cheap (€200) intro into 6x9. and fits in a big pocket of a coat! Especially if you are a landscape lover, you can stop this down on a tripod and only the sharpest eyes with inbuilt special APUG corneal implants would spot any lack of sharpness.:tongue:. 99% of people would just go wow.
     
  12. OP
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    Jayd

    Jayd Subscriber

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    I sure wish that Durst M805 was near by, shipping from denmark would be a bit expensive.
    There is a bessler advertised as a 670 in my area I think from the pictures it's 67 color head. I wish I knew more about them ? does it take diffrent condensers for small format and meduim format ? if so are they and the carriers for 110,35mm and 6X7, 6x9 easy and not to expensive to get ,and lens boards ? Anyone a Bessler 67 expert ?
    Jay
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I am a Beseler kind of guys. I have used a 67CS, two 23CII, a 45M and now the CB7. So far the CB7 is best.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I bought my Beseler 67 about 30 or so years ago, and it still works well for me. I use it for everything between from 35mm through 6x4.5, 6x6 and 6x7, although I actually have a carrier for 110 film.

    For the last couple of years I have been using a dichroic colour head for VC black and white, but for most of the time I just used a condenser head and filters.

    If you are using a condenser head, all necessary condensers are included.

    If you use a dichroic colour head, there are two different mixing boxes - a 6x7 that can be used for all formats, and a 35mm mixing box that will give you shorter exposure times for 35mm and smaller.

    They have, over the years, come in a number of configurations (single small column, single large/massive column, double column) and the dichroic heads have varied over the years (some have built in voltage regulators, while others require a separate voltage regulator).

    They take their own lens boards, and negative carriers, but they are both available new, and relatively easy to find used (although certainly not as plentiful as the 23C accessories), because they have stayed the same throughout the years.

    The bulbs are fairly standard and available, but they are special purpose bulbs.

    Beseler still manufacture them, and you can actually talk to them:

    http://www.beselerphoto.com/

    I recommend them to anyone who is in North America, and is happy with a maximum negative size of 6x7.

    This looks to be an okay deal:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/Beseler-Dichro-67s-67-s-Film-Enlarger-w-extras_W0QQitemZ190282654386QQihZ009QQcategoryZ29985QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Matt
     
  15. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Another vote for the L1200. I use one with a VLS501 Multigrade head. Its a real pain for 35mm but for 6x7 and bigger it is a joy to use. I have mine connected to an RH designs fstop timer.
     
  16. OP
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    Jayd

    Jayd Subscriber

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    Haven't bought one yet but I am learning, the avalible information is not very good but it seems there is no one enlarger that does all things well.
    From what I can find on manufacturer's sites and blogs it apears that color enlargers use difusion light and you have to have condenser light for high quality B&W. Now you can buy enlargers that use the same carriage but allow you to switch heads. and the multigrade enlargers have the filters for multigrade paper built in like the filters for color. Can anyone explain why a color enlarger set to white light would not produce enough contrast ?
    From what I read the only way to get B&W prints using a color head is to way over develope the film or use grade 4 paper both of which are going to unaccepatably compress the tonal range.
    Jay
     
  17. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Jay,
    I think that anyone who says that you can only get high quality BW with a condenser enlarger is just trying to sell you one. Both condenser and diffusion enlargers will give excellent quality prints. A condenser enlarger generally speaking requires a softer negative to give the same results; but requires meticulous cleanliness as far as dust is concerned, as every little speck will show up on the print. A diffusion enlarger is more forgiving in that regard. With a colour head, you can use the filtration for using variable contrast papers with the contrast ranges they deliver. A normally exposed and processed negative will give you excellent prints either with variable contrast or graded papers.