New to all this...and an Opemus 5 in the middle

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by hoakin1981, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. hoakin1981

    hoakin1981 Member

    Feb 26, 2014
    Athens, Gree
    Multi Format
    As said, new to film photography and eager to do my own printing. As already guessed, I have about 100 questions and I am not really sure where to start but I will give it a try

    So, a guy in a "local" forum has for sale the below kit:

    1. Opemus 5 enlarger
    2. Meochrom 2 head or whatever this is called
    3. 50mm f3.5 3-elements lens
    4. Power supply & volt stabilizer
    5. A 24x30cm (I think) wooden plate on the bottom have no idea how this is called.
    6. Condenser

    The price asked is 100 Eur so It is somewhat affordable.

    What I would like to achieve is basically to be able to print in B&W as well as color negatives 135 and 6x45. So my questions:

    1. What do you think of the asked price, is it a good deal?
    2. Is this kit enough to do what I want strictly hardware wise? (I mean not counting chemicals, papers, clamps, water basins etc.)
    3. Could I also possibly print slides? Like Velvia 50 for example?
    4. Does this hardware need/have any kind of maintenance?
    5. Are there any "supplies" needed? I think a lamp needs changing perhaps?
    6. If indeed supplies are needed can they still be found?
    7. What about in the future, any guesses whether they will still be around?

    Thanks in advance for all the help, much appreciated.
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Multi Format
    Dont know about the price, but the lens should be replaced with 4, 5, or 6 element lens. To pring 6X6.5 you need a 75mm or 80mm lens. All enlargers need to kept in alingment, some of the moving parts can become worn out. Is the head a color head? If yes can print from negatives, to print from a slide you would need to make an internegative of some sort, direct positive paper is no longer being make. Without a color head you need a set of color printing filters.
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Jan 2, 2005
    North East U.S.
    Multi Format
    From what I can tell, that enlarger can take up to 6x6 negatives, so you will be partly there for 6x4.5. As PDH mentioned, you will need a longer lens for the larger negatives. The lens it has may not be the best quality, but it is likely good enough to get you started. High quality lenses are still fairly easy to obtain, though perhaps not cheaply.
    The Meochrom head looks to be a color head, which is useful for B&W and color negatives. The yellow and magenta filters of the color head allow you to print on variable contrast B&W papers without any other filters.
    But, as stated, you won't be able to print color slides because the materials for that are not available.
    The lamp for the enlarger should be available still, but much depends on the specific lamp it uses.
    The wooden base of the enlarger is called the "baseboard", on it you need an easel or printing frame to hold your paper.
    The additional stuff you would need would be trays of some sort to hold the chemistry, an easel, a longer lens for your 645 negs a safe-light so that you can see, and chemistry.
    If you were in the U.S. you could probably do better than that price, but I don't know what the market is like there.
    Many small enlargers do not get a lot of use, so they are often in good condition. But it would be good if it has its instruction manual. You would want to make sure it has negative carriers for all the film formats you would use. You would also want to make sure that there is no hardware missing, though basic screws and bolts are generally easy to replace. But any brackets or other bits that are specific to the enlarger could be very difficult to find.

    Ilford has some good information available on how to get started with darkroom printing.
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Apr 3, 2004
    Aurora, Il
    Multi Format
    Along w/bdials suggestions.
    Make sure it's got the carriers and make sure the power supply and V stabilizer work. Without them you're up a creek w/o a paddle. If the thing takes 39mm mount lenses those are easy.
  5. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Durban, Sout
    I own an Opemus 5 with Meochrom 2 head. It's a very servicable enlarger for neg sizes up to 6x6. Not beautiful or mechanically sophisticated, but sturdy and reasonably well built.

    The Meochrom 2 is a colour head, which can be used either for colour printing or to control the contrast when using variable contrast B&W papers, which is VERY useful.

    The wooden plate is called the baseboard. Mine measures approx 40 x 55cm.

    The 50mm 3-element lens will work for 35mm but not for 6x4.5 which requires a 75-90mm lens. In any case 3-element lenses aren't good, so you will want a better lens for 35mm too.

    The Opemus 5 comes with different lens boards - the standard 39mm screw thread which will take a huge number of good lenses, and one with about a 23mm thread for which you nay struggle to find good lenses.

    Although you can manage without an easel, life is much nicer with one. So perhaps add a second hand easel - even a cheap 2-blade 8x10 easel - to your shopping list. Also you will need negative holders for 35mm and 6x4.5 negs.

    One nice feature of the Opemus 5 is that it has a split line focusser - a bit like on a rangefinder camera - which means you can get by without a grain focusser. Personally I prefer the grain focusser, but its certainly useable without one.

    Not much maintenance. Regular light dusting and occasional oiling of moving parts is all mine gets.

    I use a Philips type 13139 bulb in mine. I didn't have much difficulty ordering by mail order from the US a couple of yesrs ago but ordered some spares in case they become hard to find in future.

    As far as printing slides goes the enlarger is capable but I don't know whether there are any positive colour papers and chemicals available these days.

    I can't really comment on the price as I don't know your market.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. I'm very happy with my Opemus 5.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2014
  6. janalwin

    janalwin Member

    Mar 18, 2011
    Stedum, Gron
    Medium Format
    I think the price is a bit high.

    I bought several Opemus 5 enlargers for around 3 euros here in Holland. People really want to get rid of those things taking room in the attic since the 1980s.
    These were without meochrom head. But I never see bids on Opemus 5 enlargers with meochrom on our local ebay (

    50 mm 3-element lenses aren't worth much anymore. Almost everyone buys a 6-element lens these days (Rodenstock Rodagon, Schneider Companon, Meopta Meogon) and they cost between 40 and 70 euros.
    I tried selling a very nice looking Rodenstock Rogonar 3-element lens once that I bought at a thrift store for under 5 euros. I didn't get any bids. It's still in a box somewhere.

    Maybe the voltage stablizer is worth the money. Do you need one in Greece?

    The Meopta Opemuses are nice enlargers but they were very common in the 70s and 80s in Europe.
  7. MartinP

    MartinP Subscriber

    Jun 23, 2007
    Medium Format
    If that was in Holland the price would indeed be a little high - we seem to have a lot of good Meopta enlargers all over the place here! An Opemus 5 was my first serious enlarger, when growing up in UK, and I use an Opemus 6 Super for colour work now. They are robustly made from zinc-alloy diecastings, have an excellent negative carrier and very good overall quality. Many spares are still available from, for example, Fotoimpex in Germany.

    The electrical system is very simple so, if the original one ever gives a problem, the transformer can be replaced with any suitably rated model as used for halogen showroom-lighting. So far as I'm aware the original transformers have no quality problem but for some more exotic colour-heads a broken transformer would not be replaceable, so keeping it simple is a good thing here. Check what sort of bulb is needed for the head as availability of that would most likely be the only limiting factor (leaving aside the price and the supplied lens).