What enlargers to look for at 4x5

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by matti, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. matti

    matti Member

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    My Durst 138 sure has been good to me. But since we live in a small house and the kids sometimes try to kill each other, having to live in the same room, I think I need to do some compromises. So I will let the washing machine move into the darkroom. Plus is, I get water to wash prints etc. Bad thing is possible dust and that the Durst 138 becomes a bit too big for the room. But since I have one 4x5 and one 8x10 (for contact printing), I don't really need to be able to print 5x7 negs.

    So: What should I look for as a slightly smaller replacement? I really want something really good, like my old Durst 138.

    A Durst Laborator 1000 or 1200 seems to pop up quite often here. I think I want a condensor head, but that is just because I am curious, since I never used one :smile: Are they the same quality as the 138?

    Any other 4x5 enlargers to look for?

    /matti
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  3. mono

    mono Subscriber

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  4. Dave Dawson

    Dave Dawson Member

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    DE VERE 504 every time
     
  5. OP
    OP
    matti

    matti Member

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    Are Durst L1000 and L1200 similar?

    /matti
     
  6. gary mulder

    gary mulder Member

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    No

    go for the L1200
     
  7. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    For B&W, LPL VCCE, constant exposure regardless of contrast filtering...Evan Clarke
     
  8. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    And to make it more confusing: Omega D (version......)

    Peter
     
  9. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Another vote for the L1200. Mine has the VLS501 VC head. Out of personal experience I would not be able to recommend the multigraph head.
     
  10. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    Why condensor? I really appreciate my L1200 with a VC head for BW. At times you can fine-tune with an 1/8 of a grade adjustment. Of course, these heads may be hard to find.
     
  11. OP
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    matti

    matti Member

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    Thanks for all the opinions. Sounds like L1200 gets the votes and noone in favor of L1000. I'll keep looking for a good deal. There are some out now that are just a bit too expensive.
    About condensor: I just think it would be interesting to see if it would be possible to cram any more sharpness out of the negatives. Maybe it won't make any difference.
    /matti
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another fly in the ointment which may or may not be an option for you, living in Sweden - Beseler 45Mxxx series enlargers.

    Here in the US anyway, they are cheap, readily available, have a veritable cornucopia of accessories from flat, recessed and extension lensboards to negative carriers for just about every format from 110 to 4x5 (glassed and glassless). Dichro heads, VC heads, and condenser heads are all available. I have one in my darkroom, and although I almost never enlarge anymore, it has been terrific and I won't get rid of it.
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    In the mid 1970s I bought a used Beseler 45 MCRX from on old retiring photographer. I have had it in action ever since. In 1990 I decided to start doing custom lab work and bought a brand new Beseler 45 because my old one was really old and had been heavily used and I was afraid the motor might give out one day. Now I still do custom lab work and have put who knows how many hours on the old enlarger. I have gone through 2 Aristo VC Cold light heads with it. The new one I bought 19 years ago is still in storage waiting for the old one to give out. I am pretty sure I will give out before the old enlarge does.
    Sharp corner to corner still.
     
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  15. OP
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    matti

    matti Member

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    This was quick... I thought I was buying this sometime this spring but just made arrangements to buy a Durst L1200 tomorrow with color head, probably 450 don't remember. All three mixing boxes, power supply, neg carrier with anti-newton glass, wall hanging attachments, a big box of other stuff, like lenses I don't need etc. All at a good price. (Of course another grain focuser might make me sleep better...)

    So: Should I look at anything special with this enlarger?
    Also: Is there a good way to dismantle it to fit inside a Volvo V40?

    thanks all

    /matti
     
  16. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    You cannot take the base of the head off the column. You can only take off the base board, and remove the color head from the base. Be aware of the strength of the spring on the back of the column!!! It is quite powerful and the locking mechanism will not hold the base of the head in place, once you take weight off or tilt the column sideways!!! It will move to the top of the column.
    Make sure the head and baseboard are in good alignment, if you use the baseboard. I have not found a way to adjust alignment other than 'left to right', but not 'front to back'. I guess no problem, if you mount to the wall.
    Stefan
     
  17. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    You should check to ensure that none of. the cogs in the column (where the gears that raise and lower the head mesh) are chipped or missing. Also, Stefan is totally right about the spring strength. To avoid damage in transport you may want to gently strap the head to the base (not enough to misalign it, mind you, just some added downward pressure) to avoid it flying up if you have to tilt it sideways.
     
  18. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    Actually, take off the color head, then raise the base (negative stage) to it's top position (ceiling height permitting!!!). Then there won't be any surprises.
     
  19. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    L1200
     
  20. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    Another vote for De Vere 504
     
  21. Curt

    Curt Member

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    I have a Durst 138 without a head standing outside my darkroom. I use a Beseler 45MCRX and for 4x5 on down it's a good buy. The size is right for a medium sized space too. If I ever get a head for the 138 I'll move it in but I won't part with the Beseler.

    A major consideration is accessories like lensboards, negative carriers etc.. With the Beseler they are abundant and reasonably priced.
     
  22. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    And another vote for De Vere 504
     
  23. slumry

    slumry Member

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    LPL 4550, any of various models and configurations. Still making them and you can easily get parts and even service, especially in Canada. B&H even sells them. However, I doubt that this is sold in Europe.
     
  24. du a gwyn

    du a gwyn Member

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    which enlarger

    if you are tight for space i would go for the lpl,fantastic piece of kit.i have a de ver 203, and the 507,and used to have the lpl.hope this help's.
     
  25. Paul.

    Paul. Member

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    Yet another vote for DeVere 405

    Paul.
     
  26. jp80874

    jp80874 Member

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    Do not let your wife see my return address. Now before you give, sell, or throw away the 138, may I ask you to think how you would feel about enlarging your 8x10s to say 16x20 inches or 20x24?

    Go to my gallery and see two pictures of the 138 with an Aristo 12x12 inch cold light head. You can go much larger than 20x24. That is a limitation imposed by my sink and tray arrangement. Stacked trays or one tray fill and dump would allow larger prints.

    The 138 with cold light head and filters allows you to contact print larger formats, 7x17 in my case, on variable contrast fiber paper. I like Kentmere Fineprint VCFB. Just another temptation. Do not tell your wife where I live.

    The washer in the dark room probably would not add much dust. The dryer in the darkroom will.

    John Powers