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Enlargers

 
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weemster



Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently made the move to large format with a crown graphic. Can I convert my Beseler 23 series enlarger to work with 4x5 negs or am I looking at having to invest in another enlarger?

If another enlarger is needed, what are my options considering im on a limited budget?

Thanks
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep your eye on ebay for a Beseler 45M. The prices seem to be going down lately. Many of your accessories, such as lens boards, also work with the 45 series. Negative carriers are larger, however.

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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mention to people locally you're interested in a 4x5 or bigger enlarger. Maybe you'll get lucky. Lots of 4x5 models being sold for relative peanuts but the things tend to be big and heavy. The cost of shipping one will add up. Personally I'd just look for a good deal on a fully working item. I doubt worrying about make and model makes a lot of sense if you're buying used. I know the enlarger I'd love but nothing wrong with the one I have. It exposes paper just fine. The only thing I'd suggest decide in advance if you're a B&W only person or if you want a colour head.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't worked with the Beseler model you mention, but I suspect you can't modify it for 4X5. The difficulty is the diameter of the head; if it isn't rather wider than six inches, you won't be able to devise a negative carrier that will fit. And, if you work with a condenser, you'd need to find a larger one.

If you have any camera stores catering to the commercial/professional trade in your area, I agree that asking them what's available in used 4x5 enlargers probably is the best way to go. That size seldom appears on eBay; often, when they do, the seller specifies that the winner has to come and pick up the instrument. (I've been looking for a 4x5 Federal for years, and haven't found one yet.)

Alternatively, you might seek out a "Graflarger" back and stand. They're limited to black and white work, and they impart some peculiarities to that, but they are quite compact (except for the stand, which you can also use for copy work), and efficient.
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sobahguy



Joined: 09 Oct 2001
Posts: 171
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, i've been using an Omega D2 that I picked up from a used camera dealer in Southern New Hampshire for $155.00. It's a big beast of a thing, circa 1955, but after a good bath and alot of TLC and help from Harry at classic-enlargers.com the enlarger works like a champ. I only use it for 4x5 negs as I have a Beseler 23CII for 35mm-6x6-6x7-6x9. The only other semi-serious expense I've but into the D2 was replacing the original Wolly Raptar 135mm with a new 6-element Rodagon (per Harry Taylor's suggestion). I also picked up a 6x7 neg carrier for it as well before I got the Beseler.

Before I got the D2, I had thought about doing the negs wet, then getting a scanner & working with digital but I am not all that photoshop/computer literate. And the D2 was a good financial deal at the time, less than going digital and having to conquer a LONG learning curve.

Perhaps I will go the scanner route in time. I am sure there must be followers of these boards who have some 4x5 scanning & printing experience...can anyone recommend a good affordable scanner and printer for just my usual cache of B&W 4x5 & MF negs??

Thanks in advance for considering my question.

[ This Message was edited by: sobahguy on 2004-04-22 10:36 ]
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a few 4x5's are ******* on Ebay. Omegas,Besellers or Durst. You'll even see the odd Devere. All these tend to be older but even some of the newer models show up. Older isn't much of an issue [my newest enlarger is at least 25 years old]. The problem is these things can be very heavy and making sure the seller knows enough to tell you if it's complete or if you're buying a box of spare parts.

My Durst came from an Ebay sale but the seller is just down the street and an enlarger repair shop so they know the difference between a light bulb and a hole in the ground. It's heavy enough that having it shipped across the country would have really raised the cost. If it had been bad shipping it back would have been worse.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try to find one locally; as others have pointed out having one shipped is not the best way to go. They appear with some degree of regularity around my area, and some of them can be great deals. All the ones I have seen are Besler 45's and Omega D2 or D2V's. Of the Omegas, the D2V (variable condenser) is the better. I have had one of these for over 30 years and love it.

Whatever you get, try to find one that is COMPLETE. If you have to buy lens boards, mounting cones, or carriers the cost will skyrocket as these pieces are expensive (typically $75~100 each). I believe that you can get anything you need for either the Besler or the Omegas, new, but try to minimize the things you have to buy.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For "sobahguy": Shutterbug magazine has very thorough reviews of the latest digital equipment (scanners, printers, software). I purchased my set-up based on their reviews. None of these are current (new stuff is always announced the day after you bought), but I have an Epson 1600 Expression flat-bed scanner with transparency unit and firewire, and an Epson 1270 printer. These came with the necessary software (Twain, Photoshop LE, Monaco color calibration, etc.). I have pulled excellent b/w and color prints, up to 12.5" x 17", from 6x7 negatives. Now that I've switched to chromogenic b/w (Ilford XP2 Super), which the local lab develops, I no longer use my wet darkroom. But going digital at the camera end has no appeal for me whatever (well, maybe if somebody comes out with an affordable 6x7 digital back....).

My computer is a PowerMac G4.

If I were buying today I would get the Epson 2200P printer and whatever the current version of the 1600 scanner is (the 1680, I think). And you won't need the full, pricey version of Photoshop unless you are going to go deeply into graphics; the Photoshop Elements v.2 works fine, and has perspective correction (fabulous, that!). HTH.



[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2004-04-23 09:44 ]
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