Enlarger for 4x5 format....

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Seeking suggestion on buying entry level 4x5 format enlarger and film developing unit. I am looking at economical solutions, this is just a serious hobby, i don't think i'll make any money out of this investment. I would really appreciate any help in this regard. Thanks.

-- Reddy (rrgudur@krdl.org.sg), April 13, 1999


Black and white ...color...or both. What is your price range?

-- Trib (linhof6@hotmail.com), April 13, 1999.

----addition to my original posting----- To start with i am more interested in black and white. But colour upgradability in future is desirable. My budget for enlarger is around 600$. I am hopping to setup workable darkroom with in 1000$. Thanks.

-- Reddy (rrgudur@krdl.org.sg), April 13, 1999.

This shouldn't be too difficult, though you've priced yourself out of new enlargers. Look around for a Beseler 45 series, Omega D series or something similar. Don't accept anything in less than excellent condition. Used enlargers have terrible resale value, which is a good thing for those of use who don't want to pay new prices.

Enlarger design has also been incredibly stable over the years, so once you purchase a used Beseler 45 or Omega D you can but new accessories such as cold light heads or dichroic color heads and just drop them in place. Don't forget to budget for a lens. This is actually the most important part. You can start with an old single-coated lens then move up to a newer lens as your budget and tastes demand.

Check out Seawood photo at http://www.seawood.com/ and click on the Inventory link. They usually have a good selection of lenses in stock, and oftern have excellent 4x5 enlargers.

Be patient and look around. The deals are out there.

-- Darron Spohn (dspohn@clicknet.com), April 13, 1999.

Look around as the previous poster said, it will pay off. At our Salt Lake City major swap meet last month a solid fujimoto 4x5 enlarger went for $150(including color head). Right now is a great time to be buying with so many dumping traditional darkrooms for digital options. You can find used gear for what it is really worth to a lot less than that and if you look you will probably get lucky & find good stuff with good lenses for a low price.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), April 13, 1999.

Kind of like looking for a 4 x 5 camera in a way. Get a decent box and spend the money on the lens. You can always take it off and put it on the shiny new ZoneVI or whatever. A used Beseler 45 or Omega D2 should not set you back too much. If I can get a top of the line lens I will always go for it, and let the mechanics catch up later.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), April 14, 1999.

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