Omega D-2 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just got back from a local shop, after looking at an Omega D-2 enlarger. It is in very nice condition. It has a formica base board, two black 'C'-channel vertical rails. The condenser door flips open so you can move the top element up and down to match lens focal length. It commes with a 4x5 glassless carrier, regular condenser head, and a 135/4.5 Omegaor/Rodenstock lens. The lens is mounted on a pan that extends the bellows length about 2-3 inches. The aperture setting light up in green and red. Everything seems to work fine. There is no rust, and I couldn't detect any light leaks.

He wants $475 with the lens, $425 without. I would need to add a 6x7 glass carrier and a 105mm lens. I almost bought it, and may go back shortly to get it.

Is this a good buy?

-- Dan Brown (, April 27, 2000


Sounds good to me. There are a lot of D-2s out there; really nice ones, as this one sounds to be, are worth paying more for. Be sure that it is the model with a crank to raise and lower it. Models without the crank are worth a lot less unless you are already on Prozac.

-- Bill Mitchell (, April 27, 2000.

It's not a good buy. The "Ohmygod" lens is crap. IMO the enlarger is worth, *at most*, $200 w/o lens.

Invest in good lenses, such as Componon-S, Nikkor, or Rodagon. I found a beautiful 135mm Componon-S locally for $175. A steal. But you can easily find one for $250. I also suggest buying all the same brand lenses, though this is not crucial.

Condenser enlargers are contrasty, with highlights that lack sepration. So eventually you will probably want to get either a cold- light head or a dichroic color head. I use an Autofocus Chromega D4 for both b&w and color. I paid $300 for it, with one board and carrier. Another steal.

Look around for a deal/steal. People are selling off their darkroom gear nowadays. The D-series Omegas are superb machines (personally, I wouldn't use anything else), very popular and plentiful on the used market. Camera stores hate having them around, because they take up space and nobody wants them. Most dealers will be happy to talk price with you if you are serious. Take my word for it, they just want to get them out the door!

Once you get it set up, with all the right carriers, boards, heads and lenses, you will NEVER need to buy another enlarger as long as you live. So be patient and invest wisely.

BTW, you don't really need a glass carrier to print 6x7.

Check out: Bear in mind that his prices are *high*, especially for the enlargers themselves. But he probably has what you are looking for, in terms of accessories, in stock.

-- Peter Hughes (, April 27, 2000.

Dan: It sounds like one of the later model D-2s and in exellent condition I think it will be worth it. The flip-up door is for an additional condenser lens for shorter focal length lenses. I have used a D-2 for many years and haven't found another yet I want to trade for. I installed a cold light head shortly after I bought it and it has made many good prints. I prefer the cold light head or diffusion head because the prints have a glow that I can't get with condenser light sources, but that is a personal thing. The D-2 locks downs solid and vibration and slop is not a problem with them. They were build to be professional enlargers. Hope this helps, Doug.

-- Doug Paramore (, April 27, 2000.

Check Midwest photo. I bought a D-2 from them last year that I paid $175 for (no lens, but everthing else). It looks its age, but works great. I bought a used zone IV cold light for $100 that I really like.

-- Mark DeMulder (, April 27, 2000.

Also check out Terry Seaman, "the darkroom guy" at I've bought several components from him for my D3.

You have the variable condensor - prevents you from having to buy different condensor sets for different formats.

It seems a little high to me, but maybe not much considering that you can look it over and know what you're getting. I've bought most of my enlarger components on eBay and have been happy with what I got and usually grossly undercut what dealers want. (And I've never seen an Omega D at a dealer anyhow.) You might want to take a look on eBay. Something like this might cost $50 to ship, and like I said, you know what you're getting from your dealer.

The "pan" is called a lens cone. You get the appropriate lens cone for the focal length of the lens to keep the bellows within its range of movement.

-- John H. Henderson (, April 28, 2000.

I think it's a bit steep... real steep. I got my pre-war slider with two buckets of glass, 35 and 4x5 carriers, long cone and 50mm on disc for 100 bucks. It's in great condition and operates flawlessly. I particularly love the kodak stores badge on the side rail...apparently it's a life-long okie like me. You can find printing papers that look best with condensors or you can modify the source if you cannot afford a cold lite.

-- Trib (, April 28, 2000.

It's a great machine to work with, but I am with the guys that think the price is a little high. I bought one a few months ago with 50mm and 75mm lenses, and 4 negative carriers for $140.00.

Ebay is a good place to appraise things. Check the "completed items" section. -Dave

-- Dave Richhart (, April 28, 2000.

I got a D-6 Chassis from Midwest for $195+ship. It's a monster. I made a base board and a cold light receptacle bought a Nikkor lens - 80mm. It's got fine focussing, a real benefit, and a crank. The girders are so long that I secured them to the wall at the top. If the house moves it moves-not unlikely in Calif!

-- George Nedleman (, April 28, 2000.


I agree with everything Peter Hughes says except the part about the Omegaron lens being "crap". Although my 150mm Omegaron isn't the same as the 135mm Omegaron, I have used the 150mm for nearly 25 years with excellent results. Perhaps Peter has used a version of this lens that was less than adequate.

A good 75 or 80mm lens will easily cover 6X7cm negs (a 75mm EL-Nikkor actually covers 4X5 with a little corner degradation) and a 6X7 glass carrier is a waste of money. With the advent of digital photography, you can easily pick up used 75mm EL-Nikkors, or their equivalent for under $100 (more like $50-$60) at camera swaps. The 105mm lenses seem to be much rarer, and you'll pay a premium.

Be ruthless with your dealer and they'll likely make you a much better deal on the D2. It's a great enlarger. Good Luck.

-- Jim Blecha (, April 30, 2000.

Jim -- Are we talking about an "Omegaron"? The original post said "Omegaor", which I interpreted as a misspelling of Omegar, which I still say is "Ohmygod." The Omegaron you own may be another story entirely--maybe a Rodagon with the Omega name on it?

I've *heard* that the 75mm Nikkor is not as good as the 80mm. However, I have not had any personal experience on this one. I owned a 105mm f/5.6 El-Nikkor a number of years back and it was excellent.

-- Peter Hughes (, April 30, 2000.

Thanks for all these responses. I think I'll attempt to talk the dealer down in price. He has 3 D-2's in stock, plus several other beasts of various sorts. This one is the nicest of the three.

The lens is an Omegaron-Rodenstock (Says "Rodenstock" on the barrel). It seems nice in that the lens aperture is illuminated by the enlarger lamphouse such that the selected aperture appears in red and the adjacent higher and lower aperture values appear in green. Looks neat!

The lens question is academic in that I think I'll just buy the thing without the lens and carrier for now (to keep the price low). Initially, I will use it for 6x7 (there are several 105 Nikkoers up on EBAY), then when I get a field camera, I'll get a glass carrier and suitable lens.

I'll post back here after my next discussion with the dealer.

-- Dan Brown (, May 01, 2000.

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