Enlarger for 5x7

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Hi. I live an area that does not have 5x7 enlargers that I can look at. Does anyone have any advice about what 5x7 enlargers give the most bang for the buck, and about sources for finding them? Any help will be appreciated.Advice on used enlargers would be great too, as I picked my parents wrong to be able to afford the very best.Good enough will do. Matthew Sleeth

-- Matthew Sleeth (sleeth2@earthlink.net), November 01, 2001


Response to large format enlargement

5x7 enlargers come in three varieties: Elwood, Omega E, and everythng else. Elwoods are huge old diffusion enlargers, built like tanks, and I think all pre-WW2 vintage. The Imega E is a more modern design, basically a scaled-up Omega D with condensor or cold-light head. Parts and carriers, etc are more or less readily available. Everything else -- you're on your own. Lots of Omega Es on eBay, but you'd better live close to the seller so you can pick it up and not have it shipped. Good luck.

-- Wilhelm (bmitch@home.com), November 01, 2001.

Response to large format enlargement

There is also the Zone VI enlarger from Calumet. As i recall this modified Beseler chassis is 5x7 capable.

better than either the Omega or no longer made Elwood enlargers the very fine, very precise and very heavy duty Durst enlargers.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), November 01, 2001.

Response to large format enlargement

The Durst 138 series offers stability (and weight) and all sorts of functions like adjustments in the table, head alignment, ease of use. You can even turn the head for horizontal projection. With the glass neg. holder you can enlarge anything from 35mm to 5X7 given the appropriate lens. Highly recommended. Different head types are available, i.e. condensor or diffuse.

-- David Flockhart (d_flockhart@hotmail.com), November 01, 2001.

Response to large format enlargement

I use a Durst 138 with a Chromega E 5X7 head fitted. It is the best. They generally go for a premium price but I found one quite reasonable a few years ago from a graphic arts company going digital. It is big, stable, precise, and comes apart in 5 minutes to fit in a compact sedan. After several moves (and how many years?), I put it togther, zero the adjustments, and it's always perfectly aligned. It may take some time to find one though: be patient.

-- Gary Frost (gary.frost@onemain.com), November 01, 2001.

I saw a used Beseler 57 at a store. It looked like an upsized version of the venerable 45M. I'd never seen one before, so I suspect they are rare. But, for moderate enlargements, without getting something built like and the size of a tank, it looked like it might be a serviceable choice.

Or, get an old 5x7 view camera & roll your own. Aristo likely makes a stock light source that would cover this format for reasonable money.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), November 01, 2001.

Hi, I have a Durst S-45 EM. Got it real cheap in great cond. Supposed to do up to 4x5 but works fine with 5x7 too. Just make sure you get the entire set of condensors for all the formats you want to use...coated if possible.This is a big enlarger with a table that is hight ajustable and 20x24's are a snap...no projecting on the floor or wall is needed.Only downside is tough to put a color head on it without major conversion and wish it had extention focusing knobs for big printing ....ease in focus. I think this is the best of the 5x7's.I havent seen the Zone V1 though.

-- Emile de Leon (knightpeople@msn.com), November 01, 2001.

The ideal 5x7" enlager is the 138 Durst either with condensers a color head or with the Aristo VCL 4500 and a 5x7" adapter. There are many 5x7" Durst enlagers for sale in Europe. Have a look at http:// www.homrich.de and look at what they offer

-- Gudmundur Ingˇlfsson (imynd@simnet.is), November 02, 2001.

The Kodak Autofocus E is (was) a great enlarger. A Cadillac. Akin to the Elwoods in being real big and tank-like. The vintage is about the same. Automatic refocus, as the name suggests -- you just set the focus once and it stays in focus as you adjust for different size prints. I just check it once in a while. The enlarger came with the excellent Ektanon 7.5" enlarging lens (you must use that lens). It's a "hot" head, diffusion-plate type enlarger. Aristo will special-order you a cold head and deliver w/in a couple weeks of your order. I'm thinking that cold head cost me about $250. I got the enlarger and the lens on ebay for $275, I believe. -jeff buckels (albuquerque nm)

-- Jeff Buckels (jeffbuck@swcp.com), November 02, 2001.

I would go for either the Durst or The DeVere 507 bench or free standing. Check out www.odyssey-sales.com I don't think the 507 is made any more but they have second hand/reconditioned enlargers and can even make modifications to your requirements. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (trevor.crone@uk.dreamcast.com), November 02, 2001.

Not cheap but check out these remanufactured Dursts : DURST PRO USA.

-- Erik X (xx@xx.com), November 04, 2001.

There's also R K EQUIPMENT.

-- Erik X (xx@xx.com), November 04, 2001.


I print custom color work for photographers who use the 6x17 format and need prints up to 18"x54".

I too have a Durst 138 fitted with an Omega 5x7 head. It's a gem! If you want to test the waters before buying a dichro head, get the Durst and add color filters into the filter drawer using the condensors. Grain will be quite evident, but it's a starting point. I paid $700 for the Durst with condensors, and $600 for the Omega on e-bay.

good luck,


-- Andy Baugnet (andy@baug.net), November 08, 2001.

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