4x5 enlarger

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

My MCRX is just a pain in the patooty to adjust and frankly I'd rather have something else. So much for used Bessler's. I'm reading good things about D5's. What about something used and easy to align without breaking the bank.

-- Wayne Crider (waynecrider@hotmail.com), June 04, 2002


Since I've taken up LF, I've learned "breaking the bank" is a relative term. Still, with some creative Ebaying, some pleading with the manufacturer, and the generous cooperation of a listmember, I wound up up with a new (if originally somewhat "scattered") Saunders/LPL 4500ii dichroic for less than 1/2 price. Some alignment was required as all the bits normally come factory aligned when they all come together, but it is dead simple - loosen two hex bolts, align, retighten, and your frying paper. To knock it out of alignment, I will have to kick it. Hard. The massive single column seems infinitely preferable to the parallel(?) rails. D5 would be a good choice as well, I would think. Only negative (NPI) with the Saunders/LPL, was having to purchase a 4x5 negative carrier to go with a 4x5 enlarger...(duh...)

-- Paul Coppin (coppin@execulink.com), June 04, 2002.

Look for an Omega D2.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), June 04, 2002.

I don't know how common they are in the US, but if you can, get a DeVere enlarger, preferably a 10x8 floor standing model. It's built like something designed for use in a battle. On the down side, you'll need a ceiling about 12 feet high and they weigh a lot.

-- mark blackman (mark.blackman1@btinternet.com), June 05, 2002.

You never know when you'll find a deal.

I got a decent deal on my enlarger by finding a graphics place going digital. I got an Omega D5500 (had been advertised as a D5) with dichroic head, chromegatrol stabilized power supply and timer, power lift, power focus, wall mount and brace, 30x40 vacuum easel and pump, Beseler 20x24 4 blade easel, drop top table, 3 Rodagon lenses (50, 80, 135) on a turret, negative carriers, and extra bulbs for $800. Somehow I managed to fit it all in my Honda.

Interestingly, shortly after that, I was given a Beseler 45 MXT, Omega B-66, Nikon lenses (50 and 135), a Beseler drop top table, and a copy stand. My wife was amazingly patient with the Beseler staying in the living room and the 4x5 Omega in the bedroom until I sold the Beseler. I wanted a dichroic head and the Beseler packed better. Occasionally fate does smile brightly upon me, but it has taken its pound of flesh during grad school.


-- Dave Willis (willisd@medicine.wustl.edu), June 05, 2002.

I need to tell you that some time ago I was in the same situation as you, with the same enlarger...! I change to the best relation price/quality I found, the LPL 5492 with the color head (new, with the 250watt lamp). It doesn't have screws or any device for alignment, but you can do this job easily if you need it (I test alignment frecuently with a bubble level and NEVER need to align something!!) I'm so happy with this enlarger. Of course I know what is a Durst L1200, but it is out of my budget... including the second hand ones...

Good luck,

-- jose angel (acquatek@teleline.es), June 05, 2002.

Hi Wayne

Are you living in US or EU? Here in EU you find many enlargers from studios wich go digital now and they need the place and so you get many enlargers like Durst for about 1000 bucks even 18x24. I think thies change will also come to US sooner or later. Good luck.

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), June 05, 2002.

I agree with Armin ...now this is a good time to look for an enlarger, many labs went digital and sell their equipments.. ask around...you will be surprised with choices....

-- dan n. (dan@egmail.com), June 05, 2002.

How are the D6's? And figure I want to spend $500 or less for your rec.

-- Wayne Crider (waynecrider@hotmail.com), June 05, 2002.

Forget the rest and buy a Durst L1200. You will be hard pressed to find anything better. Recently I saw one for sale on Photo.net for $2k including 2 Schneider lenses, a 20x24 easel, a Peak grain magnifier, and a metrolux timer. What a deal! That stuff is worth over $5,000 new!


-- Bill Smithe (bs2@aol.com), June 05, 2002.

Wayne, doubt that you could find an Omega D-5 in good condition that would fall within your price range. Your best bet would be an Omega D- 2. Try contacting Harry at classic-enlargers.com He sells re-built D- 2's, and he specializes in Omegas.

-- Eugene (TIAGEM@aol.com), June 05, 2002.

You know at some of the prices involved, I could buy a new scanner, an updated copy of my Photoshop software and a new computer to use it and never have to align again. It makes me wonder.

-- Wayne Crider (waynecrider@hotmail.com), June 05, 2002.

Call around and try to find a Durst or Devere. Jump on a Devere if you find one...the focus and magnification controls are mounted under the table (at waist level), so you have no more reaching over your head to focus a big print. Huge convenience, but make sure it has everything you need when you buy it, because extra parts are pricey (lensboards, negative carriers, timers).


-- Eric Mims (eamims@mindspring.com), June 06, 2002.

ep levines in boston has a ton of enlargers just waiting for someone to buy. they have d2 and d3s. i don't think they have them listed on their website ( http://cameras.com ) and i know they will ship pretty much anywhere. goodluck!

-- jnanian (jak@gis.net), June 07, 2002.

I just bought an old D6 on Ebay. It was very poorly packed, so if you get one this way make sure you insist that it's professionally packed, or pick it up yourself if possible. Luckily these things are tanks, and as long as nothing is bent, they're easy to align. Mine cost $280, and a lens turret with a set of mediocre lenses cost another $100. Even with those, I've made some handsome enlargements. With a good lens, I'll do even better. I'm very happy with the D6.

-- Dan Ingram (dpingr@wm.edu), June 08, 2002.

I got a Durst L1000 with color head and a Schneider Componon 150-S for $100. All the masks and diffusor boxes from 135mm to 4"x5" and glass-plates included. Maybe I was just lucky, but the pros. are throwing their gear away for nothing these days. Watch your lokal newspapers and internet adds.

-- Morten Řen (morten.oen@smartcall.no), June 11, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ