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  1. #1

    is this a good buy?

    ok im working up to try and get a darkroom. i took a black and white class in high school and am familiar with developing that, but im not a genius on this stuff. can someone tell me if this is a good buy,

    willing to learn if you want to feed me any info.

  2. #2
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Temperance, MI

    Re: is this a good buy?

    Be advised that it's for 35mm film only so you won't be able to print your 4x5" negatives with it, but other than than it's a good buy.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Athens, Greece

    Re: is this a good buy?

    According to specs on that page, it's a 35mm enlarger. If you plan on doing large format in your darkroom, then you will get nowhere with this.

  4. #4

    Re: is this a good buy?

    Don't know where you're at, but I would try looking on craigslist first, generally you can pick up an entire darkroom used for $100 or so, sometimes people just want to get rid of them, and you can get lucky and find one for free. Just my 2 cents.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: is this a good buy?

    No. $309 was the price you had to pay if you wanted this enlarger back in the days when darkrooms were king and good enlargers sold for $1,000 and up. But the Cadet is the bottom of the line of Beseler enlargers and can be used only for 35mm film. At today's prices for used darkroom equipment $300 will get you a top-of-the-line Beseler, Saunders, Omega, et al 4x5 enlarger (that can be used with 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 film) including negative carriers, a good lens or two and a probably a bunch of accessories. At the prices used darkroom gear goes for these days you should be able to outfit your entire darkroom for $300 or so and have a much better enlarger than the Cadet.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #6

    Re: is this a good buy?

    thank you all, youve been a big help. i think i'll not get the cadet now, lol. im in hawaii so i'll scope craigslist.

    if i want to start doing 8 x 10 enlargements, do i need to buy a hole new enlarger or is there universal type enlargers. or do i just gotta keep buying new heads

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Stevens Point, WI

    Re: is this a good buy?

    Enlarging 8x10's is not for the faint of heart or beginners in my opinion. Unless you are absolutely determined to enlarge 8x10's, then I would suggest you try 4x5 first. 8x10 enlargers are huge and some are essentially un-moveable. The lenses are not as easily available and still fetch a premium. Maybe I am wrong and you could find an old, low tech 8x10 enlarger. You can't beat a used Beseler 4x5 nowadays to get started with a Dichro 45S head or a cold light head with VC filters.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Stevens Point, WI

    Re: is this a good buy?

    Maybe I misunderstood and you intend to enlarge your negatives into 8x10 inch prints. Still with today's prices I would go with a 4x5 enlarger.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Minneapolis, MN, USA

    Re: is this a good buy?

    A complete tutorial on enlarging is beyond the scope of a forum response but here's my take:

    Enlargers are designed to accept negatives up to a certain size. Some are limited to 35mm, some do 6x6 or 6x7, and some do 4x5. (There are larger ones, but I suspect that you don't need those). All will typically handle negatives that are smaller. So even a 4x5 enlarger, with the right lens and negative carrier, will handle 35mm. Virtually any enlarger will allow you to create an 8x10 or larger; as well as any size up to 8x10.

    A negative carrier will be required for the specific film size. These negative carriers are designed to fit a particular make/model of enlarger. Negative carriers can be relatively expensive on their own, so ideally make sure the enlarger you buy comes with the ones you need.

    Different film sizes generally require different focal length lenses. Usually 50mm for 35mm film and 75 or 80mm for 6x6 film.

    Enlarging equipment is dirt cheap (sometimes free) in the used market; although your location may be an exception. Jerold's suggestion to go with a 4x5 enlarger is a good one as long as it comes with the negative carriers and lenses you need for the film format you're using, and you have the space.

    If I've underestimated your current level of experience/knowledge, I apologize.

  10. #10

    Re: is this a good buy?

    thanks HMG, i know my way around camera's, and i love film. but im getting sick of going to walmart, id much rather experience the hole experience if you know what i mean.

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