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Thread: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    15

    Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    Hi everyone,

    Well I am here to start my foray into large format photography. It has been something I have wanted to do for years. I have an old Graflex that was my grandfathers. I would like to fix it up. I just bought some film. I am about to buy a tank and chemicals. I am searching ebay and craigslist everyday to find an enlarger that can print large format. I got a few questions and I would not mind some advice. My biggest question right now is I do not know where to buy the equipment. I would love to buy an enlarger that develops 8x10 or 11x14 inch prints. I know this site has a forum called "for sale" but I can't find it. Also, I have been thinking about buying an Ilford Multigrade 500 enlarger head. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Ironage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Groton, Connecticut
    Posts
    235

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    First you need to let us know what format the camera is. 4x5, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4, etc. then you could post a want to buy WTB here on the forum for an enlarger that can handle that format.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    14,807

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    For Sale and Wanted to Buy is blocked from new members for 30 days, this is a good policy for current members

    Your location is important for big things like enlargers, even if only the state or country
    sin eater

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    St. Simons Island, Georgia
    Posts
    598

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    First, read all of the linked articles on the home page of this site. Then go to http://www.graflex.org and read about your camera. When you know your negative size, you can explore enlarger options. Searching your local craigslist might turn up something.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    14,807

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    sin eater

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    332

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    Welcome! There are a lot of knowledgeable people here who can answer your questions. As stated above, read all the relevant information in the home page, it is quite comprehensive.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Madisonville, LA
    Posts
    2,203

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    Ilford multigrade heads are great when they work. When they donít they make great paperweights. Do yourself a favor and get an LPL VCCE enlarger of the right format for your camera. Craigslist is a good resource esp if youíre near a large city.

  8. #8
    Andrej Gregov
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    134

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    +1 on the Saunders LPL 4500/4550 enlargers. A VCCE head would be great but a color head would work fine too. An Omega D5 enlarger would be super too. I believe they are easier to find than the Saunders. That said, many in the forum tend to recommend folks to ease into larger format image making. One idea might be to look for a medium format enlarger on Craigslist in your local area. I see those come up all the time here in Seattle. And they're cheap. You can use that while you look around for a 4x5 enlarger. You can make 4x5 contact prints with a medium format enlarger and of course enlarge 35mm or 120 negatives. It's also great learn the craft at developing negatives with less expensive film. Another idea, if you have an inkjet printer, scan your negatives and print digitally while you look around for a 4x5 enlarger. There's really quite a bit of workflow setup (sink, tray, lights, drying screens, etc) that you need to get through to get a darkroom setup. If you have a quick and inexpensive way to make prints right away, I'd recommend that over waiting to find the perfect enlarger.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Providence, RI, USA
    Posts
    172

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    The Saunders enlargers are great, but as people have said, they can be hard to find and are also on the more expensive side. If you are fine using physical contrast filters, Beseler 45s are good workhorses and are easier to come across in my experience. Not being a variable contrast light source also means they are donít have a lot that can go wrong with them.

    Edit: I donít think you said whether you actually have a darkroom yet, do you? If not, many cities have darkrooms you could rent or get a membership at, which would be an easier and cheaper alternative to building your own if you donít have one yet

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,516

    Re: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you all. I have a few questions.

    Any colorhead in good condition will do anything a Multigrade head will do and more, like allowing you to print color film too. And since these are much more common in several popular brands on the used market, there are plenty of bargains out there. If you shoot 4x5 film, you should be able to make up to a 20x24 inch print with most of the modern ones. But you're on the right path. Keep asking questions. You'll get a lot of different opinions which might be initially confusing, but that aren't necessarily contradictory, and just reflect our many variations of personal preference and manners of working.

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