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Thread: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

  1. #1

    Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    I think this may be the year I invest in the Kienzle C252 with a Heiland LED splitgrade head. I can choose freestanding or a baseboard model. The freestanding is a bit more but I can afford it...

    The largest size I"m likely to print is 20x24. I'll be printing from 8x10, 8x8, 5x7, and 5x5 negatives. I have an LPL 4550 XLG that also has a Heiland LED for 4x5-35.

    Do I need the freestanding or would I be perfectly happy with the baseboard model? Much of the weight of an 8x10 enlarger is no longer present due to the LED panel.

    I actually have a converted Zone VI 8x10 with a Kienzle VC diffusion head...now that thing is HUGE. I'll be selling that set up FYI.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    How high is your ceiling?

  3. #3

    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    How high is your ceiling?
    Not super high and yeah, with the diffusion head it's a bit of a problem. With my 240mm lens I can get to 16x20 from an 8x10 negative. The LED head though will solve any issues with height...they're wild looking if you haven't seen one. Totally flat.

  4. #4

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Is there enough room for the column? If so, what's the problem?

  5. #5

    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    Is there enough room for the column? If so, what's the problem?
    Hah I mean yeah I don't really know as I"ve never had a freestanding enlarger. Just wondering mostly if there is something I'm missing.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    In my lower-ceiling darkroom, only about 7-1/2 ft high, I have a Durst L184 floor-standing chassis with an 8x10 conversion using a flat Aristo 12X12 VC54 cold light. Even with a 305 lens, 20X24 prints are practical.
    Its kinda like drill presses - there is only so much you can do with a bench-mounted one.

  7. #7

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    Hah I mean yeah I don't really know as I"ve never had a freestanding enlarger. Just wondering mostly if there is something I'm missing.
    I assume the seller can tell you how tall the thing is. If it fits, go with the free standing one, since you can afford it. If it's too tall, buy the other.

    I don't think either would fit in my darkroom.

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Wall mount is nice too

    I like how they hide
    Tin Can

  9. #9

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Free standing preferred by FAR. The are more stable alignment from enlarger head to base board once properly set up, more enlarger head to base board distance and overall nicer to use. Recommend some kind of remote focusing device as trying to reach the enlarger head focusing mechanism with the base board near the floor can be an issue.


    Bernice

  10. #10

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    PLUS, the free-standing will make it easier IF you ever want to make a larger print -- or if you want to make a 20x24" from cropping a negative (OMG, Did I say that!?!?!?)

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