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Thread: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

  1. #11

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Don't forget that Kienzle make both a normal and long column variant of the C252 in all versions of bench/ wall/ freestanding - and can make any column length you require - the C252 sell sheet gives overall heights (regular column bench model needs about 70" clearance, long column bench model needs about 83", freestanding regular column wants about 101", long column freestanding wants about 115"). If you are 110% sure that you'll never ever go above 20x24" off 8x10 and will only use the 240mm for that, the basic bench version will do that out of the box. If you go for that option, get as big a baseboard as possible - and get wall mounting/ tiedown hardware for the top of the column while you're at it. If you go for free standing you might want to consider the longer column-to-lens-centre option - it's one of the great flaws with many otherwise wonderful freestanding enlargers and limits their outright print size (often irritatingly so).

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Any halfway competent cabinet shop can make a support system of any size or shape. I made my own for sake of larger printing using my ole Omega D2 system, back when real deal Durst floor-standing equip was still way above my kind of budget. Kept that around for a long time in fact, until I finally needed the space for yet another big Durst enlarger! In the meantime, an entire wall had been built around that section, so my loyal ole enlarger cabinet couldn't be moved out intact, and died a slow cruel death the Sawzall way.

  3. #13

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    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.
    In large part these are Durst specific issues - and their belief that 138/ 138s operators had abnormally long right arms.

    With a De Vere, the main reason to get the freestanding (or floor stand for the wall models) is purely for bigger prints than the bench variant can deliver. The bench model base is a precision fitted casting and has further tapped tie-down points (likely for on-ship use) as well as those on the column.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Hmm .... I'm not following. I don't have ape-length arms, even if I have the brain of an ape, and have no issues whatsoever with my 138 controls. The 184 style chassis is a lot taller, but I have motorized focus and colorhead height controls for that. My biggest 8x10 enlarger is a custom one, 14 ft tall in fact, and, uh, er, I have to use a rolling warehouse ladder to load the neg holder into that, or even focus it. I do have a special close-focusing telescope with right-angle viewer way up there if I need to use something in lieu of a grain magnifier. Where there's a will, there's a way.

  5. #15

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Despite benefits, a freestanding enlarger is heavier/difficult to transport/move in a space when needed to...

    A bench enlargers printing area is always at the same (ergonomic) height to work, but you might have to work on your knees or awkward bent angles with the freestanding unit... Bench unit might still fit in a new re-located space later, but upstanding may not even go into a new location (doors, stairs, angles, weight, etc)...

    Best thing is to truly figure how big a print you would actually print (including rest of lab system) and work from there...

    Steve K

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Durst floor-standing enlargers were made to be modular and portable in sections. Unfortunately, my last one was a L184 freebie stipulated to be moved in one piece, colorhead n all. And it was in an industrial basement two flights of stairs down, with an inoperable freight elevator. So it actually had to be hand-toted up those stairs and right through the middle of an open restaurant to a big flatbed truck out front illegally parked on a busy downtown street. Getting it into my lab in one piece was even more difficult because a recently earthquake etc had cracked the concrete slab underneath my big sliding doors and made those inoperable. Six of us were involved, and all darn sore afterwards, but thankfully no real injuries. But those are built like tanks and not even the light bulbs damaged. But I did rewire the whole thing, clean the filters, replace bellows, re-laminate the baseboard, polish everything up to 95% new look, and took only two months of just weekends to do it. Fun project.

  7. #17
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Once again no picture proof of anything from our experts!

    Here is Howard Bond's DIY conversion of a Beseler 45 V-XL to 8X10

    I bought from his 7' high basement enlarger space, it is now on my wall, mounted exactly as he did it, I also use his print stage, a simple DIY wood table with leg adjusters

    The 5X7 Elwood also came with a wall mount option

    Some of you may remember his art, his copious research and writings on forums and in books
    8X10 Howard Bond DIY by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

    Elwwod 5X7 Wall Mount by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr
    Tin Can

  8. #18

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Best thing is to truly figure how big a print you would actually print (including rest of lab system) and work from there...
    The OP has stated that this is 20x24" -- but, for an occasionally larger print, or a 20x24" print from a cropped section of the negative, more lens-to-easel -- or lens-to-negative -- distance is need.

  9. #19

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Durst floor-standing enlargers were made to be modular and portable in sections. Unfortunately, my last one was a L184 freebie stipulated to be moved in one piece, colorhead n all.
    Proving black is white? HUH?

  10. #20

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    Re: Bench vs Freestanding Enlargers

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ---Six of us were involved, and all darn sore afterwards, but thankfully no real injuries. But those are built like tanks and not even the light bulbs damaged. --- Fun project.
    good thing ziba knew of Hearst& 2nd day-labor

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