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Thread: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

  1. #1
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    I have not started shooting 8x10 yet but I am thinknig about it. I have no interest in 8x10 contact prints (I don't see this as much better than the 2x enlargement of a 4x5 negative to get to an 8x10 print).

    There are many 8x10 cameras out there (I even have an old Century 8x10 but it is needs to be restored to function), however, 8x10 enlargers seem to be scarce in my area. I really would need to acquire the enlarger first, before going any farther.

    There are some nice ones on e-bay but they are too far from me to pick up. I suspect one may come along eventually that is within driving distance. I have an enclosed automobile trailer that I would use for the pickup.

    I don't want an Elwood, though. I would prefer an Omega F with a color head for multicontrast printing.

    I am crazy, right? No one in the right mind would want one of these monsters. One 8x10 on e-bay was described as being 'build into' the darkroom and a wall needs to come down to get it out.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Smile Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Whats wrong with Elwoods? They offer a lot of bang for the buck and at one time they were considered professional grade. If you're fortunate enough to come across one with an intact diffuser disc the light is really exceptional! I use a piece of gg as a diffuser and it still does a darn good job. OTOH, If you've got a couple of thou to spare, a freind with a professional moving van, your darkroom has cathedral ceilings and a cement floor that can handle a C-130 landing on it, the Omegas are indeed very desireable of course. Another option that would be easier on the wallet (and the architecture) would be a Beseler M45 with the 8x10 conversion kit.
    Don't sell the 8x10 contact print short either, at least until you've made one
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  3. #3

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Go for it

    Sorry, but I can't talk you out of it. If anything, I wil talk you into it.

    Regards, Pete

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Westminster, MD

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Oh go ahead and buy it, and then get a good flatbed scanner for 8x10. Ha ha ha ha.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Given all of its downsides the only reason 8x10 made sense to me was the sheer pleasure of using an 8x10 camera plus the ability to make fine contact prints. If I wasn't interested in contact printing and planned only to enlarge the 8x10 negatives I wouldn't buy an 8x10 enlarger because I can make enlargements from my 8x10 negatives easier, faster, cheaper, and IMHO at least as well by scanning them and printing digitally. But of course some people just prefer darkroom work and if you're one of them then that's great, by all means go for the enlarger. This isn't a dress rehearsal.
    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
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Everett, WA

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    On the other hand, you can build an enlarger conversion for your 8x10 camera.

    This is what I plan to do because my darkroom is my bathroom. You have to be clever to use 6ftx10ft efficiently. I'm designing an aluminum frame to sit on the tub, with a vertical vaccuum or magnetic easel.

    I know AA made his 8x10 enlarger from an old 11x14 banquet camera, and I think he just taped the paper up.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Sorry, can't help you - I made the same "mistake" last year and bought a Durst 8x10 enlarger from one of the forum members here. I drove about 700 miles to pick it up and you know what? It was all worth it and I would do it again. There is something about making prints with these monsters that is just magical. All of your friends and family will think that you have lost your mind when they see the monster for the first time, but who cares. GO FOR IT!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Berlin, Wi

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    Good luck, I have been trying to pick an 8x10 enlarger up for about a year now. 4 years ago, here in Milwaukee, you could find them in a dumpster!!..
    Evan Clarke

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    If you don't do it now, will you do it your next life time? Do it now.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Milford Pa.

    Re: 8x10 Enlarger...HELP please talk me out of it!!

    i do not know what to say. live 90 miles N of NYCand i got a de vere for 200$ including a 16x20 easle...!!!!....happy hunting!

    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

    My YouTube videos gallery

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