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Thread: New Unit....directions

  1. #1

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    New Unit....directions

    I currently run a Beselar 45 with a cold light for graded papers as well as a Leitz V35.

    As I ponder overhauling my 5x7 camera kit, going back to 8x10 or maybe ULF.
    I am trying to get a game plan and estimate the costs and direction to the end. If I go 8x10, I will want an 8x10 enlarger to print 5x7 and 8x10 on. If I stay 5x7, then just a 5x7 enlarger will be added.

    I would very much appreciate some third party scrutiny of my current thoughts on this! A thoughts on the units I am looking at from any users of these units.

    If I go 5x7:

    A durst and slowly retrofit with an aritso type cold light head. Expensive project, but over time, and hopefully it will last the rest of my life.

    Zone Vi
    I read on Apug, some people love them, some seem to think they are a half way unit and not rugged enough?? I have never even seen a Zone Vi 5x7 unit.
    Do they cut the mustard for 5x7 prints to 16x20?

    If I go 8x10:

    Do I go all out for a fotar or durst type enlarger, again expensive and a project that will take some time to complete but last me to the grave (or put me in it sooner )

    Beselar conversion kit for a 45
    (other than my own as i would kit that setup for 6x4.5 / 6x9 / and 4x5 and just change the head for a VC head).

  2. #2
    wfwhitaker
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    Dude.... I so feel your pain!

  3. #3
    shadow images's Avatar
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    I would say go 8x10 enlarger either way. Better for 5x7 enlargements and gives you room to grow. As for which enlarger I would go with the best you can afford and find. That said I am in the process of piecing together an 810 beseler but thats because all said I should only have about $300-400 total investment into it. jmho

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    If you have space, go for the full-sized 8x10 enlarger. The Beseler 8x10 conversion requires a short lens with its own shortcomings (sorry for the pun ).

    So, more light fall off at the edges and a requirement for more precise alignment among other things. I 'm sure you can still get excellent results but if you have the space for the big one things will be a little easier printing with the 300mm lens.

    In terms of expense, keep you eyes open.

    I'm sure there is some relative of Murphy's law that says: "An 8x10 enlarger of the exact same type you dream of will be put in a dump, or offered for 'free,' exactly half-way around the world"

    I looked for almost 1 year and eventually got one that was from a defunked graphics shop I used to drive by on the way to work

  5. #5
    caleb's Avatar
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    I agree, go 8x10 with the enlarger. I shoot 5x7 and 8x10. There are several to choose from on the used market now. I picked up a De Vere a couple of years ago for a song. I have been contacted in the last six months by a guy in St. Louis that has a nice omega 10x10 and he wants 600 bones for it. Look around and ask around, they are out there and they are cheap!

  6. #6

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    Re: New Unit....directions

    It may take me a year of reading to catch up on all the interesting threads here, but I have started to read your thread on the 184 overhaul a few days ago.
    What a project! The picture of the rig in the darkroom is really sweet!

    That sir, is a very nice darkroom.

    I am in a 10 foot by 12 room with one 8 foot stainless sink. When I moved downtown from the burbs, I had to give up the 4 foot washing area sink and down size. I have the room for a big unit, but just! It would mean moving my film drying cabinet outside the darkroom, but I can life with that easily.

    My thinking was to fit a 300mm on a Beselar if I went that route, since I never go larger than 16x20 in this darkroom. Do you think that it is not physically possible to use a 300mm on the Bes.? Or is it going beyond a 16x20 that becomes impossible?


    ".....defunked graphics shop I used to drive by on the way to work"

    I landed my 4 foot by 5 foot electric rise/tilt light table that way too!
    They were throwing two of them out and I took one, it cost me $35 to get a scrap picker to drive it back to the studio and help me bring it to the freight elevator!





    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    If you have space, go for the full-sized 8x10 enlarger. The Beseler 8x10 conversion requires a short lens with its own shortcomings (sorry for the pun ).

    So, more light fall off at the edges and a requirement for more precise alignment among other things. I 'm sure you can still get excellent results but if you have the space for the big one things will be a little easier printing with the 300mm lens.

    In terms of expense, keep you eyes open.

    I'm sure there is some relative of Murphy's law that says: "An 8x10 enlarger of the exact same type you dream of will be put in a dump, or offered for 'free,' exactly half-way around the world"

    I looked for almost 1 year and eventually got one that was from a defunked graphics shop I used to drive by on the way to work

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    Glad you liked the Durst Enlarger thread. The main reason for posting that is to help keep the craft alive and inspire others to keep these enlargers out of dump heaps.

    In terms of the space needed to use a 300mm lens, I checked my enlarger and with a 300mm lens, making a 16x20 enlargement requires roughly 17" of bellows extension and I measured 50" from the negative plane to the paper plane. I had posted that in another thread and I believe one of the Beseler owner's said that was not possible on the 8x10 Beseler conversion.

    Another thing that is not clear until you start doing 8x10 enlargements is that to do a 16x20, the enlarger head is ALMOST to the top and to do a 32x40 (fill the whole baseboard) the enlarger head is at the very top.

  8. #8

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    Re: New Unit....directions

    A compromise for space might be the Durst 138S converted to 8x10 with a 12x12 Aristo cold light. You saw pictures in my APUG gallery under the name jp80874. My dark room is 11x13 feet with a 7 foot 2 inch ceiling. The head is mounted one inch below the ceiling for air space. The table moves up and down for the easel. Using a 300mm APO Rodenstock I make 20x24 inch prints from 8x10 negatives with movement left over in the table to crop or go larger. I also can switch to a 240mm APO Rodenstock. I have limited to 20x24 because using five trays with an eight foot sink, I have to have one tray on a cart. It has worked well for about three years now. Happy to add details if you have questions or come take a look. Ic-racer and I are about ten miles from each other just south of Cleveland.

    John

  9. #9

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    New Unit....directions

    I have come a cross a few Fotar 8x10 vertical enlargers, but I really know nothing about them.

    Good? Bad? Indifferent?

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: New Unit....directions

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen in Montreal View Post
    I have come a cross a few Fotar 8x10 vertical enlargers, but I really know nothing about them.

    Good? Bad? Indifferent?
    I think with all the brands, the 8x10 and larger equipment was always their best equipment. Durable, "professional grade" construction, etc. Even the somewhat primitive Elwood has many happy followers.

    If the Fotar is anything like this, it looks fantastic.

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