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Thread: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

  1. #1
    Landscape/Still Life
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    Exclamation Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    I have an opportunity to pick one of these up dirt cheap is it worth it? They say it works perfectly... I need advice to see if it is truly worth my time...

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    I haven't used one, but they were big, professional units. If it has all of the accessories you need, and it's in good condition, I expect it would work very well for you. These types of equipment tend to be very modular and easy to work on, as long as there's not too much fancy electronics. (I have a De Vere 810H)
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    If it is their lamphouse, I seem to recollect that it had eight bulbs in it, or quite a few at least. Once you get it installed you'll want to do a test for illumination eveness, or for color consistency if you do color printing. As these things get old,
    sometimes the bulbs get out of sync. Good idea to check the sockets too. Better yet,
    replace ALL the bulbs with new ones if there's any question about the performance.
    I'm assuming that this is an 8X10 enlarger. A solid unit. I wouldn't pass it up.

  4. #4

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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    Sounds like a great find!
    It should be a joy to use....
    The real expense is if you need to build a bigger darkroom for it!

  5. #5

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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    Usually the horizontal ones are designed for making large prints have a more powerful light source than the vertical ones. A 2000W Dichro head is very handy if making large prints or using various masks as it keeps the exposure time relatively short. I have a vertical 8x10 Fotar with a 2000w Devere Dichro on it and it is a real joy to use.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    I wonder how a horizontal FOTAR differs from an upright?

    The 10X10 FOTAR I owned relied on huge weights with aircraft wire on multiple pulleys

    Gravity was needed, however the roller bearings run on a machined track, so alignment is not the issue, how to move the 2 variables IS the question
    2022

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    I don't know about Fotar, but I was recently reviewing the pricelist that came with my vertical 8x10 DURST and the horizontal Durst enlargers were two to three times more expensive depending if one wanted the autofocus function.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    There were a number of features with the horizontal Durst which needed dedicated accessories and components which were not interchangeable were their regular commercial vertical/horizontal units, and were specially made in far smaller quantities. I knew someone who owned and used quite a few Durst models and was given grief by the autofocus function, and strongly recommended against it and the all-horizontal machines. It was just a lot more complicated in general. I happen to like gear I can fix myself if necessary.
    It would be much easier to design autofocus for a mural unit today than back then. But a gadget I have (but rarely use) is a close-focus telescope from Edmund. It works almost like a grain magnifier at distance.

  9. #9

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    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: Fotar Horizontal Enlarger?

    You can get NOS lamps at the auction site for $5-$7 per bulb! I've got over 100 I've bought from 4 to 20 at a time! L

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