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Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Claire, Jul 20, 2001.

  1. Claire

    Claire New Member

    I am currently a first time buyer of darkroom equipment and have found an advert offering the whole lot including an Optemus enlarger that I can find no information on and two Ziess lenses which I believe are good lenses and are more important than the body of the enlarger.

    Does anyone know of Optemus enlargers and how much a used one should cost?

    Also how dodgy is it to buy an enlarger from a loot advert given you cannot test it?

  2. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder


    There is nothing wrong with the Opemus enlarger, well built and quite up to the job. Two Zeiss lenses well if they are \Zeiss they should way outclass the enlarger. Worth, I don't know, what with all this digital stuff around, £50/60 but really it's up to you. Enlargers don't normally get abused, they spend their lives normally sitting on a bench in the darkroom. Just make sure the vendor is reliable.

  3. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    Be cautious buying s/h enlargers, whislt they don't get abused as such, if they live in a darkroom, they rust, if they dont live in a darkroom they have probably been moved and taken down and re-assembled which can take its toll on machined parts, and if knocked the enlarger may be out of true. Also watch out for missing parts (bits of condensors, neg carriers etc) which you may not be able to replace (thats assuming you know that they missing)

    If you are serious about buying an enlarger I am thinking about selling mine and LPL C7700, colour head, Nikon 50mmF2.8, Schnieder 80mmF5.6, and all the trays, focus finders,easels you could reasonable expect to use, havent thought about a price yet

    Kind regards

  4. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Is this what is known as salesmanship, knock the opposition first then offer an alternative.?

  5. Steve L

    Steve L Well-Known Member

    I used an Opemus enlarger for colour work for about 5 years and have no complaints at all. Solid and dependable. As with cameras, the lens is the most important bit and Zeiss are pretty good.
    As for checking it out, I can only suggest that you get together with the seller and give it a thorough going over. It should come with a transformer which you should also check. May I suggest you take along someone who is familiar with enlargers to help you out.
  6. Jigs_w

    Jigs_w Well-Known Member

    Not all enlargers need transformers, its usually just the ones with colour heads that need them.

  7. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    if so its not a very good technique. I didnt knock the opposition, i pointed out what I beleive should be looked for when buying any enlarger, including my own

    Kind regards

  8. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper


    For information on Meopta Opemus Enlargers, you might want to try,
    http:// www.meopta.co.uk
    For secondhand enlarger prices you might try the adverts at the back of Amatuer Photographer to give you a guide.
    By the way, I have an opemus 7 B&W enlarger, and it is a solid, robust, easy to use piece of kit. As others have already mentioned, the important factor is the lens quality, when making prints, and check before you buy!
    Good Luck

    <font color=blue>RonM</font color=blue>
  9. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    I know I have said this before but, it is complete and utter balderdash to say that the lens is the most important part of an enlarger. To put it in simple terms the finest enlarger lense in the world is worse then useless if the basic structure, the enlarger is structuraly unsound, if the light source is crap, if the negative isn't held flat, if the lamphouse leaks like a sieve etc etc etc.. You can always upgrade the lens and 50mm Enlarging lenses of the best quality are not expensive. No, structural integrity and stability are the criteria not the lense.

  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    And the most stable enlarger in the world is useless without a stable bench, and a non-bouncing floor etc. etc.
    Brian is right, stability is the most important thing. The light source is also critical, as is flatness of the neg BUT a decent lens is also vital. The most stable enlarger in the world is useless with a dodgy lens. And as Brian points out, they're cheap, so here there is no excuse for not getting a decent one.

  11. keith22

    keith22 Well-Known Member

    Iam selling a kaiser enlarger at this moment and just try to find how much to sell it for and at this moment I haven' got a clue how much for
  12. perkeo

    perkeo Well-Known Member

    Claire -
    You ask about buying from LOOT and similar freebie advert papers. My experience is 'good'. The ad has cost the seller nothing so both can benefit. Usually there are regional editions, so you can usually get there to see the item - an enlarger would be difficult to send by post, anyway.
    Prices are usually better than those in the classified Personal Ads in AP.
    I've seen complete set-ups advertised in my local 'freebie' for less than £100 (100 GBP) including a Durst 607 with 50 & 80 mm Durst Neonons all the dishes, safelight, timer, focus finder, measuring jugs, spare paper and chemicals "the lot" ! Good advice though, to check that everything is complete - a replacement 6 X 6 neg carrier for the Durst, for example, could cost you more than you paid for the whole set-up. Difficult to do a 'full test', but at least you should be able to plug it in, check the transformer, bulbs, lenses and condensers for scratches/fungus, focusing mechanism for smoothness etc - there's always an element of risk when buying privately secondhand - so if you can't live with that either buy from a dealer with a guarantee or - buy new.

    There are many bargains about just now with so many deserting the darkroom in favour of their computers and Photoshop.

    But you do have to seek them out.

    Good hunting /img/wwwthreads/wink.gif

  13. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member


    Out of interest - did you buy this enlarger? Was it a bargain? Anything to add for other potential buyers of darkroom gear?


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