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Question about Bogen Super 66 enlarger

Scott Bates , Oct 27, 2002; 06:30 p.m.

I am newbie amateur photographer looking to get into developing my own Black and White prints. I was looking at ebay to find some used darkroom equipment and found someone selling a Bogen Super 66 Enlarger. What's anyones general opinion on this enlarger? Good for B & W print, ease of use, etc? How old is this machine and will I be able to find blubs for it when it burns out.? If anyone have advice on this enlarger or any others you think might be suitable for me that would be appreciated.

Thanks, Scott


Mark Farnsworth , Oct 28, 2002; 02:44 a.m.

Bogan enlargers are OK, but there are probably better ones available. If you get the Bogan, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary accessories such as negative carriers and lens boards, because they may be hard to come by. The Beseler 23C II or III is probably one of the better enlargers sold on ebay for a reasonable price and with lots of available accessories. The Beseler 67C is good, but avoid the 67CP or Printmaker becasue of the weaker columns.

Whatever you get, the enlarger lens is the most important equipment that will impact the quality of your prints. The best bargains on ebay are the 6-element El-Nikkor 80mm f/5.6 for medium format, and the El-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 for 35mm negatives.

Whatever enlarger you get, you need to make sure it is aligned properly and parallel to the baseboard. There are sophisticated and expensive tools available to do this, but a high quality bubble level is better than nothing.

Richard Moore , Oct 28, 2002; 08:51 a.m.

I just bought a Bogen Super 66 enlarger on Ebay about a year ago. i think I paid about $50 bucks plus shipping.

It is a good, solid unit and bulbs are easily available. I got a negative carrier with 6 X ^ and 35 mm inserts. Make sure you do the same. I have rarely seen components for this enlarger available on Ebay or anywhere else. Lensboards aren't an issue because the lens mount is part of the bellows.

There is an auxillary condenser available for 35 mm that I don't have and I've never seen available. I don't know how much difference it makes, since my printing skills are currently pretty basic at best.

If you're just looking for something inexpensive to learn on, this is a pretty good choice provided it's complete and in good shape. I would have loved to get a more modern unit myself, but money was an issue.

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