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Omega D2 Enlarger

Greg Whitten , Nov 06, 2003; 05:21 p.m.

A local pro photographer is clearing out his darkroom and I have an opportunity to buy his equipment, including an Omega D2. I currently have an Omega B-66.

When I look at this D2, is there anything particular to this piece of equipment I should look at to make sure it is in correct condition? (I understand this is a very good enlarger, but I don't want to get a "good deal" and then find I have to spend big $$$ to get it working.)

Also, what would you consider a good price on a used, good condition, ready to print D2?

(For those wondering why go from B-66 to D2, I want to go up formats from 35mm and 6x6 to 6x7 and/or 4x5).

Thanks for your input.



Rick Jones , Nov 06, 2003; 07:34 p.m.

Greg-personally I wouldn't touch it unless it is the variable condenser model (D2V) but you didn't mention if it had a condenser head. Irrespective of that the more accessories he has the less you'll have to scrounge. Partial list: negative carriers, cones (1 for 50mm to 80mm, 1 for 100-135mm and 1 for 150mm), lens discs to mount each focal length, 6 element lenses from major manufacturers. Look through the lens at a strong light source for fogging/scratches etc. As to condition, you can often tell a lot just by it's outward appearance. Regardless of age if it was used with care and covered when idle it could look virtually new. If that was the case I would expect the inside to be equally cared for. Take the condensers out and look at them carefully. A minor scratch MAY be ok but the cleaner the better. Does the head crank up and down smoothly and lock properly. Does the electric cord look sound. Put a negative in a carrier and try focusing-is it smooth and positive feeling? Without knowing EXACTLY what you are looking at and what accessories come with it I wouldn't even guess a price. Hope this at least gets you started with an evaluation.

Louie Powell , Nov 06, 2003; 09:40 p.m.

Greg -

You might want to check to determine if this is a D2 or a DII. The D2 is a more modern enlarger, with the significant difference that the head elevation is controlled by a crank mechanism, while the DII is a manual slide mechanism. Not that this makes any difference at all in the quality of the prints, but the crank makes operation require a bit less muscle!

I would be a bit careful about judging too much be appearance. Enlargers can look a bit aged, but still function very well. The main thing I would be concerned about is the condition of the bellows - it is replaceable, but you really don't want to have to start scrounging for parts right off. Cosmetic problems can be fixed by a coat of paint - but then in the dark you won't see them so they won't matter.

Most D2/IIs were condenser enlargers (although it is possible to retrofit a cold light if you desire). Make sure that you get the condensers you will need cuz they are expensive to purchase on a standalone basis. If you have the small condenser for 35mm, and the large condenser for 4x5, then you can bridge everything between.

You will also need lens mounting plates and/or cones. A 50mm lens for 35mm mounts on a flat plate, while longer lenses for larger formats require cones.

Negative carriers are also needed, but here you are fortunate - there are a lot of them around in the used equipment market. Typically go for $20 each or thereabouts.

I have a DII that came with both condensers, a 80mm lens and a 135mm - neither was a modern lens but they both work very well for my needs. I also got the cones, lens boards, and several negative carriers. Total packagae was $200 - and from what I can tell, that appears to be about the going rate for this machine.

One thing about the D2/II machines - they are rugged, but they are prone to vibration, especially when the head is extended. The good news is that this is a simple problem to fix - mount the enlarger on your enlarging bench rather than a baseboard, and then fabricate a bracket to extend from the top of the column to the wall behind the enlarge. I used a piece of 1" aluminum strap from the home center - took about an hour of time, and works perfectly.

If you need parts, Midwest Photo Exchange is pretty well stocked. And the master of the Omega line is Harry Taylor Classic Enlargers 145 Jeanne Court Stamford, CT 06903 (203)-329-9228


john reef , Nov 06, 2003; 10:26 p.m.

If it's not a D2V forget about it. However, a 25 year old D2V that was treated well could be a gem. I have one and with a briliant Schneider lens I can make great photographs. Really, though, the bottom line on an enlagrer is the lens. I would rather have an ancient D2 with a Schneider-Kreuznach than a D5 with a mediocre no-name lens.

Edward Zimmermann , Nov 07, 2003; 01:37 a.m.

"I would rather have an ancient D2 with a Schneider-Kreuznach than a D5 with a mediocre no-name lens."

Why. I'd rather have the better enlarger.. The enlarging objectives are these days plentiful and cheap on the used market. A 1:2,8/50 Rodagon/Comonon/El-Nikor might be over 200 EURO/USD in the shops but its hardly 50 EURO/USD used, a 1:5,6/80mm Rodagon is similarly priced (typically less with the 1:4 priced higher), 1:5,6/105mm objectives are even more expensive in the shops when new (twice the 50mm) but used sometimes less than the others.. Rodagaon 135mm can be a tad more expensive than the 50mm as they are less common but in demand for 6x9 and 13x18 (even 4x5") but they too are still cents to the EURO or Dollar.. and the 150mm too are cheap.. So tossing the lenses out and getting new ones is not that expensive.. this can well be done for under 250 EURO/USD for all 5 (50, 80, 105, 135, 150) and one need not try to get them in short order.. and one may not even want or need them all...

Getting an good enlarger with a bunch of good enlarging objectives is typically cheaper (and obviously more comfortable, less work) than getting an enlarger and then going out on the hunt for lenses BUT it is more a price issue than a quality virtue. The used market for objectives might be a tad more active than for enlarging machines BUT its all hardly more than garbage being saved from the heap.

dee seegers , Nov 08, 2003; 04:47 p.m.

Greg, D2 enlargers are all over the internet auction sites, and prices really do vary as well. I looked for one for months. Bid on several, just to see them sell for high money. ($600.00 range!) But they usually came with lenses/ lens mounts, neg carriers and ect. Getting the "V" model is important! It has a variable condenser above the regular silver colored condenser can. It sits in a compartment that has a door that lifts open, simular to a filter compartment but about 3 inches thick. Condensers should be in very good condition, no scratches. If the d2 is an "XL" version then all the better. Attaching the column top to a wall is recomended. I just bought a D2V-XL,(to be delivered on the 10th), from a man in Oregon who rebuilds Omega enlargers. In the photos he emailed me, it looks almost like new. Can't wait till Monday. I chose to buy an Omega D2 because I used one in high school, (1968-72), and again in the Army. (1972-5). The D2 was a work horse and held up to a lot of abuse. There were lots of parts, componets and accessaries made and available for the D2. It was a very popular enlarger and they made lots of them. Just do an auction site serch for "Omega". My current enlarger is a Beseler 23CII-XL which is also a good enlarger which I've had since 1979 or 80. I bought the D2 because I started shooting 4x5.


Luis Gomez , Nov 14, 2003; 04:36 a.m.

for a omega dII in good condition $150-$200 dollars.

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