A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Film and Processing > Photo Enlarger

Photo Enlarger

Tony Dowling , Dec 31, 2009; 05:14 p.m.

Hello my name is Tony and I would like some assistance with developing my interest in developing and processing my own film. I have a 35mm film camera and will soon have a medium format (6x6) film camera. I would like to be able manage the whole process in my own dark room, which is yet to be constructed.
I am at the research stage of acquiring equipment for this purpose, and am pretty much uniformed about what to buy, what's good gear and what's not.
I have an opportunity to buy a Kaiser System - V Photographic Enlarger. Comes with Base Board, Transformer, Enlarger Unit, 2 New Lamps, Keisar 4.5 x 6 Format Mask, Keisar 24 x 36 Format mask, Keisar 6x6 Format Mask, Schneider Componar S 2.8 50mm lens, Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm F1.4 Lens.
My level of requirement is that of a hobbyist/ enthusiast. My questions are:
Does the gear described above fit in the lower, mid or upper range in terms of quality.
Will this kit described above satisfy my requirements, and is it relatively complete.
If someone were able to put a loose estimate of cost of such a kit, this would also be very helpful.
Thank you.


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Patrick Mont , Dec 31, 2009; 05:43 p.m.

After a very quick google search it looks okay but I can't personally tell you about the quality since I have never used them before. I can say that the Beseler 23C enlarger has worked awesome for me. You will also need developing trays and some other supplies. Are you planning to do color or black and white? I can tell you that the setup has really good lenses.

Nick Clarke , Dec 31, 2009; 05:45 p.m.

At current new prices you are looking at about 1200-1300 GBP but as to secondhand price it is what you are willing to pay/what the seller is willing to accept.
Regarding the quality the kit appears to fit at the top end of amateur beginning pro point in the manufacturers ranges, but whether this means anything outside a marketing meeting is anyones guess. What you can be sure of is that it is all good quality kit from recognised manuafacturers.

Bob Keefer , Dec 31, 2009; 06:28 p.m.

Enlargers are so cheap right now you can often get them free. The implication is, you might wait around for a more professional model, a Beseler 23, say, or an Omega D.

Bob Sunley , Dec 31, 2009; 06:35 p.m.

Kaiser equipment is top of the line,readily available in the UK and Europe, not so common in North America. A google search will get you some info, and that unit appears to be current. If the price is right, go for it.

JDM von Weinberg , Dec 31, 2009; 09:07 p.m.

I'm feelin' sorta like Bob Keefer on this one. The best are going for very little these days. I'm not acquainted with the Kaiser line, so will defer to Sunley on that, but do at least check out Beseler and Omega enlargers.

Joseph Wisniewski , Dec 31, 2009; 09:55 p.m.

Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm F1.4 Lens.

I have a strange feeling that this is actually an "f1:4" lens, more commonly known as an f4, not an f1.4.

Andrew Gillis , Jan 01, 2010; 10:49 a.m.

I would look for a better lens for 35 mm than the Componar--this is Schneider's low end lens, and a Schneider Componon S, El Nikkor 50 f/2.8 or Rodenstock Rodagon 50 would be a noticeable improvement in sharpness, particularly at the edges of 8x10 and larger prints.

Tony Dowling , Jan 01, 2010; 02:11 p.m.

Thank you all very much indeed, your comments have been most helpful.

Frank Schifano , Jan 01, 2010; 09:06 p.m.

Tony, are you sure that the 50 mm lens isn't a Componon S rather than a Componar S. The Componon S is aamong the very best of the Schneider enlarging lenses. Only the "APO" designated lenses are better, and then only for extreme enlargements. Schneider makes a lower quality lens designated Componar, and I have never seen that designation suffixed with an "S". The Rodenstock Rodagon 80 mm lens is likewise near the top of the Rodenstock line of enlarging lenses. You can't do much better than these lenses at any price. Any advantage offered by higher end lenses will be very slight to non-existent at common enlargement ratios and will come at an astronomical increase in price. Both are keepers if they are in good condition. Good condition means the glass is scratch free and reasonably clean, and that the aperture operates as it should. Never having seen one, I can offer no comment on the Kaiser enlarger.

Looks like what you have there will cover your enlarging needs for what you intend. Of course you will need an easel, trays, tongs, safelight, and a host of other little accessories to really get started. Have you thought about what you'll need to develop the film?

    1   |   2     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses