Good beginner's enlarger? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I would like to build a darkroom in my home, B & W only, 35mm.

What enlarger would you recommend for a beginner who wants good equipment, but doesn't want to spend a fortune? What should I expect to pay? New or used?

Thank you!

-- Jed Bean (, May 08, 2000


Don't skimp on an enlarger. Look into getting a second hand Omega, Bessler or Durst with the capability of at least 6x7cm.I have a 1968 vintage Omega B8 6x9 cm with a second hand el nikkor 50mm and a second hand rodenstock 90mm. It works great. If I were to do it again however I would get a 4x5" unit. If you are interested in Omegas there is a great resource at I'm sure there are comparable sites for Bessler, Durst etc.Good luck!

-- Robert Orofino (, May 08, 2000.

I agree with Robert. I usually hate the advice, 'get the best you can afford,' but in the case of enlargers it is really true. I think you can make superb photos with a dirt-cheap camera, but you really need a sturdy enlarger that has capabilities at least a little beyond what you are doing now. That is, if you are doing 35mm, get one that will do 6x7, etc.... Spend some money on a good lens, and then make sure your enlarger is solidly positioned, wherever you use it. I too think that you would do well to look at used enlargers.


-- Christian Harkness (, May 09, 2000.

The Saunders/LPL 67 enlarger is a fine piece of equipment and well priced too.($789.00 at B&H) The Durst M670 VC ($692.00 at B&H) can also be recommended without hesitation. You can skimp on your enlarger a bit but buy the best lens you can. A latest model Schnieder CompononS, Nikkor or Rodenstock Rodagon should be mandatory.


-- Mark Bau (, May 10, 2000.

I would start looking at used. There is a lot of used wet darkroom stuff available for a fraction of the cost of new. And good stuff.

I would get a good enlarger, and stick with one of the "name" brands, Bessler, Omega, LPL/Saunders, Durst. There is support for these in the way of parts from one source or another.

Put your money into the lens. For the price the El Nikkor 6 element lenses (50mm f2.8) are hard to beat. The upper end Rodenstock and Schneider are also nice. But with all these brands, watch out, since they all make bargain lines of lenses.

Used, you can pick up a nice enlarger that will do up to 6x6 or 6x7 for $200 or less. A 50mm f2.8 El Nikkor used is under $100.

-- Terry Carraway (, May 10, 2000.

A good enlarger for a beginner is a used Omega B-22.

-- Richard Jepsen (, July 08, 2000.

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