Ollinger's Guide to Enlargers

Simmon Omega Miscellaneous Enlargers


The three Simmon brothers began producing enlargers in the mid-30s and are still in business today (as OmegaSatter). The original company was Simmon Brothers, and the greek Ω symbol was the logo; but over the years the symbol became the name of the product. Enlargers by Simmon Brothers are almost always referred to as "Omega" enlargers.

Omega enlargers typically follow a reliable name scheme: the letter designates the format size of the enlarger (i.e. the largest negative the enlarger can accept); the following number indiciates the model generation. A "B" size enlarger is larger than an "A", a "D" is larger than both, etc. Typically the higher the number, the more recent the model. E.g. a B-22 is more recent than a B-3.

The letter formats are: "A" (35mm), "B" (2-¼-square), "C" (3-¼-square), "D" (4x5), "E" (5x7) and "F" (8x10).

There are some exceptions as noted. Marketing departments love to depart from a standard naming scheme, and in some cases a very popular model enlarger (such as the D2) remained in production after more recent machines were discontinued.

To the best of my knowledge, the XL designation refers to an extended-length column.

I have a few of Instruction Manuals and brochures available for download. click for manual

Quick Comparison

Model Mfg Col. Type Max Size Lens Focus Notes
Complete (Model A) 1938-1940s Single Tube 35mm Bellows A self-contained unit. Sister to the Model B
Complete (Model B) 1955-1962 U-tube 2-¼"-square (6x6cm) Bellows A self-contained unit. Sister to the Model A
F 1965-1973 Quad-rail 8x10 Bellows Huge machine meant for professional and commerical work.

Series Comments

This is the catch-all group for anything that didn't quite fit elsewhere.

Model Comments

Complete (Models A and B)

This is actually the same enlarger, simply offered in two different sizes: the A size was for 35mm and the B size for 2-¼"-square. It was a nifty idea: it was self-contained in a box that provided its own structure. The front dropped down to become the baseboard, and the head swung out from the top; so that the whole thing could be quickly and easily packed away for storage.

Model F

This 8x10 model followed the series letter progression; but since there's only one, it was simply the F.