Condenser–diffuser illumination system

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Richard Jepsen, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Does anyone know of a B&W 670 or 690 enlarger using both diffusion and condensers for a light source? I'm trying to find a compromise between a Beseler 23 and a LPL Dichro.
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Most enlargers can change between the two. Do you mean both at the same time?
     
  3. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I'm looking for a light source head that has a diffuser on top of two condensers. My largerst neg is 6x6 but I would like the enlarger to have 6x7 capability.
     
  4. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Well the 23C supports 6x9cm/2x3" negatives as shipped. A piece of opal glass can replace the condensers. Seems to be able to do what you want.
     
  5. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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  6. Barrie B.

    Barrie B. Subscriber

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    Greetings , The ' VIVITAR VII ' , no longer made had a 'light-pipe' diffuser from the lamp house and a single condenser above the negative . The model VI was 6 X 6 and the VII was 6 X 7 cm . I still have mine under a dust cover in corner of my darkroom. ................. Cheers Barrie B. Australia.
     
  7. martyryan

    martyryan Member

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    The Beseler 23cII with the dual dicro S head uses both the diffusion head with the condensers.

    Marty
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    So you want a condenser light source with dichroic or colored filters above it. As mentioned the Vivitar Light pipe enlarger does that. I'd just use a conventional diffusion light source and not bother with the condensers. Or use a conventional condenser light source and colored filters.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It might help if you said why you want both condenser and diffuser. It may be that you are under the impression that condensers are better for some kind of printing but like ic-racer I wouldn't bother.

    pentaxuser
     
  10. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    All things considered, neither the Vivitar or B-23 is what I'm looking for. The pricey Kaiser V9500 color head with a diffuser over the condenser is in play. I read this configuration increases contrast by 1/2 grade vs a typical dichro head. The less expensive B&W V-9500 head lacks the diffuser per the web site. What are used choices in a condenser-diffuser light source. Think Leitz 1c light quality.

    On graded paper my existing negatives print better using a condenser. My base paper is EMAKS #3 and Galarie #3. They are about 1/2 grade different in contrast. With VC paper using the LPL Dichro my filtration is 3.5.

    One solution is a used LPL 670 XL condenser head and my LPL color head. Switch heads for contrast control. Another solution is a Dr. Beers formula but I don't wish to go that direction. After re-reading Ilford's DR book (illustration on heads), a condenser with diffuser may be the best compromise. Besides the Kaiser and Vivitar, what other choice----Durst 600 series; Dunco ????? Enlargements never bigger than 11x14.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2011
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    With B&W printing the only thing a diffusion on top of condenser gives you is variable dichroic filtration and with the condenser. You can get almost the same thing with a standard condenser head and the Ilford filters at 0.5 grade increments. In fact the 'standard' (non-point source) condenser head uses a diffusion source any way. That is, the globe or bulb is a diffuse source that sits above the condensers.
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Unless you have already made your mind up about condenser with dichro head it might be worthwhile reading what Ralph Lambrecht has to say about printing with a dichro head and what Ctein has to say on the general subject of condenser/ diffuser.

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    What do you mean with this remark? Is only the fact that you need to print 1/2 grade harder with the diffusing head what bothers you, or do you consider the diffused (LPL dichro) prints on VC paper, in some way really inferior to your prints on graded paper?

    If the first, I wouldn't bother with all the hassle, with grade 3.5, there is still headroom left for creative manipulation, and if the print is good, why bother?

    If the latter, the mere fact you are comparing not only different heads (diffused vs condensor), but also graded versus VC paper, is a complicating factor. You are combining two factors here. Unless you do more controlled testing using both heads (diffused/condensor), and both paper types, I wouldn't disregard one or the other.
     
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  15. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Let me clarify. I prefer using EMAKS and Galerie grade #3 paper due to their attributes. My home MF enlarger is a LPL 670 Dichro. Existing negatives print soft using graded paper on the LPL diffused (unfiltered) light source.

    To get quality prints from existing negatives I use a Beseler B-23 condenser at a community DR. Since my DR space at home is limited, I don't use multiple tray contrast control (Dektol & 120).

    I prefer to enlarge at home. I am considering buying a used LPL 670XL (condenser) and exchange heads as appropriate to accommodate for the (graded) paper contrast. It may be smart to try a harder developer in a single tray to gain 1 to 1/2 grade increase in contrast needed when enlarging graded paper with the unfiltered LPL light.

    Having lost 3 prefered papers I hate to migrate to another.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2011
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    All seem like good solutions. Also, have you tried that paper in Grade 4 or 5?
     
  17. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Im just trying EMAKS in grade 4 on my LPL. Galleria is not available in 4. I re-read Jack Coote book, Monochrome Darkroom Practice. The Kaiser 60 depicted on page 158 does not have a plastic diffuser above the condensers as I originally thought. The Kaiser VCP 9005 has this hybrid configuration. The VCP 9005 looks like a Durst 605.
     
  18. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Although long in the tooth many of the old Federal's were semi defussion, I have an old 6X9 model that I intend to convert to a point source, one of these days, has a single condenser and a glass defussion plate that sits above the condenser. From I read in the manual a double condenser set up was also an options for some models. Although not up to my D3 or Durst standards of build or ease of use, very inexpensive. I have printed with it using a Wollensak 90mm, does print softer than a condenser but harder than the cold lite on my D3. I think you can also convert a Durst 607 or 609, my 602 has a double condenser and by taking out the top condenser and adding a sheet of white glass in the filter tray you may get the same effect.
     
  19. hka

    hka Member

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    An other possibilty, take a Durst M805, b&w model with condensors, and put a Heiland LED (SplitGrade) head on top.
     
  20. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    Another alternative, that doesn't seem to have been mentioned, is to adjust your exposure/development regime in order to give you harder negatives. It won't help with printing your older negs but it'll save you the expense of rejigging your enlarger.

    In fact, if you can adjust your negatives to print well on G2, you'll be winning in terms of 'tonal depth' and you'll gain some headroom to operate on more difficult negs. I always aspire to a negative that prints easily on G2 because it opens up greater possibilities.
     
  21. Comrade Conrad

    Comrade Conrad Member

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    As you alluded earlier, the Leitz enlargers used a light source that was a combination of diffuser and condenser. Both the IIa and IIc enlarger accept up to 6x9 negatives and are available on the used market. I have a very clean IIa available. Contact me privately if you're interested.
     
  22. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I am familiar with the Leitz IIc. The IIc is too large for my space. I have increased development to raise contrast, however still too low for the color head. This morning I used Ilford WT and PF 130, toned in KRST 1:20 for 6 min. First impression is print richness is similar to EMAKS graded. That may be my answer.

    So the collective wisdom is the Vivitar VI and VII, Kaiser VP Color head, Leitz IIc and Dunco have hybrid light sources.
     
  23. Comrade Conrad

    Comrade Conrad Member

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    The Focomat IIa, as I mentioned, also has the combination diffusion/condenser light source. Not as heavy and overbuilt as the IIc, but completely adequate. Also not as expensive.
     
  24. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I looked again at Post Exposure by Ctein mentioned by pentaxuser. He may be pointing to Chapter 10, Split-Filter Printing vs. Graded Filter Printing. There are certainly differences between papers. Much of it is the paper tint, the paper color base and the contrast curve. One paper may work better than another for certain negatives. I think prints destined for a wall hanging do better with a white base which projects the image. A WT paper appears richer with more open shadows. Some papers (graded) seem to separate low values better or have a higher micro contrast (EMAKS). Conrad, I love my Leitz 1c. Had a V-35, arguably the best enlarger ever, but traded it for the 1c smaller footprint. Comrade, do you have a negative mask for 645.
     
  25. Comrade Conrad

    Comrade Conrad Member

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    Do you mean a 645 mask for the IIa or IIc? No, it's not a format I use, but I'll double check.
     
  26. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Comrade, don't take time to look. I'm really looking for something smaller and more modern.