How to Convert Omega 5x7 Enlarger for VC Printing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by silveror0, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    I have an Omega 5x7 E6-XL with the "saucer" head (Omegalite w/ circline fluorescent bulb). I'd like to ask if anyone has any suggestions for modifying this head or making a totally new head that can do VC printing. An unusual feature of this enlarger is that the 5x7 opening at the top of the bellows is oriented as "portrait" rather than the usual "landscape", and there is no filter drawer. I've been told by KHB that the Omega 5x7 dichro head will not work. Harry at Classic Enlargers suggested just changing the current bulb to one with a color temp around 2700K (incandescent) and using filters under the lens; this is the cheapest way to go since the Ilford website says the filters will work with any incandescent light source. Just before Aristo went bye-bye I'd coordinated with them and arrived at a system that would have cost around $2000 (OMG!!!!!), but fortunately there was no time to place an order. I can try out Harry's suggestion, but it doesn't solve the repeatability issue that stems from fluoro systems. Any thoughts, short of getting a different enlarger? Adequate 5x7's don't show up used very often, and that format is the one I use most often.
     
  2. E76

    E76 Member

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  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes, and that acquiring company has decided not to produce any more full product assemblies. As of my last conversation with Louise Kessler the tooling for the Aristo product line was still packed away after their plant relocation with no current plans to resume full production.

    Louise did offer that she had located the original plans for the actual grid lamps and was trying to get some kind of limited production of replacement lamps up and running for those customers who already owned units. I do not know where that effort currently stands.

    Ken
     
  4. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Ken and E76: I was being brief when I said Aristo went bye-bye. Actually I'm up to date on the Aristo details, thanks to Ken's previous posts. Also I've been watching with interest Steve Smith's progress, although I'm not as versed as he is regarding electrical stuff, but would be willing to attempt it with some handholding if it comes to that. Right now, I'm just trying to get as much info as I can before committing to building the dern thing. I know I can construct a box with incandescents and get uniform illumination, but that's such an inefficient heat-producing solution that would require some experimentation to get the intensity worked out ... but if that's what it takes so be it.
     
  5. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I got a D2 with the Omegalite and quickly got a hold of an aristo unit. The omega lite for all intents and purposes is terrible with VC paper. The exposures are very long and the spectrum was designed for graded papers made in the late 60's
     
  6. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Agreed. It's still working very well with graded papers, but I'm having to persist with various means of changing contrast that are nowhere near as convenient as a VC system.
     
  7. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    If you can round up a condenser housing and condensers it is very easy to add a dichroic head from a Honeywell/Nikor/Rollei 6x7 enlarger. Works like a champ on my E.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'm surprised the E Chromega head won't fit your enlarger.

    I had an old style Aristo head and got good results with 8x10 negative enlarging with the following:

    1) 30CC Yellow Aristo filter placed between light and negative
    2) Ilford 6x6in filters placed between lens and paper on a home-made filter holder.

    It worked very well.

    Also, the fact that the bulb on your saucer head can be cheaply replaced with one of another color temp, puts you way ahead someone with an Aristo head :wink:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Ken - when was your last conversation with Louise?
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Hi George,

    A pair of them...

    The first on 3/18/2010 when she finally was able to answer my long-standing question regarding a possible resumption of production by stating that,

    "Yesterday I finally came across the lamp production templates. They have made the decision not to produce any of the [fully assembled cold light head] units, but I'm working with engineering to see what's needed to make replacement lamps."

    Then again on 3/25/2010 when I asked about availability of an Omega D system mounting bracket for a nice condition VCL4500 I had subsequently picked up on eBay, she responded,

    "I'm looking for items like that - but with their decision not to make any of the electrical items the shipping staff has jammed things together so it's hard to find items like that.

    So these would be about four and a quarter months ago from this post. Do you have any more recent information?

    Ken
     
  11. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    see if you can find an EK57
    it works with my E4.
    it wasn't a custom fit
    but i had to retrofit / mask off the sides.
    it works fine ...
     
  13. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas, guys. Looks like I have some things to consider now.
     
  14. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Funny. I own an E6 xl with a chromega ii color head. I'd be very surprised to find out that omega made two different camera types for this enlarger, one for cold light, one for dichroic. Is your carrier in the landscape orientation or portrait?
     
  15. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    As stated in Posts #1 and #11, the orientation is "portrait." You said your head is the "chromega ii color head"; is that the one that is officially "Chromega E Dichroic II" or is it the "SUPER Chromega E Dichroic II"? KHB has told me that both of these use landscape format and are not practical to install on my older E6 chassis?
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I just sent another email to Louise about the status of Aristo products. When the company was bought what part of the company was of interest to the new owners. In other words why kill off the cold light grid part of the company.
     
  17. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Aristo was just one member of the Voltarc family of companies. LightSources was looking for some of the other members when they acquired Voltarc.

    Ken
     
  18. frotog

    frotog Member

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    I've the super chromega. Are you sure your enlarger is an E6 and not an E3 or E4? In any event you'd be best served with a dichroic head - much more even and a lot less expensive (second hand) than a "cold-light". If you're interested I have an extra Durst 138 with both a condenser head and a cls301 dichroic.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I suspect they are right. Unlike the D Chromega heads (which have a square 5x5 inch mixing box) the the mixing box on the E head is, I believe, 5x7 inches rectangle, oriented in landscape. So you'd only get 5x5 of light in the end with your enlarger's 5x7 portrait opening.
     
  20. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    ic-racer,

    That's exactly what my problem is. So far, I think my only cost-effective alternate is to make my own head that will give even diffused illumination and use under-the-lens filters. To get sufficient intensity, I'll probably have to have a remotely located fan, connected to the head via flex hose for cooling. May also provide a filter drawer in the head, just in case it's needed to correct the color temp of the light source to closely match incandescents.
     
  21. rmann

    rmann Subscriber

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  22. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Ken - and to others re the topic of resurrecting the Aristo lamp products - we probably should continue posts regarding this specific topic on the thread already started (by me) some time ago in the Product Availability forum.

    This is the thread - http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/67767-aristo-new-info.html

    To answer you Ken - sorry, it's been a couple of days - I have no more new info.
     
  23. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Agreed. And apologies to 'silveror0' as we really were not trying to hijack his thread.

    Ken
     
  24. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    No apologies necessary. It's quite all right. Good luck with the Aristo quest.