A few weeks ago I decided it was time to give a rest to my old Vivitar condenser enlarger (converted to a cold light source), and by the same token get away with alignments problems, light leaks, necessity to change light sources between 120 and 35mm. So I found on the local classifieds a nice Vivitar (again?) VI with Dioptic Light Source. With it came a Unicolor drum, a roller base, and all sorts of other darkroom goodies. Including a Linhof copy stand that's sturdy enough for a 4x5. Oh, and that 50mm Minolta CE lens people rave about, too. But I digress. The main pull for the enlarger setup was the price (100$ !), the fact that it was new, and the fact that it would be sturdy enough not to suffer from any severe alignment and/or focus shifts problems. The dichro head was just going to be an extra sweet: cold, diffuse light, and no filter swapping. But then I realized I could do colour: all the stuff was there, I only needed paper and chemistery. After a few adventures at the photo store, I eventually laid my hands on a Kodak RA-4 kit, and got me some Supra paper. It was the first time I opened a yellow box in my darkroom. Sigh. Got me a Print Viewing Filters kit as well on ebay. Apparently it's a discontinued product now? Well, a few hours later, many tests, and not too many mistakes, I have printed TWO (yes, one finger two times!) 8x10 with a nearly correct colour balance, and proper exposure. I kept temperatures constant in a water bath, and processing was a snap with the rolling base. I also witnessed metamerism firsthand: curse these newfangled economy fluorescent tubes! I decided in the end to use my quartz-halogen lamp as a reference. I was glad to be successful with B&W printing so far, but now I'm also free from drugstore prints with colour. I've always been unsure about printing colour. I thought it would be too much trouble, too finicky, etc. But if you can print B&W, you can print colour too. Doesn't mean you're good immediately, but it means you can learn properly. Man, I love that.