I'm just a step ahaed of buying _something_

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jernejk, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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    I'm just a step away of buying _something_

    Hi everybody,

    I had a darkroom back in the mid-90s, then - due to space constraints and so on gave it up. (Actually it's much worse, I basically threw the complete darkroom equipment out of the window when moving).

    In any case, I'm drawn to the full analog process more and more, and since I have the opportunity to improvise a dark room in the bathroom (yeah, not ideal, but that's the only option), I think I should just go for it.

    At the moment, I have an option to buy the basic equipment set with Meopta 5 enlarger, but it does not have a color head. So i'd need multigrade filters, but then again, there are Meoptas (5 & 6) with color heads available on the market, I'd just need to fish for red light, timer etc. separately.

    Since I have no experience with color head, I don't know how much easier it is to work with one? Is it worth it?

    Also, any comment on Meopta 5 vs 6? I kind of like the small size of 5, seems easier to store.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2013
  2. hgernhardt

    hgernhardt Member

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    Absolutely. My own darkroom space is part-time. All my equipment packs up onto a couple of bookshelves and a packing tub, with the exception of the Beseler 23c which sits by itself off to the side. I have a folding table I use when I set the system up. I got a Delta 1 Brightlab 11w light bulb that fits in any standard edison base socket to use as a safelight. Running water is in the sink outside the darkroom space.

    I did a quick search, and can't get a definitive answer as to which Meopta series you're talking about. I imagine you're referring to the Opemus, which can take a 6x6cm negative. That'll be useful if you ever wish to foray into square medium format. As long as it's in good condition, gives you enlargements the size you want, and doesn't leak light, you'll be fine to begin.

    I found a color head to be ridiculously convenient for doing VC prints. Twist the magenta for hard, the yellow for soft. That said, it's not absolutely necessary to have either a VC head or a colorhead in order to print VC. Get the filters and you'll be fine. You'll probably save some cash as well, and you won't have to worry about the extra expense of getting a new colorhead when you upgrade enlargers. I currently use a set of Beseler 3" color printing filters, hand held below the lens, to handle VC filtration. Yeah, I sacrifice some sharpness, but my prints are pretty to my eye.

    The red light I already mentioned. Timers can be had for a fairly small amount of cash. Mine is a (seemingly) ancient Time-O-Lite (I think it's an M72) I picked up off eBay.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    My own darkroom is in a small half bathroom. I have to setup and breakdown each time I want to print, so it is a hassle for me to print.
    The enlarger sets on the toilet, and I have to use a drum or rocking print tray to process the prints, as I do not have the counter space for trays.

    I use a Durst M600 (condenser enlarger) that I got back in 1971. It packs into its box and stores fairly easily.
    There is nothing wrong with using a condenser enlarger vs. a color head. Dealing with the VC filters is not very difficult, I did it for years. Yes it is not as convenient as just turning a dial on a color head. But don't let that be an issue. The real issue is condenser vs diffusion lighting. Color heads use diffusion lighting. Do research on that subject. There are pro/cons for both, so there is no "right" answer. Also if you develop your own film, you would adjust the flim development so it will print on grade 2 paper with YOUR enlarger, be it condenser or diffusion.

    I suggest getting the enlarger that you want, rather than settle for something you rather not have only because it is a kit.
    Building the kit yourself is not difficult. Lots of stuff on eBay or Craigslist (in the US).
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    A color head works well with variable contrast paper for black & white and allow your to do color later, if you choose.
     
  5. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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    my best candidate at the moment is a Meopta Opemus 5 with BW and Color head. For 35mm and 6x6. The only drawback I see is 80mm lens, which is a bit long and reduces max. possible enlargment, but I guess I could get a 50mm later on...
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    working with under-the-len-filtersis just as easy as with color heads,if not easier. changing filtration with color heads can be cumbersome and disturbs the set up. filters are easy, no need to spend more money.that said,color heads work great for blck-and-white printing.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    What I like about using a color head (for B&W VC) is that the filters don't need a separate storage space, and they are always clean, which does add a lot of convienience. But if you're really objective about it, they aren't that much easier to use than individual filters, just different. For doing split filtering I'd say that separate filters are easier (but you still need to store them somewhere and dust them off occasionally).
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    The Opemus is a good enlarger but for B&W I'd steer clear of the Color heads. Yes you can use it as a mulitgrade but the color head is heavier than the std head and I find it prone to act like a rocking chair where the std head feels a lot more stable on the column and using filters ain't a drawback to me. I gave my Opemus away when I became a father and since starting up I have been "stuck" with Durst enlargers :wink:
    Best regards
     
  9. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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  10. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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  11. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    I found a thread where someone else had the exact problem you have.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/59835-opemus-5-nikkor-el-50mm-f-2-8-diameter-too-big-fit.html
    According to one poster, there is another lensboard that will fit the larger 50mm lens.

    "for bigger 35mm film lens (say 4/40, 2.8/50, 2.8/63) you need another lensboard made by meopta - it's not so shallow but it has nearly 52mm internal diameter (and 39mm thread) so these bigger lens will fit inside. try to contact some meopta dealers...."

    I looked at another lensboard, larger pix than the one you linked to.
    http://www.thedarkroom.co.uk/tradit...accessories/lens-mount-for-opemus-6-39mm.html
    I don't know if this is the same as your lensboard, or if it is the one that the poster was referring to. This one has more vertical sides which "might" fit your EL-Nikkor 50/2.8

    Other than a different lensboard, you really do not have an option, you have to use a smaller lens.
    - Look for a 50mm lens with a smaller diameter. You may have to drop down to a 50/4 lens, to fit inside the dish.
    - Install a 39mm to 25mm reducing adapter into your lens board. Then use a smaller lens with a 25mm mount, like a Schneider Componon. You have to measure the lens mount on the lens, Schneiders come in different size mounts.

    gud luk
     
  12. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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    Thank you!
     
  13. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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    I've drawn the adapter in 3d modeling software and a friend will print it on 3D printer :smile:
    I'll report how it goes.

    meopta.jpg
     
  14. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    How cool is that :smile:

    Just make sure that the inner lip is thin enough to secure the lens with a retaining ring.
    Unless you are going to thread the hole, then make sure it is thick enough to hold the lens.