Kaiser enlarger - dusty condenser

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by pdeeh, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kaiser enlarger - dusty condenser [SOLVED]

    I'm making a return to using film, and am trying to assemble a darkroom.

    I have recently been gifted a Kaiser VCP6002 colour enlarger, which I hope to put to use in the near future for black & white printing (I appreciate that a colour enlarger is not preferred for this application). It lacks only a 35mm mask and an enlarging lens.

    Despite having been in storage for perhaps a decade, it appears to be in very good order indeed, "mint" even, with the exception that the condenser lens assembly appears very dusty (I hope not hazy), and I would like to clean it.

    It is not entirely obvious to me how this disassembles from the condenser housing, and while I've found a user manual online, I can't seem to locate a service manual.

    So before I attack it with my usual precision toolkit (a table knife, a 5p piece and a hammer, of course), I thought I might ask if anyone here has experience of this task on this model?

    many thanks for any help
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2012
  2. ath

    ath Member

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    These are contructed modular. Probably you just have to take off the dichroic lamp head and then you can lift out the condensors.
     
  3. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,928
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Ye Olde England
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    See page 18 of the manual (can be downloaded from http://www.kaiser-fototechnik.de/pdf/anleitungen/4420_3_en.pdf) - Looks quite easy to access the condensers once the head is removed.

    A colour head is well suited to B&W printing especially if you intend to use variable contrast papers (often abbreviated to VC of MG depending on the source). Fixed grade papers can also be used by switching out the filters and using the "white light" setting. While you have the head off to clean out the dust, it is also worth changing the lamp as these change in characteristics as they age. Typical operating life is quoted as between 25 to 50 hours then you'll start to notice muddy prints as the harder grades become more difficult to achieve.
     
  4. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    thanks both, especially the advice about lamp life. I got this from someone I think had used it professionally, so I expect it'll be worth changing. fortunately spares of all sorts seem to be readily available for this model.

    yes i had already obtained the user manual, and it is indeed only a matter of unlocking the lamp assembly from the condenser assembly to reveal the condenser.

    Once that is done, however, it is not entirely clear how to extract the condenser lens unit itself from it's mounts (as only one face is revealed by unlocking the lamp and condenser modules, I can't clean the inner faces); there are a couple of rather obvious looking screw-posts that I can start on, but what I didn't want to do was embark on a disassembly if specialist tools were required or if I could easily find myself with an alignment problem of some sort once reassembled ... hence the question.

    I presume one I get to the lens itself, a rocket blower, brush and ROR will be suitable for cleaning.
     
  5. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Excuse me, I am a buffoon.
    There are clear instructions in the user manual that I have managed to overlook

    apologies for wasting anyone's time
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,115
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As far as I remember the condenser has a simple bayonett mount, but I have the earlier 6000 Version.
     
  7. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just for completeness:

    Two "post"-type self-retaining screws secure the condenser lens assembly, and it simply lifts out after slackening them off.

    The lens assembly itself is held in an aluminium or mag-alloy two-part frame secured with 4 self-tapping screws, also easily disassembled, so a total of only 8 parts to keep track of!

    The "interior" convex surfaces on this example were slightly dusty and hazy, but cleaned up easily using ROR.

    The most difficult thing was reassembling the lens assembly without too much dust getting trapped (almost impossible in a domestic situation).

    I'll report back if I ever get to shine any light through a negative using it ...