Omega D3

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by olleorama, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    What's the general opinion on the omega D3 enlarger? Will probably buy one with condenser head anyway, but it would be nice to hear opinions. From what I gather from various internet sources it seems to be some kind of mechanical autofocus with little manual focus options. And that it has a certain maximum print size as it's attached to a base board.

    What I'd like to know, more than general opinions is wether it's possible to do larger prints by projecting from a height down on to a floor or something similar. And also, how hard it would be to make a DIY diffusor head to it.

    All opinions welcome!
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    they are great :smile:
    i have one and have been using it for 20+ years ..

    harry taylor is the man when it comes to omegas
    if you haven't seen his website it is : http://www.classic-enlargers.com

    he knows all there is about omegas ...

    have fun!

    john
     
  3. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    what is the maximum print size?
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i never print too big, but
    i am sure if i had to, with a 135mm lens
    i could print a 16x20 or between a 16x20 and 20x24 ...
     
  5. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Dont forget that if you make a "drop table" for it you can make very large prints.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the column also swivels around to project down if needed ...
     
  7. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    I love mine. I have Nikkor 50mm, 75mm and 135mm lenses and the focusing "cams" for it.

    The auto focus feature keeps your image in focus as you adjust your overall image size up and down. I use both condenser and cold light heads. I've printed upto 20x24 with it with great success.

    For larger printing Omega made a 45 degree mirror that attaches to the lens cone with the same screws that hold the lens panel. You can the project onto the wall an print as large as you want.

    I say buy it!

    Patrick
     
  8. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    This is what I wanted to hear! :D

    The seller also had an AHEL marge-4 easel for sale. Worth buying at the equivalent of $140?
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I have been following APUG and the LF forums for quite a few years and the topic of converting condenser enlargers to diffusion by placing diffusing plates under the condensers is not often discussed. This was an option for the Durst 10x10 condenser heads and I think is should work for 4x5 Omega condenser heads. I don't own a condenser head (and almost everyone I know prints with diffuse light) so I have never tested it myself.

    In terms of the D3 don't get put off by rumors that you need serial number-matched lenses and cams.
     
  10. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Buy a cold light head if you still can. Aristo Mfg has been sold. Get an Aristo with V54 tube which has green + blue for VC paper. A color head will print the same as cold light.

    I tried all the ways to make a diffusion head from a condenser. They all suck up too much light. The best thing is to put some Rosco diffusion above the condensers. This gets you half way from a condenser to diffusion.

    There is no difference materially between a print make on a condenser or diffusion if the neg is taylored to the the type of head. Both have very slight advantages over the other, but you will need to be a very experienced printer to see them and then only if you make two prints and display them side by side. You will need two correctly developed negs used in the correct enlarger to see it . Changing paper grade nulifies the test.
     
  11. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I'm getting this used in southern scandinavia so ordering a new head from the US for about double the price of the enlarger is a bit out of the question for now. But I really appreciate the last paragraph. Sometimes you focus on things which aren't really important. I might try to dabble together my own LED VC head in the future, to b able to use VC paper. I'm collecting the enlarger this weekend.
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    You can find out more about the Aristo heads here:

    http://www.aristogrid.com/cold_light_heads.htm

    There are two models, one with the dual bulbs (CL4500)
    and the one with a single bulb for use with filters (CL45) it says for use only with Omega D series. The CL45 is cheaper and faster (I have one with a D2).

    I have seen them used, don't know about Europe.
     
  13. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Got it on sunday, used it for the first time yesterday, it was love at first sight. After cleaning up years of negligence i did some lovely prints from a few 6x7 negs I had been meaning to print. It was a long time ago I printed from medium format negs, so the results was mind blowing (again sort of..).

    Anyway, I have a few more questions now. The condenser compartment, couldn't I feasibly use that as a filter drawer? I would love to use VC paper, and I think I saw a fella on the 'tube doing just that, has anybody done so?
     
  14. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Fantastic! I've only had my 4x5 Pro Lab for just over a week, and like you, I'm blown away by the results . Yes you can use the condenser housing for the VC filters. Just slide a 6x6 grade filter ot top of the upper condenser. I was given a set of Kodak VC filters when I purchased my machine, and was given that instruction from the previous owner. He also included a Saunders 16x20 four blade easel on the deal(not to mention a couple of timers and most all of his darkroom gear) I was more than happy to give the full asking price-normally I LOVE to haggle. Enjoy your new toy!!
    Rick
     
  15. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Standard 6 inch VC filters fit in the adjustable condenser compartment, and this is the standard way to do VC printing with the condenser head.

    You can put diffusion material cut to fit in the variable condenser compartment to make it a sort of hybrid light source.

    I've also used diffusion gel material between the two bottom condensers and a plastic diffusion disk below the bottom condenser, as supplied with a conversion kit for the Philips PCS 150 tricolor light source. These all work well with the faster enlarging papers, color and B&W that I've used them with if the diffusion material isn't too dense. The Philips bottom diffusion disk was a bit slow for Cibachrome glossy in the mid-80's.

    Rosco and Lee sell diffusion materials that would work well.

    Lee
     
  16. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    New questions! Firstly I lack a cam for my 150 mm componon, I somehow got the impression I would be able to focus anyway, just that I wouldn't be able to autofocus, is this completely wrong? I was going to enlarge my first 4x5 negatives and now have to wait a while. If anybody has any ideas they are very welcome.

    Secondly, how much difference in printing times does a new bulb do? I changed mine today and it felt as if I had to stop down too much to get decent times. It was a bit hard dodging on a 3 second exposure.
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The focus knob is just to fine tune the focus. That 150mm will require the 421-155 5¼" Cone and 422-325 cam.

    What cones and cams do you currently have?
     
  18. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    For the 150 mm I have a cone, not sure of the height, but appears to be in the vicinity of 5 1/4", the previous owner has shimmed the lensplate to the cone with a piece of plywood(!), probably to get 5 1/4. I have no cam for the 150 lens, only for my 105 and 80.

    I was told you could use a lens with no cam by setting the 'cam-wheel' in between cams.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    There is a cone/ 135mm lens/track set on ebay right now
    #200438235436
     
  20. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Yeah, already checked it out.. :D

    I'll probably go thru harry from classic-enlargers and buy a cam for a 150 mm.. If anyone happens to have a 150 mm cam handy they are very welcome to trace it on paper and scan it, or something. It should be fairly easy to have some cut it out with laser if you've got the shape in electronic form.
     
  21. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    No, you can't focus it at all without the cam and the proper lens cone. Sorry. When I was outfitting my D4 (also an autofocus enlarger) I heard from Harry Taylor, Mr. Omega himself, that each cam was custom made to match to a specific serial numbered lens. The set guaranteed absolutely perfect focus as the head was moved up and down the column. It's hard to find a matched set now, but no matter. The focus will be off as you move the head with a non-matched pair, but only a little as long as the cam matches the published focal length of the lens. The fine focus knob has more than sufficient travel to correct for the slight discrepancy.
     
  22. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Thanks. I will buy a cam from Mr Omega.