Problems printing with Omega C700

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by joshua029, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    Hey guys, I don't post often but I would like some help from you darkroom gurus!

    I graduated college about a year ago, (for photography of course :tongue:) and spent a few years working in a darkroom and with various other equipment. I'm not a complete noob when it comes to darkroom processes but maintenance isn't something I'm used to having to deal with.

    So here is the deal: I set up my own darkroom to play with 35mm for a while and I just haven't had any luck with this enlarger. I'm not used to dealing with Omegas but this was for cheap, practically given away. But there is some fall off toward the edges but the center gets burned too deep. I have provided a test on a Bromoil (Amidol developed, which I had just mixed up) paper to show you what I'm talking about. The blacks don't get black unless exposed for abnormally long periods and at that point the rest of the image just turns into a big blob of garbage with very little contrast and even less details.

    My negatives are fine, I printed them on the enlargers when I used up a weekend to return to my Alma Mater.

    Anyways, I just put a new bulb in it (75watts replacing the 25 watts in there) thinking that was it, but I was wrong. It's brighter, but still bad. The previously mentioned Amidol was the 3rd developer I tried thinking that was it (tried Dektol and even D-76 before) and was wrong again. The Bromoil paper I tried is a grade 2, but also tried RCs and VC fiberbased papers and it still prints crap. The condensers are clean and in correctly, there really isn't any other way to put them in.

    My C700 is using a 50mm Rodenstock lens and its the same across all stops, just takes longer for them to print garbage. I don't want to purchase another lens since I just bought an Omega D2 to print my monorail negs so if I'm told to throw this thing away I wouldn't be against it.

    I printed a test at 3 second intervals which is attached. You can see the falloff of light at the top and bottom of the strips but a blob of black in the center. And the paper gets exposed beyond the strips as well (something else I'm not used to seeing) which can be seen in the upper left. Please advise me!!!
     

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  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Make sure the condensors are aligned properly(and they are both there)and oriented properly. I gave my last one away, or I would refer to the owners manual to help you out. At one time, I owned and used 3 C-700's set up for different formats. They are wonderful little machines and quite capable of quality prints. Also, just because the lens has Rodenstock on it doesn't make it a good lens, anything could have happened to it in its lifetime, or it is a bottom end lens produced for cheap entry level. IIRC, alot of the early C-700s came with a low end Roddy installed.
    PM me if you would like an el-Nikkor 50/2.8 for cheap.
     
  3. jbrubaker

    jbrubaker Member

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    Are you using the correct type of bulb for your enlarger. It needs to have the white coating for even illumination. Regards ---john. bulb.jpg
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Hazy lens. Clean or replace.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I don't think this results from a problem with an enlarger.

    Does the image on the easel look sharp and evenly illuminated?
     
  6. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys!

    The lens is something I questioned as well but it appears to be okay. I've been looking into another lens for this so I'll keep that in mind. But haze could be the problem.

    Yes, the condensers are there (I had taken it apart to check many times and to clean them) but I'm not too sure about alignment or how to check that. Again, I'm pretty new to this maintenance stuff seeing as my professors always fixed this if something seemed off.

    Yes Matt everything does look sharp from the lens and even. That's what I is so perplexing. That's why I tried everything post printing as well as different papers I had on hand. I even tried printing without an easel to see if that was the problem.

    The bulb is new, just got it (75 watts from Adorama). From the things I've read online (don't have the manual for it) this is the correct watt bulb for this enlarger. Checked bellows for any leaks and there are none. Everything moves well and easy too. If it's not the enlarger, what else could be doing this to my prints?
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    My next question would be, did you place the lamp housing back correctly so it seated properly, and was the bulb socket secure and aligned?
     
  8. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    Yes, lamphouse was seated and tighteded correctly. Its a tight fit, not easy to move but not easy to mess up. :sad:
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The exposure extending beyond the "strips" tells me that you have either a light leak on problems with a safelight.
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If the lens focuses sharply on the base board it's not likely to be the problem. If it's a Rodagon it's also not likely that you can get a better quality lens.
    I'd tend to agree with Mattking and the possibility of fogging.
    Is your safelight safe or too close to the work area? You're likely aware of putting a coin on the paper, expose it for a minute or so then processing & seeing an unexposed area. Or not>

    I'm not familiar with the 700 but does it use two or three condensers? Many of the Omegas used a supplementery condenser for 35mm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2013
  11. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    I had actually considered the safelight being the culprit before. I'm using those red safelight bulbs that Adorama sells and the one on my dry side is about 3 feet away but over my enlarger. I had started turning it off before i printed the test for Max Black which is shown in tge OP. I will use this coin to test for certainty in a couple days to find out for sure though.



    And the C700 has 2 condensers...
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Throw that effing bulb in the trash and buy a real safe light.
    Oh, and thats the correct condensor set.
     
  13. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Turn off the safe light 100%. 3 feet is way too close in any case.

    I am sure there is a thread here on properly testing the safe light. Do not fall for the coin test as it is worthless almost.

    Haze in the lens will kill contrast and muddy tones. It does not kill sharpness until it gets pretty bad. Shine a pen or keychain light in both sides .