Really dumb question

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by DieHipsterDie, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. DieHipsterDie

    DieHipsterDie Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Is my Durst F30 a condenser or diffusion enlarger? Got it second hand and can't find much info online.
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I hate to say it, but yes, it is pretty dumb. You have the enlarger. Does it have condensers or a diffusion chamber? This is a clue...

    There are hybrids, of course.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Are there one, two, or three big lenses between the light bulb and the negative carrier? If there are, then it's a condenser enlarger.
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are no dumb questions, if you don't know, you don't know. Having snide replies by someone you would think would have the common decency to be kind to a questioner when they might know the anser is just plain rude. I wish I knew the answer, but I don't. I have no knowledge of Durst.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It is most emphatically not a dumb question! It's simply a question that reveals lack of knowledge about how to tell the difference!

    A condenser enlarger uses one or more condensers, which resemble large lens elements, to spread the light from a bulb evenly over the area of the negative. This contrasts with a diffusion enlarger, which uses a diffusion box (basically just a box with a white interior) between the light source and the negative to do the same thing. You can generally find condensers or a diffusion box on your enlarger, but you may need to open panels or partially disassemble the head to make a positive identification. Try looking for access points just above the lens; that's where the condensers or diffusion box would be.

    As a general rule, condenser enlargers have cylindrical or bulbous heads with the bulb at the top, whereas diffusion enlargers have boxy heads with the bulb at the rear (the diffusion box changes the light path from horizontal to vertical). There are exceptions to this rule, though; for instance, my Philips PCS130 is a condenser model with a boxy head. I'm unfamiliar with the Durst F30, but a quick Web search turns up hits suggesting that it's a condenser model, and the photos I found of it show it having a boxy appearance, so it may be similar to my Philips in being a boxy condenser enlarger -- or it may be a model with multiple heads or accessories that can convert it from one to the other.
     
  6. RobLewis

    RobLewis Member

    Messages:
    167
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evergreen Pa
    Shooter:
    35mm
    only a dumb question if you are not a beginner, like many of us who are beginners, and try to use these forums to get info we can't get from the choads at Best Buy or Ritz camera.

    My internet search also found shockingly little info on the Durst F30. I don't know the answer to your question, and will withhold passing judgement on the merit of the question.

    Good luck, and don't be afraid to post any questions to the forums. Sorry I couldn't help.

    Cheers
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

    Messages:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sunny Southe
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. Sometimes it pays to remember that.

    I sincerely hope Diehipsterdie is not put off from future participation on APUG by Roger's particularly stupid answer.
     
  8. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

    Messages:
    3,049
    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, Roger was a bit abrupt, but it's true that condenser enlargers have condensers... but if you have no idea what the heck a condenser is, then he may as well have told you that firligmats always have a firligmat.

    Condensers are large magnifying glass lenses, and there are two of them. So, look inside the head of your enlarger, and see if you have some sort of drawer or receptacle that is holding a pair of convex lenses. If you do, then, viola! you have a condenser enlarger! :D
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Sorry, but it IS a dumb question. Anyone who has ever read anything about enlargers in a real book would have no difficulty in working this out for himself/herself. Relying solely on internet forums to be led by the hand (or nose) is not a good way to learn anything.

    When it comes to enlarger design, this is about as basic as it gets, and I find it hard to imagine BUYING an enlarger without an understanding of (a) what 'condenser', 'condenser-diffuser' and 'diffuser' mean and (b) what sort of enlarger you are buying. It's like buying a Leica and asking 'Is it 35mm?'

    If I have offended the feelings of diehipsterdie I apologize, but equally, I can't bring myself to apologize too priofoundly to someone who chooses a name which I find pretty offensive too.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Jeanette has phrased it a lot more tactfully, but yes, this is what I was saying. If you can't derive the answer for yourself, you may well be unable to understand the answer, and you are even less likely to understand the implications of the answer.

    We all try to run before we can walk, but this one struck me as carrying this concept too far.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  11. Andy K

    Andy K Member

    Messages:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sunny Southe
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Diehipsterdie, please ignore Roger. He has forgotten that everyone was a beginner once. Please do not hesitate to post more questions.

    I hope beginners in film are not going to be put off from joining APUG based on Mr Hicks attitude.
     
  12. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Scottsdale,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I tell my kids, ignorance is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Failure or FEAR of asking the question, is STUPID.

    I have been in photography awhile, but admit I didn't know the difference either as I contact print. Learn something new everyday!
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Frances has point out that indeed, she would not have been so abrupt: how do you find out the basics when you don't know?

    On the other hand she agree that 'DieHipsterDie' is a pretty offensive nickname in its own right -- urging ANYONE to die is rather unpleasant -- so I can only plead that I was over-influenced by the name.

    My further apologies, therefore.

    Roger
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

    Messages:
    1,691
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well - - - I would argue that the F30 is both.

    A condenser enlarger uses a lens (or set of lenses) to cause the light from a source to form a beam. The condenser lens(es) sit between the light source and the negative.

    A diffusion enlarge uses an optical device to diffuse the light from the source. The diffusion device sits between the light source and the negative.

    The Durst F30 (and also F60) enlarges have BOTH condenser lenses and diffusion devices. The diffusion device is a white-painted steel plate that serves as a reflector, bending the beam of light from the bulb at a 90 degree angle and redirecting it downward through the condenser lens to the negative stage. So the actual light source seen by the condenser lenses is not the semi-specular lamp, but rather the very diffused white metal plate reflector.

    Actually, the real extremens in enlarger design is between "point source" enlargers and diffusion enlargers. A point source enlarger is one in which the source of light is relatively small. The light from this source is collimated with a condenser to form a very contrasty beam of light. A point source enlarger is characterized as extremely sharp, but very contrasty and emphasizing any flaws tht may exist in the negative.

    My Omega DII enlarger has condenser lenses, so it's a condenser enlarger. The light originates in a bulb that sits directly above the condensers. If I use a bare, unfrosted bulb, it approximates a point source in that there is no diffusion device in the light path. If I use a standard household bulb, the frosted glass provides some diffusion. Of course, the original design calls for a #211 bulb, a so-called "opal" bulb which just means that the glass envelope has been given an extreme degree of frosting, it acts more like a diffusion enlarger.

    There has been a lot of pointless arguing about which is better - point source, condenser, diffusion. The late Fred Picker always made a big deal about how much better diffusion enlargers were - but of course, that's what he sold. David Vestal did some careful testing and concluded that it didn't matter to a skilled printer.
     
  16. DieHipsterDie

    DieHipsterDie Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ok, smart guy. What does a diffusion chamber look like? You might as well ask me what a geusitier looks like. And it was purchased for $50 used. It turns on, makes a print and that's all I care about. I didn't care one way or another what type of enlarger it was. I'm also not willing to open it up to see if it has a chamber.

    With one or two exceptions, everyone on this forum has been extremely helpful.

    Oh yeah, "die" is German for "the."
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    ... except for the ones which have two toligmats (in the Weissacker-Ochsensheisse configuration).

    Sorry, I can't help either. My initial guess would be "hybrid" - diffuse light source, with a condensor. That's the most common type, and one of the simplest ones to make. But there are hundreds of different enlarger types in the market, under at least five times as many names. The best advice I can give you is to learn the difference, and then compare that to your enlarger.
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Dear TheHipsterThe,

    Ole has put it more tactfully.

    And if all you care about is that it cost $50, why do you want to know what sort of enlarger it is?

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  19. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Andy,

    Not everyone was a beginer, Roger came out of the womb with a Leica strapped around his neck!

    LOL
     
  20. DieHipsterDie

    DieHipsterDie Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just want to know what I have. That's all.

    The more I look as this enlarger, the more it looks like a condenser and diffuser. It has features of both.

    Now, where's the ignore user function?
     
  21. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This comment would be valid if there were any decent books still being published containing information on enlargers and darkroom technique. From time to time I look over the offerings at Barnes & Noble and the dearth of photography books is a commentary on the sorry state of photography.
     
  22. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hipster, whatever you do don't "ignore" Riger Hicks. He's been less than helpful in this discussion, but he's usually one of the most useful people around here! you can learn a lot from him; I learn a lot from him all the time. We sometimes disagree, and at times one of us will be an arrogant bastard (more often me than him). But anyway he's the wrong man to put on top of your "ignore list".

    And then the enlarger:

    Treat it as a condensor enlarger. I have two enlargers - an Opemus 6 Colour, and a Durst 138S. The Durst has a whopping great big frosted bulb and a set of condensors; the Opemus a halogen bulb and a mixing chamber. Changing the condensors in the Durst makes a big difference - they're "tuned" to the negative size and enlarger lens.

    I find that I prefer the slightly increased contrast whichever enlarger I use, so I develop for diffusion.
     
  23. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    i thought it was a sinar!
     
  24. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But Ole, no one has ever felt the need, desire, urge, compulsion or whatever you call it, to call you a bloviated old fart. Also I do not mean the Danish translation of fart either.
     
  25. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

    Messages:
    3,049
    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, Hipster... I hope you discover what you need to about your enlarger. I looked everywhere on the web for info on them, and I found very little!

    I remember when I got my enlarger... if it would not have been for the fact that I found a manual for it online, I would have probably been pretty clueless...and mine is definitely a condenser enlarger! :smile: I remember trying to figure out what the heck all that condenser/diffuser stuff meant, too... it was like every source defined things like you already knew what they were. :sad: It was a bummer!

    I found this site and the IlfoPro site, and thankfully, there were so many people here who endured my totally-new-bular questions, so now, when I see someone asking those same types of questions I do my best to help out (if I can), hopefully in words that make sense to brand new people! So... carry on Hipster! :D
     
  26. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'll second this advice. Roger Hicks is knowledgeable and his posts are generally informative and helpful. Maybe he's having a bad day today....