Seeking input for exposure time using new-to-me Omega D-II

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by tkamiya, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am new to this forum. I am wondering if I can get some assistance on my (new to me) enlarger, Omega D-II with Variable Condenser.

    I am coming back to B&W photography and processing after nearly 30 years of absence. I have recently obtained a second hand Omega D-II enlarger with variable condenser, 75mm lens, and the lamp is a standard 75watts. To this, I fitted a newly purchased Ilford under the lens VC filter kit.

    Film size is 35mm and the paper is 8*10 Ilford MGIV Multi-grade IV RC Deluxe paper. The variable condenser is set on the lowest tier. I have the #2 VC filter set for normal contrast. I processed Dektol - 1 minute.

    The lens is set to f/8

    With this setup and using variety of my negatives, I an get a reasonable print density at around 45 to 60 seconds exposure.

    Here's my problem/question

    Is this typical exposure time for this type of setup? I recall, from my old days, typical exposures were something like 10 to 15 seconds. I don't remember exposing it to nearly a minute! Back then, I was using Kodak graded paper.

    Is there something wrong here or is this what I should expect? Since this equipment is used and chemical/paper combination is entirely new, I have no source of reference.

    If it matters... the lamp itself appears quite old. I'm sure it's not the original but I know it sat unused for many years. I took apart all the condenser lens and cleaned them. They are in good shape. The aperture blades aren't sticking.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2009
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    tkamiya:

    That seems reasonably normal. If you had a shorter lens (50mm) and had the condensors set for that lens, most likely the exposure times would be shorter.

    It wouldn't hurt to try a newer bulb. After all, it is a good idea to have a backup.

    Oh, and welcome to APUG.

    Matt
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The Kodak graded papers you were used to are (were) faster. Also, with a 75 mm lens the head will be fairly high to make an 8x10 from a 35 neg, which extend your exposure some. A fresh bulb may help, or you might consider a higher wattage bulb, but you'll need a heat asorbiing glass, at least according to Ask Harry (http://www.classic-enlargers.com/)
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thank you both. Yes, I will go ahead and purchase a spare bulb. I was thinking about it since I have no idea how old this bulb is, and like you say having a spare won't hurt. I didn't think about the lens, but makes sense. I believe I was using 50mm lens when I tried last (30 years ago). I also didn't know Kodak paper back then were faster.

    Now knowing there is nothing wrong with my equipment, material, or procedure, I think I'm going to enjoy having nearly a whole minute to expose the paper. It is kind of relaxing and unhurried.

    MattKing:
    Thank you for your welcome. I have been looking for a forum like this on film based photography. I think I finally found a place I'd enjoy hanging around.

    bdial:
    Thank you for your suggestion. No, I do not have the heat-absorbing glass. I think I'll just slow down instead.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Condenser Position

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. I believe
    the light will be more condensed, narrowly focused,
    if the lower condenser be raised. Dan
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    BTW

    One minute is none too long in the developer.
    Your exposure time will decrease if you allow
    for more development. Up to three minutes
    is not unreasonable. Dan
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The focal length of the lens is not a factor in the exposure time, all things being equal and discounting issues like transmissive loss due to the glass in the lens and the quality of the coatings. The exposure time depends on magnification alone in this regard, so an 8x10" made from a 35mm neg with a 50mm lens will have the same exposure time as an 8x10" framed the same way with a 75mm or a 150mm lens, all other things being equal.

    I don't have the variable condenser head, but the idea is that you can adjust the position of the condenser lenses to maximize light output for the format. Check with Harry at the Classic Enlargers forum, as suggested above, and he can point you in the right direction to make sure you've got the best condenser setup for 35mm negs.
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    My 35mm negatives print at about 8-12 seconds on my D2V at f5.6 on Ilford.....meaning that I'm getting about half the time you are. The lower position for the condenser is what is recommended for both 50 and 80mm so I think you are doing that correctly. I agree with David that the lens length should make no meaningful difference. The development time seems about right for RC paper. I'd try the bulb. That might be it. If that doesn't work, I have to wonder whether your negatives are a bit overexposed.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Looking over my prints again, I noticed something strange. The contrast seems too high, yet, I am absolutely positive I used #2 filter. Perhaps the lamp is no longer emitting the correct spectrum of light skewing the effects of filters?

    I will report back after I get my new bulb and try again.

    I just can't think, what else can break as far as the enlarger itself is concerned. There really isn't much in this thing. More than likely, I am making some dumb mistakes somewhere.

    MF asked about my negative being over exposed. That may be the case but I have no ways to compare and judge my negatives. About development time, one minute is what I read on Kodak publication for RC paper and that's the reason for one minute development time.

    On the side note, I am simply amazed with this enlarger that I bought for $40... I am also amazed I can pick up anything film related so inexpensively and most of them are in really good condition. All those equipment I admired (but could not possibly afford) in my childhood, I can buy them for pennies on a dollar. I do both digital and analog. I am liking the relaxed nature of analog process.... (yes, I am getting old...)

    Thanks again for all the responses.
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the development times for that paper is 90 secs. not 1 minute
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Ann,

    Thank you. I'll try that soon and report back. One of my difficulty was that I am using Kodak chemical with Ilford paper. The Kodak literature does say to develop ONE minute for RC paper. Ilford paper simply does not mention anything but its own chemicals. Not that I don't trust your information - but for my future reference and more reading purpose, will you tell me where that information is found?
     
  12. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    If it is very contrasty with a grade 2 filter, the negs may be over developed also.
     
  13. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Aren't we all :tongue: But it beats the alternative.........most days, anyway :D:D

    Welcome back to the "real" world.

    Bob H
     
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  15. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the times should be on the spec sheets that came with the paper.

    or check Ilford's website

    times will be the same unless your using a strange developer,
     
  16. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thanks everybody. I appreciate all replies.

    Per Ann's suggestion, I read the instructions that came with the paper little more carefully this time. The problem I had was, the documentation mentions 3 different developers with different dilutions and it only mentions Ilford chemicals.

    Searching little on THIS site, I found, Dektol is similar to Bromophen and according to the Ilford doc, the time is 2 minutes. I also saw a post on THIS site someone is using this combination with 90 seconds development time.

    I'll try this tonight and see how it goes. It may be that I am over-exposing the paper and under-developing it as well.

    The learning continues....
     
  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    what ratio of Dektol are you using?
     
  18. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am following Kodak's documentation. I made the stock solution then dilute it 1 part stock, 2 part water.
     
  19. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think you are right on this... Reading over a Kodak publication on XTOL, the agitation procedure I used will result in over-agitation, thus over-development. Thank you for pointing this out.
     
  20. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    There is a way to adjust the condenser for different size negatives- not sure if you looked at that.
     
  21. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    avandesande:

    Yes, I reviewed my setting. There is a chart on back side of the door of the movable condenser lens. For this lens (75mm), the location of the condenser lens is correct (the bottom tier).

    At this point, there are few viable pointers. I need to retest my process with:
    1) correctly developed film - looks like I over developed it by too much agitation
    2) use correct development time for paper - apparently, it was too short
    3) use a new bulb - have no idea how old this bulb is...

    Looks like unless I get all these corrected, there are too many variables and combination of of wrong processes. Any test I do will be of little value. It might take me few weeks, but I will report back when I have a result.

    I think, it was a good try for my first attempt in 30 years. I will re-read all of my literature and review the processes, then retry.

    Thank you for your reply.
     
  22. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Partial results are in....

    I became impatient and decided to try to address the contrast issue and the development time issue. Using #1 and #1.5 VC filter, I was able to produce some pleasing prints. Using anywhere from 45 to 55 seconds exposure at f/8, I was able to deliver shadow detail and high-light to my satisfaction.

    Extending the development time to 90 seconds from 60 seconds did not make appreciable difference. In fact, I could not tell any difference. While the documentation says I need 90 seconds, apparently, it is fully developed at around 60 seconds mark under my condition.

    I still think, since my negatives were over-developed, these results are skewed.... and since the output of lamp is in question, exposure time issue still remains. I don't even know if I actually have a problem. The rest will have to wait until the new bulb arrives.
     
  23. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Member

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    Your post got me curious as I have been using an Omega D2V for 25+ years and in all that time have never printed a 35mm negative. I have always used a separate dedicated 35mm enlarger when printing that format. So this morning I selected a negative that I knew to have normal density and contrast trying to duplicate your setup with and 80mm lens set to f8. My variable condenser was set in the lower position. My fixed condensers are 6 1/2" separated by a corrugated spacer as I assume yours are as well. A straight print without filtration ran 17 seconds and showed normal contrast and density as expected. When I held an Ilford #2 VC filter under the lens time jumped to 32 seconds. Print image sizes on Ilford MG IV RC were 6 5/8 X 9 5/8 (projected image size just slightly larger). So your 45 to 60 second exposure times would not be typical for my setup. I would be curious if your times change substantially after a new PH211 is installed. If your negatives are substantially denser than mine (over exposed?) that certainly could account for the difference in printing time. When switching to a 50mm lens times remained the same but I had to install a recessed lens disc as my bellows would not compress enough to allow proper focus. Bottom line: regardless of your printing times if your results are good that is all that matters. Thanks for inspiring me to finally print 35mm with the Omega!
     
  24. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You definitly should switch to a 50mm lens. The 75mm acts as a telephoto narrowing the projection area. With a 50, your head elevation will be quite a bit lower, shortening the exposure time. Also you can open up one stop, which will shorten exposure time as well.
    Rick
     
  25. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Rick,

    I don't know how to thank you for trying this out on your setup. Since I posted THIS question, I found few things wrong with my process leading up to the printing stage.

    I cannot comment on over-exposure because of all the errors I've made in processing the film. I over-agitated my tank when developing my film with XTOL and the temperature of the fixer was too high. Looking at few frames under microscope, I can see my negatives lack smooth and wide mid tones. Sky with some cloud look awfully light and trees become very dark gray to totally black. (backwards in negative term, of course) The tonality jumps from white to black too quickly. Overall, details that I want aren't there.

    I've already experimented and corrected the improper paper development time but that did not make any difference. Using #1 and #1.5 filter, I was able to make some OK prints but still - what's lost is already lost. My prints look ok to some people that I've shown them, but I'm not quite satisfied with them, yet.

    With all this happening right now, I think, trying to judge exposure time based on what I have is perhaps meaningless. My current plan is to get a new bulb (on order), shoot a roll and process it very carefully, and try this again. Hopefully, with right negatives and fresh bulb, I can get close to the known-right exposure time (which is your data).

    Thanks again. I will report back in a week or two with fresh results.
     
  26. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I just picked up my D-5 last friday, and have only had a couple of sessions experimenting with it. However I've been working in darkrooms(my own and others)for over 40 years. Keep a journal of everything you are doing. Keep a separate set of notes when shooting, another for film developing, and a third for enlarging. This way you can cross reference what you are working on, and any mistakes or procedures that dont work together can be eliminated. I use a dry erase board to keep notes while I'm printing one negative until I finish it, then log the final procedure notes in a journal in case I want to reprint that neg. Everything you are doing is right-you are persevering, and that is exactly what you need to do. Keep asking questions here, this is the best place to be. Also I'm available through PM's and phone calls(if you are in the states)to help if you need it.
    God Bless and keep on working at this--its right for your soul.
    Rick