The agony of the cold light and the VC paper

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by MattCarey, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Well,

    everything I read said don't do it, but I had a window of opportunity last night and only VC paper. It was time to try out the new (to me) Omega E3 enlarger I got.

    Ah well, I probably picked the worst negative for this anyway, but in the end no filtration could save me. From what I read, the cold-lights put out too much blue to be used with VC paper.

    I read some people mentioning using a yellow filter to balance the color of the cold light. There is a filter drawer just below the cold light, so some sort of filtering must be possible.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I do not know the cost or if it is available but Aristo offers bulbs that have a spectral response for VC papers that is superior to bulbs that 15 are more years old. What can it hurt to ask Aristo and to consider the expense.? The fact that you have a filter drawer will come in very handy. If you can get strong green lighting gel made by Roscoe and use that inconjunction with the coldlight bulb as split exposures you may find yourself very satisfied with the coldlight and VC paper. I would expect the Roscoe filter to be fairly inexpensive.
     
  3. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Depending on many factors..........a CP20Y or CP40Y filter could put you in the ball park.

    Murray
     
  4. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Heya---

    thanks for the suggestions. I forgot about my late night reading about better color balanced lights. Unfortunately, the cold head on the E3 takes a set of 4 strait mini-tubes (like the ones in flourescent lanterns). I think the Aristo ones (at least the ones I can see on the B&H webstsite) are the serpentine type. However, they do seem to sell a warm (3000K) as opposed to the 4100K that seems more standard "cool white".

    Murray--the filters sound like a good idea. I'll see if I can find any at the San Jose PhotoFair this weekend. The ones I see online are 6x6, and the drawer takes 5x7. I can probably make something work.

    Thanks a lot!

    Matt
     
  5. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Just to be sure, was the problem excessively heinous contrast?

    Murray
     
  6. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Murray--yes, that was the problem. No matter what filters I tried, I got really harsh contrast.

    Matt
     
  7. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    OK, then the filter (probably the 40Y?) should help nudge things toward the soft end :smile:

    Murray
     
  8. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Might try looking for a studio gel. They come in some pretty big sizes.
     
  9. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    If you like to experiment try stacking more than one filter.
     
  10. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I use a 40ccy in my enlarger. I have an ancient Beseler with a custom (for it's time) cold light head. The 40ccy in conjunction with MG VC filters works just fine with VC paper.
    Good luck.

    gene
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    No kidding! I had a 4 X 5 with the same arrangement. Bought
    it surplus back in the late fifties. So they still make a straight
    multi-tube design. IIRC mine used 5/8 inch tubes.

    Your's may use the newer 1/8 pencil thin tubes. Those tubes
    are much used now days. What ever the diameter, buy four or
    more and plug them in. Shop from Google or maybe eBay. Or ..

    Switch to Graded paper and skip the new tubes and filters.
    I dropped VC for the higher level of darkroom lighting possible
    with Graded paper. Dan
     
  12. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    I agree with that. I've worked on my dad's cold light with a 40ccy filter, and it's just peachy. Now my problem is that I can't find a bloody such filter in photo stores down here, so besides the auction site, what would be a good source?
     
  13. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    calumet has a couple of different sets of cc filters. I use their filter in my enlarger.

    gene
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've been split filtering under a "looks white" Zone VI cold light; I get normal contrast with normal negatives at about equal exposures of the blue and yellow filters. I'm using Lee theatrical filters, the 100 Spring Yellow and 119 Dark Blue (I wanted 795 Magic Magenta, but they didn't have it locally and ordering it in would have cost too much and taken too long for my needs). Bonus: two "half sheets" of this material cost about $15 plus the gas to pick them up, and each 20x24 inch half sheet is enough to make twelve 6x6 inch filters, or forty-eight 3x3 size.
     
  15. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Calumet sells the Roscoe Lighting Gels. They are cheap. Come in large sizes. Cut them up, put in cardboard frames, and use above the negative.

    The man at aristo gaves me the values of green and blue to buy for each grade and it worked out fine.

    Or use regular VC filters under the lens after the green is above the lens to cancel the excessive blue. Pull the green out only if you can`t get highh enough contrast.
     
  16. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Ilford's PDF on Contrast control (here) says to use a 40Y filter with the Aristo W45 lamp. It also has a table of exposure factors for the different grades.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  17. RJS

    RJS Member

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    I believe Howard Bond had an article Photo Techniqes not long ago about this. The Arist V54 lamp and MG paper is for me an excellent combination. A broad range of contrast easily obtainable and it prints VERY fast. So fast that I need to use the Aristo controller/rheostat to keep exposures in the 3-4 second range at f11.
     
  18. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    I agree with above. Contrast is well controlled with the V54 and MG. I had to use the Aristo dimmer to reduce 3 stops and I put a sheet of paper inside the light.

    It has high actinic content but dim visually.
     
  19. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and advice!

    I got a set of warm (3000K color temperature) bulbs for the cold head. Luckily, the Omega takes regular, strait tubes, so it cost about $10. That was before I started testing them and found that none of them would start. Starters are about US$0.40 on the net...but about $2 each from the hardware store! I got them and found that they didn't help. A closer look showed that there is a lever built into the head to keep the bulbs from starting when it is taken apart! Ah well, an $8 lesson.

    So, I have new bulbs, a new cord (the original looks to be really old. The shock I got indicated that it should be replaced!), but no time tonight to try it with the variable grade paper.

    So, with luck, I will have some reasonable prints shortly!

    Matt
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    matt -

    do you have the shutters that came with the enlager?
    from what i remember about the e3, there was a shutter because
    the bulbs were not "quick start" ( like the big round omegalites that were on the e4 and other later models ), so the bulbs remained "on" all the time and the exposure was controled with a shutter instead.

    if you need parts &C for your enlarger, there is a place in canada ( http://www.khbphotografix.com/ ) that either still has them, or may be able to fabricate them for you. when i was looking for a spring-glass carrier for my e4, they were going to make one for me for less than i could have bought one used. from what i understand from people who know this outfit, they have a stellar reputation :smile:

    good luck!

    -john
     
  21. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Pros who do interiors sometimes gel the florescent tubes for color balance. You can do the same and leave the drawer for contrast control.
     
  22. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    There was no shutter on that straight tube Omega
    I picked up as surplus in 1958 or 9. I think it was
    war surplus; olive drab IIRC. Don't happen to
    recall what model it might have been?

    I didn't think to mention cold vs warm start tubes. I'd
    guess 5/8 inch the size the OP needed. Three thousand
    Kelvin. That's lower than expected. Dan
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi dan -

    that's kind of weird.

    maybe there are an older e3s than the one you picked up ... ?

    when i bought my e4 a few years ago, i had a choice between the older e3 and the e4, i ended up staying away from the e3 because the shutter mechanism was incomplete or missing --- i learned this through conversations with harry taylor at classicenlargers ( and the folks that sold me the enlarger ) ...

    there is info at http://classicenlargers.com >> help forum
    if you just type in E-3 you won't get much, but if you go back 360 ( or more ) days you will get info on E-3s.

    good luck!

    -john