I'm looking to move up to an enlarger capable of 4x5, in anticipation of getting a 4x5 camera.
The Omega D series seem to be a good value, and from various posts that I've read, a decent enlarger.
I've searched the Web about this, but am still confused. How many condensor lenses should come with a D series in order for it to be capable of 35mm up through 4x5?
I just (2 months ago) picked up an Omega D-5 XL with a Chromega II color head for B/W work so I can't offer any info on condinsors but "Ask Harry" can
If you turn up short on parts Harry has them.
I have a D3V, which is the auto focus model. That means that once you have the image in focus, you can enlarge or reduce your image, and it will retain focus. This model has one internal condenser that is placed in one of three positions for working neagatives from 35mm-4x5.
I love mine, and I even use it as a light source for contact printing larger negs.
I will second Bruce in saying "Ask Harry" is the guy you want. He is a great resource for al your Omega questions.
hi doug -
i also have a d3v, but mine is a war contract model. they have larger condensors than the standard d3v - so they could enlarge aerial film. these contract editions tend to have a large serial # on the head &C. if you end up with one, they also have a condensor head ( 2 lenses ) and a movable condensor that goes just below the light source. it is a great enlarger except this specific one does not take normal negative carriers (they leak light since the condensor housing is larger than normal ).
harry taylor has parts and knowledge about all the omega enlargers. if you have specific questions, he is quick to reply from his website. he also makes rails & has a supply of cones if you find yourself needing parts or accessories.
i also have a e4 and have variable focusing bellows ( for both the d3v & e4 ). these bellows are normally used for making "jewel prints" but i use them so i don't have to change cones &C when i change lenses. harry isn't a fan, but it saved me a few bucks in the end :)
Keep an eye out in the classifieds and you might find one for next to nothing. I actually got my D2 with the variable condenser for free.
The variable condenser really does do a great job adjusting for the different formats. It's simple, it's easy, it works. Theoretically you might find one without the variable condenser, but the vast, VAST majority that I've seen used have it.
I have an old DII. I am working from memory here, so I hope I get it right. For a 50mm lens, you need a 3 1/2" condenser with a flat lens board. For 75mm - 80mm lens, a 4 1/2" condenser with the flat board. For 90 - 105mm lens, a 5" condenser with a flat board. For a 135mm -160mm lens, the 6 1/2" condenser with the 2 3/4"cone for 135mm lens and the 4 1/2" cone for the 150mm lens. The 4 1/2" and 5 1/2" condenser sets were replaced with a 4 13/16"(?) condenser. I just replaced my head with a variable condenser unit which allows me to just move the supplementary condenser for different focal length lens and only need the 6 1/2' condenser but still need the cones for the longer lenses. I do have a spare 3 1/2" condenser set not being used.
Thanks for the post Brian.
I picked up a D2 a year ago (my first enlarger) with no manual and the two condensors it came with were both stacked together. So I've used it that way ever since. Works great with my 105mm on a flat board and my 135 on a cone. however my 50mm lens vignettes.
I'll have to try one of the condensors all by it's lonesome and see what happens..
I rarely print my 35mm negs bigger than 5x7 so it's rarely been an issue to just use my 105.
LOL Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Just for clarification. The condenser sets consist of 2 concave lenses in the silver metal tube; concave surfaces facing each other. You need both of the lenses to focus the light. The condenser size is the diameter to the lenses. The metal tube they are mounted in is 6 1/2" in diameter, so the 6 1/2" condenser set fills it up. Measure the diameter of the condenser lens, that will tell you what you have.
The best site I've found for Omega enlargers is www.khbphotografix.com. The have the history of every Omega enlarger ever made.
Now (I think) I actually understand.
If the tube is 6.5" then I've got the 6.5 condensers.
I guess I'll have to start shopping for a 3.5 set or a variable head.
Thanks for the clarification, you saved a few minutes of head scratching and puzzling.
I have a D2, and it has one moveable condensor just below the light source. I don't know the size of it, but at the lowest shelf, it sits down into a hole.
For a 150mm lense, you take it out altogether, for 50mm it goes in the bottom shelf (If I remember correctly), the door to the chamber tells you what to do with which lens.
I went with the D2 for the same reasons you state, wanting 4 x 5 capability at a reasonable price. If I remember, I picked it up for around $150. I don't know the specifics, but I bought the enlarger, a Kearsarge digital timer, one Componen S 50mm and one Componen S 150mm lens for $350 at a garage sale.
I had been watching Ebay and seeing about those prices, but lucked out not having to deal with shipping etc. Good luck. If you get one and need manuals etc. I think I have the digital files some friendly folks provided to me.