Raising the head was only for making density calibration prints and contact prints, not for printing the image. Because the image will get bigger as you raise the head, just as you found out.
Non-enlarger bulb is only for "the last option."
If you can use a standard enlarger bulb, use it. 75w seems to be the lowest wattage for enlarger bulbs. After that, use ND filters to reduce the intensity.
As for "the last option," that is for people like ME, who have a Durst L1000. The special enlarger bulb for that enlarger is no longer made, so we have to make do with whatever will work.
Why the fixation on f8?
As other have said, close the lens down as you need to. That is what the aperture control is there for.
In the darkroom class I took a while back the teacher said we should always use f/8...I wondered why the manufactures put other apertures on the lens if they weren't to be used?
Good Morning, Barry,
There has long been "rule" that lenses tend to perform best a couple of clicks down from maximum aperture. That may well be correct in some (many? most?) cases, but I wonder if isn't also a holdover from decades ago when some lenses were less precisely constructed and/or there was more variablity from sample to sample. Clearly, a lot of lenses on old folding cameras have lenses which are rather poor wide open but respectable when stopped down somewhat. The problem with stopping down too much is that an extremely small aperture can cause diffraction which degrades an image. This is one reason that a lot of 50mm lenses on 35mm cameras have a minimum aperture of only ƒ16. On many large-format lenses, apertures down to ƒ45 or ƒ64 are not uncommon, and diffraction isn't much of a problem since the diameter of the opening is still large enough to minimize diffraction. Printing at ƒ8 with a 50mm enlarging lens makes some sense, although I haven't noticed any problem when I occasionally use ƒ11 or ƒ16. With the 135mm or 150mm enlarging lenses used for 4 x 5, an aperture of ƒ16 or even smaller still has an opening which is large enough to avoid any significant diffraction and allows a long enough exposure for dodging and burning.
Thanks Konical! That is great information. At this point I'm not going to worry about it, I'm just going to print and enjoy. I checked the bulb and it is a ph212/150w so I think I'm going to change to a ph211/75w and that should help out and it is a simple solution.