While reading some posts a while back a thought struck me (I know, I should have ducked! ). As the stain on a pyro neg acts toward light in the same fashion the dye clouds in color film does, what difference in effect does a condenser enlarger have on the tonality of a pyro neg as compared to a diffusion enlarger? I know this has got to be more complicated than a pure silver negatives response because of the dual nature of the image. Or does the stain image merely negate the effect the collimated light has on the silver grain image?
I think you're thinking too hard. I print my 6x6 PMK negs on a condenser enlarger and my 4x5" PMK negs with a cold light head, and I think the difference in look is similar to the difference with conventional developers.
I suppose it reduces the difference between the 2 types of light source.
A slightly different question.
I was looking at one of my pyro negatives recently and thought it had been scratched. But it was just the so-called "etching" effect on the surface of the emulsion where there are large density changes, in this case branches against cloudy sky. It is a result of the tanning.
I have often wondered if this surface relief has an optical effect with condenser enlargers. My experience when i went from condenser to cold light was that scratches were less apparent, so the relief might do something like accentuate edge effects with condenser light source. I no longer have a condenser enlarger, but has anyone made such a comparison?
My experience is that the Pyro stain acts much the same with a condensor enlarger as it does with a diffusion light source with perhaps somewhat of an increased effect from the condensor light source.
I believe that the reason for this is what the previous poster alluded to with the mention of branches and edge effects. The condensor light source is collimated and for that reason grain, scratches, and dust on the negative are more noticeable. This leads me to believe that the stain effect (proportional stain) and edge effects are more sharply defined with a more sharply focused light source.
I haven't conducted tests with this other then printing negatives on both sources. In fact this really would be difficult to determine objectively...at least with the equipment that I have.
my suggestion is always to exemine things. yes - it is a bit time demending to take this tests etc, but it worth it - belive me. generally i can say that printing on condensor or diffusion is about the same differance on all developers etc - it is the nature of the light sourse.
but from this point - u have to see what u like vissually, only after that u will have the prevelage to make some generalization based on your own taste and preferance.
personally i - for exemple - dont like (in general) to work with fp4/pyropmk/condenser combination. i rather prefere this neg (fp/pyro) on diffused light cause it looks more pleasing to my eyes (the prints on diffused are contrasty and everything - in terms of overall contrast local cont and micro cont, but the condensor adds to it too much in my taste. of course the way u expose the way u develop and the optics u use plays a role. my lenses doesnt need extra post tritment to difine more clearly the micro contrast, and may be this is one of the reasons why the condensor in this combination of fp/pyro is too much). hp5/pmkpyro for example i do love sometimes on condensor (not like hp/rodinal - which is one of my fave combos, but pyro gives different look).
so exemine those things and sense them vissually, then u will be able to adjust your knowledge and experimantations to the theme u work on, to the vissual sense u want to radiate on the print.
as a starting point - the condenser remains to be condenser (and thanks mother nature for that ..lol) the diffused is diffused. exemine - go into one direction , try other direction, compare, tune yourself, try to understand the principles that makes the differance . and remember that any judgement should be based at the botton line on your vissual senseation.