Colour Printing: Beginners Question
I'm currently halfway through m'first attempt at colour printing, using a Durst M605 (with new 100W bulb) and Supra Endura.
This is proving to be very difficult as the image as projected onto the baseboard is so blasted dark. I can barely tell what's what nevermind whether the blasted thing is in focus. I've tried to use a Paterson focus finder but everything is simply too dark.
I've done B&W printing for quite a while so have some experience in making prints - it's not just that the lens is stuck at f22 - and I'm currently stumped. I've amended all the settings that can possibly be amended, and I've tried using it with the filters all to 0, all at their max, but nothing seems to make any difference.
Is this normal, or can anyone let me know how to get more light through?
Any help most gratefully received.
The only things I can think of is,
1. Check lamp is fitted correctly.
2. check apeture on lens is fully open
3. disengage filters,(remember the setting). (some enlargers come with a disengage lever which will leave your setting and give you white light)
4.Check nothing is loose in the light chamber.
Thats all that comes to mind at present.
What grain............................................. ...............
Oh sorry, I forgot you don't shoot Large Format
Large format Pat.
Based on my experience with colour neg printing and the Durst M605, something is seriously amiss(and yes I know you have in effect told us that) but it may be some comfort to state that I have never had such a problem so if everything else is OK such a problem shouldn't exist therefore can be solved.
I'll ask all the usual questions first: Do the negs look particulary dark when you hold them up to the light?
You don't say whether it is a 35mm or 120 but are you using the right lens with each(50mm/80mm). Even the "wrong" lens should give plenty of light however at f4 and the 80mm should go down to f4 or f5.6 at its smallest.
The light intensity should improve by leaps and bounds as you move the lens through its range of aperture, does it improve at all. If not could it be stuck at f22 even through you are apparently moving it? Take it out and try it, holding it up to the light.
There is a light box that moves from 35mm to 66. Is the lever fully home at both settings. If it sticks in the middle then ot can shade the light from the baseboard a lot. Have a look inside the box and move the lever both ways, does the two settings give full exposure by moving the acrylic vanes fully out of the way?
Is the bulb sitting square in its holder? Bulbs in the 605 are a bit fiddly to set correctly. It is easy to place the bulb at an angle. While looking does the bulb and reflector look OK. The bulb should produce such a bright light that you can't look at it for more than a second or so without being blinded.
You don't say whether you had any problems with B&W negs prior to attempting to focus a colour neg. If B&W negs were brightly illuminated at big apertures like f2.8, f4 or f5.6 then either something has happened by coincidence to one of the items mentioned above when you've switched to a colour neg or we're back to the look of the colour neg and it's very dark which suggests a colour processing problem. Have you got any other negs to compare with?
All you can do is work through each possible problem to see where it leads you but rest assured a bright neg projection is the norm.
Best of luck
Dichro heads are darker than normal heads because of associated light loss. Darken your room and let your eyes adjust. You should be having light coming off of the lens. Make sure your diaphragm is open and your filters are set at 0 and your bulb is good. Also try making a smaller enlargement. Using filters with a regular enlarger works if you don't mind screwing around with addition and whatnot.
Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to take the head back from whence it came. Having looked at all the points you've raised, it still doesn't work properly. Stupid thing.
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is it definitely the correct bulb and you're not using something like a 24V in place of a 12v bulb ?
Let us know what conclusions were reached about its fault(s) when you return it to the giver/vendor. I am curious as to what it is that caused the issue when it seems that even after "testing" all the things recommended, you weren't able to see what the problem was.
Originally Posted by Roger2000
Unless all the negs were all greatly overexposed and /or overdeveloped then it strongly suggests a lens which has stuck at a very small aperture at just the point that you switch to colour neg printing and yet if this is the cause then switching back to a known B&W neg which was previously OK and bright would have revealed a similar dark neg projection. I am totally flummoxed.
I too am flummoxed, as was the chap in the shop when I took it back. They're going to give it the old once over, and I'll report back on what they find.
I should point out though, that my previous b&w work was on the 605 black and white head, and the problems with the dark projection only started when I traded that in for the colour equivalent.
By the way, I don't think the wrong bulb is in. I double checked with nova when I bought it that it was the right bulb, and the thing is so bright in the head - before you close the hatch and stick it back on the enlarger -that you can only stand to look at it for about a second. In addition, the negatives are all correctly exposed and developed.
Thanks once again.
It sounds like to me the only thing that could be wrong is that the Magenta dichroic filter or all the filters are stuck in place completely in the lights path.
This would be due to the head possibly getting banged when moving or the gears are meshed.
As someone pointed out , most colour enlargers have a white light point position and if you cannot see bright light and complete filtered light then you have a problem.
Also the other source could be within the mixing box where one of the side panels has fallen and is blocking the light path. This has happened as well as the dichroics locking in place.
A camera store probably would not know how to look for these problems btw.
I try to be dogmatic about very little - I haven't the experience for a start : but I am certain you are right about your bulb. I started off with a 100W as I started in B&W but exchanged it for 75W when switching to colour as some of the prints from the negs would have been overexposed at the min exposure that my Paterson colour analyser dial could be set for( about 4 secs).
Originally Posted by Roger2000
It is true however that colour negs did look much darker than the B&W negs I was familiar with but certainly not anything like so dark as to prevent the use of a focus finder.
If the dichroic filters are stuck then a simple test is dialling in each filter and observing the changes. Try 0 -130 on each in turn then all three at units of 10 or 20 each time. If all three are dialled in with the same amount each time then you get an ever darkening neutral grey.