Omega DII Enlarger, setup & lens questions
Just acquired a DII for free that seems to be in OK condition.
Bellows look good, lamp works, no broken parts, etc.
It was apparently used for 4x5 since it has the correct condenser, neg carrier & lens.
But the lens, a "Paris anastigmat Huet" f4.5, 150mm, looks a bit aged & worse for wear.
The coating looks like it's flaking, lots of dust inside & micro scratches.
The lens cone is the 2 3/4 in version, which I think is only for a 135 lens.
So the questions.
If I get another lens, what is best for 4x5? I know you can use either a 135 or a 150.
I am planning on enlargements from 8x10 to 16x20, so what would be best?
If I get another 150, definitely need the taller cone. If the 135 is sufficient, then what I have works.
The most important part of this question is what lens mfg is the best choice.
I see a lot of Rodenstock lenses on Ebay, but is the Rodagon good enough
Should I consider a "cold head" lamp setup & eliminate(?) the need for the condenser?
I had heard that the cold head lamps are lower light output, but minimize negative heating.
OK, now the "odd" question. Along with the enlarger, I was also given an Omega D5500 color head.
I think it needs some work, maybe the rollers replaced (stuck filter).
I am inclined to sell it for parts on Ebay as it has a 4x5 mixing chamber.
It has been over 40 years since I've done wet darkroom stuff, so I would like to keep this as simple as possible and not get caught up in getting a bunch of upgrades, extra stuff. In short, would like to just clean it up & use it!
Get a nice clean Rodagon 135mm and you'll be all set - it covers just fine. Schneider, Rodenstock and Nikon all made great glass and you'll be happy with any of them.
Make sure to look for one in good condition, with no haze in the lens or scratches, etc.
The color head will be a pain to add to the DII (trust me on this one, I started down that road once). The mixing chamber is no issue as I just leave my 4x5 chamber in for all printing.
If it's been 40 years, start with what you have. I have trouble getting things up to snuff after a couple of months.
Best enlarging lens? As they say in racing, "Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?". ;>) Seriously though, you have little to worry about. A 16x20 is not a big enlargement from a 4x5 negative. I think you will find a 135mm easier to use than a 150mm. My 150 has been sitting quietly in its box since I got the 135.
Enjoy your new enlarger,
Dan - do a search on this forum for "Aristo cold light", or just "Aristo". You'll find a lot of info and opinion.
Keep in mind, thought, that the production of these lamps is tenuous, you'll find more by the same search in the forum for Product Availability. (however, these lamps can last a long time - my first one lasted 25 years)
I use a D2 with an Aristo head, new V54 lamp, and filter drawer for 6" filters and love it.
Neal, Jeff, I'll look for a 135. They seem to be more $ than 150mm. Hmm. Just curios though if for some strange reason I wanted to do a 20 x 24 enlargement, would a 150 be more appropriate at that size?
Neal, the car analogy unfortunately works for me. I spent a lot on cars before photography. Now I spend a lot on photo gear.
But curious (I know this will get me in trouble) about your adventures with the D5500 color head on a D2. Any descriptison/pics or memory of the process?
George, I'll take a look
Thanks all for the help
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If you go with a 150mm, you will need more column height than a 135mm for the same print size.
Originally Posted by dswiger
I would stick with the 135mm.
I have a 150 5.6 El Nikkor that is perfect if you're interested. Never used it. Don
The problem with the head is going to be all the little bits you're going to have to machine or buy. I'm pretty sure the little lift arms will have to be modified and I know you will have to make the rods that connect them. I even had to make a few parts when I went from a D2 to a D5 and I had all of the hardware from the D2. A whole D5XL with a color head and power supply ready to go can be had for two or three hundred dollars.
I can't stress this enough. Right now darkroom hardware is cheap, take advantage of it. Spend your time making photographs and your money on nice materials. If I hadn't gotten the D5 chassis free (and I have a mini cnc mill and a 9" lathe) I wouldn't have bothered.
Enjoy your printing. Your conversation has convinced me to do some myself this evening.<g>
OK, the votes seem to be for a 135. I am looking at a few on Ebay now & the 39mm plate/retaining ring to go w/it.
A 150 would require a longer cone.
Very good point. My weakness in that area is I'm a gear head & have done plenty of fabrication to get something done.
I am more inclined to put the color head up on Ebay as-is for parts.
It needs the rubber rollers replaced & the IR glass is broken.
The good news is that the electronics seem to be behaving, etc
So maybe what I get for it will pay towards the 135 lens
Thanks for the intervention