Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,708   Posts: 1,548,600   Online: 1121
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Lumberton, NJ
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    124

    How important to clean enlarger condensers?

    Here's a newbie question, folks: I'm assessing what I have on hand to use in a darkroom - I had an elementary level one 30 years ago. I find stowed in my basement a "Vivitar 66" enlarger. Looking at the condensers, I find a moderate amount of dust, crap, and fungus on the inner surfaces. Problem is, the condenser assembly is a cheap sheet metal stamping obviously not intended for disassembly. Before I ruin this thing trying to get to the condenser inner surfaces, how important is it to clean these? What affect and how much will moderately dirty condenser surfaces have on prints?

    Thanks,
    Jonathan

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    West Midlands, UK, and Turkey
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    16,289
    Images
    148
    Unfortunately the glass really does need to be clean.

    I'm not familiar with the enlarger, but if the metal casing is riveted you could drill out, disassemble then re-rivet after cleaning.

    All the Condenser enlargers I've used allowed for easy cleaning of the lenses.

    Ian

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Lumberton, NJ
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    124
    Ian, thanks for your input. This was evidently a budget enlarger in it's day; my parents gave it to me as a present when I was a teenager. If it's not useful in its present condition, I'll go ahead and risk messing it up - I'm definitely going to have to cut some metal to get this condenser set apart.

    Jonathan

  4. #4
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    I'd clean the outside surfaces only. The theory of a condensing lens system is to bring rays of light parallel to one another ... the reflector of a flashlight ("torch" to those of you who speak "U.K.") is an example of a condensing system. Whatever dust, etc., is on the interior surfaces will not have a major effect on the image - mainly, it will decrease the amount of light passing through. No focusing, per se, is done by the condenser array.

    The empirical test for a condensing lens system is to try it without the focusing lens -- simply remove the enlarging lens and turn that puppy on. Ideally, you should see the image of the bulb filament projected onto the plane of focus - and centered in that field. If it is, you will have the most EVEN illumination across the field that is possible.

    Simply put, I'd advise against tearing things apart.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    726
    If the condensor isn't clean it won't transmit as much light and it won't do it evenly. That said, you don't need to be manic about it.

    David.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Westport, MA.
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,059
    I have a 4x5 condenser for my Omega D2.. It has a hairline scratch on the bottom of one of the lenses which shows itself in just about every print I make with it..

    My other condenser set isn't pristine, but it is scratchless.. Results from that are fine by my eyes.

  7. #7
    jmdavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    VA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    504
    Images
    6
    Phillip,

    I had a similar problem with my D2 set which led me down the VCCL path. In my case, the scratch was not visible in every photo (depending on aperature). But was a problem sometimes. That and the fact that a replacement set along with a 6x7 set is around $400 decided me on the Zone VI VCCL head.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Westport, MA.
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,059
    Jm, actually that is what prompted me to purchase a used Aristo cold light head for 4x5 printing.

    The 4x5 condenser lens is huge and exposed.. So easy to scratch/chip it.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    6,242
    Getting back to the question that was asked at the beginning of this thread...I personally think that it is important to keep the visual path as clean and unimpeded as possible...

    I wouldn't want anything to impede the function of the condensors...I am not anal about this...just cognizant of the degradation that can occur.

    I am thankful that I haven't dropped or scratched one of my condensors since I began using a condensor enlarger...

    On a separate note, while I can not say that every condensor system is the same as those in my enlarger, the manufacturer clearly states that the purpose of the condensor set is to focus the collimated light at the nodal point of the enlarging lens. In my enlarger I have a number of different focal length condensors that are specific to different formats.

  10. #10
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller

    .... the manufacturer clearly states that the purpose of the condensor set is to focus the collimated light at the nodal point of the enlarging lens. In my enlarger I have a number of different focal length condensors that are specific to different formats.
    The "Nodal Point" is not the same as the Field of Focus. Even then ... I'm thinking of ray tracing ... ?

    Kind of surprising that a scratch on a condenser lens should be visible ... but, to tell the truth, I can't remember ever working with a scratched condenser lens.

    I have DeJur condensing system enlarger - I have to restore the Power Cable, which disintegrated over time. When I get it going I'll try out a "simulated" scratch.

    Does anyone know of a source or the Old Style two prong, "Iron-Toaster" plug-in power cords?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin