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  1. #31

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Rochester, NY/Toronto, ON
    Multi Format
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip P. Dimor
    I used to use an Omega D2 with both an aristo coldlight head and matching condensers for mf and 4x5. I like the condensers, atleast for mf. The 4x5 glass condenser for the Omega D2 is fragile and a scratch, pitt or bubble inside the glass (Mine had all three) will show up in the print. The Coldlight solved this, but the prints seemed to have more 'snap'.

    Especially my MF negatives with condenser, pushed tri-x with acufine. I _loved_ the grain and grit. With the coldlight, the prints lacked this 'snap'. It could all be subjection but I saw the difference.
    Phillip: It may not be subjective. If you calibrated your process (exposure/development) while using a condensor enlarger, then the same negs printed with cold light/diffusion might be somewhat less "snappy". When I got my cold light head, I re-tested and re-calibrated. YMMV.

    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  2. #32
    cvik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Oslo, Norway
    Multi Format
    I use a diffusor enlarger (durst ac800) that i aquired this autumn (my first enlarger). The few different types of enlargers I had access to before were also diffusor enlargers. The sharpest prints I've seen was however made on an old Leitz focomat 2c condensor enlarger. Luckily I found out that I can swap my diffusor lightboxes with condensor ones if I want to so I can benefit from both worlds on the same enlarger. I believe many diffusor enlargers have this ability and some condensor enlargers have room for a diffusor-filter.

    I am no master printer (yet) but after what I've heard and read these are the main differences:

    Condensor: Sharper, "salt and pepper" effect, higher contrast, some highlight details may disappear.

    Diffusor: lower contrast (typically a grade less than condensor), dust is often blurred so it's hidden in the print.

    The same contrast can be achieved by both but you will have to develop your film accordingly.

    Tetenal lists development times for both condensor and diffusor enlargers in their Ultrafin manual.
    Beta 0.55 for condensor enlargers
    Beta 0.70 for diffusor enlargers

    The times in the beta 0.55 column are a lot shorter than the ones for beta 0.70. Agitation also differs. Here is an example:

    Ultrafin liquid 1+10 and Agfa APX 100:
    beta 0.55: agitation every 3 sec, 4 minutes
    beta 0.70: agitation every 1 min, 7 minutes

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