I have posted this question several times in the distant past but never really got a satisfactory answer if, in fact, there is one.
I am currently using an LPL 4by5 enlarger with the VCCE head. Unlike the color head the VCCE head does NOT have a light attenuator. I am using a 150mm Rodagon N lens for 4by5.
I test my films using the zone system and develop for a diffuser light source. In other words the negatives are denser than I would develop for a condenser system. I use a densitometer to check my zones and usually test for zone 1 and zone VII.
I am more than satisfied with the results. The prints are great, but here's my problem. My exposure times are too short. I use both Ilford and Agfa (RIP) MC fiber. For an 11/14 print my times are about eight seconds at f 11!!! This wether I am printing 4by5 negatives with the 150 mm or 6by7 negatives with a Rodagon N 90 mm. I would have hoped that they would have been about 12 seconds at f8. No time to burn and dodge and, although f11 seems fine on these APO lenses, I would rather use f8. And little chance I can use graded with these times and the filters switched out.
I have the XLG model which has a 250 watt halogen bulb. You CAN NOT REPLACE THE BULB WITH THE 200 WATT USED IN THE SMALLER MODEL. It will not work, has a different footing an will blow the lamp.
The reason for the caps is that some have suggested a different bulb or that in fact there is an attenuator in the head. I can assure you that neither solution is possible.
I have printed some of the same negatives in the school darkroom where they have Omega condenser enlargers and I get normal times, i.e. 12-14 seconds at f8.
So, any suggestions? One very knowledgeable individual has told me that the light transfer from the APO Schneider and Rodenstock lenses is much greater than with the Nikkors. He has measured same.
I could go with neutral density filters but will only use that as a last resort.
I keep getting the feeling that I am missing something. I’m stumped. HELP!