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Thread: Enlarger advice

  1. #1

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    Enlarger advice

    I've been using hybrid technology up until now, and have a chance to pick up a nice Omega D5 enlarger with dichroic head for very little.

    Larry Bartlett's book doesn't recommend them for B&W work with VC papers and suggests an enlarger with filters or a VC head, yet others seem to recommend the color heads.

    What's the consensus for a beginner like me, who wants to print silver gelatin as well as use it for lith printing?

    All advice is much appreciated...thanks!

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    I don't know why someone would recommend not using a color head for VC printing...many accomplished photogs--Bruce Barnbaum for one--have used one very successfully for years. I, personally, have always used either Ilford filters in my Aristo V-45 head (for 4x5) or a VC head on my Leitz Focomat V35. Do a search on the 'net...I'm sure you could find a list of recommended filter settings to obtain the different "grades."

    Good luck.
    Regards,
    Alan Huntley
    www.silverscapephoto.com

  3. #3
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I have an ancient Omega D2 condenser enlarger that I used in that mode for a long time, then converted to cold light, which I am using now. I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions from actual dichroic head users, but it seems like many people use them to print black and white very successfully.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PVia View Post

    Larry Bartlett's book doesn't recommend them for B&W work with VC papers and suggests an enlarger with filters or a VC head, yet others seem to recommend the color heads.

    A VC head is a colour head with different set of labels. Or is it really any different? No cyan filter?

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    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    The reason Larry did not recommend colour heads is because he preferred to have a direct readout of paper grades from a Variable Contrast head, simply I imagine because they are quicker to switch grades accurately. Rather than bother with filter dials he advocated the use of below lens filters whilst setting the colour head to it's white light setting. I think if fair to say he was a perfectionist with an intolerance to equipment that didn't meet his high expectations. It's possibly why he favoured the Leica V35 range of enlargers as AlanH above does.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


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    I just did the first steps using my enlarger with Super Chromege E Dichroic Head.
    I recommend using the Ilford table for Kodak filter values as a first approach. They did well for me. You will find them here (somewhere):

    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/download....0201152306.pdf

    Ulrich

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    Dear PVia,

    If it's a good deal, purchase the enlarger. After that, I suggest you consider ignoring the concept of paper grades. If you need more (or less) contrast, dial it in. Of course, if you prefer to think in terms of paper grades, calibrate your enlarger to your paper/developer and enjoy your printing.

    Neal Wydra

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    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    I use a dichroic color head on a Beseler for black and white printing and find it totally acceptable.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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    Thanks everyone...great advice, very helpful.

    One other thing, I know that many folks use an 80mm rather than a 105mm lens for enlarging 6x7 negatives. What would you say is the largest you can print with the 80mm until you start to see light falloff?

    Thanks!

  10. #10

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    Good Evening, PVia,

    For years, I used an old 80mm Componon to print 6 x 7 negatives; as long as I was careful to center the negative properly, I could print any size--at least up to 16 x 20. There wasn't much coverage to spare though. Lack of coverage, should it exist, would probably show up at smaller sizes as well.

    I suspect that coverage may vary a bit from one 80mm lens or lens brand to another. You may not have to go to 105mm. My current lens for 6 x 7 is a 90mm; it covers easily.

    Konical

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