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Thread: Omega Enlarger

  1. #1

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    Omega Enlarger

    OK, freecycle came to my rescue. I was looking at enlargers last week. C700 with 35mm negative carrier, darkroom safelight, 4 in 1 easel, 3 packs of Ilford paper and Sprint chemicals...here is the question. Donor says the chemicals are about 1 year old...can I use them still? It has been a long time since I printed myself.

    Anyone have sage advice about the use of this enlarger? I hope to start with it tomorrow on some film I recently processed myself.

    Anyone use it for 645?

    TIA.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  2. #2
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I would say usually yes the chemicals would be good. If not you just buy new ones. The real problem with chemicals is oxidation, and the large sprint chemistry containers are air sealed bags so that should be fine. If they're smaller bottles you can tell by checking the chemistry's color. Dark is oxidized, clearer is fresher. Remember that the lens is the real determining factor in the end quality of the print, the enlarger quality less so.

  3. #3

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    If it's like the C760, there is a difference condenser box (I think that's what they call it) for medium format.

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    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    I made many a good print with such a simple enlarger. If you do not have an enlarging timer, make yourself a simple foot switch so you do not have to touch the line switch. I used a rubber door stop, a push switch, lamp cord, a plug in and a plug.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  5. #5

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    About the chemistry. Dry powders are usually good provided that the packages are still factory sealed. Some developers darken when they go bad, others do not, so color alone is not a complete indicator. Liquid concentrate rapid fixer should still be good even if opened. It will smell strongly of sulfur if it has gone bad. Sundry other chemicals like stop baths, wetting agents, and some toners do not go bad at all unless they've been used to capacity.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #6

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    I have a C700 with the dichroic color head.
    It is not very sturdy, but very capable of making fine prints with a good lens. I tend to use my D5 more often now.
    I have used the C700 for 645 negs, but it took a while to find a used 645 carrier at a reasonable price, I ended up finding one at eplevine.com.
    The only problem I had with 645 and the C700 was using my Saunders easel to make 11x14 you can not get the easel to go back far enough as it hits the column and you can't rotate the negative carrier, so I always ended up cropping some off the top of the negative.


    For 645 an 80mm lens would be ideal, but find a good 6 element lens; they are dirt cheap now used.
    The only other thing I found is the light seal where the head meets the negative stage had deteriorated so I replaced it with some weather stripping foam. This is not applicable if you have the condendor head.

  7. #7

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    Great responses. I am going to start with what I have and keep my eye open for 645 neg carriers. I will have to move this back and forth between lower bath and garage so the less I have to worry about now, the better. I was lucky enough to get this one for free, maybe the next one will cost me a few bucks more. I know that National Camera often has used enlarger equipment for sale and I can check there, too!

    I just don't have experience with the Sprint chemicals and did not want to risk ruining a print. But the beauty is that I can always do it again. I think I will give them a try. I have used the Ilford chemicals in the past. Good practice time for now. I guess those 4 bulk rollers are going to come in handy.

    Luke
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  8. #8
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    I don't know about the quality of the chems. After a year plus of inactivity, I donated my chemicals to the local waste management facility.

    I have 3 Omega C760's (with the dichromatic heads) and I have 2 B&W condenser heads for them, which honestly, I have never used. The negative carriers are going to be the tough ones. There's a place in Toronto I use to go all the time when I was more active in the darkroom that a plethora of Omega accessories: http://www.khbphotografix.com/ Freestyle might have them too. When I was there a couple months ago they a selection of carriers for various Omega enlargers. Be aware the carriers are pricey - like $80-100 or so. Something crazy like that. See if you can get a 6x6 carrier instead. It's not cheaper, but maybe more versatile.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  9. #9

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    If these are the chems in the cubtainers, it's very likely they are ok, based on some testing I did in the gallery's darkroom with Sprint chems. In that case, the developer was at least a year old, and probably more like 2 or 3.
    If it's the smaller bottled packages, there is more likelyhood that the developer may be bad. But, as you say, it's easy enough to test.

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    matt board neg carriers

    Clone the outline of the carrier you have, traced on matt board. Diagonal lines from corners of ex. mask cutout to find the centre of the carrier. Measure new size needed about this centre pojnt. Cut carefully with xacto blade. Black the parts that need to be with a sharpie marker. Hinge with gaffer tape etc. Guide pins can be substituted with well placed masking tape.
    my real name, imagine that.

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