Seeking input for exposure time using new-to-me Omega D-II
I am new to this forum. I am wondering if I can get some assistance on my (new to me) enlarger, Omega D-II with Variable Condenser.
I am coming back to B&W photography and processing after nearly 30 years of absence. I have recently obtained a second hand Omega D-II enlarger with variable condenser, 75mm lens, and the lamp is a standard 75watts. To this, I fitted a newly purchased Ilford under the lens VC filter kit.
Film size is 35mm and the paper is 8*10 Ilford MGIV Multi-grade IV RC Deluxe paper. The variable condenser is set on the lowest tier. I have the #2 VC filter set for normal contrast. I processed Dektol - 1 minute.
The lens is set to f/8
With this setup and using variety of my negatives, I an get a reasonable print density at around 45 to 60 seconds exposure.
Here's my problem/question
Is this typical exposure time for this type of setup? I recall, from my old days, typical exposures were something like 10 to 15 seconds. I don't remember exposing it to nearly a minute! Back then, I was using Kodak graded paper.
Is there something wrong here or is this what I should expect? Since this equipment is used and chemical/paper combination is entirely new, I have no source of reference.
If it matters... the lamp itself appears quite old. I'm sure it's not the original but I know it sat unused for many years. I took apart all the condenser lens and cleaned them. They are in good shape. The aperture blades aren't sticking.
Last edited by tkamiya; 10-03-2009 at 11:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
That seems reasonably normal. If you had a shorter lens (50mm) and had the condensors set for that lens, most likely the exposure times would be shorter.
It wouldn't hurt to try a newer bulb. After all, it is a good idea to have a backup.
Oh, and welcome to APUG.
The Kodak graded papers you were used to are (were) faster. Also, with a 75 mm lens the head will be fairly high to make an 8x10 from a 35 neg, which extend your exposure some. A fresh bulb may help, or you might consider a higher wattage bulb, but you'll need a heat asorbiing glass, at least according to Ask Harry (http://www.classic-enlargers.com/)
Thank you both. Yes, I will go ahead and purchase a spare bulb. I was thinking about it since I have no idea how old this bulb is, and like you say having a spare won't hurt. I didn't think about the lens, but makes sense. I believe I was using 50mm lens when I tried last (30 years ago). I also didn't know Kodak paper back then were faster.
Now knowing there is nothing wrong with my equipment, material, or procedure, I think I'm going to enjoy having nearly a whole minute to expose the paper. It is kind of relaxing and unhurried.
Thank you for your welcome. I have been looking for a forum like this on film based photography. I think I finally found a place I'd enjoy hanging around.
Thank you for your suggestion. No, I do not have the heat-absorbing glass. I think I'll just slow down instead.
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. I believe
the light will be more condensed, narrowly focused,
if the lower condenser be raised. Dan
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One minute is none too long in the developer.
Your exposure time will decrease if you allow
for more development. Up to three minutes
is not unreasonable. Dan
The focal length of the lens is not a factor in the exposure time, all things being equal and discounting issues like transmissive loss due to the glass in the lens and the quality of the coatings. The exposure time depends on magnification alone in this regard, so an 8x10" made from a 35mm neg with a 50mm lens will have the same exposure time as an 8x10" framed the same way with a 75mm or a 150mm lens, all other things being equal.
I don't have the variable condenser head, but the idea is that you can adjust the position of the condenser lenses to maximize light output for the format. Check with Harry at the Classic Enlargers forum, as suggested above, and he can point you in the right direction to make sure you've got the best condenser setup for 35mm negs.
My 35mm negatives print at about 8-12 seconds on my D2V at f5.6 on Ilford.....meaning that I'm getting about half the time you are. The lower position for the condenser is what is recommended for both 50 and 80mm so I think you are doing that correctly. I agree with David that the lens length should make no meaningful difference. The development time seems about right for RC paper. I'd try the bulb. That might be it. If that doesn't work, I have to wonder whether your negatives are a bit overexposed.
Looking over my prints again, I noticed something strange. The contrast seems too high, yet, I am absolutely positive I used #2 filter. Perhaps the lamp is no longer emitting the correct spectrum of light skewing the effects of filters?
I will report back after I get my new bulb and try again.
I just can't think, what else can break as far as the enlarger itself is concerned. There really isn't much in this thing. More than likely, I am making some dumb mistakes somewhere.
MF asked about my negative being over exposed. That may be the case but I have no ways to compare and judge my negatives. About development time, one minute is what I read on Kodak publication for RC paper and that's the reason for one minute development time.
On the side note, I am simply amazed with this enlarger that I bought for $40... I am also amazed I can pick up anything film related so inexpensively and most of them are in really good condition. All those equipment I admired (but could not possibly afford) in my childhood, I can buy them for pennies on a dollar. I do both digital and analog. I am liking the relaxed nature of analog process.... (yes, I am getting old...)
Thanks again for all the responses.
the development times for that paper is 90 secs. not 1 minute