In my experience using both diffusion and condenser enlargers, the condenser enlargers do give better local contrast. The reason that this happens, in my opinion, is that the condensor collimates the light beams and they pass through the negative much more perpendicularly. This can not but give better delineation to the differing but adjacent film densities.
When I started using a condenser enlarger about 4 months ago, it was almost an "ah hah" experience. Almost as if suddenly the reason for all of the good prints that I had seen and failed to produce had been made apparent.
I am pleased that you found that the results were what you wanted.
In order to avoid Callier Effect is advisable to use diffused light. This is something well noticeable with condensers (colimated light). See examples in the book Fine Print by Fred Picker.
Sergio, The so called Callier effect is something that has been bantered about for many years. I accepted it without testing the validity for myself for a long time. I have found that this was probably the excuse that was given for not knowing how to adjust development to the DR needed. My experience has shown the Callier effect lacks validity. If you haven't tried this for yourself, then I encourage you to determine the accuracy of these statements without simply accepting either Ansel Adams or Fred Pickers pronouncements.
Originally Posted by sergio caetano
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
the so-called Callier Effect is a reduced transmission thru silver based film, due to light stray. It depends mainly on the aperture of the light source. It is a matter of fact that a condenser enlarger produces a higher contrast than a color head with diffuse light. This *is" the Callier Effect. However, some photographers believe, that the Callier Effect also affects the shape of the density curve (i.e. that the effect changes over density and can, e.g., improve shadow detail). This isnt necessarily the case in practice.
Apart from the aperture of the light source, the Callier Effect is dependent on:
- grain size and shape
- aperture of the enlarger lens
- film gamma and density
However, the impact of gamma and density is usually much smaller than that of the light source. The effect of grain, gamma and density are much depended on the film type. We have to take into account, that modern film has different characteristics than the one used by former masters. So we may come to different conclusions today.
Enter my name on the "Callier Effect Simply DOESN'T Exist" list.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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"I encourage you ... without simply accepting Ansel/Fred pronouncements."
I also encourage you to learn a little of physics.
this so called callier effect and this change in curve is another approach. as donald says - u can use it for creativity, or u can re-adjust your exposure/developing.
as a philosopher i will say - theories are great thing and great fun to deal with, but be practical (yes, based on your theoretic knowledge which primerly comes from "practice" and "logic")
in practice - both light sources have their own characteristic which can be used by the printer. it is like a differance between the fender stratocaster and the gibson lespoul guitars... which one is best???
come on - this question is not serious - i love both handricks and jimmy-page sound and gilmour sound and many others.
wether u r roll or sher film user - these heads will give different character. if u do prefer one of them - based upon your expiriance (and not theories whithout a real visual sense of the light sourse outcomes on the print) - if u prefer one of them, it ok too.
it is like to ask which leica lense is more normal 35 or 50. i dont know actually. the 35mm is more rewarding to the space perception and delivers more dynamic sense. the 50mm is more normal in terms of human eye magnification ratios of objects in different distances, and the perception of space is more concentrated, giving a more solid sense. u know how to use them and u use them based on your feelings, senses, intuitions and needs.
in creative photography (and anything which is concendered to be creative) - differances (in nature and essesne of things) are not a matter of advantages or disadvantages - differances are options, and options extened the creative abilities if u know how to use them and how to explore them.
there is some "field" where the print on the condenser and the print on the diffuse will be hardly difined, but there are huge fields where each one of them demostrates its own character. if one want to choose only one head, he/she should consider which direction is prefered.
personally, i love both of them. and if i have to gave up on one of them - it will be very difficult situation, but i would rather stay with the condenser. but this based not on "dry theories" but on my vissual sense and practical use - there is a unique character of condeser that i wouldnt gave up.