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  1. #11
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Let me see, a diffusion head suppresses dust and scratches and does not harm fine detail. I wonder how this can be.

    Yeah, what Ian said. Diffusion illumination produces more detail than we can ever see in a print. Don't believe me, go sniff grain at an Ansel Adams show. Diffusion heads have the same contrast as contact printing with a light bulb, like Weston did.

    Mentioning Ansel Adams and print quality raises an issue.

    I took my wife to a small Ansel Adams exhibition touring the UK in 2008, I've seen a lot of his work before including the major show at the Barbican, London, late 80's ? (catalogue's back in the UK) which had also been shown in the US. I was quite surprised that many of the prints lacked the qualities I'd seen in previous exhibitions, only a few where up to the standard I'd expected. Most were images I'd seen print of before.

    The truth was many were his early prints off negatives, they came from his daughters collection.

    His later prints off the same negatives have far more detail, better tonality, appear finer grained. Many of the images I'd seen previously were large so probably made with his home made diffuser head, the improvement in quality was quite noticeable.

    I'll stick to my diffuser enlargers, the quality & fine detail off even 35mm is superb as Don says, and no condenser enlarger will match it easily.

    Ian

  2. #12

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    The same thingy that suppresses dust also suppresses detail. In my experience, condensor enlargers do produce sharper prints.
    You will indeed have to tame them though. I put wrinkled aluminium foil on the walls of the condensor and lamp housing, and it reduced the slight hot spot that kept bothering me.

  3. #13
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    The truth was many were his early prints off negatives,

    Pretty significant improvement in enlargers from Pre-WW2 to Post-WW2 !
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #14

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    As for me, I found a dichro head for $100...

  5. #15
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentX View Post
    As for me, I found a dichro head for $100...
    You've done well.

    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    The truth was many were his early prints off negatives,

    Pretty significant improvement in enlargers from Pre-WW2 to Post-WW2 !
    And along with coated enlarger lenses they allowed enlargements to become closer to the ideal of a contact print in terms of quality,

    Have fun & make great images.

    Ian

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralnphot View Post
    I've used rice paper under my condensors before, just make sure there isn't a watermark on the paper to project through. It works, but its personal preference if you want to do it or not once you see the results.
    ***********
    Rainphot, your solution is ingenious. Mine was a bit more "hi-tech." I bought a spray can of translucent stuff which is used to make household windows pass light but block off direct vision.

    In the context of something OP said, my approach would allow varying densities in case there is a need to even out condensor light. I used it on an Omega C700. And it comes off easily when needed, with mineral spirits.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  7. #17
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    Regarding the Adams prints. I saw a touring exhibition in Washington, DC some years back. My understanding is the prints had all been recently made by protoges. I found the prints harsh, contrasty, and very disappointing. I blamed it on the papers now available.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  8. #18
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    ...Have fun & make great images.

    Ian
    That is the key advise!

    I almost wish we had all diffusion-type enlargers in our darkroom. I have 19 sets of condensers to keep clean. The 23c's don't need it very often, but the D5-XL's need it often since students can change the position of the top condenser based on the format they are using -- this introduces dust and other mysteriously appearing objects into the chamber holding the condensers.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  9. #19
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    Regarding the Adams prints. I saw a touring exhibition in Washington, DC some years back. My understanding is the prints had all been recently made by protoges. I found the prints harsh, contrasty, and very disappointing. I blamed it on the papers now available.
    All the prints I've ever seen were all AA originals.

    Many of AA's early prints are "harsh, contrasty, and very disappointing." that was the point I was making.

    He radically changed his way of printing, that coincided with changes in enlarger lenses and light sources.

    Ian

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentX View Post
    As for me, I found a dichro head for $100...
    Good job!

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