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  1. #1

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    How to diffuse condenser head - De Vere 504 w/ Varicon head

    (De Vere 504 w/ Varicon head)
    Hi there..... Can anyone suggest the best way to diffuse my condenser head? Either there's an accessory that can be slotted in that I don't know about, or perhaps you can suggest the best kind of material I should get to make my own. Don't get me wrong, I want a condenser enlarger, but I just want to have the option of diffusing on the odd occasion with the odd negative, by putting something in between the negative & the condenser lens. If I have to make my own, I wouldn't have a clue what to make it out of! Would be very grateful for suggestions.
    Many thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2
    clayne's Avatar
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    By far, try to find the dichro head.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  3. #3

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    Thank you. But, that's not what I was asking:

    Can anyone suggest the best way to diffuse my condenser head? Either there's an accessory that can be slotted in that I don't know about, or perhaps you can suggest the best kind of material I should get to make my own. Don't get me wrong, I want a condenser enlarger, but I just want to have the option of diffusing on the odd occasion with the odd negative, by putting something in between the negative & the condenser lens. If I have to make my own, I wouldn't have a clue what to make it out of! Would be very grateful for suggestions.
    Many thanks,
    Paul

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I don't have any condenser heads, but if I did, I'd use a piece of ground glass (homemade) under the last condenser lens. There will be a trade-off between how much diffusion and loss of intensity depending on how much you grind the ground glass. A piece of white plastic diffusion material (from the bottom of a junk dichroic head mixing box) would also work but may cut the light intensity too much to be useful.

    BTW to you have any spare 504 lensboards?

  5. #5
    clayne's Avatar
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    Look at the dichro head. Do you see that it uses something called a mixing box? That's how the diffusion happens. It's not the same as throwing something in front of the condensor. You could attempt something with a diffused transmission medium but it's definitely going to cut down brightness.

    BTW I have a dedicated condensor enlarger (Kaiser VPM) and a 504 w/ dichro head. There is near zero difference in sharpness so don't fool yourself there if you think that's why you need a condensor enlarger.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  6. #6

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    Thank you Clayne.

    ic-racer, thanks very much for your response. It was more what I would have to make one out of that had me going than anything else. Whatever it will be made out of will cut down on brightness somewhat, but more so plastic I'd also thought. So, I'd be willing to give ground glass a try - now to figure out where to put it (obviously sitting ever so close just above the neg carrier, yet thin enough to slot under the condenser lens) and where close by I could get one made up (homemade is a little beyond me I'm afraid). I suppose any glazier would do it.

    Ah.... I just have 2 lensboards, for the 50 & 80. You on the hunt for one, or?

    Paul

  7. #7
    richard ide's Avatar
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    I suggest a piece of translucent white acrylic. I do not know about availability in Australia but here; white is available with serveral levels of light transmission. As it has no grain, there is no danger of possibly having the ground glass texture in focus at small aperatures.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  8. #8

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    Thanks Richard, good point on the texture. Could try both, just have to think where's best to go for it. I also emailed both Odyssey and KHB to ask on the off chance that they have or can suggest something.

  9. #9
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    Paul

    Take a close look at the attached illustration. Adding a translucent object under the bottom condensor will diffuse the light source. It will, however, swallow a lot of light, and it needs to be uniform and clean or it might show up in the print, being so close to the negative.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LightSources.jpg  
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #10

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    Thanks Ralph. Yes, will have to be very fussy about what I would use. You know, could be that the nice white photocrescenta lamp is diffuse enough anyway without having to go to all this bother. I'll find out soon enough............ I should add that I haven't even tried this enlarger yet, as I just moved house & am waiting for new blackout screens to be made before I can get to printing again.

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