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  1. #1

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    Ilford Multigrade 500h negative carrier and light mix box question

    Hi everyone.

    I recently acquired a Durst Laborator Ilford 500h multigrade head enlarger. I have a couple of questions for those in the know.

    1) The negative carrier looks like it might have been a good one at one point. It has slide masks and can take a 4X5. However, the masked area is about a centimeter below the frame where the negative rests. This is OK for 6x7 but for 6x6 the negative can be left dangling or precariously hanging on the edge.

    1) for 6x7 I have my negatives in pairs and 6x6 in strips of 3. Printing the middle one is OK, but the end frames are a pain.

    My question is, are there better negative carriers for this enlarger or enlarger head that might have glass plates to hold negatives. Are the negative carriers specific to the head (Ilford) or the enlarger (Durst)?

    2) The light mixing box is a big one, I'm assuming for 4X5 or Medium Format. What about 35mm, is there a smaller one available?

    Many thanks in advance for your input.

    carrier with negative, mask and slide masks
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    light mixing box
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  2. #2
    Katie's Avatar
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    I have the Omega version and here's what I know/have:

    The neg carriers are only specific to the enlarger - regardless of the head you have on it. They should be found easily. Those do look nice, though!

    The mixing boxes come in three sizes and each have an adapter plate that they mount into (at least for my head). The 35mm box is small - the 120 film box is medium - and the 4x5 box is really large and takes up almost the whole interior. The lights are mounted on little swiveling pieces that move out for 4x5 and come in for both 120 and 35mm.

    As for printing multiple negatives, I would think you could use the 4x5 box and your largest lens and get a custom made negative carrier. I have one I bought (on here) that does this - and even came with it's own little easel for the perfect sized cut paper. It's for 35mm though; but I would love a Medium format version. I can look it up for you if you'd like to get that info...

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Do you have the manual?
    The moveable masks are more useful when you use the smaller negatives with the 4x5 two-plate glass negative holder.
    The Ilford 4x5 mixing box should be fine for most all your printing needs.

  4. #4

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    No reason for the smaller mixing box, slightly faster printing speeds is it.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #5
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post
    My question is, are there better negative carriers for this enlarger or enlarger head that might have glass plates to hold negatives. Are the negative carriers specific to the head (Ilford) or the enlarger (Durst)?
    You have a Durst Femoneg carrier there - It accepts a number of different size inserts depending on the film format you are working with. Antinewton glass inserts are also available for the carrier, but like any L1200 parts, can be difficult to find.

    If you go hunting on ebay, you should find the inserts appear fairly regularly, but do watch out for the AM versions - These are a slightly different size and won't fit in the "normal" carrier. The differences are discussed in this thread.

  6. #6
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    I use this same setup in my own darkroom and think it is the bee's knees. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

    I would recommend you order a new set of glass / anti-newton glass from Focal Point (Glass model Durst L1200). That's where I got mine and they do a great job, much better than finding used glass on ebay.

    Link to Focal Point

    I wouldn't bother with trying to find a smaller mixing box. I have the 35mm box, and it isn't actually that much brighter - maybe 1 stop at the most. If you do decide to look for mixing boxes, you need a mixing box for the Ilford 500H head, not one designed for the L1200. Also, there are different sized mixing boxes for different enlargers ie the 500H mixing box designed for an Omega D series won't work for you.

    I agree on the AM vs. non-AM comment - make sure to get the right version, or just order the glass from Focal Point and then you won't need the carriers at all. BTW - I've found the metal inserts to be pretty hard to come by on the used market. Durst sells them new - for $169. Ouch. I'm just using the glass inserts and not the metal inserts at all.

    BTW - RH Designs makes a great timer that replaces the Ilford controller. It's not cheap, but it works beautifully and I can't recommend it enough.

    StopClock 500

    Hope that all makes sense. Feel free to PM me if you need more specifics.
    - Jeff (& sometimes Eva, too) - http://www.jeffbannow.com

  7. #7

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    wow, this community is amazing. Thank you so much, all of you. :-)

  8. #8
    David Allen's Avatar
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    There are actually 4 mixing boxes and they are worth having.

    When printiing 35mm, at a reasonable size of enlargement, using the 5 x 4 lightbox your exposure will be considerably longer than using the appropriate 35 light box. After all you are only using a tiny bit of the 5 x 4 light box's available surface area of light.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  9. #9

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    Jeff, thanks for the links. I have ordered from Focal Point. I was also happy to find ANR overlays for my Epson V750 scanner.

    Regarding the Ilford 500 control panel, what would you say was lacking? What do you really consider a benefit from using the RHstopClock 500?

  10. #10

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    Jeff, thanks for the links. I have ordered from Focal Point. I was also happy to find ANR overlays for my Epson V750 scanner.

    Regarding the Ilford 500 control panel, what would you say was lacking? What do you really consider a benefit from using the RHstopClock 500?

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