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  1. #1

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    How do you deal with light leaks from Omega D2?

    I have an Omega D2 and DII. I've been noticing, if I burn in my prints to some significant degree, parts that did not (intentionally) get exposed during this burning process gains some density. Obviously, stray light is exposing the covered part.

    On my D2 and I'm pretty sure everybody's D2 has the same problem. Mine is in very good shape with no obvious damage.

    There are some significant light leaking from where condenser meets the neg carrier. Also, there are some leaks from the lamp housing going straight up. I can tell this because there is a shape of vent holes projected on my ceiling.

    My walls are white except the part directly behind my enlarger. That part has black paper pasted on it.

    This is a very common enlarger with a long history of extensive usage by professionals. Are there common modifications or treatments done to this enlarger to prevent stray light exposing paper? I'm looking for "best practices" with this gear. Can anyone help me?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I closed small light leaks in my D with bits of black gaffer tape. I mitigated to the degree possible the leaks around the negative carrier by taping pieces of black mat board onto the sides and back of the light source, letting them hang down past the carrier and at least keeping some of that light from bouncing around. Some light still leaks out the front of the negative carrier but it has been greatly reduced. I also refrain from wearing a light colored shirt when printing to avoid bouncing leaking light onto my paper.

    By the way, I use a cold light head so heat from the bulb is not a concern with blocking vent holes and taping combustibles onto the light source. If you are using a condenser head remain aware of heat transfer to paper or mat board, and especially when blocking up holes that might otherwise dissipate heat from the enlarger bulb.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    One standard solution is to cover all of the nearby walls and ceiling with black. Either paint of matt board.

    But like Dan I also use a cold light head. So I've been considering simply going to a fabric store and purchasing a yard of lightweight, tightly-woven, black cloth. Something smooth, like silk, but less expensive. Then cutting it square and draping it over the head during exposures such that it hangs down a little below the negative stage. Simple, easy to do, and probably overkill.

    I've also figured this piece of cloth could then do double-duty as a lightweight drape over the bellows of my 8x10 when the sun is shining. (Not that that ever happens in the Seattle/Puget Sound region.) Sort of the inverse problem.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #4

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    I had a D-II with both the condenser head and the old acetate Chromega. The Chromega had better provision for mitigating light leaks at the head/carrier interface, but both heads leaked enough to be of concern. My D-5 seems to have corrected most of these problems but I will not fully know for a couple of weeks until I get her really set up. If I were to dive in on baffling I would start with some brass shim stock (k&S) from your local hobby shop and some black spray paint.

  5. #5

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    And jeweler's saws, pin-vices and files.

  6. #6

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    Black gaffers tape and Duvetine black out cloth with Velcro to hold it in place, on my 45 MX that is...

  7. #7

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    All pretty cheap but it does require some (easily acquired) skills. Cut templates from cardboard for the design stage and testing and brass for the implementation.

  8. #8

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    Though I think its a losing game when cheap improved chassis are available.

  9. #9

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    ...turn off all your safelights and everything...throw something opaque in the carrier (black electrical tape?) and see where light is hitting your easel. You can move your hands around to see where the light is reflecting. You might have to sit in the dark for a few minutes for you eyes to adjust. That's how I found mine and now I have a black sock on my column.

  10. #10
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Another very simple mitigation for the head/carrier interface is to go a hobby shop and get a sheet of adhesive-backed black felt. (It's not real felt these days, but just as good for this use.) Then use your trimmer to cut a long strip about 1/8th inch wide. Take that strip and stick it all the way around the underside rim of the condenser housing (this is also where the round cold light cans reside).

    The effect is that when you lower the head directly onto the carrier top, the felt seals up the slightly imperfect fit very effectively. On my D5XL there is absolutely no leakage from this location. And a nice side effect is that if you're equipment-anal like me, the felt prevents any marking up of your nice clean carrier tops, especially if they're white enameled.

    And again for the inverse problem, I've used this same felt to seal up the interface between the camera body and bellows mounting frame on my 8x10 (a like-new restored Calumet C1). Had light leaks before. Has absolutely none now.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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