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  1. #1

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    I'm just a step away of buying _something_

    Hi everybody,

    I had a darkroom back in the mid-90s, then - due to space constraints and so on gave it up. (Actually it's much worse, I basically threw the complete darkroom equipment out of the window when moving).

    In any case, I'm drawn to the full analog process more and more, and since I have the opportunity to improvise a dark room in the bathroom (yeah, not ideal, but that's the only option), I think I should just go for it.

    At the moment, I have an option to buy the basic equipment set with Meopta 5 enlarger, but it does not have a color head. So i'd need multigrade filters, but then again, there are Meoptas (5 & 6) with color heads available on the market, I'd just need to fish for red light, timer etc. separately.

    Since I have no experience with color head, I don't know how much easier it is to work with one? Is it worth it?

    Also, any comment on Meopta 5 vs 6? I kind of like the small size of 5, seems easier to store.
    Last edited by jernejk; 01-28-2013 at 04:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    hgernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    […]since I have the opportunity to improvise a dark room in the bathroom (yeah, not ideal, but that's the only option), I think I should just go for it.
    Absolutely. My own darkroom space is part-time. All my equipment packs up onto a couple of bookshelves and a packing tub, with the exception of the Beseler 23c which sits by itself off to the side. I have a folding table I use when I set the system up. I got a Delta 1 Brightlab 11w light bulb that fits in any standard edison base socket to use as a safelight. Running water is in the sink outside the darkroom space.

    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    At the moment, I have an option to buy the basic equipment set with Meopta 5 enlarger, but it does not have a color head.
    I did a quick search, and can't get a definitive answer as to which Meopta series you're talking about. I imagine you're referring to the Opemus, which can take a 6x6cm negative. That'll be useful if you ever wish to foray into square medium format. As long as it's in good condition, gives you enlargements the size you want, and doesn't leak light, you'll be fine to begin.

    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    Since I have no experience with color head, I don't know how much easier it is to work with one? Is it worth it?
    I found a color head to be ridiculously convenient for doing VC prints. Twist the magenta for hard, the yellow for soft. That said, it's not absolutely necessary to have either a VC head or a colorhead in order to print VC. Get the filters and you'll be fine. You'll probably save some cash as well, and you won't have to worry about the extra expense of getting a new colorhead when you upgrade enlargers. I currently use a set of Beseler 3" color printing filters, hand held below the lens, to handle VC filtration. Yeah, I sacrifice some sharpness, but my prints are pretty to my eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    I'd just need to fish for red light, timer etc. separately.
    The red light I already mentioned. Timers can be had for a fairly small amount of cash. Mine is a (seemingly) ancient Time-O-Lite (I think it's an M72) I picked up off eBay.

    Good luck, and have fun!
    Henry C. Gernhardt, III

  3. #3

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    My own darkroom is in a small half bathroom. I have to setup and breakdown each time I want to print, so it is a hassle for me to print.
    The enlarger sets on the toilet, and I have to use a drum or rocking print tray to process the prints, as I do not have the counter space for trays.

    I use a Durst M600 (condenser enlarger) that I got back in 1971. It packs into its box and stores fairly easily.
    There is nothing wrong with using a condenser enlarger vs. a color head. Dealing with the VC filters is not very difficult, I did it for years. Yes it is not as convenient as just turning a dial on a color head. But don't let that be an issue. The real issue is condenser vs diffusion lighting. Color heads use diffusion lighting. Do research on that subject. There are pro/cons for both, so there is no "right" answer. Also if you develop your own film, you would adjust the flim development so it will print on grade 2 paper with YOUR enlarger, be it condenser or diffusion.

    I suggest getting the enlarger that you want, rather than settle for something you rather not have only because it is a kit.
    Building the kit yourself is not difficult. Lots of stuff on eBay or Craigslist (in the US).

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    A color head works well with variable contrast paper for black & white and allow your to do color later, if you choose.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    my best candidate at the moment is a Meopta Opemus 5 with BW and Color head. For 35mm and 6x6. The only drawback I see is 80mm lens, which is a bit long and reduces max. possible enlargment, but I guess I could get a 50mm later on...

  6. #6
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    working with under-the-len-filtersis just as easy as with color heads,if not easier. changing filtration with color heads can be cumbersome and disturbs the set up. filters are easy, no need to spend more money.that said,color heads work great for blck-and-white printing.
    Regards

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

  7. #7

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    What I like about using a color head (for B&W VC) is that the filters don't need a separate storage space, and they are always clean, which does add a lot of convienience. But if you're really objective about it, they aren't that much easier to use than individual filters, just different. For doing split filtering I'd say that separate filters are easier (but you still need to store them somewhere and dust them off occasionally).

  8. #8

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    The Opemus is a good enlarger but for B&W I'd steer clear of the Color heads. Yes you can use it as a mulitgrade but the color head is heavier than the std head and I find it prone to act like a rocking chair where the std head feels a lot more stable on the column and using filters ain't a drawback to me. I gave my Opemus away when I became a father and since starting up I have been "stuck" with Durst enlargers
    Best regards
    Send from my Electronic Data Management Device using TWOFingerTexting

    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
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  9. #9

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    I won the bid for the Opemus http://shrani.si/f/1q/102/4ykJM06u/s...13-01-30-a.png
    It has both heads, so I should be able to figue out what suits me better

    Now I need other parts like safelight, timer...

    I've heard people use red LEDs for safety.. so how about something like "LED-bands" that are easy to obtain these days?

    http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/category/...9/LED-Streifen

  10. #10

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    I've bought EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 for my Meopta, only to find out it doesn't fit

    I have the 39mm lensboard like this http://www.fotoimpex.de/shopen/darkr...5aax-2-4a.html which you are supposed to insert with the "bump" side up to get the proper focusing distance, but the Nikkor is to wide and doesn't fit.

    I guess I'll need to custom build a lensboard.

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