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  1. #1
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    LED light conversion on Durst Laborator 138

    Here is a cheap and simple conversion I finished today. I have run a few tests on 6x9 negatives and found no issues with coverage or even-ness of light reaching the paper. I will check 4x5 and 5x7 in the next few days. I estimate this 15w light source is about 1/2 stop brighter than the normal 300W opal globe I have been using, based on one recent negative I tested against. And, of course, the heat emission is negligible.

    I have done a bit more research and found there is a 21W LED generally available with a 90mm cutout which may be a bit brighter. Once you go to 30W or more the units seem to to be bigger requiring a 150mm cutout or larger. It's possible I could just squeeze that size into the housing also. The only tools I needed were an electric drill and a 90mm (3 1/2 inch) hole cutter. The board screws into existing holes on the existing 'L' bracket inside the head and the light is fixed to the board with the standard gimble springs.

    Here is the light I bought:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/261103414...84.m1423.l2649

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Interesting, FYI the link you give is to 4 units, they do sell single units as well, which I assume you meant to link to.
    I pulled my Durst 1000 to pieces today as the mechanism which allowed me to adjust the head height failed. While it is down I considered converting it to a diffuser type by removing the condenser lens and painting the space white and adding diffuser. I might consider one of these lamps at the same time based on your tests. So get going....

    How deep is the light?

  3. #3

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    Re: use of LED source with VC papers, you may want to check that thread.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...-vc-paper.html
    White LEDs are not all alike, only rigorous testing can provide an answer.
    Last edited by bernard_L; 03-16-2013 at 09:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Interesting.
    I would want a smaller unit for my L1000. I don't need that much light.
    I like the LED, then I can stop looking for a heat absorbing glass.

    Let us know how it prints w VC paper.
    Last edited by ac12; 03-16-2013 at 12:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMBooth View Post
    How deep is the light?
    It's 60mm from the back of the heat sink to the back of the board.
    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  6. #6
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernard_L View Post
    Re: use of LED source with VC papers, you may want to check that thread.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...-vc-paper.html
    White LEDs are not all alike, only rigorous testing can provide an answer.
    Thanks Bernard. I have read through most of these threads on LED conversions and understand there may be variations in contrast with VC paper. I'm not one for agonising over minor technical points relying more on eye and emotion when it comes to printing, but it is valuable to know that not all light is the same colour and I may need to fine tune some filter settings if trying to recreate a past print.
    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  7. #7
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Update: Printed 4x5 and 5x7 over the weekend and coverage is fine with a 150mm enlarging lens used for both. Contrast on VC paper is a marginally harder by about 1/2 to 1 grade based on a small sample. i.e. I find grade 1 1/2 gives me the kind of contrast I was getting using grade 2 or maybe 2 1/2 with the other light source. Very happy with tonal separation and midtones and printing seemed marginally "easier" overall. Maybe it was the lack of heat penetrating my forehead and the absence of that faint burning smell!

    This is a less than perfect way to illustrate results but here are rough shots of two prints from well exposed negatives at grade 1 1/12. Ilford warmtone paper in dektol with 3 mins in selenium. I will stick to this light source for now as I can't see any downsides so far.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  8. #8
    pcyco's Avatar
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    hallo

    that looks great i think i will convert my 138 also

    thanks a lot and let us know your experiences

    thomas
    --------------------------------------------------
    vfdkv (259)

  9. #9

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    Amazing, Tony! Thank you. I've got one of the Atlas bulbs, and I often wonder what I'll do when it burns out. This looks like a viable option.

  10. #10

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    Would this work with an Omega D2v?

    By the way, here is the link to the single unit:

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/15W-LED-D...item3a7d039a9e

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