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  1. #11
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Do you enjoy spotting dust marks off of your prints?

    If so, the colour head may reduce your chances to practice .
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #12
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    I have both a De Vere 504 dichroic and a Kaiser VPM9005 condenser. When printing black and white, I like the slightly more "open" (contrast) and ever so slightly less cutting look of the De Vere (which is diffusion based) - however, when actually making heavy use of filtration more than just basic stuff, the Kaiser wins out as exposure times are kept nearly constant for different grades. With the De Vere, and many other dichros, you have to recalculate based on filtration. This is a pain in the ass usually. However, what isn't a pain in the ass is noticeably less dust issues with diffusion based enlargers and I just generally feel more connected to the De Vere vs the Kaiser (but still like the Kaiser).
    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. #13
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fran View Post

    What's the general thinking on these? I've heard that condenser heads can be more contrasty,

    Fran
    The increase in contrast is a result of physical properties, not opinions.

  4. #14
    clayne's Avatar
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    Depends on how the enlarger is feeling that day I guess.
    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

  5. #15
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I usually go with a diffusion head, as I get more control with color filters when printing bw. Also no one had mentioned that some lenses require a diffuse light source to be even. Wide angle enlarging lenses in particular.

  6. #16
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I use both, sometimes I will gravitate to a certain head for asthetic reasons, but this would be for a discerning photographer whose work is done in a specific style.


    When working with Colour Heads, a trick that all professional colour darkroom printers know is to come at your number from the same direction all the time.

    for example if you are doing split printing and one of your filtrations is say 100magenta, you should always reach 100 by coming from the lower numbers each and every time, if not you will never be accurate.

    Now for black and white work I will admit that this is not as critical as in colour , ( in colour we were splitting hairs over 1 cc colour correction and the direction of placing the number will give you at least a 3 cc difference.) when training new printers this is the first thing the colour correction supervisor would do.

    For skin tone I sometimes tend to want to use a colour head over my condensor enlargers.
    For documentary work I tend to want to use the condensor over the colour enlarger.

    These are small decisions that are made , but in day to day reality I like working with both types and as long as my lens is good , my carrier is aligned, and I am keeping my film flat through the whole exposure sweep , then the difference boils down to slight differences.

  7. #17

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    Very educational - thank you all for the insights so far.

    I quickly fired up the head this afternoon and the bulbs still light up so its worth proceeding with the rest of it now.

    I have some wiring ahead of me as I'm missing the transformer/timer box that originally came with it. I can modify it to work from my existing timer though so all should be OK I think. It will be more of a hassle to organise venting the cooling fan I think though. Many thanks to the now unknown poster who mentioned that they had a pavelle 401 PDF - I found the comment and a link in an forum archive from 2006! It was still live and I snagged a copy which gave me great help in figuring out the original setup.

    So if anyone ever needs it, I have a manual for both the Durst 401 and Durst Laborator L1000!!

    Fran

  8. #18
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I use a color head for black and white and the built in filters work well. When I have more time, I will start doing color printing again.
    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.

  9. #19

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    Just wanted to update the thread - I got the head up and running and fitted and its working fine. I need to spend some time now running some tests getting to grips with the settings to change contrast.

    I've seen a few references (Paul Butzi) to using a system of combining the magenta and yellow dials to give variable contrast but constant exposure. I've got the article he wrote and the table of figures for durst heads (also quoted on the durst pro USA site) so intend to try them out at least.

    Many thanks to all who have contributed to the knowledge I've gained over the last week or so!!

    Fran

  10. #20
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Stick with the condenser.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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