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  1. #11

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    The Aristo 810 is $500+ and uses a $200 replacement bulb. OTOH if I can swing using the compact bulbs I think around $75 will pay for everything. Certainly less then $100.

    I've spent the day looking at T-5 and T-8 bulbs. Between the cost and hassle of ballasts I think I'm going to try the compacts. They're on sale now so they don't actually cost much if any more then T-8 bulbs without a ballast and fixture.

  2. #12
    jmdavis's Avatar
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    Nick,

    When you have your Franken-Enlarger built, you need to show us some pics. The packard is what I was thinking that you would use, but you might have had a lens in a shutter already. You'll probably want a foot switch and need an electric packard.

    I think that this type of system would seem to lend itself well to metronome timing. I really wish that my darkroom was big enough to consider something like this. But at 5x7 feet, there's no way. Oh well, maybe the next house.

    Mike

  3. #13
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, don't know if you saw it, but I have an Aristo 810 for sale in the classifieds section if you would like to make an offer.

    Jon

  4. #14

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    I was sort of talked out of the 810 a few weeks ago. Partly the cost of the replacement bulb. Partly I'll have to adapt it to fit the camera. IIRC it's also kind of heavy.

    JmDavis I'm going to fix a couple of tripod mounts to a table. If I remove the light source the camera could be unscrewed from the mounts and stored. It'll actually not be that big. My goal is 16x20 prints so all I need is 2x from an 8x10.

  5. #15

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    Nick, I use flourescent deck 20 x 24 with u-bent lights and an acrylic or polycarbon difusser. It works great. I have 6-50w50k and have simply installed holes in the perimeter then draped over an airy metal skeleton and a computer fan. However you will find many problems I think with the compact flourescent. The main one being that they do not boot up consistently and the lumens will fluctuate as the gas gets warmer. Just plug one into a timer then time them to full brightness. They seem to fluctuate as much as 5-6 seconds. My system uses a flashing ballast with regular flourescent so they are always pre-warmed will the camera is on and the timer boots it up to full brightness.

    Secondly, the concerns you have over the position of the lights isn't as important with reg flouros. . .uhm unless your prints take over 15 minutes the lights are not going to be "maintaining" the kind of heat that will cause damage to regular flourescents, with the ballast being separate you can locate it outside the light deck as mine are which dramatically reduces the heat build up on both lights and ballast.

    Well I have been perfecting using flourescent lights for color now for four years with the help of the company that manufactures my cameras and have been perfecting non-color use of them for 35 years. Hopefully this will help you make a wise decision.

    BTW, if you can't find flashing ballasts and you know anything about electronics, you may be able to use a delayed electric relay to preboot you lights.

  6. #16

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    *pre-warmed WHILE the camera . . .

  7. #17

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    I think I've decided on this bulb:

    http://www.1000bulbs.com/product.php?product=9185

    I'm going to deal with warm up by just leaving it on and using a shutter on the front of the camera. I wish the bulb company would provide the colour output graph for the bulb but I think the 5000K bulb should be okay for VC paper. I was intially thinking about the compact floods. The floods would have needed to be placed on thier sides. With the bulb in the link I can just place it in a normal position. The flood I used for a test with the 4x5 camera worked great. Hopefully the normal non flood bulb will work okay.

  8. #18
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Remember that your light output will vary with bulb temperature and age. Small variations in light output can affect highlights that are near threshold values. This is why most coldlight users use a closed-loop controller of some kind. If you have multiple lamps, this is a more difficult problem. You are counting on the diffusion material to be quite good and I think we would all be surprised at how poor diffusion materials are.

    Leaving the lights on all the time may be a problem. Could get hot. Will reduce lamp life. Will reduce ballast life. At some temperature, lamp output will peak and then decrease as the temperature increases. Aristo coldlights have a heater, thermo, to help stabalize temperature and light output. This helps, but there is still drift.

    Good luck.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  9. #19

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    Nick, I am agreeing w/ LooseG. Not only will the luminosity vary dramatically after it gets warms with warmer = dimmer, but also if you do any color you will find that the green amps up quickly as it gets warms to 150 degrees or higher ( I mean green light effect = magenta printing effect).

    You are right that 5000K are best for VC or any other. The reason is because it is the most stable compared to Warm White, Cool White, 3200K, 4100K, and 2900K; all of which I have tested. Whatever advantages they may have initially for color work anyway, is lost within a week of use because they become unstable that fast.
    By stable I am referring to both long term life as well as the warm - hot while in use issue.
    Furthermore, with the compact flourescents I use in the house, I have found that any kind of regular on and off seems to make a seven year light last about seven weeks. Seems invariably one of the twisted up tubes goes dark, if not both.

  10. #20

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    Loose, I also agree with the general remark about diffusers, except in my case wherein my lights are a good 5" from the negative vacuum back and the lights are long tubes set side by side very close. I have even tested removing the diffuser and no difference is noticed in the even coverage in the final prints.

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