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  1. #11

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    I'd be very careful of "computerized" heads. In my experience, they aren't very reliable. In a basic color head, everything is pretty easy to fix. You might have to change lamps, lamp sockets, fans, filters or mixing chambers. That's about it. None of that is too hard to fix.

  2. #12
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Thanks Nicholas, but it's diffusion all the way for me. I live in a temperate rain forest where the light is usually soft and diffuse to begin with, so a condenser light source would probably add too much snap & sizzle when it isn't needed.

    Peter, I've read horror stories concerning the discontinued Beseler computerized colour head. As I live a two day drive from both Vancouver and Calgary (where I probably couldn't get it fixed anyways), such a complicated and apparently problem prone head wouldn't be the way to go.

    So far the Beseler 45s appears to be in the lead as I'm finding it hard to find information on the (also discontinued?) Multigrade 500...any other options I'm missing?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  3. #13
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    One of the selling points used by the sales person with the computerized colour head was to imply that regular dichroic heads experience colour drift, such as when a new bulb is put in...is there any truth to that? Is it a problem in 'real life', as in, does it effect contrast in VC papers to a noticable degree?

    Murray
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 12-15-2006 at 11:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  4. #14

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    Murray,

    In my experience there isn't much change when changing a bulb. My guess is that with a new bulb that you'd get slighter bluer (hence more contrasty) light. But as I said, I expect that the difference is small. (In other words, I haven't noticed a change in contrast when changing bulbs; but then I've only had the change the bulbs in my enlarger once.) What can happen is the dichroic filters, especially the magenta, can fade. It's also possible for the material in the mixing chamber to slowly yellow a bit. It really is a good idea to get a step wedge and figure out what contrast your system is giving you.

  5. #15
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    As a person who has done a lot of colour printing, I can honestly say, when the light globe goes, the colour does change.

    However the change is minimal!

    As the globe wears down it starts to get slightly warmer. The operative word in the last sentence, is, slightly. When I have had to put a new globe in, in the middle of a printing session, I usually just run it for about 5 minutes, then do another print of the negative that was in the enlarger and see what difference there is.

    I had a globe go a few weeks ago, whilst I was printing B&W. I distinctly remember that the difference was slight, as far as exposure was concerned, about 1/16th of a stop. The grade I was using was 3 1/4 and I didn't alter the colour head at all.

    When doing colour and a globe goes, the difference is usually about 1 or 2 units of red.

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    I personally have a DeVere 504 with a colour head, which was originally computer controlled via a direct video analysis of the negative. I simply cut the wires and use the head manually, nothing to break or go wrong.

    In another life, I used two of these units in a colour lab. All of the darkroom workers used these enlargers and their computer analysis program, to get a very close approximation of what was required. Then we would subjectively view the test print under a controlled light source and make final colour adjustments using our eyes, experience, and, Kodak print viewing filters.

    We did the same when we printed B&W, with the Ilford 500 MG head on a Beseler.

    I would suggest that a Beseler enlarger is the best thing since sliced bread, especially with regard to the rotating neg carrier, which I think is nothing short of pure genius.

    That said, I believe the DeVere enlargers are the strongest and best in the world, which is why I bought one.

    I do though, distinctly remember two young photographers who had too much of the demon drink at a Christmas function, happily riding up and down on one of our Beseler enlargers, almost burning out the electric motor. Tough things those.

    Mick.

  6. #16
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Good point, Peter, about testing with the step wedge. I'd have to get one anyways for calibrating the ZoneMaster II, so doing a quick test a couple times a year to see if the filters are changing would'nt be a problem.

    Thanks Mick, that's comforting information about bulbs. (Those two students wouldn't have been blansky and Bubbles Hedbob, would they)?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  7. #17
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    condenser light source would probably add too much snap & sizzle when it isn't needed.
    A diffusion head lowers contrast about one paper grade ... or a condenser head raises it about one grade -- depending on where you want to start.

    After adjusting paper contrast or developing CI to match, the resulting HD curves are _identical_. If you use an enlarging meter the contrast difference between the heads is transparent - the prints will be identical without any adjustment to developing time as the meter will select the appropriate contrast grade for the negative/light source combination.

    If you are using a condenser head but are always reaching for the #0 filter then a diffusion head may be a better choice. Contrawise, if you are using a diffusion head but are using a grade 4 filter/VC setting then a condenser head will give more latitude.

    It's religion, some people just _believe_ in diffusion heads and that's that.

    Me, I sacrifice silver on the alter of my densitometer.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  8. #18
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Hi Nicholas,

    My 20+ years of negatives were originally developed to print with a cold light on (or try to land near ) grade 2 of the original Zone VI Brilliant paper, so they're a tad rich for a condenser light source I think. When they 'improved' Brilliant, my negatives printed well on the new grade 1 leaving me no room at the soft contrast end of things. I switched to Ilford Galerie as its grade 2 matched the old Brilliant grade 2...I chose to change paper brands rather than change the way I developed negatives.

    I like being near the middle of the field with my negatives, instead of being crowded against one of the sidelines...gives me more wiggle room and can make dodging and burning less troublesome

    Now the quest is on for a new VC light source...eefreakinggad! (This will be my last process change...really...for sure...I think.........)

    Murray
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 12-16-2006 at 09:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spellin an stuph
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  9. #19
    schroeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    I'm having a hard time choosing a light source. There's so much manufacturer marketing hype and overly 'helpful' retailers pushing their brands out there...I need help from real-life photographers!

    I print on Ilford Multigrade IV FB paper with a Beseler 45MXT enlarger. I'm looking for a diffusion head that will connect to the RH Designs StopClock Pro and Analyser Pro that I also plan to get. (I'm leaning away from cold lights and the StopClock Vario). If things work out, I should be ready to purchase the whole lot in about four months.

    Please dispense your wisdom in the available space below

    Murray
    I just got a V54 lamp that I am using with an ancient Aristo D2-R head. Works wonderfully and the condenser head is now officially gathering dust.

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