Something I've been putting off as it's just another expense since I haven't printed 1 single 8x10 of anything as of yet
I'm just shooting film right now and making proofs/4x5 contacts to see where my composition/developing is
Local seller has color chromega head and condenser 4x5's
I'm not asking which one is best or anything, don't worry
I think I'm good with a condenser ...
Is a color head more enjoyable to use than a condenser? Is it really any simpler?
My biggest issue is not knowing what to look for
Is a D2 condenser -or similar- basically the same build as my B22 condenser?
2 condensers + supplemental for smaller negatives?
Lens cone for long lens I know about
What else do I need make sure of? Sounds like the seller has parts galore ..I just need to know what to walk away with.
How large are these guys? I have a 7 foot ceiling and use a 30 inch tall and deep farm table so I have about 60 inches for the enlarger. I don't plan on making very large prints, though.
Are 4x5's just as good as medium format enlargers for printing those smaller formats or is it easier to just use the 4x5 for everything?
That's about it
Thanks for any help
Just get the Omega colour head, you don't need the condensor head.
It's perfect for everything. Buy it and fit it in later there is always a way.
DAMN! I figured.
I've read that color heads cost more to maintain
the "filters" need replacing fairly regularly and bulbs are more expensive
Is it more upkeep with em?
I can understand how color may be two birds with one stone but color processing seems so far off
It seems to come down to diffusion/condenser
You can use the color filtration (yellow and magenta) for contrast control on VC papers, at least for the middle grades.
The Omega D's are sort of similar to your B22, except much larger, nothing except a lens would interchange though.
The major difference or advantage of using a 4x5 for only smaller negatives would be that they tend to be much sturdier, so might be less prone to vibration than smaller enlargers. The columns are longer so you can make bigger prints than you can with most 35 and MF enlargers.
The bulbs are generally low voltage halogen projection bulbs, and they are more expensive than the screw-base bulb used in an Omega D. IDK about filter replacement, I don't think they are prone to fading, as they aren't based on dyes.
The color head gives you more control on contrast because you can steplessy vary the filteration, up to it's limits. Then again, Ilford Multigrade filters are 1/2 grade steps, so it's hard to argue how much more control is needed. I hate filter swapping though, so I like working with a color head.
Whether difusion is better is really a matter of taste, scratches and dust are somewhat less apparent with diffusion. Contrast tends to be lower.
A color head will be easier to get the correct contrast, but if your film development is correct, this isn't too much of an issue. With diffusion enlargement, there is the issue of softness in a print. I was amazed to see Donald Miller's point source enlarger in action on one of my negatives earlier this year. I have never seen a sharper print than this from my own film. The negative was developed with minimal agitation and the print was as sharp as the film, simply not possible with a diffusion head. tim
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I have heard of people replacing dichroic filters but I have my doubts that this is very common - with half a dozen enlargers of mostly 20+ years of age I have never had a problem with the filters. In theory at least, they will not wear out at all quickly as they rely on interference coatings to work - they are not just coloured glass.
Originally Posted by sun of sand
Colour heads normally take low voltage 200W or more halogen lamps whereas condensers tend to take lower wattage mains voltage globe lamps. Halogens are more expensive but that is not a major factor given the on-going costs of chemicals and paper etc. Enlarger globe lamps seem to be getting more difficult to source these days. If you get a colour head, make sure the corresponding transformer/voltage stabiliser is included.
Have fun, Bob.
The Omega D2 (not variable condenser) has a couple of sets of condensers, depending on what size you want to print. There is no aux condenser like in the B22. If this is the setup you have, let me know. I suspect I could find a way to get you a set of condensers for MF and 135 (or even the big 6" condensers for 4x5, if you need those). I found a Beseler MX enlarger and have no desire to get the Omega up and running.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
I have always thought that it was just a matter of different overall contrast between condenser and diffusion enlargers. But this surely sounds like sharpness.
I have one of Donald Miller's prints and it sure is sharp... But I suspected my whole process, from tripod to lack of optimal local contrast, that was to blame and never thought there would be a real difference in light sources.
hm... Is it possible to fit a condenser head to a durst 138 color head...
Originally Posted by noseoil
Whilst the colour head might at first appear to offer advantages with contrast, IMHO, it is not easier to use compared to filters. One major factor is that exposure times will change when the filtration is changed, wheras the exposures with filters are easily determined. It is possible to get intermediate grades using filters by split grade printing. I much prefer to use filters, even with colour heads.
As to condesnser vs difusser, both work, and for a "well" developed neg, the same print should be possible with either. Film dev times might have to be different though.
Steve, have you not heard of dual filtration, what rubbish. Both are simple, given a colour head it's pointless using additional filters.