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  1. #1

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    Contrast Control on Saunders LPL 6700

    It seems that I could not get any contrast control from the enlarger that I just acquired.
    Just to test the enlarger's contrast control. First, I tried with a low grade filter(M0, Y0), then I used a very high contrast (M170, Y0) just to try if I could get some contrast.
    The two prints were almost the same. There was no contrast added to the second print.

    Later on, I tested the enlarger's light source by placing a white paper under the lens while dialling the magenta filter, and I could actually see the color of the light change. If the filter is actually working, I could not think of any reason the contrast control did not work.

    I have another condenser enlarger which is very easy to adjust the contrast, just by inserting different filters. (same chemical, same negative, same paper)

    Could anyone help me with the issue? Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Are you sure that the paper you used was variable contrast? I ask because I made that mistake before when I grabbed a pack of fixed grade paper when in a hurry. It was good for a laugh.
    Denise Libby

  3. #3

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    hi Archer, I am 100% sure. I used the same paper on a condenser enlarger, and I could change contrast by just using different filters in the filter drawer.

  4. #4
    5stringdeath's Avatar
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    If I remember right, there is a lever (on the left side of the head I believe) that toggles between the filters and "white light" which takes the filters out of play. I know you said you saw the color of the light changing, but it could be something to check out .... I had an LPL a couple years ago, not this exact model, so the lever may be in a different location ... or in fact your model may not have one at all, but its a thought.

    If indeed the magenta and yellow filters are in play, and the color of the light is changing ... and you've ruled out the paper ... I dunno, I guess the filters could be worn out. I know in some old dichronic heads this is the case, but I wouldn't think it applies here.

    edit: It does indeed have the lever somewhere. From google "White light lever for easy focusing"

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Try comparing 170 Yellow (C0, M0) to 170 Magenta (C0, Y0) and see if you get a difference.
    Fresh developer?

  6. #6
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    If the white light lever is in place - you'll know just by looking at the light colour.
    Dial in the maximum M - if the white light lever is engaged, you won't see any colour shift.

    And yes, it is on the LHS right at the top.

  7. #7

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    I checked the enlarger. Yes I might have dailed the white level while printin.
    I will check again next time when I do my next printing, and I will let you guys know what the problem is.
    Thank you all for the input.

  8. #8

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    I did a full test today and made sure that the dialled white level to the correct position in order to let the filters play (I tested on the extremes (170Y & 170M) to know that they indeed worked). CONSISTENT PAPER & CHEMISTRY
    This is what I found: on the diffusion condenser, the print made on a filter grade 3.5 (0Y60M) is just slightly more contrast than the one made on a filter grade 2 (0Y0M). The contrast gap between those two grades is much smaller than the ones produced on a condenser enlarger.
    Only when I used Grade 5 (170M) and doubled the exposure time at the time could I notice a very noticeable contrast boost for the same negative. But the contrast on Grade 5 still is about equivalent to what I could get from a Grade 3 filter on a condenser enlarger.


    I have heard that diffusion enlarger produces less contrast prints, but I never knew that the difference is this much based on my test, if my test is correct and my diffusion enlarger functions as expected.

    Could somebody please shed some light on the contrast control based on what I have done? ALso, on the web people say condenser's contrast is strong on highlight whereas diffusion's is good in shadow details? anybody has any experience on that?

    Thank you all for the input.

  9. #9
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    Doesn't sound as if the filters are engaging properly - I have one of these enlargers, and the difference between G2 and G5 is very, very apparent.
    Again, can you see the light change to very obvious M colour when you dial in 170M?

    If not - it isn't engaging correctly. If it is, sounds as if they have faded really badly - surprised by this if they have. :O

  10. #10

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    hi, ozphoto, I can see the light change from a somewhat white to a light red when I dial the Magenta filter from 0 to 170 while keeping the other two filters at 0.

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