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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    My LPL Enlarger is Getting Dim

    I have the LPL VCCE 7700 enlarger and noticed over the last few months my exposure times are getting longer. Today I went in to print and it wanted exposures up to 6 and 7 stops. That's ridiculous. I checked the lamp and it's seated properly. I just got the enlarger new about a year ago. How often do the lamps need changed? Why wouldn't they just burn out like any other bulb?

    Also, could it be the power supply going bad? The paper and developer were both fine. I'm hoping changing the lamp will be the quick and cheap fix, but I'm worried it's something more. Advice?

  2. #2
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Unlikely the power supply is at fault. Certainly, I would change the lamp as a first step - Even although they keep on shining nice and bright, I have found the colour changes over time and now aim to change mine after about fifty hours (in a Durst L1200). Lamps are cheap, so it is not a major expense and I can still sell the old ones on ebay...

  3. #3

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    When this happened to my 4x5 LPL it was the power supply. I tried a bulb change first, which didn't help.
    The sockets can become corroded and cause dimming as well.
    First step would be to examine the bulb's condition, and then make sure all the connections between it and the power supply are in good shape.

  4. #4
    eclarke's Avatar
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    You need to change bulbs frequently, even when still bright they lose wavelengths and the prints don't sparkle like they should. Go to someplace like ebulbs.com, don't pay LPL prices..Evan Clarke

  5. #5
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I did order a new bulb from B&H photo. $12. Should be here early next week. I'm going to go and check the contacts now and make sure they're ok. I'm hoping it just needs a new bulb. How often are you guys changing bulbs? I can't imagine it being the power supply. I just bought the enlarger a year ago!

  6. #6

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    Silly question, but you don't have the dimming knob turned? Probably not, I do remember printing once and the bulb died during printing. After replacing it, the same exposure with the new bulb over-exposed the paper 1-2 stops from where it had been right before the previous bulb died.

  7. #7
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Does the 7700 have a dimmer knob? I've heard the 4x5 version does. Is there something I don't know about?

  8. #8

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    My bad, I was referring to the 4x5, I'm not used to the 4 digit numbers for the enlargers. I'm not sure if the med. format enlarger has the dimmer. To be fair, on the 4x5 it isn't really a dimmer so much as it's a metal plate with holes in it that can swing in front of the light to lessen the amount of light output.

  9. #9
    eclarke's Avatar
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    The life of your bulb depends on how much you print. I watch my prints and when it seems like they just don't have all the qualities you normally get, ditch the bulb. They are cheap compared to paper!..EC

  10. #10

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    Does it look like the filtration is getting dim too? I mean the magenta filtration. That's what's happening with my enlarger. I am worried that the head is broken . I hope it's as simple as the bulb going. It doesn't seem dim though.

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