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  1. #1

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    Cold Light Enlarger Heads

    As I get my darkroom together, something tickles the back of my brain about cold heads for an enlarger. Could someone please remind me what they are? I have a regular condenser head, as well as a dichro head for my Beseler 45MX enlargers. Also, can I use the dichro head for VC papers, or is that not recommended?

    Thanks so much!

    MikeGates
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout![/FONT]

  2. #2
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    Hello Mike,
    As to cold light heads, I can't help you.
    A condensor gives "harder" light, a colour head (excellent for VC printing) is more forgiving towards scratches and dust particles. I have a Durst with a colour head and use dual filtration for variable contrast papers. See paper manufacturers' data on this.
    Regards
    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGates
    As I get my darkroom together, something tickles the back of my brain about cold heads for an enlarger. Could someone please remind me what they are? I have a regular condenser head, as well as a dichro head for my Beseler 45MX enlargers. Also, can I use the dichro head for VC papers, or is that not recommended?

    Thanks so much!

    MikeGates
    A cold light head is a light source that is diffusion type. Ansel Adams attributed some mystique to them. They typically use a fluorescent type lamp incorporating phosphors that emit in the light spectrum that exposes photographic paper.

    Your dichroic head is a diffusion type light source and can be used for VC papers.

    I have found, in my experience, that a condensor light source will give improved local contrast in a print when compared to a diffusion light source. I own both diffusion and condensor type enlargers.

  4. #4
    ann
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    I have all three and of course in our lab we have all types. There has been a running decison for years about which is the best (and I mean years !)

    The negative should be matched to the light source, All will make wonderful prints if we have wonderful negatives.

    As Donald indicated the dichroic head can be used for VC papers and in fact if you are going to be using that type of paper it may be the most useful as you will not be limited to the manufactor grading system.

    If you are happy with your prints why invest in another light source?

    Because i use graded papers, and my educational background i tend to use a cold light head. However, in the lab I have been known to use what ever is available at the time.

    There is a difference in the "look", but it may take a bit to recognize the differences and frankly if you would line up a series of prints made from each light source and ask most viewers to determine which source made which print few would be able to pick out which print was made with which light source.

  5. #5

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    I am clear on teh difference between condernsers and Dichro heads, but remain scheptical that a dichro and cold light would look different on graded paper (Once contrast matched). As I have an ancient cold light head yet to be mounted on a devere 5108 I will soon find out.....

  6. #6
    lee
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    You may not see a difference between a cold light head and a dichro head. I have an Aristo 4500 VCL which is a two color head. Now I don't need to use filters with VC paper. In my view, either will yield the same print. Graded paper is all blue light in my case and with the dichro head is all Yellow light. Blue is the additive color and the opposite color is yellow and that is subtractive.

    lee\c

  7. #7
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    You'll be happy to know that Zone VI/Calumet is about to release their LED light source to add more to the confusion of "what should I buy".

    Apparently it is about 3 stops brighter as well as other goodies.


    Michael McBlane
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #8
    ann
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    Wonder how come no one has told them "film is dead":rolleyes:

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ann
    Wonder how come no one has told them "film is dead":rolleyes:
    SHHHHH they are one of our sponsors. I think they know that there is a huge niche left that needs to have sources. Some marketing guy was smart enough to look behind them, before making a fatal mistake to follow the crowd.
    Non Digital Diva

  10. #10

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    cold lite

    Actually Calumet has been B.S ing about this lite for quite awhile. Of course since I own the variable contrast cold lite they'll probably drop the support for it like they have with their zone six timers. When I sent my timer in for repair the guys were ripping apart any last pieces they had to repair mine.;and they have no more parts or plans to stock parts to fix them.Why supportCalumet? Fred Picker sold me that timer with alifetime guarantee- Calumet could care less.

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