Just to let you know, I took the enlarger back and the chap at the shop stripped it down, put it back together, and pronounced that everything was A-ok with it. Far from convinced, I took it home and put it threw its paces last night.

The brightness seems to have improved by a fractional amount, to the extent that you can just about make out what your looking at when there’s a colour 35mm neg in it. It was still extremely dark however, and there was only just enough light to pick out the grain on a four year old Fuji 400 consumer neg. I stuck to B&W printing last night however, as this is something which I have a fair bit of experience with.

There was far less light coming through the head than with my previous enlarger – the Durst 605 condenser – and this had a substantial effect on printing, to the extent that a 10x8 print which would previously have taken 10-20 seconds under the lamp at f8 is now taking 2 and a half minutes.

Is this normal for a diffuser head?

I’m going to try colour printing tonight using Kodak RA developer and SE in trays at 20 and will report back.