Enlarger question at rental darkroom

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by G.T., Jul 28, 2008.

  1. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    The following enlarger setups are available at my local rental darkroom:

    Omega D5XL (Super Chromega D Dichroic II) w/ Chromegatrol Timer
    Omega D5 XL w/ Saunders LPL Digital Timer
    Omega D5 XL w/ Beseler Audible Timer
    Omega D5 w/ Beseler Audible Timer
    Open Station / Workspace
    Omega D5 XL (Super Chromega D Dichroic II) w/ Omega Chromegatrol Timer
    Omega D5 w/ Beseler Audible Timer
    Beseler 23C III Dichro Colorhead w/ Beseler Audible Timer

    I'm unfamiliar with the different heads, are the dichroics appropriate for

    I haven't received a response regarding the non-dichroic setups yet. This
    is a B&W only darkroom so I assume they're ok. I'm only familiar with the
    Beselers so if the dichro is ok I'd probably use that 23C III.

    G.T., Jul 28, 2008
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  2. There are three kinds of lights used in enlargers. The most common is an
    incandescent lamp, similar to the ones that are (or used to be) in your

    Dichroic heads are incandescent bulbs with stepped filters between them
    and the negative. Since they are designed to always be the same color,
    they are often low voltage bulbs with electronicaly controlled (stabilized)
    voltage, so the color and intensity does not vary. With the filters set to
    000, they are just brighter lamps as far as B&W printing is concerend.
    They may also have a slightly higher color temperature as they tend to
    run "hotter". Again no problems.

    You can also use the dichroic filters to make the equivalent of variable
    contrast filters for variable contrast paper. Charts can easily be found
    on the web. Make sure to get the right ones for your paper. AFAIK all
    modern papers use the same ones, but different companies recommend
    different settings.

    If I were you, I would pick one enlarger and stick with it. That way any
    variations between color heads, bulbs and filters won't affect you.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jul 28, 2008
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  3. It's all good equipment and the dichro gear is a nice way to deal with
    variable contrast papers. There is much information on the filter use
    for this on the net. If you have trouble finding or understanding
    what you find, let me know and I'll email you some charts to get

    If the enlargers are well maintained and aligned, the lens quality and
    your focusing technique will be a big determining factor in the
    sharpness you achieve. With these nice enlargers, my guess is that
    there are some decent optics attached and your learning should be
    initially on learning your materials and understanding tones, etc.

    Have fun and don't be afraid to ask for help. It can be a bit
    confusing anf frustrating to sort it all by yourself and it becomes
    much more enjoyable once you've gotten the basic skills mastered.

    Craig Schroeder
    craig nospam craigschroeder com
    Craig Schroeder, Jul 28, 2008
  4. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    Thanks guys. I have my own Ilford filters that I bought when I took a
    class, and I'm way more familiar with using them than I would be with using
    a dichroic head. I don't want to waste too much time relearning if I don't
    need to.

    Here's the lenses that they currently have:

    Nikon EL Nikkor
    50mm 2.8 (2)
    63mm 2.8
    75mm 1.4
    80mm 5.6
    105mm 5.6 (2)
    135mm 5.6 (2)

    Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon
    150mm 1.4

    Rodenstock Rodagon
    50mm 2.8 (3)
    105mm 1.6

    Rodenstock Rogonar
    90mm 1.4

    50mm 1.4

    My negs so far are 35mm, 6x4.5, and 6x7.

    G.T., Jul 29, 2008
  5. Variable contrast paper usually has color head settings
    listed for various contrast grades. The color head works
    fine but you may lose the constant speed property of the
    fixed filters and, on some heads, the extremes of contrast
    may not be available. You can use filters by setting the
    color head for minimum filtering although you may have a
    problem finding a place for the filters. Once you get used
    to the color head you will find it convenient.
    The D5 is an excellent enlarger, the XL means Xtra-Long
    and refers to the support column. I can't tell you anything
    about the various timers.
    Richard Knoppow, Jul 29, 2008
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