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Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jamnut, Jun 28, 2005.
Does anyone know where I might buy a cold light head for the B series Omega enlargers?
you might look on FEEbay for an aristo cold light head. sometimes
you get lucky and find one there. often times they don't have the v54 phosphor (lamp) but if you send it back to aristo they will update it for about 100$ (usd) + make sure the heater works the way it is supposed to work.
new they cost around $300. (usd)
Let me play the devils advocate for a bit. Have you considered the reasons that you want a cold light head? I did, for quite a while even checking and bidding on a couple as a lark. After living with my old Omega DII for a few years, and reviewing my needs, I came up with the decision that the condenser system was pretty good.
I cant see a compelling advantage for me considering the heaters, timers and their controllers. Then what happens when the inevitable occurs the tubes burn out or need replacement? And what about availability and cost? I can replace my condenser bulb at less than $10.00 and they are available almost anywhere photograph supplies are available.
Long ago I purchased a variable transformer (Variac) with which I control a lot of stuff about the house my mini-lathe, drill press, saber saw, Dremel and the Omega lamp voltage. A slightly reduced voltage extends the life greatly and allows more control when printing (B&W only, of course). I might consider a cold-head unit someday if I ever get back into color printing. (Not likely!)
If you are wanting to go from the condensors of the B-22 (or B66, etc) to a diffuse light, the Chromega B's go for next to nothing these days.
I'm a cold light user, but the case for a colour head is very strong, particularly if you will use VC paper. Paul Butzi has an article about calibrating a colour head for VC exposure, and while it might look pretty complicated at first, is worth serious consideration. Once such calibration is made, printing is much faster.
I like my Aristo 2-tube VC unit, but it was expensive.
I found that cold light gave better results than a standard condenser, but that was at least partly due to my negs being overdeveloped in those days. I have learned a lot, but it has taken a long time. For all the claims made about cold light giving "better" results than a condenser, I don't remember ever reading that a colour head was in any way inferior.
Perhaps dr bob is right. I was just reading David Vestal's book, "The Art of Black and white Enlarging," where he tested four different types of enlarger light sources: condenser and "point source" condenser, diffusion, and cold light. The only difference he found was that the cold light head minimized the appearance of scratches on the negative. He did not feel that the head was worth the time and trouble, especially if you take good care of your negs.Maybe I will buy a stock B22.
You won't be dissapointed with a B22. I will add, again, however, that if you are going to be doing variable contrast, the Chromega B is a B22 (actually a B66, but that's splitting hairs) with a dicroic color head. They seem to go for less than the condenser B22s.
I have both, and of course, YMMV, but it's a thought.
If you do buy a B22 - make sure it has all three of it's condensers. There are two main and a supplimentary for 35mm. If you will NEVER do 35mm, than you don't need the supplimentary, but the enlarger should be priced accordingly.