Dark Room Supplies...

Kienzle Drying press

posted Apr 5, 2015, 3:57 AM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Apr 5, 2015, 12:06 PM ]

  Another creation of the wonderful Mr. Wolfgang Kienzle www.kienzle-phototechnik.de in my lab.

  Hot press is absolutely indispensable and vital for any serious laboratory. All the stories about the way to dry it just like that, by simply laying with cardboard or nailing with stapler to the board... Most of those are results of inexperience or hopelessness.

  Some papers have a low specific density, for example one can tolerably dry ilford ART300 by simply paving the cardboard, but this path is unproductive and slow. Sometimes I use method, but it happens in the case of large-format prints, more than 50x60 cm.

  Working with most of the tight barite paper, when you print more than a couple of pages a day, there are no other alternatives except for the hot press option.

  I have dealt with various versions of the hot press. Briefly summarizing all my previous experience, I can confidently say: All the options of bilateral press, the type of old Soviet amateur Glazers are not viable and begs you to throw them out to the trash immediately after purchase. The large drum press with the oil tank, like the Soviet APSO-7 (АПСО-7) are very cumbersome, and inconvenient for the prints to set up, slowly warmed.

  So, the only option is applicable for the lab is a flat one-sided press with adjustable clamping force.

  I had an opportunity to work on two versions of the German manufacturer Busher, 30x40 and 50x60 format, and finally on Kienzle Drying press 50x60, which I use until now with the great pleasure.

  Mr. Kienzle's creation is virtually perfect for photo lab, workmanship is on top, thermostat is marked to 120 degrees, opening and fixing mechanisms are made very convenient and accurate. Thin metal mesh is responsible for the fabric tension, so no additional pressing adjustments required.

  To completly dry sheet 50x60 you need exactly 10 minutes when setting the thermostat on 100 degrees. A sheet of paper is obtained perfectly smooth. Comes with two rolling aluminum sheets.

  Working with ilford ART300 paper there are some features, namely, you should be really careful removing the sheet from the fabric, because the adhesion to the fine fabric is quite strong, and there is a risk of damaging the paper. You must be particularly careful with the upper edge. This disease is easily cured by replacing the web on a coarser one. With all the other paper types, including glossy, no problems have ever arisen.

  At the end of the epic, I wish to carry out an objective comparison of Kienzle and Busher. Kienzle is made better and more enjoyable to work with, Busher is coarser, heavier, bulkier, but smooth and faster to use. Drying the sheet in Busher takes 6-7 minutes, the fabric on the clamp is initially rough, so after drying with a clean sheet you must tidy up small hairs, but it caused not a single problem with any paper, dry prints are just flies like a pancake from red-hot frying pan. However, I would surely chose Kienzle, as it is very pleasant to work with, it looks awesome, to get along with minor flaws is not that much price for that.


posted Apr 1, 2015, 11:48 PM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 6:46 AM ]

  Safelight, a compulsory part of any darkroom, is usually considered as not quite important, but in fact, a good and proper lamp makes life much easier.

  I tried various options, starting from the old fashioned lamp
with a glass filter made in USSR in the 1980s, to the various options by Kaiser and Paterson.

  Finally, I focused on Durst Labolux Safelight. This device provides a smooth, bright enough safelight amber, ranging from 585 to 590 nm. This light is completely safe for modern
multi-contrast sheets, but the most important thing is that you can safely work in a lab with only the lantern on, without any eye fatigue problems, in contrast to the traditional red lantern.

  Also note that the amber light provides with significantly less contrast perception of a print compared to the traditional red and
allows you to observe the developing process more objectively.

this wonderful lamp uses LED technology, so it does not require replacing light bulbs, and
is almost eternal.

Enlargering Lenses.

posted Feb 1, 2015, 1:25 AM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Apr 6, 2015, 7:45 AM ]

2.003. Enlargering Lenses.

   Enlargering Lenses is a serious part of the success if if wish to achieve the best results when printing.
   Through trial and error, I came to the conclusion that the line of apochromatic Apo-componon HM from the magnificent German manufacturer Shneider-Kreuznach, is the best that have ever been done by mankind in the projection optics.
Actually it took years to gather a complete line of lenses required for normal operation. At the moment, it is a full set of focal lengths for all formats: 150, 120, 90, 60 and 40 mm:
  • 150 mm is standard lens for 4x5 inch format, as well as 6x12 cm.
  • 120 mm for similar formats, but for larger increases.
  • 90 mm for 6x6 cm and the format X-pan.
  • 60 mm for the same formats, but for larger increases. This lens has a nice bonus, it is a bit (about half step) loses luminosity in the periphery of the field. The loss is approximately equal to the loss of the regular lens X-pan, but as far as when printing we have a deal with the negative, the result is the alignment of the field without center-filter application.
  • 40 mm wonderful lens for 35mm format.

TAS Filmprocessor.

posted Feb 1, 2015, 12:52 AM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Feb 3, 2015, 11:17 PM ]

2.002a. TAS Filmprocessor. Empty.2.002b. TAS Filmprocessor. Loaded.

   TAS Filmprocessor is a great creation of Jürgen Heiland www.heilandelectronic.de – wonderful man, scientist, engineer and inventor.
Everyone who knows a thing in a classical photography understands how important the proper film development is. This stage doesn’t forgive mistakes, so the issue of photographic materials agitation, temperature conditions and timing are extremely important.
   Temperature and timing control is extremely simple, it reaches by a simple care. But the agitation is way more complicated, especially when it comes to a sheet of photographic material or processes such as pyro-development which takes a lot of time and strict adherence of photographs agitation process.
It looks like a simple "mixer", but it allows you to get an easy and predictable result when film development of any complexity. TAS filmprocessor allows you to program and clearly monitor each of the following parameters:
- Total development time
- The duration of the first (continuous) agitation cycle
- The duration of subsequent cycles
- Number of turns in subsequent cycles
- Rotation speed
- The temperature of the powder datasheet
- The real temperature of the powder (the processor makes automatic time correction taking in account the temperature differences)
- Fixing time
- Rinse time
   That’s all you need for the correct photographic developer.
   You can easily place in processor tanks JOBO 1500 and 2500 series, which allows to develop up to 6 * 120 films, or up to 12 sheets of 4x5 inches.
   Unfortunately, 3000 series tanks won’t fit, though. I have an idea how to fix it, but I’m going to contact  Jurgen and discuss this issue with him.
   It is worth noting that the processor drives the tank in two planes at the same time, which eliminates all kinds of non-uniformity in film development.

Photographic enlarger.

posted Jan 23, 2015, 12:50 PM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Feb 3, 2015, 11:16 PM ]

2.001a. Photographic enlarger. Darkness.2.001b. Photographic enlarger. Light.

   Enlarger – perhaps the most basic part of a Darkroom, at least the biggest, the heaviest and the most expensive.
   What I’ve got is an excellent LPL4550XLG unit. It is the oldest version of the model range of the famous Japanese manufacturer for negatives with a maximum size of 4x5 inches.
   The differences from the low-end models are very significant, even though an overall visual similarities.
   First, its lens center displacement relative the main column is considerably higher (36 cm), which allows you to do prints size up to 70 cm along the narrow side, without any special adjustments.
   Second, the main column is 135cm height, which is also very good.
   The third and the most significant is the ability to align plane of the lens.
   It uses negative frames without glass only. Which exist in two variants: squared (by LPL) and rounded (by OMEGA), and the squared one is quite an easier to use.
   As knowledgeable readers could notice, magnifier is significantly modified.
   The first thing added is an extension the focusing knob, this thing is more than necessary if you print larger than 20x30cm. The thing is originally made by LPL, it has nothing unusual or modified in it.
2.001c. Photographic enlarger. Head.
   Moving to more significant changes: as you can see, the enlarger head is seems unusual, and is not one of the regular manufacturer options. What was done with the original multi contrast head with a halogen light source had been replaced by a cold LED light source made by Jurgen Neiland from Heiland Electronic www.heilandelectronic.de (think I’ll dig into this in details in a separate article). Due to the fact that the cold light source is much more compact than regular filters and active cooling, the head shell was markedly reduced, and the emerged holes were sewn with a carbon sheet.
   Digging dipper, the base or table is a fantastically designed, comfortable made by order of Mr. Kienzle www.kienzle-phototechnik.de specifically for this magnifier.
   The trick is that the table has an option to be moved up and down the same way as the magnifiers’ head. It gives you a lot of benefits, for example, you can set the table to the convenient height for both sitting or standing poses, so that your spin does not get tired whatever you do.
   But the most important thing is that there is a possibility to lower the table as low as possible, and print with the maximum high magnification. For example, by simply moving the table down, I manage to print 120cm panoramas without any difficulties.

Heiland electronic Splitgrade Controller

posted Jan 23, 2015, 11:15 AM by Max Bedoff   [ updated Feb 17, 2015, 9:14 PM ]

*** Text coming soon ***

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