View Full Version : Help me get a D2 cold light head up and running

29-Jun-2016, 14:54
I just got an Aristo D2 cold light head that came off an Omega D2 enlarger. It has the W45 tube in it, so I know I'm going to have to buy the new M2-46-510 tube to get compatibility with VC papers and I'm ok with that. However, I need some advice getting it set up with my enlarger. I'm using a Beseler 45-series enlarger with a Gralab 450 timer.

1) What, if any, mechanical bits will I need to adapt the Aristo D2 head to my Beseler 45? I have the head itself, the white diffusion disc, and a flanged silver ring that the head just slips into.

2) Will I need a contactor to protect my Gralab 450 from the Aristo?

3) What search terms should I be using on ebay to get a stabilizer/compensator for this setup?


29-Jun-2016, 15:25
The first issue you will face is that the 45 series enlarger was set-up with the variable condenser stages, and even if to move the light stage as close to the neg stage, the corners of the neg will be cut-off... (Just a little, but there...) There is a way to modify the enlarger for the cold light, but it is a one way trip, only for use with the cold light... The problem is that the cold light diffuser has to be directly over/close to the neg for the corners to be illuminated.... Possible, but....

Steve K

29-Jun-2016, 15:32
Can you not dismount the bellows above the upper half of the negative stage, remove the shelf that holds the condenser, and run it that way? My 45 head is still in storage so I can't quickly go check.

30-Jun-2016, 06:17
Yes, kinda like that... You keep the top condenser stage, but you add a wooden, metal, or plastic thick plate below it to provide a face for the neg carrier to be pushed UP into from below, the upper bellows are removed and one stage which is the top half of where the neg carrier normally sits is also gone, and the underside of the neg stage now rides up to the top of the condenser stage on the rack & pinion drive... The D2 cold light fits into the condenser stage well... You will get full frame, even coverage with this...

You can also make an adapter that holds the cold light over the condenser where the light bulb housing was, and use the condensers, but get a combination condenser/diffusion quality light that is the best of both worlds, and not have to butcher the enlarger... A piece of large ABS pipe, paper tube, or maybe a metal tin (or can) can be modified to work for the adapter...

Or find a color head as described (for an Omega) in a recent post here...

I have one modified in storage, but only if you really need to see a pix, will I risk my life to get to it...

Good luck!!!

Steve k

Michael Clark
30-Jun-2016, 07:20
I always thought that Zone VI and Astro made an adopter ring for the Besseler 45 making easy to adopt.

Chuck Pere
1-Jul-2016, 05:13
Here's the Aristo instructions: http://www.light-sources.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/besler_4x5_mounting_info.pdf

Does your head have the light sensor installed for a stabilizer/compensating timer? I doubt you can buy the original anymore. Probably have to come up with your own version.

4-Jul-2016, 09:38
My Aristo went gracefully into the D2, no adaptation needed, but maybe older models are different. I have the high-output V54 lamp, but I'm not sure that I would recommend it. Printing times are sometimes inconveniently short, and most papers are useful only at grade 2 and above unless split printing (at 1-1/2 and below, blacks are always lame and the speed change is dramatic). I've never worked with a "standard" lamp and heavy filtration, but it is my understanding that it can be done, and might work better than the upgraded tube.