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Thread: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

  1. #1

    Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    Have a general question on the Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Light Head.

    I have a Ilford 500 H head on a Durst 138 enlarger with a 500 CPM control panel that I have been using to contact print Ilford multi grade warm tone paper through a Nikkor 180mm enlarging lens. I have been contact printing 8x10, 11x14 and 8x20 using a 6x9 mixing box in the light head. My Durst 138 has a set of condensers under the light source.

    I just acquired another Ilford 500 light head with a different control panel listed as a 500 C (maybe older one) that is on an Omega 5500 4x5 enlarger that has no condenser. This light source has a 4x5 mixing box in the light head.

    My question regards the apparent lower intensity of the light source on the Omega enlarger through a 135mm Nikkor lens as well as a shift in the color of the light that reaches the easel which appears to be a mostly green to my eye whereas the quality of light through the Durst 138 with the same head appears relative white in color through the contrast range.

    I have printed with the Durst and its Ilford 500 head and it appears to shift contrast as intended to my eye.

    Can anyone comment on the lower light intensity in the newly acquired llford Multi Contrast Head as well as the green color of the quality of light hitting the easel which is different than I am seeing coming out of the Durst?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    ...whereas the quality of light through the Durst 138 with the same head appears relative white in color through the contrast range.
    You cannot get "white" light from an Ilford 500 head.

    The head has two lamps, one filtered to green, the other filtered to blue.

    There is no red light transmitted through the system under any conditions.
    So there can be no white light.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #3

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    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    Michael,

    Check the programme switch at the rear of the control unit.

    Each number (0 to 9) will give a different intensity to each of the two lamps. I believe each setting will give a 50/50 or 40/60 or 30/70 etc mixed output.

    Mike

    PS, the other thing to check that you have the correct lamps fitted to both heads.

  4. #4

    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mpirie View Post
    Michael,

    Check the programme switch at the rear of the control unit.

    Each number (0 to 9) will give a different intensity to each of the two lamps. I believe each setting will give a 50/50 or 40/60 or 30/70 etc mixed output.

    Mike

    PS, the other thing to check that you have the correct lamps fitted to both heads.
    Thanks Mike. One of these units is in need of adjustment I believe. I will attempt to check those settings as well as if I have the correct lamps. I am assuming that you can get land and filter replacements. Where is the best place for these components if I need them?

  5. #5

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    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    I think the Internet is the best place for the lamps. I bought a pack of 10 some time ago and they've lasted well.

    I've never seen replacement dichroic filters for sale, but that doesn't mean they can't be had.

    Just another thought.....if you see a big difference in perceived light output, check that the mixing box is in the correct position in relation to the lamps.

    There's another thread discussing this topic. If you're using the 6x7 mixing box (i don't think there is a 6x9 box) then you should be using the adapter plate. The 5x4 box may need realignment of the lamps.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    The 500H head uses magenta and yellow filters.
    The 400 uses blue and green. Just wondering if you have mixed up parts.

    RE: ten position on the back of the controller - use only the first five. Position 1 gives each lamp equal voltage. 2 to 5 increase green by 10% each position. (If the blue side is weak, then switch the two bulbs and try 2 to 5 again.)

    I must have a scanned manual/instructions here. If I find it I will be back with a link.

    EDIT: Here is the manual.
    Last edited by Jac@stafford.net; 21-Oct-2017 at 10:15.

  7. #7
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    The 500H head uses magenta and yellow filters.
    The 500H head (which I use) has blue and green filters.

    Quoting section 2.1 of the manual which you linked:


    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  8. #8

    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    In the process of assessing what filters and what light sources I have in each head and reading the owners manual to make sure the light delivered to the enlarging paper is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Back shortly

  9. #9

    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    OK. Looked closer at each of the units and here is what I found.

    Durst 138 / 500 CPM controller - green filter on the left and blue filter on the right. Bulbs Apollo ELH 47 and GE ELH 89. Not sure of the wattage or voltage. In the back of the controller there is a VC switch that toggles between 0 and I. The switch is on 0. Not sure what this is as the other controller does not have that feature.


    Omega 5500 / 500 C controller - green filter on the left and blue filter on the right. Bulbs 120V

    Put program switch on both units on one since that indicates a balanced lamp condition. Trying to wrap my mind around increasing the green light by 10% i.e. switches 2-5. Is this needed if your negatives are dense and you are printing to a low paper grade 0 or grade 1?

    Looking closer at the emitted light it is not white as I first perceived it. It definitely has a colored shade to it.

    Many thanks!

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Ilford 500 Multi Contrast Head Question

    In the back of the controller there is a VC switch that toggles between 0 and I. The switch is on 0. Not sure what this is as the other controller does not have that feature.
    For heven's sake, please read the manual.

    Answers are in the manual/instructions and they are good.
    Further down the PDF I linked to tell us how to interpret
    contrast outcome and how to adjust the switches.

    First I would check if your bulbs are equivalent. I lucked
    out by buying from the same lot.

    I should add that I had to rewire my head. It was shorting,
    throwing sparks. I swear it was a Lucas Ltd. design.
    (Old British auto folks will understand.)

    Best of luck!
    .

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