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Thread: Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

  1. #1

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?


    I'm preparing to receive my D2 enlarger, and would like to buy a Cold Light Head for it.

    As I browse in Calumet, Adorama and B&H, I noticed a BIG difference in price bet ween the Aristo and Zone VI models. Aditionally, I'm some how concerned of the f act that pictures of the aristo, only show the tube and basic housing, and no ki t to attach the head to my D2 chasis.

    Also comes to my mind the doubt that one can use Aristo heads with VC paper usin g filters, or if the light is only blue/geen..

    Any comments here on this matter will be appreciated, including basic instructio ns on how to install the head to my enlarger.

    Thanks in advance..


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Hope, ME

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    With respect to the use of Arista cold light heads with VC paper using filters, you may want to read the Darkroom:enlarger/lenses category of this site;in particular,the thread "Printing with the Omega D5XL: two questions."

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Hope, ME

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    Sorry, I should have said Aristo rather than Arista.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    I can't comment on the Zone VI unit for lack of knowledge but I am familiar with the Aristo unit. The Aristo cylindrical tube housing (a can shaped part) is intended to go into the cylindrical shell which now holds the D2 condensors (or lower two condensors in the case of an Omega with a variable condensor head).

    You remove the pair of opposed condensors and the corrogated metal spacer from the condensor housing and put the cold light source in their place. This makes changing back and forth between condensor and cold light illumination a real nuisance.

  5. #5

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    If you buy the Aristo head with the V54 tube, you can use regular VC filters. If you get at tube with just green or blue light the filters will not work right.

    The Zone VI model you are looking at probably is a VC head, with separate green & blue tubes. It comes with a control to adjust the amount of green and blue light, so no filters are necessary.

    With the Aristo using the V54 tube, the green and blue light come from the same tube, and you can't adjust the amount electrically (as on the Zone VI) but you do get the same result by using filters.

    The Zone VI is an easier way to go, but it costs much more.

  6. #6

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?


    Calumet makes two Zone VI cold light sources, the variable contrast source as described above and a plain cold light source that use filters with. The plain source is about the same price as the Aristo. The benefit of the Zone Vi si the photcell sensor which integrates with either a stabilizer or (better) the compensating timer which compensates for the warmup intensity drift inherent in cold light tubes. The timer also has dry down compensation. I have one and it is remarkable in its ability to deliver consistent exposures.

    Dave Walker

  7. #7

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?


    I have the exact same arrangment and to compenste for the higher blue emissions of the Aristo, I put a 30cc yellow filter above the neg and that puts it about right, allowing me to use Ilford MC filters.

    It worked for me.


  8. #8

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    I bought mine directly from Aristo... heads1.html. They are extremely knowledgeable and friendly... You don't need a kit for the head with a D2, just slips right in. They say you need to use a yellow filter and then the contrast filters but I find you don't need to use the yellow... it prints out at about a grade 2.5- 3 so by using your contrast filters normally, they will be a .5 to 1 grade higher than stated, at least my system works that way. You will find with use, you will fine tune your development of your negatives (ie Zone work) and come up with glowing prints! I've had my grids since 1988 and have had no problem. When you are getting ready to print, plug in the heating plug and let the head warm up for about 15 minutes and print away! You'll love it. Cheers

  9. #9

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    One other thing, if you plan to print a good deal of 35mm or medium format, get the D2 Hi, the one that is 110 watts. A little faster printing times... you can always stop down to slow it down!

  10. #10

    Aristo Cold Ligth Head is complete?

    I have been using an Aristo head + Omega D4 since 1996. The head is a D2-Hi with a V54 tube. V54 tube is perfectly adapted to Kodak and Ilford filters and to all VC papers. Other tubes, too blue (I also own a W45 tube) do not allow to get soft contrast, even with n?0 filter. The V54 tube works perfectly and I use it with all formats. It is very powerful. From a 35 mm bw neg and a 50 mm closed at f/8, with a Kodak filter n?2 under the lens, if you enlarge the full neg to 24x36 cm, you get maximum black around 15 sec exposure with a paper such Agfa Multicontrast. I started to use the Aristo head with a normal timer and there was no problem of inconsistent exposures. I now use a Zone VI compensating timer, which works perfectly. It is easy to install a cell into the lamp house. There are three timers which work with a cell to compensate for inconsistent exposures, Zone VI timer, Metrolux (both sold thru Calumet) and rhdesigns Stopclock Vario ( They are all very good. I also own a Zone VI VC head but it is really slow, compared to the Aristo single tube. I also tested an Aristo VC head : it is quicker than the Zone VI one, almost as fast as a D2-Hi with a V54 tube. If you develop film in a pyro developer, you'll have some difficulty to print with a VC cold light head. Strangely, a same negative, developed in PMK, needed a contrasty dialing with the Zone VI VC or Aristo VC but printed really well with the V54 tube + n?2 filter. There was no difficulty in printing negatives developed with non staining film developer. Make it simple, efficient and economic : buy a D2-Hi with a V54 tube + under the lens filters. And if you can afford it, a compensating timer (Metrolux, Rhdesigns or Zone VI).

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