View Full Version : diffusion head for D-2 enlarger

19-Sep-2003, 14:10
I have the chance to buy a Omega D-2 with variable condenser in very good shape and CHEAP!

Is there a diffusion head thats adaptable to the D-2?

Thanks, dee

Erik Asgeirsson
19-Sep-2003, 15:07
Try posting a WTB add on rec.photo.marketplace.large-format. I've had only good experiences buying and selling there.

Gem Singer
19-Sep-2003, 15:17
Hello Dee,

I suppose you could merely remove the condensers, and use the standard lamphouse along with a circular piece of heat absorbing diffusion glass. It seems to me that the enlarger would then print very slowly.

My trusty D-2 has been in service since 1956. Long ago, I replaced the condensers with an Aristo cold light. Then, when Zone VI (Calumet) introduced their variable contrast lamphouse, with the green and blue tubes, I installed one on my D-2, and have really enjoyed printing VC papers with it.

If you really want to go diffusion, look into the Aristo cold light with the V54 tube. It should work well with VC paper. As far as I know, Omega does not make a diffusion-type head. It would be a major engineering job to adapt a head from a different make enlarger to fit an Omega.

19-Sep-2003, 15:19
I don't think there's a specific factorty diffusion head, there are the colorhead which is diffusion, and several cold-light heads.

Peter Galea
19-Sep-2003, 16:14
Yes there is a cold light diffusion head for the D-2. For everything you ever wanted to know about Omega enlargers go HERE (http://www.classic-enlargers.com).

Gem Singer
19-Sep-2003, 16:40
The cold light units (Aristo, Zone VI/Calumet, and Finearts Photo Supply) drop into the condenser housing after removing the circular glass condenser lenses and the standard tungsten-bulb enlarger head. There is no separate diffusion head made for the D-2. Omega makes a dicro head for color printing, but may not fit directly onto the D-2. If it could be made to fit, it would be bulky and expensive.

Rolfe Tessem
19-Sep-2003, 17:05
Is this a trick question? :-).

The current production Super Chromega D Dichroic II head fits the D2 just fine.

Gem Singer
19-Sep-2003, 17:48
I guess a dichroic lamphouse, like the Super Chromega D, could be classified as a diffusion-type head, since it doesn't use condensers. However, unless it is to be used for color printing, it seems like a bulky, expensive addition to an older Omega D-2V enlarger.

Alec Jones
19-Sep-2003, 18:17
I'll try this again since my first response didn't go through.

Eugene, please quit giving incorrect responses to a question you know nothing about. Yes, Omega made a cold-light head specifically for the D2, and Yes, they can still be commonly found on ebay and elsewhere. If you'll go to Harry Taylor's site, like Pete suggested, hopefully you'll learn something new. Dee did NOT limit his question to NEW heads only. We aren't saying the Omega heads were the best, but they WERE made, OK?

Gem Singer
19-Sep-2003, 21:05
Alec Jones,

There is no reason to start a flame war with me. I have been using Omega enlargers from the time I started in photo school in the fall of 1948. When I graduated school and began making a living, in 1956, my first purchase was an Omega D-2 enlarger. It was the first crank-up model the Simmon brothers produced in Long Island City, N.Y. I still have it and use it with the Zone VI VC lamphouse to this day.

I know Harry Taylor. Have delt with him and spoke with him several times by phone. He has been very helpful to me over the years.

I am very familiar with the old Omega circular flourescent cold light head. I used one when it was first introduced. It hasn't been made for many years. It wasn't a very efficient light source for many reasons. The Aristo lamp proved to be a great improvement. The light is more equally distributed over the negative with the Aristo cold light, it can be cycled on and off quicker, and reaches maximum output intensity faster, since it has a built-in heater.

The object of a cold light is to keep the heat down. During long printing sessions, the heat build-up in the Omega condenser-type enlargers caused the negatives to buckle. Cold flourescent light helped to solve the problem of heat build-up. The old Omega circular flourescent lamp needed a long warm-up period to reach maximum output, so we tended to leave them on for long periods of time. Therefore, they gave off a lot of heat. That's why I could not recommend that type of lamphouse to Dee.

Alec, I only make comments where I actually have hands on experience with the process or piece of equipment. Fifty-seven years gathering photo knowledge and experience qualifies me to give my advice. I wish I could express my thoughts more clearly on this keyboard. I'm learning. I ask for your patience and understanding.

Alec Jones
19-Sep-2003, 21:28
You didn't say you couldn't "recommend" the Omega Cold Light head, Eugene, you said "There is no separate diffusion head made for the D-2."

I'm not trying to "flame" you, whatever that means, but rather to encourage ACCURATE answers to questions raised here. You don't enjoy a monopoly of experience with these machines. Please stick with FACTS. Pete stated a fact. You didn't.

Enough said.

Richard Knoppow
20-Sep-2003, 01:14
I have an Omega D2V. I think this is the one you are writing about. Aristo makes a cold light head for the D2 and D2V. I have one but went back to the condensers after using it for a while. Mine has the older type of lamp which has high blue output for graded papers. There is a newer version with a lamp compatible with variable contrast papers. I went back to the condensers for a couple of reasons. 1, There was no difference in tonal rendition between the two. 2, For 4x5 the condensers had more uniform illumination when the enlarger was carefully aligned. 3, While the Aristo head has tons of light output for 4x5 is has very much less for 35mm. 35mm is where you need the intensity since most 35mm negative films (B&W) have a gray base and because the degree of magnification is larger. I do find heating and consequent negative popping a problem with the condenser. I get around this by either heating the negative by turning the lamp on before making the exposure and then turning it off momentarily when I put the paper under the enlarger, or using a glass sandwich negative holder. The second is the best way to keep negatives flat but keeping all those surfaces clean is a PITA. The Aristo lamps have a built in heater to keep the output relatively constant. Fluorescent lamps like to run hot. The light output varies with the lamp temperature, so they are really not suitable for intermittant use. The heater helps but it would be better if the lamp could be kept burning all the time and exposures controlle with a shutter. Of course, this would also fix the negative popping problem with condensers:-) If you decide on the Aristo head buy another condenser can. Keeping the condensers in their can helps to prevent damage if you ever decide to go back to them plus a notch must be made in the upper edge of the can for the Aristo cables to come out. Aristo is on the web, see http://www.aristogrid.com/ They are sold by B&H, Calumet, etc.

20-Sep-2003, 06:49
Thanks everyone for the info. Pete thanks for the link. Judging by the prices at Harry T's, Would I be correct in guessing that his enlargers are in like new condition?

It sounds like the Aristo cold light head might be what I'm looking for. I only use black and white. Papers are both graded and variable contrast.

I've been using a 6x9 roll film back on a Horseman 45FA because thats as big as my current enlarger can handle. I'm really looking forward to movinng up to 4x5.

Richard mentioned something that promps another question about the D-2V... Is it easy to align?

thanks again, dee

20-Sep-2003, 08:05
re: Omega D2, is it easy to align? I don't know -- I bought mine new in 1953 and it's never needed realignment even though I've moved it over 30 times from one darkroom to another. Sorry I can't help.

Gem Singer
20-Sep-2003, 08:49
Yes, Dee the Omega D-2V is easy to align. It has four adjustment screws which allow the negative stage to be tilted front to back and side to side. It does not have a separate adjustment mechanism for the lensboard, but alignment for the lensboard can be done by loosening the focusing rod screws. This enables some slight adjustment of the entire focusing mechanism as well as the lensboard. Fine adjustments can be done by carefully leveling the easel on the baseboard with shims, making it exactly parallel to the negative. Fortunately, the lensboard seems to hold it's alignment very well.

I have moved my Omega D-2 across the USA, from coast to coast, many times. Usually disassembled in the trunk of my car. It often required re-alignment after re-assembling it. However, it is a simple procedure.

I'm sure you'll enjoy using your new Omega D-2V. And thats a fact you can count on!

Alec Jones
20-Sep-2003, 21:26
Check this site. You'll find both the enlarger manual and the Technical Manual [which includes instructions for alighment] online there.


Scott Walton
22-Sep-2003, 14:33
I have had the Aristo head for about 15 years and love it. They didn't have the high powered one when I got mine and that is the one I would go with if I were to do it again. Your prints will be beautiful and I have developed my system to develop for printing so that I don't need filters most of the time although you can use the Ilford 6" filters right on the negative stage.