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Thread: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

  1. #1
    Motorsports Photographer LukeMunnell's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    I went back and searched through topics from the past several years and couldn't find this one discussed so I'm hoping we can come together here and gather some good insight, testimonials and experience.

    Proper replacement enlarger bulbs (mainly for B&W condenser types) are getting harder to source in 2019. CFLs and LEDs have taken over the market, at a time when darkroom bulbs are already just not in big demand.

    I recently ordered some specified A19-style replacement bulbs (for my Omega D-Type variable condenser) in a variety of wattages from Ushiro and Osram from B&H and was disappointed at the quality. Ushiro's opaque coating was inconsistent and contained runs, and Osram's was simply too thin to evenly diffuse the filament.

    There appear to be a number of good, 3000-3500K LED bulbs on the market w/thick opaque coatings, but none higher than 100w-equivalent output.

    TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:

    What are you using, or what do you recommend, for this and any other condenser type head? Curious about incandescent and LED options, 3000-3500K temp range, even opaque coatings, 60-250w output (or equivalent). Brand name and retailer info hugely appreciated.

    Thank you!
    www.lukemunnell.com

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Ushiro's opaque coating was inconsistent and contained runs, and Osram's was simply too thin to evenly diffuse the filament.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Ushio Enlarger Bulb PH212 150W

    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/10012...ulb-PH212-150W

    With Variac on Beseler CB7 Condenser I reduce voltage for longevity.

    I don't see a shortage of those bulbs yet.

    500 and 250 watt long neck enlarger bulbs for Elwood 8X10/5X7 enlargers are getting rare, but I have enough.

    I have tried LED bulbs in almost any darkroom/studio application I can think of.

    LED is getting better every 6 months.

    But if using traditional enlarging filters YMMV.

    Beseler 8X10 Aristo 1212 V54 are still used but out of production.

    NOS Beseler 23 III never looked at the bulb. Works like new.

    Leitz Focomat V35 OE Color Module works fine as is.

    Pere will have more data and suggestions.
    sin eater

  4. #4
    Motorsports Photographer LukeMunnell's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
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    !!!

    Thank you. Never knew these existed.
    www.lukemunnell.com

  5. #5
    Motorsports Photographer LukeMunnell's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Nice list. I've read mostly accurate results with 3000-3500K (even 4000K) LED bulbs with even opal housings, in the past year or so, for B&W printing w/VC filters. Any experience with LEDs in color printing, yet?
    www.lukemunnell.com

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    I don't shoot color film.

    DSLR and iPhone are better, cheaper and easier.

    I was born watching B&W TV and prefer B&W flicks on my giant screen...

    My hobby before this was buying, fixing and riding 100's of motorcycles for 52 years.

    Got one left!

    I also Dyno tested auto engines 30 years to earn Social Security benefits.
    sin eater

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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    I buy NOS incandescent bulbs as they become available at auction. The older bulbs have much better coatings. L

  8. #8

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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    If we're talking definitive...then, by all means - Heiland VC LED.

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Agree and I anticipate a purchase. https://heilandelectronic.de/led_devere_504_mk2

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    If we're talking definitive...then, by all means - Heiland VC LED.
    sin eater

  10. #10

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    Re: Definitive LED / Incandescent enlarger light bulb replacement thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeMunnell View Post
    3000-3500K LED bulbs
    For WB printing the good recomendation is using an RGB LED source, in that way you obtain an amazing Variable Contrast head that's also perfect for Split Grade. No filters anymore.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1510110


    you can take say a 100W RGB LED that it would be equivalent to 400W - 800W (depending on replaced bulb efficiency), then you may DIY a half dome to emulate the bulb shape if you want, as the half dome is open refrigeration is easy. You can saw a regular plastic LED bulb in two halves.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    > Thermal (CPU) paste between the LED and the plate.
    > Each darkroom timer triggers a relay which switches the R or G cables separately, often this is the easiest way.

    Depending head design, some mirrors/box may be required to provide a good color mix, some RGB LEDs have a band for each color, nothing difficult.


    For Split Grade printing no calibration is required, a calibration procedure may be required to balance G-B power/time exposure to nail the ilford grades.

    When throwing G we see yellow-orange, as red is always On, when throwing B we see purple for the same reason, as with the ilford filters that always allow to pass red to see it better while burning/dodging.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 13-Aug-2019 at 08:29.

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