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11-11-2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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Help - darkroom question

Hi, this is a question for any of you darkroom guys and gals. I recently bought a whole bunch of black and white film.

I am thinking of buying a darkroom and I am in contact with a local seller. The Omega enlarger he has is a "variable condensor, type D". I asked him if there were some other model numbers (like D5, etc.) but he replied that it just says "type D".

I'm trying to look up exactly whether this enlarger is any good, but I haven't had much success with google searches. Can anyone help me or give me some insight into this Omega?

Thanks!

11-11-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
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Google Omega D enlarger

Mickey
11-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Hi, this is a question for any of you darkroom guys and gals. I recently bought a whole bunch of black and white film.

I am thinking of buying a darkroom and I am in contact with a local seller. The Omega enlarger he has is a "variable condensor, type D". I asked him if there were some other model numbers (like D5, etc.) but he replied that it just says "type D".

I'm trying to look up exactly whether this enlarger is any good, but I haven't had much success with google searches. Can anyone help me or give me some insight into this Omega?

Thanks!
try this link
The Omega Enlarger Guide: Simmon Omega enlargers, timers, and analyzers
If it's the one I think it is I've still got mine and when I had my darkroom as a teen it was a great piece of equipment. On mine the bellows were all rotted out so I've taken it apart thinking I would setup another darkroom but it's just not worht the effort anymore. It's a Simmon-Omega enlarger. Mine wasn't the variable condenser if I remember correctly but if it's in good condition I don't think you'd go wrong with it. (It was made in Long Island NY if memory serves)
11-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Thanks!

My thanks for the answers so far.

I was googling "omega d" and not getting anything useful... silly me for not adding "enlarger".

I did try to find KBH's website but I was spelling "photographix" wrong.

Thanks again!

11-11-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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This may be a stupid question but why do you want to get into a darkroom? I still have all my equipment and even put the walls up for it in a building I put up on my property but after looking at it carefully it was just easier to go to a lab to process then scan the negs. At least here it's a pain to dispose of the spent chemicals. And I have access to disposal thru work but it just wasn't worth it. Boy I miss the 70's
11-11-2008, 06:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
This may be a stupid question but why do you want to get into a darkroom? I still have all my equipment and even put the walls up for it in a building I put up on my property but after looking at it carefully it was just easier to go to a lab to process then scan the negs. At least here it's a pain to dispose of the spent chemicals. And I have access to disposal thru work but it just wasn't worth it. Boy I miss the 70's
Because there's nothing better than working in a real, wet darkroom. It's lots more fun than noodling around with computer programs.
It's my absolute favorite part of photography. What I wouldn't give to have my darkroom back!

FWIW most of the chemicals are safer than many commonly used household cleaners, and can go down the drain without any problem.

Chris
11-12-2008, 04:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Hi, this is a question for any of you darkroom guys and gals. I recently bought a whole bunch of black and white film.

I am thinking of buying a darkroom and I am in contact with a local seller. The Omega enlarger he has is a "variable condensor, type D". I asked him if there were some other model numbers (like D5, etc.) but he replied that it just says "type D".

I'm trying to look up exactly whether this enlarger is any good, but I haven't had much success with google searches. Can anyone help me or give me some insight into this Omega?

Thanks!
I still have my old D2 with interchangeable condensers. I dismantled my darkroon about 10 years ago when we moved and haven't built one in this house (yet). The Omega D series enlargers were real workhorses and bomb proof if they weren't abused too badly. If you buy it and set it up, make sure everything is level in both planes. It can be adjusted fairly easily. If you plan on doing color, look for the Chromega heads. They used to be fairly easy to find on the used market (years ago).
Good luck.
Brian
11-12-2008, 06:18 AM   #8
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OMEGA D was one of the mainstays in college darkrooms
Those things were super stable, could be havily abused
The condenser type D allowed 6x7 negatives (I think)
QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Hi, this is a question for any of you darkroom guys and gals. I recently bought a whole bunch of black and white film.

I am thinking of buying a darkroom and I am in contact with a local seller. The Omega enlarger he has is a "variable condensor, type D". I asked him if there were some other model numbers (like D5, etc.) but he replied that it just says "type D".

I'm trying to look up exactly whether this enlarger is any good, but I haven't had much success with google searches. Can anyone help me or give me some insight into this Omega?

Thanks!


11-12-2008, 07:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Because there's nothing better than working in a real, wet darkroom. It's lots more fun than noodling around with computer programs.
It's my absolute favorite part of photography. What I wouldn't give to have my darkroom back!

FWIW most of the chemicals are safer than many commonly used household cleaners, and can go down the drain without any problem.

Chris
Finally, a note of sanity.
Film scanning is my major reason for buying a DSLR in the first place. It was getting harder and harder to get film printed optically where I am, and I have never liked the look of scanned film.
Regarding dropping chemistry down the drain, if you are doing B&W, the only thing you might want to do is either recover the silver from your exhausted fixer, or donate your used fixer to a lab that will recover the silver from it.
I read some tests by Kodak a while back indicating that the silver in used fixer was so tightly bound to sulpher compounds that it was rendered environmentally inert, but given the source of the info, I always viewed it with some suspicion. Of course, that was the only rebut I ever read on the subject by anyone, I never read a rebuttal that challenged the science, just the source, so perhaps there is truth there.
11-12-2008, 07:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
OMEGA D was one of the mainstays in college darkrooms
Those things were super stable, could be havily abused
The condenser type D allowed 6x7 negatives (I think)
C series were 6x7. D series were 4x5 but required different lens cones, depending on the lens & negative size.

For parts, try ebay or Classic Enlargers, Parts, Sales and Service for Classic Omega Enlargers
11-12-2008, 08:20 AM   #11
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I love film photography and darkroom work. Haven't touched film in years, and I'm now teaching a small photo class. Since DSLR's aren't practical for teenagers we're doing film.

I'm using bulk rolls of Ilford HP5 and I have many Paterson developing tanks. The process is really easy this way and the kids get to have actual film when they're through. Only pain is getting the film onto the spools.

I agree that the chemicals are generally very mild since most of it is fairly dilute when prepared to be used.

Then I use an Epson V500 to scan them in because unfortunately, we don't have the space for an actual darkroom.

I absolutely love the look and feel of film. Especially B&W.
11-12-2008, 09:18 AM   #12
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Along with those who have already made comments here about the processing of film, I loved to do that when I had the time and space. However my darkroom lost oout to increasing the laundry and storage room, and I actually traded all my darkroom equipment as part of the payment for my first digital P&S in 2000.

One thing I would like to point out, specifically with respect to the chemicals, and I did both Cibachrome and B&W, is that the chemicals are designed to be disposed of down the drain, and expecially with cibachrome are designed to neutralize each other.

Remember that we are hobbists here, not commercial labs, where the concern about silver (for example) would be less about pollution and more about recovering money.
11-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Because there's nothing better than working in a real, wet darkroom. It's lots more fun than noodling around with computer programs.
It's my absolute favorite part of photography. What I wouldn't give to have my darkroom back!

FWIW most of the chemicals are safer than many commonly used household cleaners, and can go down the drain without any problem.

Chris
I'll second that about the fun part. And also about the "feel" of film. Be careful about throwing the stuff down the drain though. Especially if you're on a septic system. And yes, I still have all my darkroom equipment. From all my bulk loaders to the porcelain trays. I just have the feeling that if I started it up again I just wouldn't have as much time and a lot of chemicals would be wasted from lack of use. Back in the day I even use to make my own formulations for different results. Had a whole cabinet full of chemicals.
And that Omega is a great enlarger. I have 2 different models that I loved. I did a mural once with it and some Zeiss optics from a 35mm negative. Had to develop it with a mop on the floor in a tray of 2 x 4's and plastic bags. Seem to remember it was a loooong exposure.

Last edited by graphicgr8s; 11-12-2008 at 11:04 AM.
11-12-2008, 01:34 PM   #14
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Thanks again - yes I bought it

Thanks again everyone for their great comments. I actually went and bought the darkroom at lunchtime today. The seller said the kit contains everything I need. The Omega is an old Simmons Omega D variable condensor, a big heavy beast.

The entire darkroom kit for $125. So I am not really overpaying for the kit anyway.

My 8 year old son is starting be more and more interested in photography so this darkroom may be a fun project. I bought him a digital p&s for Xmas several years ago and it was one of the best presents I've ever got him. He takes it everywhere and uses it. Lately he's been eyeing my interchangeable lenses and watching what I do when I take pictures.
11-12-2008, 03:17 PM   #15
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Most enlargers were really built to last, so don't be afraid of buying used.
If all the parts are there and the bellows is intact you are usually good to go.

Go with a major brand, so parts and accessories will be easy to find.
eBay is a good place to look for negative carriers and other necessities.

Since the advent of digital stores can't move enlargers, so you can often pick up a real bargain.
I recently had trouble giving away a nice Omega B66 on craigslist...

Chris
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