Hello LF Forum...

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Hello to all at UK Large Format Photography Forum,

I am new to the forum and returning to LF photography and printing after 25+ years of 35mm and digital editorial work. This is my first post so please be gentle with me.
I am currently trying to set up a darkroom - I have space and most of the kit required - but I am lacking some parts, expertise and would welcome any advice from LF forum experts. I've not considered chemistry yet as that's a whole other thread!

I have 3 Devere 504 chassis, a cold cathode head, varicon head and a multigrade condensing head that's missing parts. Hopefully, amongst all that , there is a working enlarger in there. Can anyone recommend parts source that doesn't involve open wallet surgery? I have tried Mr. Cad, eBay, etc. Also, looking for someone to service the heads.

Thanks in a advance for any advice and I look forward to immersing myself in LF chit chat.
 
Last edited:

mpirie

Active Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Welcome Stuwall !

Having 3 504's is just plain showing off ;)

Mike
 

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Ha!
Welcome Stuwall !

Having 3 504's is just plain showing off ;)

Mike
Ultimately, I would like to open a darkroom for traditional processes, so I'm trying to gather enough working equipment to make that happen. Finding someone to service/ repair is a challenge. I asked a unicorn for advice but even she didn't know of someone local who could fix my Deveres.
Having one working 504 would be a miracle!
 

mpirie

Active Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Someone, somewhere must service DeVere's.....there are many around still in use.

Things like PSU's etc can become problematic as they get older.

Mike
 

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Someone, somewhere must service DeVere's.....there are many around still in use.

Things like PSU's etc can become problematic as they get older.

Mike
My friend has just borrowed a lamp holder from my Ilford multigrade head as one of them isn't working. They are riveted into a Devere so not sure if they'll be serviceable. Only Devere service is Odyssey - but they are miles away from Glasgow.
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
You could try De Vere themselves. They are in Brighton, a stone's throw down the hill from Intrepid, but a long way from Glasgow. They were very helpful when I wanted some AN glass.
It's a long shot, but you might be able to piggyback an Intrepid lightsource onto a De Vere, but it would probably mean adjusting the counterbalance mechanism. Obviously I haven't given this enough thought.

 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
Some photos of what's there and a better indication of what's missing would help.

Odyssey will be able to sell you a service manual. But I'm not sure what you mean by a Multigrade Condensing Head, they are a Dichroic head dedicated to Multigrade, with mixing boxes not condensers.

If the Cold Cathode head works I'd use that with below the lens filters. I used a De Vere cold cathode head with my Johnsons V45 for around 3o years before getting my De Vere 5108 with a Dichroic head.

Ian
 

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
Sorry Ian - I meant an Ilford 500 Multigrade diffusion head. I have the head but missing mixing boxes, negative carrier and 35mm/6x6/6x7/5x4 carrier inserts. I have Cathomag & Varicon heads - I've never used a condensing head before but told there is usually more spotting required due to direct light source, albeit with greater contrast. It will be my first time printing in over 25 years. I wasn't exactly a great printer then so lots to learn!
 

mpirie

Active Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
The MG500 mixing boxes come up now and again on the auction site. If push comes to shove and you can find only one, then the 5x4 one would cover the smaller formats....albeit with some light loss.

Alternatively, i have heard of people making their own mixing boxes, but you need the register plate/adapter that sits between the neg holder and lamps to make sure the mixing box alignment is correct.

Mike
 

Rickystyx

Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
I've still got a complete Durst 606 head available because I've got an intrepid enlarger coming in the next couple of weeks - it will do up to 6x6 and it is completewith its lens and working. I'm looking for £55 just to cover the cost of the negative carriers for the intrepid - if you are interested let me know? I'm keeping the stand for the intrepid but the head can go to anyone who might want it
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
I much prefer a Cold cathode or Colour head to Condenser. I prefer the tonality and also there's far less dust issues.

Because of the way the De Vere heads fit and lift you'd need an engineer to make parts which would be expensive. Do you have the main part of the negative carrier that takes the inserts ? I made cardboard inserts for my 5108 carrier to be able to print my 6x17 negatives.

If you can't find parts for the Multigrade head, look out for aColour Dichroick head, timer and transformer. There are inserts for the carrier on eBay as, but they aren't cheap. I'll keep my eyes open at then camera fair I go to at the end of this month. I have seen and bought inserts there at very low prices.

Meanwhile, use the Cathomag head, a set of Ilford MG below the lens filters comes with a holder that attaches to the lens, that will get you started while looking for the parts. Black mount board sprayed with matt black aerosol paint is good for temporary negative inserts.

Ian
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
It's perfectly possible to use Multigrade with the De Vere colour head although a tiny bit more fiddly. There are published charts on how to reproduce the exact filtration of the sheet fiters but in practice it's perfectly easy to simply dial in Magenta alone or Yellow alone. For big changes, you would do further test strips anyway.
The sheet filters are designed to give equal contrast steps and equal exposure times, which is very convenient, but in your own darkroom you can simplify things considerably. Mr Sherman doesn't reconstruct the exact colour of graded filters – he uses only two.
And you'll be able to print wet colour if you ever feel the need. Some people prefer the result although I think that for most people, the remarkable convenience and repeatability of digital printing has won the battle for colour.

I have a Cathomag head on my other enlarger and Ilford recommend installing a yellow filter permanently in the light path for multigrade papers. I forget the exact value but it must be somewhere on the Ilford website.
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
I've only used Colour heads for MG with my MF enlarger, and in more recent years with my 5108. I use the single filter method (as David mentions above) and find it very quick and simple. You can also do split grade printing, I don't although occasionally may wind up the Magenta filter and add a second exposure at a much higher contrast.

Ian
 

thronobulax

Active Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
I've never used a colour head, but I can speak to the virtues of VC split printing - in this case with a VC cold light head.

I print using either full soft contrast (green-yellow) light or full hard contrast (magenta) light. That means a minimum of 2 exposures per sheet. By varying the ratio of hard- to soft exposure times, I get the various intermediate grades of contrast one might one. But, I never worry about "what grade am I printing on". I worry about "how much soft light exposure do the highlights need" and "how much hard exposure do the shadows need". It's analogous to fiddling the the ends and slope of H/D curve digitally.

This not only simplifies printing (for me anyway), it allows me to change the hard- to soft ratio in different part of the image thereby optimizing local contrast as desired.
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
Yes
Yes indeed. We are (I hope) trying to construct a print, rather than a perfect histogram.
 

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
It's perfectly possible to use Multigrade with the De Vere colour head although a tiny bit more fiddly. There are published charts on how to reproduce the exact filtration of the sheet fiters but in practice it's perfectly easy to simply dial in Magenta alone or Yellow alone. For big changes, you would do further test strips anyway.
The sheet filters are designed to give equal contrast steps and equal exposure times, which is very convenient, but in your own darkroom you can simplify things considerably. Mr Sherman doesn't reconstruct the exact colour of graded filters – he uses only two.
And you'll be able to print wet colour if you ever feel the need. Some people prefer the result although I think that for most people, the remarkable convenience and repeatability of digital printing has won the battle for colour.

I have a Cathomag head on my other enlarger and Ilford recommend installing a yellow filter permanently in the light path for multigrade papers. I forget the exact value but it must be somewhere on the Ilford website.
Would love to know if you find the correct yellow value. Would be worth trying. I have a Cathomag head and a Varicon head but haven't used either yet as darkroom STILL not constructed. Some day...
 

Stuwall

New Member
Registered User
Critique My Images
No
I much prefer a Cold cathode or Colour head to Condenser. I prefer the tonality and also there's far less dust issues.

Because of the way the De Vere heads fit and lift you'd need an engineer to make parts which would be expensive. Do you have the main part of the negative carrier that takes the inserts ? I made cardboard inserts for my 5108 carrier to be able to print my 6x17 negatives.

If you can't find parts for the Multigrade head, look out for aColour Dichroick head, timer and transformer. There are inserts for the carrier on eBay as, but they aren't cheap. I'll keep my eyes open at then camera fair I go to at the end of this month. I have seen and bought inserts there at very low prices.

Meanwhile, use the Cathomag head, a set of Ilford MG below the lens filters comes with a holder that attaches to the lens, that will get you started while looking for the parts. Black mount board sprayed with matt black aerosol paint is good for temporary negative inserts.

Ian
Thanks. I just bought a neg carrier on the overpriced site. It should arrive later this week. I'll either make my own inserts or treat myself periodically to new ones. However, I can't help but feel I'll end up spending more putting an enlarger together than I would if I bought a complete working 504 to begin with. I may end up with loads of bits to sell. Why do we do this to ourselves?
 
Top