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I just purchased a complete B&W darkroom setup at a garage-sell. The D-2 is set up for 35mm. It came with a 4 inch condencer and Nikon 50mm lense. What used coldlight head and 150mm lense would be good quality in the lower price range? The current lense board is flat. Do you need the 4.5 inch lense board with a cold light head? I got a drymount press that is about36X20. Any comments on the use of that item?

-- Tim Kimbler (starman2@gte.net), November 12, 1998


The Aristo D2 model cold light head drops right in in place of the big condenser lenses. You dont need the cone type lens boards with a cold light head, the flat ones work fine.

If you can afford a Schneider Componon go for it. Otherwise get what you can afford if it looks clean.

Columbus Camera in Ohio (www.columbuscamera.com) makes their own line of lens boards and carriers -- very good quality and good price.

Dont know what comments you are looking for on the dry mount press. If it is clean and not all crudded up on the platen surfaces, and heats up, you have a press that will handle just about any mounting project you care to tackle. I believe alcohol will remove old dry mount stick-um.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), November 12, 1998.

A cheap cold light for the D-2 is the old Omega head. The lighting is reasonably even, but a little dim. These are available fairly inexpensively. You may need to replace the bulb to make it work.

You may be able to get away with a flat lens board with a 150 mm lens, but I'm not sure you will have enough bellows draw. If you can get a 4 1/2" lens board, go ahead and do it. Having more than one board allows you to switch lens quickly. Do try and get a good lens like an EL Nikkor or a Schneider. Don't cheap it out with a used Wollensak.

If the dry mounting press heats evenly and the thermostat works, you are set. Other than the thermostat, there is not much to break in a dry mount press.


-- Tom Gould (jgestar@aol.com), November 13, 1998.

Can you buy replacement bulbs for the Omega and Aristo cold light heads? I would think that is the only thing that might be an issue or defective. Can you use VC filters or do you use graded paper with both?


-- Tim Kimbler (starman2@gte.net), November 13, 1998.


You will MOST DEFINITELY need the cone if you use a 150mm (or 135mm) lens with the D2. You won't have enought bellows draw without it. That's what the cone is for, after all. You can, however, use a flat board for your 50mm lens and 80 or 90mm lens for medium format negatives as well.

Yes, you can get replacement lamps for an Aristo head. Get the new V54 lamp, which is optimized for VC papers, but which should also work well with graded papers. And, yes, you can use VC filters with this lamp. In fact, you can even use them with the blue lamp optimized for graded papers (I did so for years with great results). The only difference is that your contrast spacing will be more even with the V54 lamp when printing on VC papers.

-- Tom Johnston (tajohnston@lucent.com), November 20, 1998.

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