enlarger light????

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does cold light produce a different contact print than that regular little light bulb in the condensor head?

-- david clark (doc@ellensburg.com), June 05, 1999


hi don't think it should. the callier effect (higher densities of silver deposit scattering the light more) is more of an issue in enlargements. i used to make contact prints with a regular lamp (but in a shrouded desk lamp, not in a condensor head). i suppose that technically there probably is a difference but i've never spotted it. i could see it in enlargements. i guess this is because in a contact print, the scattered light can only deviate a smaller amount (since the space where it can deviate is only the thickness of the emulsion) but in a an enlargement, it travels a longer distance and the deviations are thus more severe. hope this helps. dj

-- N Dhananjay (ndhanu@umich.edu), June 06, 1999.

The other gentleman's answer explains what is meant when describing a cold light source as giving "contact print quality." A print from a properly calibrated cold light enlarger will be very close to a contact print of the neg -- especially in the lighter tones. A print from a condenser enlarger will show some loss of highlight detail. Finding the right development for your negatives, under your own conditions, so they do print like a good contact print is basically what the Zone system is all about.

-- tony brent (ajbrent@mich.com), June 08, 1999.

As previous answers suggest, the quality of a contact print itself shouldn't be much, if any, differnt due to the enlarger light source. Cold light and condenser enlargers, however, do require different B & W negative development times to deliver a "normal" contrast print--as I remember about minus 15% for condenser enlargement (Last I knew, Kodak's published development times assumed diffusion rather than condensor). So even if the contact appears no different, it will still pay to adjust development to suit the light source.

-- Steve Singleton (singleton1@bigfoot.com), June 10, 1999.

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