Aristo VCL 4500 on Omega D2 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I would be interested to hear comments regarding the use of an Aristo variable contrast cold light head on an Omega D2. Also, does the power supply function as a stabilizer? Thanks in advance.

-- Merg Ross (, October 11, 2001


I use the VCL 4500 with a Beseler enlarger. The only difference in using it with an Omega D seris is that an adapter (included by Aristo with the head) is needed to attach the head to the enlarger. Once the head is installed there's no difference that I know of between using it with the Omega and using it with the Beseler. There is no built in stabilizer in the power supply to my knowledge. The Metrolux II timer that is commonly used with the Aristo VCL 4500 (and that I use) monitors the light output at the light source and adjusts times accordingly so with that timer or one like it you don't need a stabilizer. FWIW, I've always been very happy with the VCL 4500 head. Never had any operational problems and after six years of fairly heavy use it's still working just fine. The only thing I didn't care for was the method of installing the Metrolux probe in the head. The head doesn't come with a hole pre-drilled for the probe so you have to put the head in a vise and go at it with a metal drill. If the drill happens to go through the metal suddently, you risk drilling out one of the lights in the head that you just paid $1,000 for.

-- Brian Ellis (, October 12, 2001.

The only thing I could add to Brian's response (my experience, including the metrolux, has been almost exact), is that I use mine on a D2V. The only difference I could see, is that on an MXT the lightsource might sit a little better on the neg. stage, than on the D2. At work, we use older Aristo coldheads on MXTs, and they sit down inside the neg stage on a flange. I assume, the VCL would do the same...on a D2, the unit just sits right on top of the carrier, so there's a little spill of light in use, unless you make a little flap out of black paper or something to mask it. I've done this, it's not hi-tech, but it works. I've had mine for about 7 yrs. now & it's the best b&w lightsource (outside of a beseler 45s color head), I've yet to use. Good luck. BTW, I used it for years without a metrolux & found it to be very stable then as well....but I ran it off an old Omega voltage stabilizer as well.

-- DK Thompson (, October 12, 2001.

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