2 comments on “Extend the Life of Enlarger Bulbs

    • I looked at it and at first thought it made a lot of sense to get the Durst Pro lamp kit. I almost bought it, but ultimately decided to build the LED VC head I describe elsewhere on this site. Here were my main reasons:

      1) I wanted to have more control over contrast than the half grades available with filters.
      2) I wanted to use the diffusion mode and I tried a couple of different ways to convert the Atlas bulb in the head into a diffusion light source. While it worked it wasn’t as even as I wanted. So without try the Durst-Pro solution I had some concerns about how well it would work in this mode.
      3) I like a quite darkroom. So I was looking to get rid of the need for the cooling fan.
      4) I like building things. I wanted to experiment with LEDs and building an variable contrast head seemed like a fun project.
      5) Cost. The parts for the LED VC head were much cheaper than the Durst-Pro system. Since I enjoyed the build process I’m not counting my labor in this cost. If I did it wouldn’t even be close.
      6) This is more of an after thought, but being able to calibrate different papers to print at the same contrast makes proofing on cheaper paper much easier.

      If I was only going to print 5×7 with the condensers I would probably still use the PH/303 bulbs from TopBulb.com. The cost is a lot less, and the only downside I’ve found is a tiny bit more vignetting in the corners.

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