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  #1  
Old 5th October 2010, 03:17 PM
PavelDerka PavelDerka is offline
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Default Ilford 500H pros/cons

Hello. I have a chance to buy an Omega enlarger with an ilford multigrade 500H head for a decent price. Now from what I understand of the 500H it is supposed to be a good head and hard to find. I'm not very familiar with it and so I would like to know if there are any sharp disadvantages to it and what the advantages may be.
I currently have a Omega D2 condenser with only the condenser for the 4x5 negs. I've not ever used it (it was given to me a few months ago) but have gone back to printing in a makeshift darkroom using two saunders 6700 enlargers - the variable contrast and dicro color head models.
I shoot 6x7 presently but have a stash of 6x6 and 35 negatives that I slowly want to go through over the next few years as well. So right now the 4x5 aspect is not important but it is nice to have something that does not limit one later - and used stuff is starting to disappear.

Any advice from some of you members who have more experience? Is this something to jump on or an item with disadvantages like high failure rates or something such as that? Thanks in advance. I have to make a decision later today.

THis is a great forum btw ... glad I found it!
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Old 5th October 2010, 03:57 PM
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MartyNL MartyNL is offline
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Hi Pavel,
We had them at Uni but on De Vere chassis' and I have nothing but praise for them.
Here's a link to the manual form Ilford;
http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/...1151751747.pdf
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Old 5th October 2010, 04:19 PM
PavelDerka PavelDerka is offline
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Thanks Marty. They seem to be highly regarded. I just wonder about repairs and parts and reliability ... and I guess the "why" behind the good reputation.
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Old 5th October 2010, 05:16 PM
Neil Smith Neil Smith is offline
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I have a Multigrade 500H head but on a Durst, it still fairly new to me, but it is a fantastic system to use. Changing grades does not require an exposure change as it compensates for this, very convenient I got mine as I had heard they were excellent heads and so far I would have to agree.
As for repairs and reliability, I will be interested to hear any replies to this myself.

Neil
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:21 PM
youngrichard youngrichard is offline
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I have got a couple, one on a Durst DA900 and the other on a Focomat 11c. I also have a RH Designs Analyser Pro 500 which I use with either. The combination is terrific though there is a learning curve whch I am still on!
So far as reliability goes I have had one transformer unit (500S) pack up on me. I was directed to a company somewhere in Kent (?Lightwave) who looked at it and pronounced it dead. However they do crop up on the auction site quite regularly, including US, in incomplete sets or on enlargers that no-one wants, for not too much, and I picked up replacements quite cheaply. Beware that in US they were sold as 110v models, in Europe with a voltage selector, so I had to do some re-soldering of transformer tags. The manual has good circuit diagrams.
So far the 500H heads have been reliable; bulbs are still obtainable for the 300w versions. Earlier models were rated 150w each bulb so look out for the later model. The Analyser Pro 500 replaces the 500C console and I know that can be repaired; the 500P probe is also replaced by the Analyser Pro but it was a waste of time anyway.
Richard
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Old 5th October 2010, 08:38 PM
PavelDerka PavelDerka is offline
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Well, call me a new proud ... or actually ... a nervous - 500H owner.
I took the chance and bought it and will pick it up in a week or so.
I guess then I should buy some extra bulbs and in the future be on the lookout for spare parts if they come up inexpensively enough. The power supply I imagine falls into that category but the controller I will replace in due time with the RHdesigns STopCLock timer in due time (when I get some $$$ )

Thanks for the information gents. I did not know that the bulbs could be either 300 or 150 so I didn't think to ask that one. Anyone know what part # the bulbs are and where to get them?

I'm in the US btw.
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Old 5th October 2010, 09:04 PM
du a gwyn du a gwyn is offline
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hello,i use the 500 head on my de vere 203,it a fantastic piece of kit.when i first had it i couldn't get the hang with the control pad purely because i've been using the RH design timer on all my other enlargers for many years,so i quickly got on the phone to RH to order the dedicated timer for the Ilford 500 system.
Remember one thing,'give yourself time to get used to it',it totally differance to any other system.
hwyl am y tro.
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Old 5th October 2010, 10:22 PM
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Congratulations!

I'm curious what you'll make of the results and if there'll be any noticeable difference to what you currently use.
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Old 5th October 2010, 11:42 PM
PavelDerka PavelDerka is offline
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Right now I have three enlargers ( Omega 2D, Suanders LPL 6700 variable contrast and the same saunders with a color dichro head) but I am happy about getting this due to the fact that they are getting harder and harder to find. Nice to have this, I think of it as the "ultimate" enlarger.

Does anyone know if the 300 watt bulbs and the 150 watt bulbs can be interchanged? So far I've been unable to find a source for any spare 300 watt bulbs. I'd like to, after I find out which intensity this model has, buy several spares.

The enlarger looks to be in very nice shape and he threw in trays, paper, chemicals, safelights, a grain focus magnifier etc. It is like a whole darkroom outfit.

I have a temporary bathroom setup and am in the process of planning a dedicated darkroom in a room. The room is 14 feet by 14 feet, which seems like enough space to make a really nice place to spend a lot of my life in. But I digress - I'm glad that I made this leap. I hope to make some nice prints as time goes by.
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Old 6th October 2010, 12:18 AM
Neil Smith Neil Smith is offline
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This place have the bulbs in the US

http://www.topbulb.com/find/Product_...roductID=43913

Adorama also stock them, in fact easier to find in the US than the UK the ones I bought here in the UK are made in the US.


Neil
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