Lightbulb for my Meopta Opemus 6x6?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by mary_paturka, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Do I need a special bulb for my enlarger or can it be, say, a 60-70 watt
    household bulb?
  2. A 75 Watt opal bulb for the B&W condensor Opemus versions is rather standard and will keep the heat problem within normal proportions.

    I hope it's clear for you when living in the USA you need a 110V/115V version of it!
    For Europe: 230V/240V.
  3. Yes, that's what I use on mine. Good luck.
  4. Go for a 150w Philips, as i do. Give you som larger and better prints
  5. Your enlarger takes the PH/211. Do not use a household bulb since it may not work very well. It will light up ok, but there is the distinct possibility that the light output may not be even. You may even get an image of the filament on the baseboard. Use the recommended PH/211, 75 watt bulb and avoid the higher wattage PH/212. The larger bulb will give you unreasonably short exposure times and cause the machine to run hotter than normal. Trust me, you don't want that.

    The PH/211 bulb is available by mail order from several suppliers. Google "PH/211 bulb" and you'll get a list of suppliers. I can recommend from personal experience. They offer reasonable prices and quick delivery.
  6. How much do these Meopta Opemus 6x6 go for? I just saw one at my local thrift store.
  7. AJG


    Since it is supposed to be daylight equivalent you might have a problem with variable contrast filtering. My first cold light was 5400 K and needed a 40 CC yellow gel for variable contrast filters to work properly.
  8. Too bright.
    You only need about a 10 watt LED bulb to give the same light output as a 75 watt filament bulb.

    Most LED bulbs have a plain 'opal' diffuser these days, which is exactly what's needed for an enlarger lamp. They also come in a variety of colour temperatures, with 3200 to 4000K being about right for an enlarger lamp. 2700K will be too yellow, and as AJG says, 6500K 'daylight' will be too blue.

    However, you need to check that the dimensions (height and diameter) are the same as the original enlarger bulb, otherwise you might not be able to get even illumination across the negative.

    I'm pretty sure that had LED lamps been available when enlargers were commonplace, then that would have been the light-source of choice for their designers.
  9. The Opemus 6 is a great design to be used with current LED bulbs.
    And you can perfectly use warm light (2700-3000ยบK) versions, from almost any wattage.
    Just think on the printing times you like, and buy the power needed to achieve such times. You may want to have several bulbs, to be used with thin or dense negatives.
    As Rodeo says, a 19watt bulb seem to me too much brightness, unless you plan to print huge sizes on the wall. This enlarger is a small one (although the lamp housing is normal). I think you don't need more than a (normal sized) 5 watt bulb to print 8x10" at 10 seconds (well, some people like short times... I need at least ten seconds for "fast" burning/dodging procedures).
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  10. Why worry about energy savings with an enlarger (unless you are a commercial printer)? How long is the light in the enlarger actually on? To focus and compose - maybe five minutes at the most. Exposure another minute at the most? Dodge and burn maybe another few minutes. In a five or six hour printing session, I doubt the light is actually on one hour and probably less. Assume a 100 watt incandescent bulb; that is 0.1 kilowatt hours. At $0.20 per kilowatt hour, that is $0.02. (And that is my 2-cents worth for this topic. <HUGE GRIN>)

    Compared to the cost of paper and chemicals, energy costs for the enlarger is lost in the noise.

    Now the exhaust fan on the darkroom is another matter as are the safe lights which are on constantly.
  11. It's not really about energy saving. It's about being able to get a bulb for the enlarger at all!

    It can't have escaped your notice that darkroom kit is getting as rare as hen's teeth these days, and you can't just nip to the local photo store to buy a spare Photocrescenta bulb when the one in your enlarger blows.

    Besides, why pay a premium for a specialist bulb, when almost any old domestic LED bulb will do the same job?
  12. AJG


    One added bonus of an LED over the original incandescent would be lower heat output. My first enlarger was an Opemus 6x6 and it had a glass negative carrier, which it needed to keep negatives flat due to heat buildup. Keeping all 4 glass surfaces clean along with the negative was quite a challenge, so my next enlarger had a better system for disbursing heat and glassless negative carriers.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.

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