Densitometer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Ian, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Has anyone any advice on densitometers for use with negs. Types and cost would be good and any recomendations.
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've a Tobias TB+ transmission densitometer which I
    purchased off eBay for $70 some. Mint - condition,
    full instructions, calibration standards, and 1, 2,
    and 3mm apertures. REAL GOOD Deal. Dan
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Ian,

    It depends on what your intended use is. If you regularly plan on using staining developers, then a color densitometer may be helpful in determining the effect of the stain by readiing through the blue channel.

    If you want to do alt process in which the exposure relies on UV exposure then a densitometer that has an UV channel would be helpful.

    If you want to only use black and white with non staining developers, then a black and white transmission densitometer would be sufficient.

    I have an Xrite 310 that has transmission and reflective capability along with color capability and it serves my needs for reading negatives developed in staining developers. Cost was $325.00 (used).

    I have an Xrite 301 that is good for only black and white negatives. Cost was $100 (used). I would consider selling this unit if someone is interested.

    I believe that the Xrite 361 and 369 both have UV capability. (if I am wrong on the model numbers than someone will correct me on that). Cost about $350.00 (used) the last that I knew.

    Good luck.

    Macbeth also makes desitometers but I am not familiar with those model numbers.
     
  4. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've been watching for a UV capable unit and am surprised at what prices they seem to command. The range while I've been shopping on eBay has been $600-$1000. I've got a Macbeth TD901 that I've grown to trust for most everything and a Wallner-Labex that is part of my darkroom analyser/timer equipment. The blue channel on that gives me a bit of a clue on things concerning stain/tanning issues. I've found though, that settling on most films at +1 stop exposure (incident) and one of the PyroCat formulations gives me easily printable, tonally rich negatives that require very little manipulation. At this point, I feel I could easily do without either densitometer and go happily into the future without! Admittedly, though, I learned a lot while wringing out film/developer combos and trained my eye with their use and likely will rely on them again. In fact, this week, I found a box in my freezer full of PanF+ film (some bulk rolls of 35mm and also 5 bricks of 120) that was forgotten. I've never really tuned my process to this emulsion and I will likely again rely on the gear to help sort things on that project.
     
  5. MOON

    MOON Member

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    I have X-rite 331 densitometer, it's very handy, light and easy to use.

    I bought used one on ebay about 200$.
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have the X-Rite 810 Reflection/Transmission color densitometer. It works out well. Used on Ebay for $150. I think new was around $3500.
     
  7. Dug

    Dug Member

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    I have the X-Rite 361T, which is the UV model. Please see the article by Bob Herbst on www.unblinkingeye.com for a complete dicussion of this particular model. I got mine from a print shop that was closing.

    As was mentioned earlier, UV is only really necessary if you are using a process that requires UV exposure. UV channel density is quite different from the Ortho (green) density. For me it has been quite helpful in calibrating film tests and creating negative densities appropriate for Kallitype.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2006
  8. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    Hi Chan Tran,

    I purchased the same unit 2nd hand on eBay for a song. I have however being having a hard time trying to find a calibration reflection plaque and transmission strip to calibrate it with. Apart from buying them new and paying almost as much as the densitometer itself, how have you managed ?

    regards
    Peter
     
  9. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The one I bought from ebay came with 2 transmission calibration tablet (a piece of film with several densities). I have a reflection plaque I took from work. (I work for a company that does a lot of printing). Lucky me because at work we don't use the transmission densitometer much. Only for checking film used to make plates but then nowaday most plates are made directly from digital files without having to make the film first.