Received my Analyser Pro...few questions!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Matt5791, May 9, 2006.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Had a couple of questions about the Analyaser pro - I know I can call RH, but it is out of office hours now.

    First, I am using Ilford MG and I seem to be getting really dark prints, too dark for the test strip sequence - so mabey I need to calibrate?

    Second, what I cant understand is if the reading suggests I need an increase in contrast, and I push the increase contrast button, the time goes up too - but I though the Ilford MG filters remained the same exposure apart from the likes of no's 5 upwards??

    I tried reducing exposure time with the reduce time button but this seems to call for an increase in contrast afterwards.

    Anyway I wanted to produce some quick proofs last night and I discovered that if I reduced the exposure by 10 steps it was somewhre about right - but the grey scale leds were flashing at me when I did this - the prints looked OK though.

    I have read the book a few times - so mabey I'm showing my general inexperience here in the darkroom?!

    Any pointers and help / experiences woudl be gratefully received.

    Many thanks,
    Matt.
     
  2. nyx

    nyx Member

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    Just an idea. Do you put filters away when you're metering? If you meter with them, you'll get dark prints.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I agree with nyx. You should be metering under white light.
     
  4. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Yes - filters are removed

    and I have the safelight wired into the Analyser.
     
  5. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Hello,

    You say that you're using Ilford MG paper. Is that the MG IV RC resin coated paper or is it the fibre version? Just that the default settings are for the RC version.

    Mike
     
  6. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    Hi Matt,

    I have a zonemaster II but it works the same as the Analyser for what you are doing.

    When you say the test strip sequence is too dark I presume you are starting from the default time of 15 secs at grade 2, correct? This would give you a initial exposure of 12.4 secs. and move up from there for each strip. Yes?

    The thing to bear in mind is that this is just a default. If you find it to be too dark then reduce the initial time accordingly until you get a sequence that is in the right ball park.

    I am not sure what you refer to when you say that reducing time causes an increase in contrast as you do not use the densitometer for test strips, or are you talking about contact prints?

    Antonio

     
  7. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Sounds like you are too close with your light source or your aperture is open wide. You told us nothing about how your enlarger is setup.

    Also, the filters take one stop more than what you measure, then the 4th grade and up take 2 stops.
     
  8. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I have the Analyser 500 (for the Ilford 500 head) so this may not be applicable. The default calibrations did not work for me on either RC or FB. The calibration process is not that bad if you have a densitometer and can figure out what is going on. Or for a small fee RH Designs will read your strips for you and send you new calibration values.

    As an aside, when I mentioned that I was using the Analyser to Les McLean he called me "lazy". I am begining to think he might be right.
     
  9. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    One of the main reasons why I got the Analyser Pro was that I'm hopeless at working out what contrast grade to print a negative at. Obviously, a lot of this is down to experience and I'm sure that Les can pick the correct grade from a contact sheet at 100 paces. Maybe when I'm a bit more experienced I'll be able to do likewise, but at the moment it's a huge help to me to be able to see the contrast range of a negative on the Analyser Pro's LEDs and to see what the effect is of changing the paper grade.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  10. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Ok - had another session last night and I reduced the exposure by 5 steps (1/12th) for each contrast grade and this seems about right - it may not have been as far out as I originally suspected.

    Mabey I was being a bit impatient!

    Incindentally I was using the regular Ilford RC MG IV.

    I think this is going to be a very worthwhile investment indeed as the bulk of my work is weddings and similar where I need to output large volumes of acceptable prints.

    I will be able to feed these into my Durst Printo once I have set it up and go even faster!

    Matt.
     
  11. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    Mat,

    I am still not clear exactly what it is you are having problems with. Are you doing test strips using the default starting time of 15 secs or are you doing prints? (in which case it is up to you to place the tones where you want them).

    Antonio



     
  12. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Hi Matt,

    I too am not quite clear what the issue is!

    But, this is how I would use the analyser. Choose a negative that you know prints well at grade 2 or 3 and has a full range of tones with no dodging or burning. Take out all filters, so you are using white light only and set the lens aperture to your usual setting for that negative. Use the probe to measure a black area and a white area of the negative. This is important, for this experiment it needs to be an absolute black and true white. Maybe measure a couple of grey points in between. Set the contrast grade on the analyser so that the first and last LEDs are lit. You will probably have to use the lighten/darken buttons as well to move the LEDs up or down the range. What you are after is for the first and last LED to be lit but not flashing.

    Check the time. Is this about what you expected for this negative? Put the required filter in and try a print. How did it go? If it's way too dark, then you will need to calibrate. You'll need to use the calibration kit that came with the analyser.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  13. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for that Mike - very helpful.

    Matt
     
  14. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    Ok Matt. I give up. Good luck. Try reading the manual. It is all in there.

    Antonio
     
  15. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Hi there - sorry, I wasn't ignoring what you were saying!

    It says in the manual that if the print is too light or too dark then perform a test strip - press the focus "on" button and then press the time button and the analyser goes into test strip mode, based on the time already displayed and calculated from the measured highlights and shadows.

    When I did the test strip there was no suitable exposure so, further on in the manual, it says you can do a quick recalibration and adjust each grade by, say 5 steps (1/12th) This I did and the results are much better.

    What I think I need to do ultimately is perform a proper calibration.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  16. antielectrons

    antielectrons Inactive

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    Aha, now I understand what your issue is.

    Antonio

     
  17. BOSS565

    BOSS565 Member

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    Mike has given good advise. Sometimes it take a little practice to get a reading of the appropriate white area and dark area of the neg. Be consistant with your f stop. Clear the analyzer when starting a new reading.

    Good luck. My analyzer has improved my prints and cut paper waster.
     
  18. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I just finished reading the manual for the Analyser Pro and I am impressed. I am thinking about building one from an old color analyzer and a PC
     
  19. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi Matt
    Sorry for the late input, I was out yesterday. The "constant exposure" myth is just that, a myth; the Analyser calculates the correct highlight exposure based on the measurements you take, and if you adjust the grade then the time will be recalculated to keep the highlight exposure constant. MG filters are designed to maintain paper ISO speed constant across the grades (one stop slower at grades 4-5); this does not mean that the correct exposure remains the same across the grades. Comapre camera exposure - if your subject contrast range varies you would vary the exposure to suit, even though the ISO film speed doesn't change.

    It's not unusual to find an exposure compensation is required even when you're using MG paper and filters because there are so many other variables over which we have no control. If you have a feel for the adjustment required (e.g the 5/12ths stop you mention elsewhere) use that as a starting point and enter it into the calibration memories - this will give you a ball-park starting point. You can then refine it either by the "quick and dirty" method on our web site if you're impatient to get some quick results (like me!) and then later on using the full calibration procedure. The chances are with MG filters that you won't need to tweak the contrast settings much - concentrate on getting the exposure right first and see how you get on. I suggest you set the Analyser to 1/4 stops when making test strips to start with, the 1/12 setting is too fine until you've got the machine calibrated.

    Good luck :smile:
    Richard
     
  20. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks Richard - I have suceeded in making a load of proofs so far and it really started to come into its own and I had them done in no time at all (time is the problem I have!)

    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Matt