Recommendation for Color Analyzer?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by RedSun, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I have the Beseler PM2 and it works fine. But it is too bulky. I just wonder if there is a more "modern" color analyzer that you can recommend. I know the "modern" is relative since they are not made any more.

    I just need one that:
    1. Accurate;
    2. Manageable size;
    3. Small light probe;
    4. Within the budget.

    Thanks.
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It will be helpful if you say what the max budget is and what a manageable size is?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    In all fairness I have never found the need for a colour analiser. All boxes of paper vary a little so you have to re-calibrate for each one, and even next batch of colour developer may be slightly different so the calibration goes out of the window again. . I do use a wallet of colour gels made by Kodak and whilst they are not much good for Fiji paper which I use now I use them a a guide if the colour balance is off course. Increasing or decreasing the exposure depending on what filtration I add or subtract. It all comes with experience.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I learnt to colour print without one in the late 1960's using the Pavelle colour print process. However for RA-4 I was using a Durst DES 100 which I found very accurate and saved a lot of time and paper, it was simple to re-calibrate for different batches of paper.

    Ian
     
  5. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I'm getting a ColorStar 3000. Thx for the info.

    The testing strips approach is fine with me. But since I use Jobo drums, this method is slow to me. I'm lucky to have 3 test drums to use, but after each use, I'll have to dry it. Right now I just use some clean towel with test strips. This is not perfect, but at least save some time. I can't wait for them to be totally dry. I do not think I can use hot dryer to heat dry the drum.

    I use color roll papers, so the papers from the same 4-5 rolls. With the colorStar, I can save the calibration (I believe) for different papers. I do not have the time to make 5 or more test strips for each negatives. Also, my dry and wet rooms are separate, so I'll have to walk to a different room. I'd rather spend more time in the dry room and get the color right before I make the prints.

    It is just me. I still need to learn how to use. Hope it is better than the Beseler.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I use a Soligor/Melico SM-20, it is pretty small compared to the others. Runs off a 'wall wart' power supply.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    You will get a very good analyser with the Colourstar 3000. I don't think it avoids calibrating each type of paper but once calibrated you can devote a channel to each paper then simply switch to that channel when you use that paper.

    Is it the 8 channel machine or the 100 channel? Even 8 channels should be fine.

    There is at least one very experienced user of this analyser who posts here frequently so you might get his help. There were several others but I haven't seen them post much recently

    Be prepared to take your time learning how to use the analyser. It is not the easiest to learn but will repay the effort

    In the meantime have a look at the article by Frances Schultz on this analyser.Just google her. It's a good read first time around but to really understand everything she says its best to have the analyser in front of you while you read it.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser
     
  8. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    Thanks for the info. When I was searching for analyzer, I read some old posts here and another photo forum. The key reasons that I decided on this one:
    1. It has the functions I need;
    2. It is digital/LED, same style as the Jobo processors I have. It was also marketed by Jobo;
    3. It has built-in timer. This saves me some room;
    4. This analyzer comes with probe, manual and case, in excellent condition, at a price I can't refuse.

    The previous owner is very experienced with this device. I can always ask him questions. I heard about Frances and read her book on large format. I'll do some homework and take advantage of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2012
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Frances is a female but she often combines with her husband Roger Hicks so many books are written by both. However the Colourstar articles are hers and under her name.

    pentaxuser
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have a fair collection of documentation, including the excellent Frances S articles.

    My 3000 I bought new off of ebay from a shop in Portugal, about 6 years ago.
    I guessed that it would be a low volume enough item that it would be multi-voltage capable, and it was. Two jumpers to re solder, and a new plug and now it talks with NA 120V ac quite happily.

    I have a standard neg - an image of my wife in the front yard on an overcast winter day holding a grey card in one hand, and a colour test target from an old darkroom dataguide in the other hand.

    I use it to print the first sheet of every box or roll of RA-4 paper I open. Once I get a neutral grey print, of the right density, I autoreprogram the master settngs. I then make note of the the master settings and write it on tape that gets affixed to the front of the package.

    This habbit saves a lot of time for me. Swap paper, resett eh masters to the settings noted on the paper pack, and the next step is to set the channel to what I want to meter ( I have channels set for spot grey, spot neutral caucasian skin, warm tone (ie tanned ) skin, then three more for semi integating sisk the same way, and then channel 7 I task for random use, with a table of figures written on a card on the wall for settings for thinks like green grass, blue sky, puffy white clouds, asphalt, etc. I keep chanel 8 for when I do b&w work, and only use that chanel so I don't screw up more standard setting on the other 7 channels.

    I freqeuently contact print on old slightly fogged glossy paper, and then shift to lustre surface papers for final prints. Change the master, set the channel for the metered subject, and bang out a perfect print nearly all of the time unles the chemistry has aged from when I calibrated it. You can do a NG test and autoreporgram really quickly though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2012