Sensitometer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by luxikon, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. luxikon

    luxikon Member

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    Hi

    i´ve got the opportunity to buy a used sensitometer. Do I need an extra step wedge or does this device produce the steps on my film by itself?

    Thanx
     
  2. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Depends on the sensitometer. Which one are you looking at?
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The Wejex has the step wedge glued in place between glass. OK, as long as it is the model with the 21 step wedge. EG&G just has a glass plate and you tape whatever step wedge you have on there.

    If you have to buy a step wedge, (and you already have a calibration target for your densitometer) you can get the cheaper non-calibrated one, as you are going to want to know all the values as measured by YOUR densitometer anyway (for your x-axis).
     
  4. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    It really should not matter if it's measured by YOUR densitometer or someone elses. As long as your densitometer follows the guidelines for specifications of densitometry design. And by that, if you have a commercially made densitometer that's not more than 50 years old, it's in good operational condition, you know how to calibrate your densitometer and you have good calibration standards for your densitometer, you should get similar, if not identical results as the manufacturer of your step wedge did when they measured it.

    That said, get an a good calibration standard for your densitometer, calibrate the densitometer, then get an uncalibrated step wedge, and calibrate it yourself.
     
  5. luxikon

    luxikon Member

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    @ Kirk

    it´s a Kunze (Germany), built to calibrate X-ray films in radiology surgeries.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'd be interested if anyone's 'home darkroom' densitometer matches all 21 steps of a 'calibrated' wedge. With respect of consumer densitometers, I don't know of any densitometer 'standards' for power supply regulation, light source measuring aperture, color source, intensity distribution and luminous flux. These will vary from brand to brand and machine to machine and will influence the linearity.
     
  7. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    There are ANSI specifications for densitometry. And I suspect that most of the major commercial (Xrite, Macbeth) ones do follow them.

    ANSI PH2.17: American National Standard, Density Measurement – Geometric Conditions for Reflection Density.

    ANSI PH2.18: American National Standard, density measurement – spectral conditions. This standard defines the Status responses for densitometers, such as Status T, and Status A.

    ANSI PH2.19: American National Standard, conditions for diffuse and doubly diffuse transmission measurements (transmission density). This standard defines the Geometric and Spectral Conditions for transmission densitometers.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Yes, and light meters are presumably made to ANSI ANSI-PH2.7 but I wouldn't expect your light meter to read the same as mine.

    Also, (quote from the Tobias web site):

    So, either the standards are not that strict or the MFGs don't follow them strictly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2008
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Since X-ray films are frequently exposed with a fluorescent enhancement screen of either blue or green, the X-ray sensitometers frequently expose film to either green or blue light.

    One of these days I'm going to test an X-ray (blue/green) sensitometer with a Wejex White light sensitometer and an EG&G xenon sensitometer so see if there are any significant differences. Maybe someone will lend or donate an old blue/green sensitometer....:wink:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/456068-post24.html
     
  10. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

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    Hi !
    A ong time ago I've bought second hand a used (well used) X-Rite 339 densitometer. It it a transmission only densitometer for visible light and UV light. It came without the calibrating tile and I had not enough money to buy one from X-Rite.
    So, as I had to order things from Stouffer, I bought a calibrated transmission step wedge.
    At first, it was not good. But upon retouching the slope trimmer, the thing became very good into visible measurement. UV is another matter, as I do not know an UV step wedge of accessible price...
    IMHO, for personal use, one needs only a densitometer which is linear and able to repeat itself regularly. The absolute measurement are not of paramount importance.
    P.S. the curve I get is like a sinus curve around the correct densities (if the Stouffer calibration is accurate). Retouching the slope trimmer reduce the amount of swing but does not suppress it. I don't know if it is a design flaw or if I'm not as good and clever than I thought.....
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I agree.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Densitometers are made to measure density by reflection (status A or Status D) or transmission (satus A, D and M) or to white light. These are built to measure step wedges exposed and developed onto film or paper and use standard methods of measurement.

    Sensitometers are made to expose with an exact light source and step wedge onto film or paper. They specify color temperature and intensity as well as time. Any step wedge can be used as long as it is calibrated properly. A good densitometer will help in this. Just remember that silver step scales are NOT neutral.

    There are ANSI standards for both instruments. Often, you do not need a sensitometer, but for exacting work you need a densitometer.

    PE