The Pyro Densitometer advertised on APUG

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Athiril, May 15, 2010.

  1. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    That looks like a good deal, except I dont use Pyro.

    Is this also accurate densiometer for non-stained b&w and colour? If not is there anything that can be had in that price range as a decent densiometer?
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Where?
     
  3. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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  4. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I'm not familiar with the product, but it doesn't look as it would work as a reflection densitometer. Densitometers come as transmission for film, reflection for prints or both. You really want one that can do both, but this may be a nice way to get into sensitometry and densitometry. If you are concerned about the specialized Pyro feature, look at other darkroom meters with densitometer functionality. Here is one from another APUG sponsor:

    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/zonemaster_ii.html

    There may be others.

    Here is a link to a professional densitometer:

    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/densitometers.html

    I own both and can recommend them highly. (expensive but good)
     
  5. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Regarding the Darkroom Automation Enlarging Meter/Densitometer:

    1) If you don't use pyro film developer, or aren't interested in metering pyro negatives, then there is no reason to buy the pyro version - the only real difference between the two is the software. There is no performance advantage to the pyro model.

    2) The meter accurately measures the effective negative density in your enlarging equipment. Bench densitometer readings may not correspond with the density your negatives produce in your enlarger because of Calier effects and flare.

    3) It only works with black and white negatives. If you are working with color then you are better off with a 'color analyzer'.

    4) The meter reads density in stops rather than OD. In the darkroom, stops are more useful. In a chemistry laboratory, OTOH, OD is more useful. The resolution of the meter is 0.01 stop (equivalent to 0.003 OD), it reads over a 10 stop (3.0 OD) range.

    5) In addition to working as a densitometer, it works as an enlarging meter to determine paper grade, paper exposure, and dodge and burn exposures.
     
  7. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    But you can have over 10 stops with certain development in a 3.0 density... edit: I mean original scene contrast though. Not the amount of light the negative blocks or passes >.< bah

    I want a densiometer measuring in OD, and directly from the negative, I'm not after an enlarging meter, I'd like one for both colour and b&w, I guess that means separate equipment.

    The darkroom automation meter, says it works as a densiometer, but is it from an enlarger or directly from the negative?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2010
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    It is what is called an 'easel densitometer'. It measures the density a negative produces when it is projected by your enlarger. Obviously, if you are doing contacting then this isn't the right densitometer for you. If you are enlarging, though, an easel densitometer produces better measurements. Two negatives can read the same density in a bench densitometer but produce different densities when enlarged because one is a thick emulsion film and the other a thin emulsion and have different callier coefficients or because flare from clear shadows areas is reducing highlight density.

    Another real advantage to an easel densitometer is the size of the measuring spot. Because a bench densitometer works at 1:1 it can't measure highlights or small shadow details on small negatives (and many big negatives). An easel densitometer works at the print size and so can measure small highlight and shadow details about 2mm in size.

    A color densitometer won't be of much help printing, they are designed for graphic arts applications and for quality control in color labs. A color analyzer will produce density measurements on the easel. The effective density for a color negative will change with different papers. Color analyzers have provisions for paper calibration - some with plug in modules for each paper you are using.

    If you are doing Zone-system type film testing then either an easel or bench densitometer can be used. However, realize that the purpose of zone system testing is to match the film to the paper - the magic 0.1 over B+F isn't a number carved in stone but one found to produce good prints on the paper the folks who came up with the number were using. If you are using a different paper you may find you get the best prints with a speed point at 0.2 OD. Because the end-point of Zone system is the print, measuring the effective density your negative produces in your equipment is the real number you are looking for. Once you have your system calibrated for one film it is easy to find the exposure and development parameters that give you the same print densities for another film and process.

    If your interest is scientific, and not aimed at producing prints, then a bench densitometer may be a better choice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2010
  9. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I have the original, non-pyro version of the Darkroom Automation enlarging meter and I find it to be a very handy tool. You can use it to quickly find the density range of your negative in your enlarger with your enlarging lens. It's quick and easy to use, the price is very affordable, and I highly recommend it.

    I actually intend to send mine in to get upgraded to the pyro version one of these days.
     
  10. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    You can simply place the negative directly over the sensor of the Darkroom Automation meter and use your enlarger as a light source to make readings of the negative as a densitometer.
     
  11. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    I agree with Kirk. Furthermore, the Darkroom Automation F Stop Timer is a wonderful help-very easy to use, etc. We are fortunate to have a choice between the excellent products made by RHDesigns and Darkroom Automation. Both firms are run by honest and responsive individuals, and the products sold by both are top notch.
     
  12. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I have a scientific interest of analysing results from developer formulations (including colour) and optimising it.

    I also would like to be able to compare density curves of film (and motion picture film) to those published by the film manufacturer - or at least shadow and highlight density - including that of colour film, so I would need the ability to measure highlights and shadows of small formats.
     
  13. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I think you would be better served with a color bench densitometer. Noritsu units are quite good - they are rebadged Xrites - and often show up on the used market for very reasonable prices as mini-labs are shutting down their film lines. Each mini-lab had a color densitometer for running the daily quality strips.

    My experience with 35mm film is that it is best to make full-frame exposures for density tests - this allows you to use a densitometer with no problems. For 4x5 tests I contact a step tablet, the resulting patches are just big enough to cover the densitometer measuring aperture.
     
  14. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I have a Noritsu DM-201 and it is a fine color densitometer (and not a rebadged X-Rite either).

    I agree you want a fancier densitometer. You also want a color one that can do Status M densitometery to match what the big boys are using.
     
  15. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Whether some Noritsus are rebadged X-Rites or some X-Rites are rebadged Noritsus isn't really an issue. The companies do seem to swap products and technology, not at all uncommon in technical markets where product development costs can be stratospheric in comparison with sales. Here's a few examples:

    An X-Rite 810 with a Noritsu badge, and with a more than passing resemblance to a Noritsu DM-201:

    http://www.photolabstuff.com/densitometer810.htm

    Ditto for a model 881:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Noritsu-Densito...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ad4c2859a

    No matter what they are, they are all very fine densitometers that are available for very reasonable dollars on the used market. Modern mini-labs use densitometers that automatically read tiny little spots on calibration, well they are more like cards than strips. Hence the glut of really useful densitometers.

    Good point about Status M filters. But I think most of the cast-offs only do status A for color reversal materials. The difference is only a matter of 10-20 nM, but the 'M' wavelengths better correspond to the response of color couplers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2010