Zelox Enlarger Meter

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Leeston, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Leeston

    Leeston Member

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    Oh well, in for penny, in for pound, time to show my ignorance I guess, 2nd post with hopefully plenty more to come but not all queries I trust.

    I am trying to fulfill a lifelong ambition to learn how to use a SLR properly and to develop and print my own shots...........have tried the other unmentionable type of photography and quickly found that analogue is where I preferred to go (unfortunately at great expense.).

    At the ripe old age of 55 I have a wonderful camera in the F5, plus I have fitted out a laundry to be my darkroom, purchased a Durst M600 plus all the other bits and pieces which, according to MY research here and other sources have taught me to need.

    Amongst the items in a bulk buy eg. trays tongs etc there is included a Zelox Enlarger Meter in excellent condition, unfortunately it does not come with a user manual, I am not lazy and did Google for reference but pretty much came up empty.

    My query is,
    1. how do I use it,
    2. At this point in time for me, do I need to use it?
    3. is it for a more advanced level printing.

    Background for me is that I am a fairly novice hobby photographer, shoot landscapes and buildings mostly, have not done any darkroom work before but am well equipped with tools and books etc and I will succeed in mastering or at least be able to simply develop and get a serviceable print shortly.

    Thank you in advance for any time spent in answering my query, I admire the site greatly and felt that I should do the right thing by subscribing in order to help keep the site going, to people like myself it is a veritable mine of information and in time I hope to contribute in some way.
     
  2. Leeston

    Leeston Member

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    My own answer

    I think I may have answered my own question, I suspect this is a Australian designed and produced product, which...sigh...does not help me at all....

    Within the box someone has handwritten the following:

    "Paper Sens....

    Ilford Multigrade

    Filter - 0 29-30
    M15 27
    M50-M200 25
    Y30-Y60 25

    Spot reading on second darkest part of negative"


    I will not even pretend to understand what is written above, but at a guess it is relevant to the dials on the meter.

    Two dials ranges are , top one (Exposure time) is 3-50, lower second one (Paper Sens) is 0-50

    Not sure if this helps at all but have tried to describe what I see on the meter.

    There are two indicator lights + & - , and of course a on/off switch.

    The present settings are #1. 24 and the #2 is set at 20

    Again, thank you in advance for anytime spent in answering my query.
     
  3. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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  4. Leeston

    Leeston Member

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    Thank you for your response...edging closer....different model but bears out my suspicions that this is a Aussie product hence lack of Google content.
     
  5. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    In your situation, I'd just put the Zelox meter in a box, get some new paper and chemicals and start printing. You'll get the hang of it quite quickly without the meter. Trying to figure out a possibly non-working piece of equipment at this stage seems contra-productive to getting framed prints on the walls. :smile:
     
  6. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I have a working Zelox meter and after wrestling with it for a while, can only concur with Jerevan - test strips tell you more about what's going on, and you're actually printing while you're making them!! Yesterday I picked up my fancy new enlarger with automatic colour probe, and control console the size of a Commodore 64 - I just know I will spend hours trying to figure it out, and then probably return to test strips...

    Marc!!
     
  7. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Jerevan's advice is probably the best, but if you must.
    Pick one paper.pick one set of chemistry.
    Make the best print you can.
    Then take a reading of the negative, all lights off. at the lightest spot of interest and the darkest spot of interest.
    Then any future negative of these readings will use the Paper and enlarger settings you have recorded.
    After you ahve done about 50 negatives this way, you may have enough inforrmation to write the manual.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    It sounds like a Melico enlarging meter/timer I have. There may be the timer built in or, the time dial may indicate the time that should be set on a separate timer.

    Your enlarger I believe needs VC filters if you want to print on variable contrast b&w paper. The notes you found in the meter box appears to suggest it was used with a dichroic enlarger head, which I am pretty sure you do not have.

    Make a test print that has a good tonal range from white to black, at an aperture setting that allows the time to fall at somewhere around 10-20 seconds.

    Then, without changing the enlarger head height, or aperture, and with all lights off, place the probe on the projected image of the negative for which you just made the good test print.
    Select an in an area where there is the first hint of grey away from pure white. There are other ways of metering a scene, but use this one for now.
    If you used a VC fitler, take it out, and meter just white light; it is likely that the meter is old enough to not be uniformly sensitive to all light colours the filters can put onto it.

    Set the meter time dial to match the time you exposed the test print at.
    Then set the paper sens(itivity) dial to 'balance the bridge' This may be the point on the dial when the + and - lights are both lit, or both extinguished.

    Make note of this paper sens and the developer dilution and development time that was used with it. I use yellow 'post its' on the box, and a pencil; easy to read under safelight illumination.

    Want to make a bigger enlargement? - move the head up.
    Without touching the paper sensitivity, meter the areas where you want first hint of white, and adjust the time dial until the bridge balances. Safelight illumination can throw these readings off.
    Then put your VC filter in, set your timer to match the desired time (you could adjust the lens aperture to get a time between 3 and 50 seconds). You will get the same tone without a new test strip.

    It can even be used to measure contrast ranges of negatives.
    Meter the thinnest part of the neg that you want tone to read in the shadows. Set the time dial to 3, and then adjust paper sens until the bidge balances.
    Now set the probe on the densest part where you want slight grey. Without touching the paper sens adjust time until you balance. That will give you a measure of the contrast range.

    It wont be as powerful as some analysers, because it has limited range of 3-50, and appears to be a linear scale;
    3 sec is the base measurement
    6 sec is 1 stop more, or +0.3 logD
    12 sec is 2 stops more, or +0.6 logD
    24 sec is 3 stops more, or +0.9 logD
    48 sec is 4 stops more, or +1.2 logD.

    Most 35 negatives aim for delta log D of between 1, and 1.5, when they are developed, so you run out of scale with just '4 stops' of tiem available to you.

    Look to the tables of paper speed and contrast range on the ilford data sheet include with MGIV and you will find this information,(but expressed mulitplied by 100), to tell you want range in a negative a given VC filter will print to show details between all white and all black.
     
  9. Leeston

    Leeston Member

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    Many thanks to all the above for their time and responses it is very much appreciated.