What size are you printing?
Also, assuming you are using variable contrast filter, are you using contrast filters? While you can print without one and assume grade 2, exposure time will be very short. I always use filters even if it is #2.
Also, some paper are very FAST. Comparing Ilford MGIV and Adorama brand paper, the latter is about 3 times faster, so for small prints, exposure times are pretty short.
Is your aperture blade on lens working correctly and not sticking or stuck wide open?
Tinkering around today, it turned out that the RC papers seemed faster, now printing with warmtone and they are slightly longer. I do have a question though, I am trying to optimize my setup for a production atmosphere and want to get info on the following:
I am currently using an Aristo D2 cold light on my 45MX, assume it is the V54, it has a single tube. Attached is a Metrolux II timer with lamp sensor and the easel probe. I know this timer is pretty well setup in terms of features but is there any reason to go to an RH Designs StopClock Vario other than F-Stop printing? While I could leave well enough alone and stick with what I have, learn to use it really well, I also know that I just want to cut to the chase in terms of efficient production if the Vario would improve upon what I currently have.
I didn't have a timer before I bought my StopClock Pro. It's awesome. F-stop printing just makes so much sense for me. Yeah, it's expensive, but frankly, with the cost of FB paper nowadays, it's about equal to a couple packs. Having the extra channel for split grade printing and the programmable burn sequences is very cool too. I never really printed much before getting it, so I didn't have non f-stop printing ingrained into my thinking. It was very easy for me to just hop on board with that mindset, so for me, it was well worth it.
I don't know your timer. If it's working for you, then stick with it. If not, don't. Maybe sell some of that Tech Pan to fund the purchase :D
I found out why my D2 head was putting out a lot of light, it's supposed to, it says "D2HI" on the back, LOL!
So I bought another D2 head for not too much money, figure I can use the D2HI for really big prints.
But now I am wondering about that purchase as I just ordered a Stop Clock Vario. It would seem the best way to get the most out of split-grade printing is with using a head like the Zone VI or VCL 4500. Before I start scouring for one of these, does it really make that much of a difference and how does one get the most out of split-grade without a VCL?
1. Using the Cold lift you don't need to adjust the upper bellows for different format, leave it in the lowest position.