For winter solstice (I don't celebrate Xmas) I bought myself a RH Desgins Analyser Pro. Now that I've had time to work with it, I thought that I would give a few of my thoughts.
First, the F-stop printing function is worth the price, even if it did nothing else. It took me about a week to start thinking this way. Now I don't ever want a regular seconds timer ever again. However, the test strip function absolutely rocks.
Second, and likely the part everyone wants to know about. The hockey puck-like sensor. This is the only enlarging meter that I've ever used. So, while I can't compare it to other meters, I can say that it works quite well. However, it does have it's quirks.
I have yet to catch on to the whole idea of visualizing the print using the calibration bar.
The densitometer function doesn't agree with my tranmission densitometer; however, it is consistent. Thus it's quite useable. FYI 1.3 above base fog on my densitometer is about 1.1 on the Analyser pro.
With a stouffer 4x5 wedge I recalibrated everything to my head (Durst CLS1840) and paper (Ilford Warmtone FB).
The coolest thing about the sensor is that I can adjust for different paper sizes quite easily. I simply meter one part of the image and set it for Grade V.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the Analyser Pro and would rate it highly.
I have had the AnPro for about a year now and I can only say it is a great machine.
All the best
I can also endorse RH Designs products. Fstop printing is the only way to print. May take a while to get the old system out of your head, but from then on printing is so much easier.
Does fstop printing mean varying the fstop rather than second? if so, does this mean that you know longer use your enlarging lens' optimum fstop when you print?
f-stop printing means that you do not make a difference between film- and paper exposure THINKING. So your print is e.g. not 10s too light, but 1/2 f-stop. Your print will be 1/2 stop too light, no matter what mag-ratio, lens f-stop or mg-filter you apply. The translation to seconds is done by an "intelligent" device like an "f-stop-aware" lab-meter or stop-clock. In case of the RH-Analyzer, you can also "simulate" how different paper grades affect your print.
This info is for anyone else with a Ilford Multigrade 500 system I have found at http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/ktphotonics/news.html that they are releasing an Analyser Pro that will control this head. It is not quite finished, but it looks like the price will be the same as the Analyzer Pro. Once it is done I plan on purchasing it. It should work much better than the probe that comes with the Ilford system.
The big advantage with the f-stop printing method is that once you have decided on the exposure, and burning/dodging regime from you test print, you do not have to recalculate these when changing paper sizes. You only have to recalculate the base exposure. You do not need a special timer since charts of f-stop exposures are available, but an f-stop timer makes things very much easier and quicker.