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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Snyder
    I've been looking for a review of the new Zone VI 4X5 LED VC lightsource but haven't been able to find one. Has anyone out there tried it and what was your experience? I have an early Zone VI 5X7 VC head, but I've found it to be difficult to work with and, now that one of the tubes has burned out, I'm looking for an alternative.

    Thanks,

    John
    My year old Zone VI type II green light burned out around New Years. It was still under warranty and was repaired and back to me in a week. Do get yours repaired while you still can by Calumet (Chicago). Richard Newman is really the "go to" guy at Calumet, as far as I'm concerned. He can be reached through the Calumet site (calumetphoto.com). He was intimately involved in both the design and implementation of the new LED source. It has had trouble making it on the market and as of the beginning of the year, still hadn't shipped.

  2. #12
    blansky's Avatar
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    I talked to Richard about a week ago and it looks like a couple of more months. He has his and is playing with it now.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by hortense
    The cost: zero (Zone VI guarantee).
    Since two of you mentioned that your lightsources were fixed without charge, I decided to take up the terms of the warranty since I'm the original owner--thanks for mentioning that. It was a long, drawnout affair--several phone calls without response and then I sent a pointed letter with thorough documentation. I finally did get a response saying that if I faxed the original invoice they'd refund the cost of the repair. Previously they'd said they'd refund the express shipping cost, but never did. Once I faxed the invoice, they moved quickly. I'll hand it too them for making the matter right, but I wonder why it had to be so difficult, and why they didn't say the repair would be covered under the terms of the warranty if I could supply the invoice. Apparently they'd rather people didn't know...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Snyder
    Peter,

    It's interesting that your experience with the Zone VI VC head was the exact opposite of mine: I tried most of the available VC papers and with my lightsource, though all were contrasty, Forte had the most contrast--I had to use the soft light at maximum and the hard light at minimum and add a CC 20Y filter. (I'm trying to avoid having to split the exposure). Maybe the head for the type I enlarger is different than for Type II--or maybe it's a matter of calibration. I guess I'll send mine in and have it repaired...
    John
    Are you out there John?

    Glad to hear you eventualy got your head fixed ( ) and that it was just a transformer problem with the soft light. I think I'm having the same problem as I have to use a CC40Y filter below the light to get my normal negatives to print with normal contrast with the lights contrast controls at equal settings.

    The filtration and a weak soft light results in loooonnnggg exposures (combined with having to open the lens almost wide open) - in fact a three stop increase from I used to use for Galerie and a cold light.

    What was the effect on your exposure times and contrast settings when the transformer was repaired?

    Murray

    (added later) For those following this theads title...the Zone VI LED Lightsource that was supposed to be available July 1st, 2005 is not in stock at Calumet...it's, "delayed from vendor".
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 07-07-2005 at 09:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    What was the effect on your exposure times and contrast settings when the transformer was repaired?

    Murray,

    I was going to say that the transformer repair returned the light to its previous condition, but then I realized I couldn't answer the question. The end of last year I tested four VC papers: Oriental, Ilford, Bergger, and Forte. Then the soft light burned out. There was one that remained to be tested--Zone VI Brilliant VC--so I made matching prints on it in early May after I got the light back. I mentioned in a previous post that the Zone VI paper seemed to be best suited to the light, which made sense to me since both were sold under the same name (thinking sprectrally they were better matched). I was able to print on it with both lights set in the middle of the dial and no CC20Y between lens and negative--rather than the soft at max and the hard at min with added yellow.

    Then I realized that since all the other tests were done before the repair and the Zone VI test after, that maybe it wasn't the paper at all. The only way to know would be to go back and try one of the other papers again--it may take a week or two, but I'll try to get to it before I have to leave town in late July. Good question though and one I'd like to answer.

    John

  6. #16
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Snyder
    The only way to know would be to go back and try one of the other papers again--it may take a week or two, but I'll try to get to it before I have to leave town in late July. Good question though and one I'd like to answer.
    Well John...I'll be sending you a Hero Badge and three Gold Stars right away!!

    I can understand why you would have stuck with the Zone VI paper. After all the head scratching and testing I KNOW you went through trying to figure out your lightsource, it must have been a relief to have lots of wiggle room contrast-wise on either side of normal and no filter factor dragging out exposure times. THANKS EH!

    Murray

  7. #17

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    The Answer

    Murray,

    Yesterday I went back and reprinted the same negative at the same settings as I'd used before on Ilford Multigrade VC and Kodak Polymax VC (I forgot to mention that I tested Polymax as well--six papers in all). These are the same envelopes of paper I used originally and I'd written down my settings carefully for the original test. I don't think there are any possible variables other than the new transformer.

    The results startled me--I was expecting the new prints to look the same. Prints made on both papers were much less contrasty than before. In short, my answer to your question would be that with the new transformer the soft light is more powerful than before.

    So, I'd also have to say that my results on Zone VI Brilliant VC (when I tested it said and said it was less contrasty and better suited to the light) didn't have anything to do with the paper, but the repaired light. I should also note that neither of the tubes were replaced--Calumet didn't even open the head itself.

    I don't know exactly what the exposure lengths are since the Zone VI compenating timer doesn't use a standard unit of time, and varies the units according to the intensity of the light as measured by the sensor in the head. But this variability does answer the question that first crossed my mind after doing the test yesterday: Why, if the hard light setting is the same as before, does the print have less contrast? Then it occurred to me that increased intensity of the soft tube would result in shorter units and less dominance of the hard light--hence less contrast overall. If the soft light is weak--as it was before--the unit will be longer and the hard light will provide more of the total exposure, resulting in a contrastier print.

    I glad there's apparently better balance between the two lights with this new transformer. I don't know if Calumet is necessarily aware of this. Harkening back to an earlier post, when I mentioned the imbalance between the two tubes I was told nothing could be done about it.

    I still find this light source a trial to print with, though. With the compensating timer I find that as the light gets warmer, the intervals gets shorter and the timer doesn't compensate as well as it should. Early in a printing session, when I make a print at a time and develop them, the time between prints is about the same. I usually run the light once before printing to heat it up a little and then make the exposure, with any additional exposures for "burning." When I get to a point when I have the exposures down and then I want to make multiple prints and develop them together, the lightsource warms up, the intervals get much shorter and successive prints are lighter than the first. I start to wonder if I was completely foolish to buy such a lightsource--and it gets me back to my original question about the LED version for this enlarger. I thought if I could get a light for this enlarger that was rock solid and repeatable, I could be much more productive. I guess maybe Calumet has run into problems with that too. Thanks for lending an ear. If anyone has recommendations for taming the inconsistency of this light when it heats up, I'd be interested.

    Best,

    John

    P.S. I was hoping that mention of actually testing six papers rather than five might garner me more gold stars, but three should be a sufficient measure of my "heroic" efforts. I appreciate the recognition!

  8. #18

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    Repeatable Results

    I make multible prints on the same head. Just give yourself a minute or between prints OR develop each after exposing. You will find much less of a variation.
    No lightsource is perfect. The Zone VI has it's own stigma but it is capapble of making great phtographs.
    Regards, Peter Schrager

  9. #19
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    John Gets ***6*** Gold Stars!

    Thanks John...in my mind that's a slam-dunk diagnosis of my enlarger heads extreme contrast issues. Now I have to decide whether to get it fixed locally (fast, cheap, and no shipping) or send it in to Calumet (slow, expensive, and shipping delays/costs). If it's just a matter of replacing a transformer in the control box and not having to open the head itself, how difficult could it be to get it done locally? I ask this in all seriousness because I know SQUAT about that sort of thing.

    By the way, you got two extra stars for actually doing the tests like you said you would, and a bonus star for keeping notes in the darkroom...they're a royal pain in the arse at the time to write down, but they sure come in handy later!

    Doesn't your light come with a small green light on the front of the head that indicates when it's stabilized? Mine's consistant.

    I unplugged my Tik Tok (Zone VI compensating metronome timer) and went with a standard electronic metronome meant for music. I did this because when I dialed one of the lights up or down using the Tik Tok, it changed the time between beeps like you said. This meant that by changing the intensity of one light, three things changed...the length of the exposure, the light that was changed, AND the amount of light hitting the paper from the light you didn't change because the intervals between beeps were now different!

    Thanks again John...hope I can some day help an APUG'er like you have helped me...that's how I'll repay you - by passing it on

    Murray

    (edit) The Tik Tok worked great for the cold light designed for graded paper.
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 07-27-2005 at 09:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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