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Thread: F-Stop Timers

  1. #1
    jstraw's Avatar
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    F-Stop Timers

    Some background. I use a Beseler MXT with a Zone VI (Aristo) Cold Light Head. I plan to upgrade soon to the V54 lamp. I have a Zone VI Stabilizer and A Zone VI drydown timer that has knobs that allow me to set it anywhere within a range of .1 seconds to 10.9 seconds.

    I've begun to practice rudimentary f-stop and split-grade printing. I would like to use a setup that is more amenable to f-stop and split-grade than I currently have.

    I understand that the v54 lamp will shorten my exposure times as the old lamp with a Y40 filter works for VC printing but with very long exposures.

    First question:

    Am I correct in assuming that in addition to swithcing lamps, moving over to an f-stop timer means swapping it for the Zone VI timer but that I will still employ the Zone VI stabilizer?

    I'm looking at both the offerings from RH Designs and from Darkroom Automation.

    Second question:

    Are there other manufacturors that I should be aware of?

    RH Designs' Stopclock Vario is designed for cold light heads and has "a compensating feature which measures the light output from the enlarger lamp and adjusts the exposure to compensate for any changes."

    Third question:

    Does this mean that it replaces the stabilizer as well as the timer?

    RH Designs' ZoneMaster II meter can be used with the Vario as a separate tool but not connected to it, as it can with their StopClock Professional. Their Analyser Pro encorporates both the timer and the meter.

    Fourth Question:

    Is the Analyser Pro compatible with my cold light head?

    The Darkroom Automation F-Stop Timer (with or without their separate meter) is a much simpler device and is much less expensive.

    Fifth Question:

    Can someone with some persoective on working with these devices tell me how significant a sacrifice one makes if opting for the much smaller feature-set of the Darkroom Automation products?

    Thanks in advance for any answers to these questions. I'm hopeful that this thread will be useful to other people that have similar questions about selecting an f-stop timer.

  2. #2
    lee
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    I have the Stopclock Pro. I use it with a Durst 138s w/condensers. It is a very fine product. Dr. Richard Ross is the one (albeit biased) to ask these questions. Are you going to upgrade the cold light head to the Aristo 4500? If not, how do you intend to split filter print without filters? Also, if you use the Vario, it is my understanding that the probe will act as a stabilizer for the light source. My Stopclock has a dry down compensation built in to it so that unit can go. It has two channels so split filter printing is very easy. I did not want to have "program" my timer so that is why I did not choose the Analyzer Pro. I just make test strips with the soft light filter on channel 1 and then when I need to I switch to channel 2 for the hard light filter. I split filter every print I make.

    I don't think Darkroom Automation timers offer anything but the f/stop timing. If it were me, I would buy the RH Designs timer again.

    lee\c

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    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee View Post
    I have the Stopclock Pro. I use it with a Durst 138s w/condensers. It is a very fine product. Dr. Richard Ross is the one (albeit biased) to ask these questions. Are you going to upgrade the cold light head to the Aristo 4500? If not, how do you intend to split filter print without filters? Also, if you use the Vario, it is my understanding that the probe will act as a stabilizer for the light source. My Stopclock has a dry down compensation built in to it so that unit can go. It has two channels so split filter printing is very easy. I did not want to have "program" my timer so that is why I did not choose the Analyzer Pro. I just make test strips with the soft light filter on channel 1 and then when I need to I switch to channel 2 for the hard light filter. I split filter every print I make.

    I don't think Darkroom Automation timers offer anything but the f/stop timing. If it were me, I would buy the RH Designs timer again.

    lee\c
    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I will use filters for split-grade. The Y40 filter I use now is to color-correct the existing Aristo lamp for VC papers. If I get the appropriate lamp, I won't need to color-correct it. In either case I'd be using 0 and 5 filters for split-grade.

    So it looks like if I go with either the Vario (with or without the ZoneMaster II meter) or the Analyser Pro, I will be able to get rid of both my timer and my stabilizer, yes?

    I will read the Analyser Pro manual and learn about the programming to which you refer and see how daunting it would be.

    The Analyser Pro is a lot less expensive than a Vario plus a ZoneMaster II. I'm not clear on whether or not the Pro will take the ZoneVI probe the way the Vario does.

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    lee
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    jstraw,

    I figured you would need the filters. I think you might be better off if you find a place that sells Rosco filters and find a green and a blue that replicate the Green 58 Wratten filter and the Blue 47b Wratten filter. Use the green filter for soft tonality and the blue for the hard or shadow tonalities. These filters are the color of the two tubes that Aristo and Zone VI use in there VC heads.
    I maybe totally wrong but I under the impression that the Vario is the only timer that supports the Zone VI style probe. I am also unclear why anyone but maybe the beginning rookie might need an Analyzer Pro instead of the full feature timer like the Stopclock Pro. Maybe just my bias. Also, order the foot switch.

    I know you are in KS from your info under your name. I am in FT Worth and I would be glad to give a demo of the Stopclock at my darkroom if you want to drive down before you pony up the money. Just PM me and let me know and we can work out a time.

    lee\c

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    I will toss in my recommendation for the RH Designs products. (I haven't seen or used the other brand, but know that they have been around for a long while and began by marketing a well regarded entry level DIY kit!) As does Lee, I have the Stop Clock Pro. It is superbly engineered to allow me to focus on getting the image that I visualize. As your preliminary ventures into f-stop timing probably revealed it is a very intuitive exposure system. You base your exposure very much like one would do with film.

    I will also concur with Lee's guidance to contact Richard at RH Designs. You are looking at a unit that offers different control functions than what I am using. But it would appear to me that you would continue to use the voltage stabilizer.

    I will share that I am having difficulty getting my SCP to interface with the 1000w color head on my Durst 184. This is not a fault of the SCP, it is not designed to power 1000 watts. Richard is helping me sort out the wiring of an intermediate relay to buffer the SCP from the heavy load. I can tell you first hand that I am very unhappy using a regular timer and approximating the time display on the SCP. I do not believe that you will be fully able to benefit from the f-stop timing system trying to use charts, calculations, etc. I did not fully appreciate the wonderfully designed user interface of the SCP until I couldn't use it!

    Cheers,
    Geary
    But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. – John Prine

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    Quote Originally Posted by galyons View Post
    I will share that I am having difficulty getting my SCP to interface with the 1000w color head on my Durst 184. This is not a fault of the SCP, it is not designed to power 1000 watts. Richard is helping me sort out the wiring of an intermediate relay to buffer the SCP from the heavy load......
    Is your 1000w color head the Durst CLS1840? I ask because I have used the 1000w Durst CLS1840 color head which is powered by the EST1000N power supply. It was my understanding the EST1000N power supply had a built-in relay to protect the timer, and in practice, I used a small mechanical timer with no problems. I’m interested because now I use the SCP, and was considering hooking up the SCP to the CLS1840. I would certainly be interested in your solutions.
    —Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by lee View Post
    jstraw,

    I figured you would need the filters. I think you might be better off if you find a place that sells Rosco filters and find a green and a blue that replicate the Green 58 Wratten filter and the Blue 47b Wratten filter. Use the green filter for soft tonality and the blue for the hard or shadow tonalities. These filters are the color of the two tubes that Aristo and Zone VI use in there VC heads.
    I maybe totally wrong but I under the impression that the Vario is the only timer that supports the Zone VI style probe. I am also unclear why anyone but maybe the beginning rookie might need an Analyzer Pro instead of the full feature timer like the Stopclock Pro. Maybe just my bias. Also, order the foot switch.

    I know you are in KS from your info under your name. I am in FT Worth and I would be glad to give a demo of the Stopclock at my darkroom if you want to drive down before you pony up the money. Just PM me and let me know and we can work out a time.

    lee\c


    I appreciate the advice regarding filtration. So, you favor those rosco filters over grade 0 and 5 PC or MG filters? At what stage do you apply filtration, below the lens?

    Also, I must be confused. I thought the Analyser Pro was everything the StopClock Pro is and more, not less....that it is more fully-featured. Am I getting that wrong?

    Thanks for the offer to demonstrate the timer. I'll definately consider it!

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    Eric, the head is a Pavelle 403. The power supply is EPOI for US distribution. There is no relay in the transformer unit. I really want to get this sorted and will keep you posted.

    Cheers,
    Geary

    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield View Post
    Is your 1000w color head the Durst CLS1840? I ask because I have used the 1000w Durst CLS1840 color head which is powered by the EST1000N power supply. It was my understanding the EST1000N power supply had a built-in relay to protect the timer, and in practice, I used a small mechanical timer with no problems. I’m interested because now I use the SCP, and was considering hooking up the SCP to the CLS1840. I would certainly be interested in your solutions.
    But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. – John Prine

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    Also, I must be confused. I thought the Analyser Pro was everything the StopClock Pro is and more, not less....that it is more fully-featured. Am I getting that wrong?

    Thanks for the offer to demonstrate the timer. I'll definately consider it!
    No, your original premise is correct. The Analyzer Pro is an upgade, basically combining the Stop Clock with the ZoneMaster meter/analyzer.

    Cheers,
    Geary
    But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. – John Prine

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    Quote Originally Posted by galyons View Post
    Eric, the head is a Pavelle 403. The power supply is EPOI for US distribution. There is no relay in the transformer unit. I really want to get this sorted and will keep you posted.

    Cheers,
    Geary
    I don't want to hijack the thread, but my issue with the SCP switching the Pavelle 10x10 head is resolved. Bad relay, shorting out of the box. Replaced the relay. The SCP and I are happy!!

    Cheers,
    Geary
    But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. – John Prine

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