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  1. #1

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    Aristo VCL4500 & RH Designs Timer.....?

    Someday..... someday, I would love to add an Aristo VCL4500 & RH Designs Timer to my darkroom. I've read many threads re: the RH Designs timers but, I have yet to figure out which timer model would work w/ the Aristo.

    Can someone answer this question...? Please keep in mind, I'm of a left-handed artistic (autistic ?) mindset. I'm nowhere near being a tech head and some of the posts that I've read re: RH Deigns timers have confused the heck out of me. I like the idea of wating less paper but, don't want to be so confused/frustrated by the technology that I don't utilize it.

    Again, this is a wish list only for the time being but, I am putting thought into it.

    Thanks,
    Susan

  2. #2
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    I understand that the RH Designs Vario timer is what you want. It has a light probe that measures the output of the cold light and adjusts the time based on light output.

    I use that timer with a dichro head. I bought the Vario model because I thought that I might get a cold light someday.
    Jerold Harter MD

  3. #3
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    SusanK

    Beware that even so, you will need to split print as the Vario cannot control both tubes, blue and green, at the same time. Under ideal conditions you will have good exposures, but the blue and green do drift independently. Also, note that the VCL4500 is not a very bright lamp and exposure times may be a couple of stops longer than what you are using now.

    Consider a V54 tube and filters. With these and a Vario or other closed loop controller, you will get perfect exposures either split or not, lots of light, and less expensive.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  4. #4
    lee
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    I have a VCL 4500 and I consider it bright enough. I also use the Metrolux II with that light source. I have a Stopclock Pro that I used with my condenser head enlarger. (Durst 138s) The Metrolux has a probe to help make it a closed loop system. Loose Gravel has one way to do it and I have another. Good luck on finding the solution that is best for you. BTW, although the Metrolux II can allow you to control both lights in one exposure, I prefer to split print everything I print.

    lee\c
    Last edited by lee; 12-06-2006 at 12:39 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding info

  5. #5

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    A little more info: Presently, I have an Oriental Seagull (I think?) cold light head on my Besseler MXT. It's black with illuminated green buttons, if that helps to recognize it. I don't think it's made anymore. All of the controls (time, filter, focusing light, programing... which I don't understand) are located on the head itself so, I have no external timer. It exposes using green/blue lamps therefore, I am accustomed to the low light level. Unfortunately, on occasion, the lamp "flickers" a bit and my exposures lack consistency.

    This setup (as well as some other equipment) was bequeathed to me upon the passing of a friend a few years ago. I feel very fortunate that he thought highly enough of my passion for photography to consider putting me in his will.

    A couple of days ago, I posted my most recent image in my apug gallery. This is the first print in 15+ years that has internal luminence to it.... and I have no idea how I did it. Grrrr. I only know that I want MORE prints like that one. I was so inspired by the image that I've recommited to learning all I can about film exposure/development. Eventually, I want the cold light head & timer to go w/ that knowledge so that I no longer consider my trash can to be the most important piece of equipment that I own.

    I want my prints to be "better"..... just like everyone else does.

    susan

  6. #6
    RJS
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    RHDesigns and Aristo

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Gravel View Post
    SusanK

    Beware that even so, you will need to split print as the Vario cannot control both tubes, blue and green, at the same time. Under ideal conditions you will have good exposures, but the blue and green do drift independently. Also, note that the VCL4500 is not a very bright lamp and exposure times may be a couple of stops longer than what you are using now.

    Consider a V54 tube and filters. With these and a Vario or other closed loop controller, you will get perfect exposures either split or not, lots of light, and less expensive.
    I've been using the RH Designs Pro with an Aristo V54 for some time. Printing 11X14 from a 4X5 neg my exposure is about 4 seconds ar f11. While I am sure there is some variation in tube brightness from one exposure to the next I could not detect any in a series of six test prints. Perhaps with a #5 filter a difference would show, but then I don't often do that.

  7. #7
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Gravel View Post
    .....Consider a V54 tube and filters. With these and a Vario or other closed loop controller, you will get perfect exposures either split or not, lots of light, and less expensive.
    I'll have to agree strongly with Loose Gravel on this. I've used 2-tube cold light heads and dichro color heads, and while they all work fine, my favorite system is the one I'm using now--a V54 Aristo head (the T-12) with below the lens filters, and an RH Designs Stop-Clock Vario model. And I use the split-filter method. This system gives me the best results and the most control of any system I've ever used.
    —Eric

  8. #8
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    In regard to the Oriental cold light head, I remember a good review of it and description of how it worked in one of the old Photo Techniques supplements about black and white printing or variable contrast printing. I ordered them all from the magazine and they are worth having. It was a very expensive and interesting light source but I have never seen or used one.

    I would never like using filters below the lens. I am sure it can work fine, but why go to all of the effort and expense of generating a large format negative only to enlarge it through a $2 piece of plastic? I've never used a cold light, but I would prefer a filter drawer above the negative.
    Jerold Harter MD

  9. #9
    DKT
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    here's a link to the manufacturer for the oriental head--it was ZBE. I found a manual for it as well, if that helps...

    http://www.zbe.com/support/vc-cls/ma...l#INSTALLATION

  10. #10
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    .....I would never like using filters below the lens. I am sure it can work fine, but why go to all of the effort and expense of generating a large format negative only to enlarge it through a $2 piece of plastic? I've never used a cold light, but I would prefer a filter drawer above the negative.
    In general I agree with your thinking, Jerold. In my case, I found it very difficult to make a filter drawer for the Aristo T-12 that would not disturb the negative during filter changes, and keep the cold light diffuser very close to the negative. My solution was to use a high quality glass filter below the lens. I fit Tiffen 47B and 58 glass filters in a turret filter holder that rotates smoothly below the lens. I can quickly and very smoothly switch from blue to green. As I mentioned, this works great for me, and in testing (up to 4x) I have never seen any degradation.
    —Eric

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