Zone VI 5x7 VC Head Question
I bought a used Zone VI 5x7 VC head to fit a type II enlarger. I just got it installed on my enlarger last night. I turned the head on with the 'Focus' setting to get a constant white light view and focus a negative. After a minure or two, the light fades away and goes out. After waiting a minute, I can turn it back on to 'Focus' and then the cycle repeats itself.
Does anyone own one of these heads and can you tell me what is going on?
I bought it from the View Camera Store who sold it on eBay.
The Zone VI VC is supposed to do that. If you turn the head on with "Focus" it should go on and stay on for about three or so minutes. I've never timed mine but that is about right perhaps a little longer. The light will fade after that and go out and can be put back on just by swithcing the "focus" control to off and then right back on again.
This feature is suppose to help lenthen the tube life of the light tubes.
Did you get the Zone VI compensating timer as well? If you didn't it's well worth looking into. Calumet is the only house that carries them.
Thanks for the response, John. I feel better about the purchase now. I will look into the timer, too. I read the info on Calumet and I especially like that it has a metronome built in. Nice timer if it can really vary print times based on lamp output.
I bought the Metrolux II timer partly because it is digital. About the same price as the Zone VI from Calumet.
Three to five minutes is about the length of time that the lamp stays on in the focus mode and this is to help protect the lamp. I have two Zone VI enlargers and one of them overheated and burned out the tube when this facility did not work for some reason. I was working in the darkroom, was called away and inadvertantly left the enlarger on focus. A costly mistake.
If you are looking for a compensating timer might I suggest that you look at the compensating timer made by RH Designs in the UK. I've got both the Zone VI and the Stop Clock Pro and the RH Designs timer is far superior.
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Les, can you point my browser to a site where I can see this Stop Clock Pro timer? Also, a couple of reasons why it's better?
Originally Posted by Les McLean
The timer can be seen on www.rhdesigns.co.uk
IMO it has a number of excellent features as follows:
Two channels that allow independent timing for each grade when split grade printing
The compensating feature that is essential on a cold cathode enlarger
A dial in drydown adjustment
Fstop printing facility where you can choose from 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/6,1/12 and 1/24th stop increments
A test strip mode
A program mode so that you can set up the burning and dodging times when you decide what they are.
Les, Thanks for the info. Very interesting.
Originally Posted by Les McLean
I called Calumet about a compensating timer and was told by their tech that the Zone VI type 2 VC head has a green LED that lights up indicating the head has "stabilized." He said that as long as I always made sure the LED was lit before printing I wouldn't need a compensating timer. What is your experience with this? Thanks,
Re: Compensating Metronome and Zone VI VC light sources...I was scratching my head for quite a while as to why I couldn't quickly get used to changing contrast while making a print. Then I realized that the timer only reads the amount, not the colour of the light; if you decrease one light, the timer compensates by extending the time between beeps, which means the total amount from both lights that hits the paper changes. Frustrating to say the least!
I went to a small electronic metronome, turn on the light for about the same length of time before an exposure, and make sure the green stabilzed light is on (takes longer when soft light / intensity is dialed up), so far, so good.
I also had to add a 40Y CC filter below the light source to reign in the EXTREME contrast I was getting with my negatives developed for my old cold light. That and a print developer change gives me the same contrast as the original Zone VI Brilliant grade 2, or Ilford Galerie grade 2 with the Soft and Hard lights at equal settings using Multigrade IV.