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  1. #1

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    Zone VI enlarger: experience and questions...

    Hi all, first post here

    I have a Zone VI enlarger (which type I dunno how to check) with the usual 5x7 classic non-VC head (and old 'blue' lamp) and the compensating timer.
    Things I noticed:

    * indeed, too much contrast on VC paper but getting the lamp replaced would be difficult. It seems Aristo can't do it (since they didn't make the head) and probably not cost effective at all if I have to buy one new. Anyone would have such an updated lamp ?

    * the exposure time is loooooong. I admit it can be *really* annoying at times. Newer lamps are any brighter?

    * the knob for controlling light brightness makes no brightness difference at all but produces a strange noise (from the head) and makes the lamp flicker somewhat when I turn the knob down. Is that normal ?

    * what would be the best option for getting other negative carriers? I have a (custom?) one cut for 5x7 neg and two anti-Newton glasses. Make my own but how ?

    * how can I get an extension for the focus knob which tends to be way to high to turn comfortably when enlarging 4x5 negs to 30x40 and beyond ?

    Thank you

  2. #2

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    Welcome thibsie,

    Enlarger Lamp: Try the large format photography forum, this fellow might be able to hep as well. If you are handy a search of the forum using the keywords "LED enlarger" might give you some ideas.

    Negative Carriers: There are a few on ebay, but a local shop with a water-jet cutting machine might be able to make you a full set (some assembly required ). Cost might vary so if the first shop is high, don't give up.

    Extension for Focus: A local industrial supply house will have flexible drive shafts or you could make one from some small diameter hydraulic hose. Telescope dealers usually have something available that would suit your needs. Often small telescopes with manual drives have knobs on the end of flexible cables.

    Welcome again and I hope others will be of greater help,

    Neal Wydra

  3. #3
    smithdoor's Avatar
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    This this site http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-sh...plings/=pi76s1
    If was mine I would just make one does take long to make if you have a machine shop
    note if you done it will cost a lot.

    Dave

  4. #4
    KennyMark's Avatar
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    As I understand it (from my experience with my own), a type I is not VC, has one focus rod connecting negative stage and lens stage compared with the type II which has two rods. Those are the most distinguishing differences at first glance. There are others such as different shaped negative carriers and the ability of the type II to accept a lens turret that aren't so easily distinguished to the uninitiated.
    I always look for the number of focusing rods, the easiest tell.

  5. #5
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thibsie View Post
    ….* indeed, too much contrast on VC paper but getting the lamp replaced would be difficult. It seems Aristo can't do it (since they didn't make the head) and probably not cost effective at all if I have to buy one new. Anyone would have such an updated lamp ? )
    I don’t think you could find a new lamp, and if you did it would be very expensive, more than the value of the enlarger. You can filter the lamp with gels to get softer prints on VC paper


    Quote Originally Posted by thibsie View Post
    ….* the exposure time is loooooong. I admit it can be *really* annoying at times. Newer lamps are any brighter?
    That’s a major problem with the Zone 6 enlarger. I had one, and sold it because of the long exposure times.
    I don’t think you could find a new lamp, and if you did it would be very expensive, more than the value of the enlarger. You can filter the lamp with gels to get softer prints on VC paper


    Quote Originally Posted by thibsie View Post
    ….* the knob for controlling light brightness makes no brightness difference at all but produces a strange noise (from the head) and makes the lamp flicker somewhat when I turn the knob down. Is that normal ?
    No, that is not normal, and would probably cost more to repair than the enlarger is worth.


    Quote Originally Posted by thibsie View Post
    ….* what would be the best option for getting other negative carriers? I have a (custom?) one cut for 5x7 neg and two anti-Newton glasses. Make my own but how ?
    Negative carriers are different for the Type 1 and Type 2 heads, and both types are rare (and hard to use). You can use your 5x7 carrier and make a black paper mask for smaller negatives.


    Quote Originally Posted by thibsie View Post
    ….* how can I get an extension for the focus knob which tends to be way to high to turn comfortably when enlarging 4x5 negs to 30x40 and beyond ?
    You could design a wooden “beam” with a hole that grips the Zone 6 knob.

    I used a Zone 6 Type 2 for years, and I found it clumsy and rough to use. Rather than trying to modify your Zone 6, I would look around for a nice used enlarger with all the parts you need. In Belgium, you should be able to find a wonderful Durst L1200 for sale
    —Eric

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield View Post
    You can filter the lamp with gels to get softer prints on VC paper
    In theory this should not be true. If the enlarger only puts out blue light, then filtration can only cut the blue light and makes times longer. It cannot create green light.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  7. #7
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    In theory this should not be true. If the enlarger only puts out blue light, then filtration can only cut the blue light and makes times longer. It cannot create green light.
    Yes, if the light energy was entirely in the blue spectrum. Most lamps designed for enlargers have a spectral output that covers both blue and green, even though the light may have a blue tint.

    So filtering the lamp with gels will allow for a softer print on VC paper, although it will make exposure times longer.
    —Eric

  8. #8

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    I wonder if anybody knows if the blue light in a non VC Zone vi is the same blue light in the VC version?
    that would explain the long printing times and the high contrast of the OP
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  9. #9
    ROL
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    The Type II has two posts on the head compared to one for the Type I. I believe the green tube was simply added to the existing blue in order to make it a VC printer. As I use graded paper almost exclusively, I only use the green to assist focusing. It can be a difficult and cumbersome enlarger to use. The focus extension arm will dangle into the projection, hit you in the head (which you may eventually feel you deserve for buying it in the first place) unless bungeed back to the column or a wall, etc. I returned mine and use a step ladder at great enlargements. The extension will only get you so far anyway before greater projections put it out of reach as well. You can use glass with masks for alternative carriers. There used to be a ZVI user group here on APUG, which got almost no action. This sterling fellow has graciously provided user Technical Manuals for this machine and other darkroom equipment:

    http://www.rangeoflightphotography.c...n%20Manual.pdf
    http://www.rangeoflightphotography.c...ght%20Head.pdf

    There is a fellow over at LFPF making LED lamp houses for 4x5 that I believe may fit the ZVI. That may be a better bet if you don't plan on printing larger negatives.

  10. #10
    Keith Pitman's Avatar
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    I made a glass carrier for my Type II. The same concept should work for a Type I as well as other manufacturers' enlargers as well. Here's a link (Post 38):

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...492#post967492

    It might help if you posted pictures of your Zone VI head and the brightness controller.

    Although I have no idea how to do it, I think converting your head to an LED source is a great idea. I think there are discussions of this project in this forum and elsewhere on the internet. Also, this company is making LED enlarger heads:

    http://www.modernenlargerlamps.com/M...s/Welcome.html

    Good luck.
    Keith Pitman
    Photographer
    www.keithpitman.com

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