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  1. #1
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    The Perfect VC Light Source

    If you could design the perfect variable contrast light source, what features would it have?

    I'd want;

    - No warm up time.
    - Dials for control (not buttons to push for LED displays).
    - Consistant light output from the first second, to several minutes.
    - On/Off switches for Soft and Hard lights.
    - Soft & Hard lights would be predictably and independantly dimmable throughout entire range.
    - Both lights together would be dimmable, for drydown.
    - Would calculate exposure changes for different print sizes, and...
    - Would also indicate % change in time, to apply to dodges and burns.
    - Optional integrated timer with metronome.
    - Have a probe to measure light intensity at paper plane, and...
    - Focus (white light) would be consistant for probe, and for making masks.
    - Focus would be dimmable, for making masks.
    - Foot switches for focus and exposure.
    - Wouldn't suffer from fall off.
    - Would compensate for power line fluctuations.
    - Would be completely even from edge to edge and corner to corner.
    - Programmable max-black times at several points throughout contrast range for ones own combination of film(s), developer(s), paper(s), developer(s), and or toners...for making work prints.

    Anyways...those are the basics I'd be looking for from the top of my head...what's your idea of the perfect VC light source?

    Murray
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 12-08-2006 at 11:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  2. #2
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    And the good news izzz...

    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    If you could design the perfect variable contrast light source, what features would it have?

    I'd want;

    - No warm up time.
    - Dials for control (not buttons to push for LED displays).
    - Consistant light output from the first second, to several minutes.
    - On/Off switches for Soft and Hard lights.
    - Soft & Hard lights would be predictably and independantly dimmable throughout entire range.
    - Both lights together would be dimmable, for drydown.
    - Would calculate exposure changes for different print sizes, and...
    - Would also indicate % change in time, to apply to dodges and burns.
    - Optional integrated timer with metronome.
    - Have a probe to measure light intensity at paper plane, and...
    - Focus (white light) would be consistant for probe, and for making masks.
    - Focus would be dimmable, for making masks.
    - Foot switches for focus and exposure.
    - Wouldn't suffer from fall off.
    - Would compensate for power line fluctuations.
    - Would be completely even from edge to edge and corner to corner.
    - Programmable max-black times at several points throughout contrast range for ones own combination of film(s), developer(s), paper(s), developer(s), and or toners...for making work prints.

    Anyways...those are the basics I'd be looking for from the top of my head...what's your idea of the perfect VC light source?

    Murray
    A VC lightsource of your specificaion exists... A LED coldlight with analyser and splitgrade;
    Presented new at the photokina by Heiland Electronics, it has ALL the features you want.
    It's so new, I can only give a link in German. RHDesigns distributes Heilland products in the UK.

    http://www.schwarzweiss-magazin.de/s...me_aktuell.htm

    Marc
    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  3. #3

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    It's a perfect solution but rather expensive.

    First units are tested and their results are indeed very good. We will sell them in Holland by the end of this month.

    best regards,

    Robert

  4. #4
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    You forgot to mention that Heiland's new invention only works with his split-grade controller and not with the one from RHDesigns. You'll prpbably spent several thousand $ by the time the system works.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    A desirable but not very basic list. If you can live without one or two features, you can get it all with a normal color head and an f/stop timer from RHDesigns.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #6
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Sounds like a Saunders 45 VC light source with an RH Designs timer with Zone Master
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #7

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    Something with many (but not quite all) of those features is the Philips PCS150, which is the color light source and controller for the Philips PCS130 enlarger. (The PCS2000 enlarger has a similar unit.) I've heard of people adapting this unit to work with other enlargers. It was a very innovative unit in the 1980s, but it never caught on in the marketplace. It uses three 35W halogen bulbs, each with its own filter (red, green, and blue) to implement an additive color scheme. Each channel is independently dimmable. I've toyed with the idea of building a replacement control unit that would include a few more of the features you mention, but I lack the motivation and skill to carry it off. Certainly modern electronics would make it relatively easy to integrate features like the ability to compute exposure changes for changes in head height.

    As a side note, Pat Gainer wrote a piece for Photo Techniques magazine a while back entitled (IIRC) "Hazards of the Grain Focuser," in which he investigated various methods of using a grain focuser. Among other things, his conclusion was that you'll get the best focusing accuracy using either green light or white light. For this reason, I routinely focus using green light only. (Because the PCS150 is an additive light source with independent red, green, and blue lights, its "white" light isn't really pure white, so I trust using green alone more than using all three together.)

  8. #8
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Thanks guy's

    Any other combinations of light sources and timers out there that would be close to my wish list? I'll be buying in the new year, so my quest is getting into high gear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Leest View Post
    A VC lightsource of your specificaion exists... A LED coldlight with analyser and splitgrade;
    Presented new at the photokina by Heiland Electronics, it has ALL the features you want.
    It's so new, I can only give a link in German. RHDesigns distributes Heilland products in the UK.

    http://www.schwarzweiss-magazin.de/s...me_aktuell.htm
    I was in touch with them about a month ago, and was given a price estimate of 1,693.00 Euro's ($2,572.00 Canadian) for the complete system, or 984.00 Euro's ($1,495.00 Canadian) for just the light source and an adaptor for my Beseler 45MXT. This makes it more than compatible with Zone VI's LED VC light source at $1,399.00US ($1,608.00 Canadian) which doesn't come with an adaptor.

    I trusted Zone VI in the Picker days, but have lost faith since Calumet took over, so I'd lean towards the Heiland source...if I go LED........

    Murray
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 12-09-2006 at 08:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  9. #9
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    Something with many (but not quite all) of those features is the Philips PCS150, which is the color light source and controller for the Philips PCS130 enlarger.
    I have one of these, along with the conversion kit they sold to mount it on my Omega D5. I found the acrylic light piping they used for efficiency a bit uneven on color mixing and ended up making my own box to hold the light source above the condenser housing. It was slow for Cibachromes from Kodachrome, but good for printing on Ektacolor papers. I haven't tried it since the R4A papers came out, but am thinking about trying some room temp tray processing with it. I did try printing a negative in three sections, one section each under R, G, and B light (you can switch each channel on the PCS150 off/on separately), and got clean C, M, and Y images. It would probably work well for split filter VC printing using only the B and G lights.

    If I run across a good complete MF Philips enlarger with this light source, I'll probably buy it.

    Lee

  10. #10
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    I see from the German magazine link above, that the price for the 4x5 Heiland light and timer combination now stands at 1,998.00 Euro's ($2,998.00 Canadian)...yikes!

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

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