I've recently downloaded an image to the "Techinical Gallery", taken with "Reflected Averaging" metering.
The use of "Daylight Balanced" film required extensive correction in printing. I have *no* idea of the color temperature of the light illuminatimg the interior of the entrance ... certainly it was nowhere near 5500 - 6000K.
The image was analyzed in the enlarger, using the ColorStar 3000. A great deal of cyan filtration was necessary. The first print was "close" in color balance, but it was obvious that pre-flashing would be useful in controlling excessive contrast - 10% proved to be adequte.
The fourth print (from memory) was "good". I hate to think of the struggle here if I did not use the ColorStar.
I'll confess to one "manipulation" with the Epson V500 Scanner; One (1) degree of counter-clockwise rotation, as a mal de mer prventative for the more sensitive viewing this image (no tripod used - only bracing the camera against the vehicle).
I use the FEM Kunze MC 5000, and am quite happy with it. You get a testnegative which you use to calibrate to neutral gray (the MC 5000 also does the positive analysis for you i.e. telling you when you have neutral gray ;-) Takes usually 2-3 prints until you get it right.
Derived from this calibration you also get calibrations for skin-tone and integral measurement.
If I enlarge a print, I use a diffusor disk in front of the enlarger lens to measure = integral measuring. (it takes a couple of tries to get a feel for the "right" spots where to measure.)
The first print is usually within 5cc of what I like.
Mr Kunze is very helpful and will walk you through calibration on the phone if necessary. (He was a development engineer for Wallner many years ago and if you read a little into coloranalysis theorie his name pops up on various papers) He by the way recommends Fuji paper as more suitable for analog enlarging. The analyzer comes with test-negs for color and b&w, the diffusor disk and a reference graystrip.
Also consider that this is one of the few still made and serviced analyzers. I got mine second hand from a friend, send it to FEM Kunze for service and EPROM update, where it turned out that this analyzer had done over 350000 exposures, a couple of elkos in the powerbrick and 2 switches where preemptively replaced and that was it.
I spend quite some time and money on wallner, colourstar ..... I heard good things about the colourstar, but it is not made anymore and support was hard to get for me, so I got rid of it again. YMMV
Before I did my filtering by eye and with the kodak-view filters, which are a good help, but for me it is a big timesaver to be close on the first try.
I am absolutely pleased with the analyzer and the service. Color analysis is not trivial, and requires some calibration work on your part, and not to forget you still have to learn how to use the analyzer correctly.
Being the originator of this thread the posts that have been put on here are pretty much what I was expecting. Many years ago I spent many hours in the darkroom 'chasing' that perfect colour print...It never happened due to the very inconsistant temperature control I was using and other variable factors.
Now I'm about to give it another go using much greater control by using either my Jobo Autolab ATL-2+ or a Durst Printo to take care of the processing and hoefully will get at least consistant results if not perfect results to start with.
I think gatting a good print is similar to playing darts...You have to be able to hit the bullseye every time and the only way to do that is with a lot of practice and making minor adjustments. I'll start (soon) using cc viewing filters at first and then see how an analyser might help in the future.
Due to the fact that I will only be printing a few prints periodicaly and hope to use constant stocks of film, paper etc I hope an analyser is not neccesary (or needed) The one common theme about analysers is that they have to be 'calibrated' with a perfect print in the first place, so once you have arrived at that point I would think an analyser will be of more use for higher production runs.
I do appreciate all comments and will let you know how I get on when the darkrooms waste bin starts filling!