De Vere 504 + Colour 500S - help, please!
If you have read my intro post, you'll know that I've made a leap into colour work. To go with this, I've treated myself to a new-secondhand enlarger... a De Vere 504, with Dichromat MkIV head. I understand how to use the enlarger per se.
My need for help relates to a "De Vere Colour 500s MkIII" analyser that came with the enlarger. This unit appears to be an integrated exposure timer and colour analyser.
I have figured out how to use this for basic exposures in B&W work - but I ain't got a clue how to use this for colour... Also, I suspect that at the very least it needs calibrating; but I don't even know where to begin using it for colour, let alone calibrate the bleedin' thing. See (rather crappy) image attached for a view of the unit.
When I dial in various amounts of each colour on the head, the light 'bars' increase or decrease in length...
For example, on the attached image, is the analyser telling me that the print will be too green?
Also, what's the bit on the right of the image for (where the display reads "F")? The knob below changes the display from F through the numbers 1-5, but I can't see any difference in the other parameters of the unit when I do this.
And... (still he goes on!) any idea what the cream/white bit at the top does, with the numbered buttons 1-5? The unit will not work unless this is plugged in, and changing the number on here also changes the colour balance - is this some form of rudementary memory card?
I've tried the usual places for information, without much luck. Odyssey have said that the colour 500s is now obsolete, and it could be difficult for them to find and provide a proper instruction manual for it.
I could experiment by fiddling with settings and then making prints (although it could potentially use lots and lots of paper!) but since this will be my first experience of working with colour, and I don't have access to another enlarger, I have nothing that I can print to use as a comparison... how can I perform useful experiments if I don't even know whether the machine is calibrated.
Could anyone out there offer any useful suggestions on how to prepare and use this unit for colour work?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. If someone has a manual for this unit that they wouldn't mind scanning and e-mailing to me, that would be fantastic, otherwise, any advice from anyone who has used this (or similar) unit would be eagerly absorbed!
Why not order a manual from Odyssey Sales?
Thanks Peter, have already approached Odyssey and the person I spoke to was skeptical of whether they could supply a manual. However, John has called me back this morning and has said it shouldn't be a problem! So... a manual is on order!
Will post back any important findings in case anyone ever needs them (even though this entire setup is almost as old as me, it's certainly a rugged unit that is going to be around for a while!)
Jim, when I got my 504 Mk4, I just removed the analyser unit from the Enlarger Chassis
I steeled myself, took two brave pills and attacked it with a pair of Wire Cutters and an Allen Key
I was really concerned about doing it before the dirty dead but have never looked back
I bought myself an RH Designs StopClock Pro Enlarger Timer together with the Control Lead which RH Designs make to go with the DeVere and two years on think it was money very well spent.
I only do B&W so the loss of the colour analyser wasn't a big deal to me
I have used Odyssey for a number of bits for my Mk4 and have always found them to be both friendly and helpful
Martin - thanks! Yes, Odyssey are very helpful, had a great chat with John today. As for changing the colour unit... if the relationship between Jim and C41 & RA4 is harmonious, then I'll certainly look at getting another unit for colour work; but can't justify the expense just yet (I'm supposed to be saving for a new house!!!) :o
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I did the same thing as Martin, including the stopclock. When I got my enlarger, I talked to the people in Toronto, KHB Photographics, I think. They told me not to bother with the analyzer, as they were very unreliable. That said, if you can get a manual, by all means give it a go. 99% of my darkroom stuff is BW.