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  1. #1
    timlayton's Avatar
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    Need Help on Selecting a Densitometer

    I am a black and white photographer and want to calibrate my film and development process. I know that I need to get a densitometer so I can properly EI rate my film but I have no clue what type of densitometer I need. I searched on ebay and was overwhelmed with the range of choices. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    If you are interested in a new unit of known quality rather than something used, you may wish to take a look at these units available directly from Versalab. I own the TRD 2/02 model and have been very pleased with it. Solid, reliable, and repeatable during my use. And the people at Versalab were wonderful to work with during the purchase.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #3
    timlayton's Avatar
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    Ken, thanks.. this looks like really good info. I appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    I bought one of these a few years ago and it is reliable and accurate. Very solidly built. Instruction manuals are easy to get if required.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/X-RITE-Model-810...item35b201ea34
    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  5. #5
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    I second Ken's suggestion. I bought a TRD2 directly from the manufacturer in Germany (Heiland Elektronic) about 10 years ago, after my AGFA densitometer gave up the ghost.

    http://www.heilandelectronic.de/html...trd_2_main.htm

    I check the calibration once in a while but never had to adjust it.
    Regards

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

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Prior to a working densitometer being gifted to me (a MacBeth TD504, that so far seems to work just fine), I would (for larger negative sizes) place the neg and a 6x6cm size step wedge on a light table. I would read the neg area on my pentax 1 degree spot meter from the camera bag, and then scan the step wedge unti I came up with the right step that matched the expsoure reading. I made a cardboard mask after I realized the meters' lens flare would throw meter readings off when I was taking readings near the edge of the neg or step wedge.

    It was feasible for 120, easy on 4x5, but hopeless on 35mm.
    my real name, imagine that.

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Look for a transmission denstometer. If you don't know much about these, then I agree with the other's suggestions about the Heiland and Versalab units.

  8. #8

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    Another vote for the Heiland TRD2 - a remarkable easy-to-use device that, like Ralph, has never been necessary to re-calibrate. I've been using mine in conjunction with a Stouffer 31-step wedge for determining the characteristic curves of expansions/contractions for my chosen film/dev combinations. The 21-step wedge would also work, but I opted to pay the extra $ to get more data points along each curve (just part of my analytical nature).

  9. #9
    mono's Avatar
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    I too can highly recommend the Heiland densitometers!
    ________

    Regards
    Folker

    MonoArt - fine photographs

  10. #10
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Look for a transmission denstometer. If you don't know much about these, then I agree with the other's suggestions about the Heiland and Versalab units.
    Just to be clear, the Heiland is a transmission and reflection densitometer.
    Regards

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

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