Sorry to hear that, my experience with Calumet has always been great.
New Timers for Zone VI Cold Light Heads
I am new to this list - and to the whole internet forum concept - so I would appreciate your feedback. I just finished my house, built a darkroom, and when I wanted to test my enlarger I found out that my Zone VI Compensating enlarging timer was damaged (probably during the move). It is hooked up to a Cold Light head for my Beseler 23. I hope it can be fixed.
I contacted Calumet, where I was told these timers are no longer made. Apparently they can be replaced by Enlarging Timers made by Metrolux (also unavailable at this time) and appear to have the same features (seconds, tenth of a second and decasecond time selectors; drydown, audible timer).
Has anyone had the experience of using these timers ? Do they interphase with the Zone VI Cold Light heads ? Do they require a separate footswitch ?
I have all my images filed with a printing recipe, based on that light/timer combination, so you can imagine my concern.
MetroLux is available directly from Metered Light:
It should be a completely compatible and more with your ZIV coldlight. The footswitch I don't know. Your 'times' will still be good. These are very good times, very reliable, and repairable should the need arise. I have 3 and have never had any problems.
I have the Metrolux II and it is a very nice timer. It is a lux timer and has a sensor that is placed in the cold light head. It counts in real seconds also. There are 2 different channels and both channels have 3 memory slots there is dry down and a foot switch. Also, is a small shutter checker built in to the timer. There is a tool for making it a small densitometer also. It will figure the new exposure time if you have a time and then you move to a new enlargement. I highly recommend these timers.
Cold light heads light is more directional, straight down. This minimizes grain, scratches, imperfections in the negatives. Personally, I use one exclusively with graded papers. Condensers tend to scatter the light in every direction which accentuates grain. You can use a polarizing glass along with a diffusion filter over the condenser which will help correct this.
But since you have a dichro head, you already can do more then a cold light head, with graded and variable contrast papers. The trick is to tailor your negatives to your light source with film speed tests and film development tests. Something you would have to do with any enlarger light source.
My advice, don't waste your money. Spend it on materials or a shooting expedition.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Back to the question asked at the beginning of the thread...
I have gone through an evolution of starting with a Condenser head on a Beseler 23C, An un-stabilized 23C cold light, A stabilized 23C cold light, Stepped up to a Beseler 45MX with Coldlight, A zone VI 5x7 Variable Contrast cold light and finally, an Saunders LPL. This has been my experience.
I found that the condenser head highlighted every little scratch on roll film and required ample use of edwal no-scratch - a pain. A the time, I was attempting Zone work with 35mm and was rewinding and redeploying film in cheap snap caps multiple times. Ansel's books influenced my decision to go with cold light.
The regular Cold light is fantastic on graded paper. Scratches and dust disappeared magically. Using it in an unstabilized mode was extremely frustrating and not recommended. Once stabilized, I loved it. I tried using it with VC papers and found that the (40Y?) [it has been a while] filtratation was still not giving me the response I wanted and was requiring longer exposure times.
The Early Zone VI enlarger was a piece of junk. Picker rushed it to market with an unstable negative carrier and other problems. The light source was, however, very effective in drawing out the full responsiveness of VC paper. Its only problem (this light source - I can't speak to others) was excruciatingly long exposure times with 4X5 negs.
The LPL is a diffusion head and gives the same light quality as the cold light. I love the speed and the ease of use and no longer feel the need to be looking for something better - much to the relief of my wife. The drawbacks - Unlight the cold light, the halogen light source produces heat and necessitates the use of glass carriers to avoid negative pop. It, like most enlargers, has an abundance of light leaks and after properly sealing these, your unit will end up looking a bit ragged with black gaffers tape.
I recommend the dicrohic head (either the B&W VCCE or the color head) to anyone who is looking. It is an excellent light source and has satisfied my needs nicely. I feel confident that I am not being held back by my equipment.
Originally Posted by RAP
I have found that the exact opposite is true. The reason that cold light/diffusion heads indicate less scratches and dust is because the diffusion light source is not collimated. The purpose of the condensors in a condensor light head is to collimate the light beams; to direct and to focus them at the nodal point of the lens. This causes the collimated light beams to transverse the negative in a more perpendicular manner. In fact it is this difference that causes the minimization of dust and scratches with a diffusion light source. This collimation does not happen with a cold light/diffusion source.
Think of it this way, how does one achieve maximum sharpness and local contrast when the effects of dust is minimized with a diffusion source? The same thing that achieves the minimization of dust and scratches is also affecting the pictorial details (ie adjaceny of differeing density regions) on the negative.
By the way, I have both the Saunders 4550 VCCE XLG and a Durst 138S I very, very seldom use the Saunders enlarger today. The condensor enlarger is simply head and shoulders better then a diffusion source.
I (think) I've just abandoned my enlargers cold head in favour of condensers. This is for 5x4 so the condenser head is pretty big so the neg stage is'nt gwtting warm. I've been using cold light for about 6 years making all sizes of prints up to 40x30" and I thought I liked it till the condensers came along! No more warming up the light, long exposures, dull highlights and complex electrics. Hello crispness, a cheap bulb, better highlight detail and so much spotting out!
I concur with Donald. You don't directional light from a diffused source. The cold light passes through opaque plexiglass which scatters the light pretty much the same way a cloud does to the sun. This is why prints from a cold light head are usually 'creamier' and 'softer' than ones from a condenser. Unless soft prints are your thing, my OPINION is that condensers are better. Besides, you can scatter the condenser light if you choose...i'm not so sure you can turn light from a diffusion source into directional light w/o serious modification.
I use condenser, cold light and a color head. My negatives go back 35 years and for the first 20 years were printed with condensers so they were developed for condensers. For the past 20 years my large formate has been developed for cold light diffusion printed on grade 3 paper while my 35mm and MF is still developed for and printed with a condenser head. I think Ansal Adams printed his 35mm with a point source head. Having the option for either diffusion or condenser printing makes sense for me.