I have been lurking on this thread for a while now, mostly awaiting Sandy's technical evaluation results to come out.
I started working with Rob Lesko form Amergraph almost a year ago. I contacted Amergraph after I looked over their product line and realized the potential of their mainline plate burner. I know nothing of the graphic arts industry, but the potential was obvious. As a ULF and 8x10 shooter, I could see that Amergraph had the potential to produce the ultimate contact printer for UV sources - and if they could extend the capabilities to allow printing on graded and VC enlarger speed papers, well that would be the ultimate.
I worked with Rob to help Amergraph understand the size and special needs of the ULF marketplace. He had never heard of us and he was very impressed with our numbers and our organization and presence on the web. I explained that we were really mainly artists with the occasional 'techie' amongst us that would understand the science of the unit. As for me, I made it clear that I was focused on the unit as a tool to make art and I wasn't adept at the technical aspects - which represents the average point of view I would suspect.
Once we had the specs for a prototype firmed up, I suggested that we get a respected expert in the ULF community to evaluate the unit, get exposure on APUG, Mamut, Unblinkingeye and eventually full reviews in View Camera.
I sent Rob the contact info for Sandy King and Rob ran with it and contacted Sandy before I could get Sandy's ok\agreement to do the testing! Rob moves very quickly. He is fantastic to work with. He is a real professional and a hard-charing guy. It was great to see a man who can get things done!
My involvement phased out after the technical testing. They did ask my opinion on the marketing brochure but I wasn't a lot of help.
Now, I see a completed product, tested by Sandy with test results published on the internet. A VC review is a MUST and I hope to see one next year! I am especially pleased to see the additional light source for enlarging speed papers!!! I had asked for this early on, but Rob wasn't so sure about it. I think Sandy's similar feedback got them to do it. It is a great feature.
This contact printer is the ultimate contact printer. It embodies every feature that I think we could possibly ask for! I could get this and easily toss out my enlarger and not miss it.
Many many thanks to Rob Lesko at Amergraph for being so open to creating a new product for us!!! This is as exciting as Cooke coming out with the new XVa, maybe more! And a big thanks to Sandy for the technical evaluation. His strong credibility and sound reputation really helped validate the suitability of this product to LF\ULF contact printing.
Now all I need to do is take delivery of mine!! I know they are a lot of money, but if you can afford it, please let's give Rob and Amergraph the encouragement they deserve and place some orders.