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Thread: Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Minneapolis
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    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    I have a standard Zone VI cold light head (not the VC version) that is about two years old.

    I have had the same problem as others in this forum with VC papers not respondin g normally to filtration. I see references to the Aristo V54 tube as the soluti on to my problems. What I don't know is whether the tube in my unit is the V54 type or not. I asked Calumet, but have not received a resopnse as yet.

    Does Aristo make the Zone VI? If I don't have the tube in my Zone VI head alrea dy, can I get one from Aristo that will work?

    It's a drag switching back to the condenser head to print VC.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    I don't quite understand the problem. I've printed with multicontrast papers and a Zone VI coldlight very successfully (at least I think successfully) for many years now. It seems that you just have to use one grade lower contrast than you might with a tungsten source. I did try using a 40Y gel above the neg carrier but it wasn't worth the speed loss. Perhaps using PMK for 4x5 negs helps, but my smaller format negs are developed in conventional developers and show no problems. I admit a color-correct lightsource might be the right way to go but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I'd be intersted to hear what kind of problems you've had. I sure wouldn't want to go back to a condenser enlarger.

  3. #3

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    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    Thanks for your response, Mark.

    My problem is that there is not even spacing between the grades. A number 2 filter looks to my eyes like a 3 1/2 or 4 paper. A 3 filter looks just a little harder. The softer filters behave similarly. It's sort of unpredictable.

    I've used both Ilford and Kodak filters and find the Kodak to be a bit better. I've used just about eevery FB VC paper out there and the problem is not the paper, but the light source.

    One difference between you and me is that I do not use pyro. Also, I tend to like a bit softer than normal print.

  4. #4

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    For some strange reason, Calumet does not respond to emails, but they have an 800 number so that you can call them. If your Zone VI Cold light was purchased new from Calumet 2 years ago, it "probably" has a tube suitable for VC papers, but they should be able to tell you for sure.

    But maybe you should describe exactly what problems you are having. You should realize that even if the tube is color corrected for VC, it probably will not respond exactly the same as a condenser light source.

  5. #5

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    To lower the contrast of your prints (while maintaining deep blacks) use two developers:

    Selectol Soft as the first developer Dektol as the second developer. By varying the times in each developer you have an infinite number of grades.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    104

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    Jerry, I'm quite certain that you do not have the Aristo V54 tube in your Zone VI cold light head. Zone VI makes their own tubes. Call Aristo and ask them whether their V54 tube will interchange with the Zone VI tube. If so, it would be worth the effort to make the change- over. A few years ago, I gave up the attempt to print with VC filters and the Zone VI standard head. Filters were a pain!. I installed the Zone VI variable contrast head on my old Omega D-2, and began to print my Multigrade VC papers without the need for filters. A real pleasure.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    60

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    I've found that Calumet does respond to emails for customer service, but they are not really fast.

    I'd suggest taking a look at Steve Anschell's book and VC printing and then, performing the tests to determine the actual grades with your filtration. He also has some suggestions on developing/customizing a filtration strategy.

    Good luck.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    92

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    I have the zone VI head made for the Bessler enlarger that I relamped with the V54 tube. I had the same problem you described, so it is unlikely that you have the V54. Contact Aristo directly, they are very helpful and can answer any questions you might have, and you can order directly through them. Changing the lamp is a pretty easy operation, and it works very well with VC filters. Its well worth the effort.

  9. #9

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    Mar 2002
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    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    Thanks for your responses.

    Calumet my yet get back to me, but I've dropped a line to Aristo to get some information from them.

    I may move to the VC head eventually, but I will probably wait until I upgrade to a 5X7 enlarger.

    Thanks everyone.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 1999
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    670

    Zone VI Cold Light and V54 Tube

    Most older cold lights are blue heavy, so contrast tends to be higher with VC papers. Also, the filters do not work perfectly as intended - the problem you describe is the classic one, with uneven spacing between the filters. Going from filter 4 to 5 makes next to no difference while going from filter 1 to 0 makes a huge difference. Using CC40 filters etc might help but will not obviate the problem - the problem is in the spectral emmision of the tube in your cold light. If you don't want to go to the expense of a V54 tube, try using split filtering (i.e., one exposure through the number 5 filter and one through the 0 filter) to get any intermediate grade you want. You can avoid the problem of uneven grade spacing that way. Cheers, DJ

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