View Full Version : What Densitometer for PMK?

William D. Lester
22-Jun-2007, 05:14
Knowing that a densitometer with a blue channel is required for use with film developed in PMK, is there a particular densitometer that I should look for? It seems that none are available new and there are a few available used on Ebay. I'm looking for guidance in making a choice. Steve Simmons has responded to earlier questions about PMK and densitometers. Anyone know what he is using? I currently have an older RH unit made be Photronix which is black and white only. It is really simple to use and reasonably accurate. Are colour densitometers just as easy to use?

steve simmons
22-Jun-2007, 06:22
I don't have a densitometer. The Picker method works very well with staining developers. If you stnadardize on a grade 2 paper, or vc paper with a #2 filter, or no filter, you will end up with densities in the range of 1.35-1.5 for zone 8 which is pretty normal.

But, any good, calibrated color densitometer with a blue channel will work.


Brian Ellis
22-Jun-2007, 08:49
All you need is a color transmission (not reflection) densitometer, preferably digital (AFAIK all color transmission densitometers have a blue channel). Because of the decline in film use and in the number of labs that process color film there isn't much of a market for color transmission densitometers any more. Last time I looked there were a whole bunch of them on ebay dirt cheap. You should be able to find a good one for under $200. Just make sure that whatever you buy is in good working condition, particularly that it isn't missing any parts. It's nice but not absolutely essential if it comes with the instruction manual and a calibrated step wedge.

Doug Herta
22-Jun-2007, 11:27
Another option is the densitometer that has a specific UV channel for prepress work: the X-rite 861T. I bought one locally from a press shop that was closing, and see them for sale on Ebay. It has an ortho and UV channels. I think there is an article on unblinkingeye.com that discusses this issue as well.