View Full Version : Compensating enlarging timers ? Who knows?

richard w
8-Jan-1999, 23:49
I am setting up a new darkroom to accomadate 8x10 negative printing. I have an 8 x10 aristo cold light head and no timer. I am considering buying a compensating timer such as the MetroLux ll or the Zone 6. I will be doing multiple prints ( 16x20 and larger) of 25. I want repeatable results, not cold light drift. I ha ve been printing 4x5 with a cold head for many years with no problem but then ag ain I was not doing this amount of prints from same neg. Does anyone have the M etroLux ll ?? This is what I am leaning towards. (please no metronone replies) Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks RW

Jeff White
9-Jan-1999, 10:24
My experience with a cold light head is that without a stabilizer or compensating timer they drift all over the place in intensity. When I was using a coldliht head (4x5) I used a Zone VI stabilizer that worked very well. A few years ago I started using Variable Contrast papers and decided to go with a dichroic head, a mounted a light probe in the mixing chamber and added a Zone VI compensting enlarging timer. Now I have a Constant Exposure light source at any filter setting (if your are using medium gray as your reference point). I like the Zone VI because it is easy to operate because it uses knobs that turn to the setting you want, the Metrolux is a little more complicated although I am sure that it can be mastered with a little practice. I am sure that there a many top notch photographers out there that don't use either of these timers but I would suggest buying one if easily repeatable results is your goal.

richard w
9-Jan-1999, 14:51
Greetings. Iam new to this forum and I am impressed with who is out there. We large format shooters are an endanrered speices. Keep up the good work ! Your replies have confirmed what I thought was available in compensating timers ie: Merolux ll, and Zone 6. I have a flyer from Metrolux, the were accessable, informitive and nice. Yes for years I have used the warm up method of printing with a cold light. When I used to print 2 1/4 negs without a glass carrier; I would set up to print; then cover the lens and hit the timer. As soon as the timer ran out > I would uncover the lens and then expose the paper. This did two things: first it would pre-heat the negative ( I would also focus on a pre-heated negative- even cold lights have some heat) and 2 this would help reduce any drift from the cold light itself. This works however it is time consuming when doing multiple prints. This is a time vs. expense issue. I will continue to search for a used Metrolux ll timer. Wish me luck !!