Zone VI VC 5x7 enlarger

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by michael_mcblane, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. I finally setting up my Zone VI VC head enlarger and I'm wondering
    what setting the brightness switch needs or should be set at. It
    seems a little redundant to control the brightness and also the time.
    Perhaps just set the brightness at 6 or even 10 and just leave it
    there and then adjust the timer for lighter or darker prints. If
    anyone has any tips on how they use this it would be great.

    I didn't get any instructions on the operation of this enlarger so
    I'm kind of going by the seat of my pants. Perhaps someone who owns
    one could go through the sequence that they use to ascertain their
    exposure and contrast. I made a couple of prints today that look
    pretty good when I compared them to my color head enlarger, so I
    guess I'm on the right track but any tips would be a help and a

    Thanks in advance.
  2. The brightness level is for thin or dense negatives. You want to stay away from working at wide open (or stoped down to far) apertures so you have a little depth of field, and the lenses are sharper one or two stops closed down.
    Also your Metrolux timer (another question) is made to compensate for the warm up period of your enlarger, and to keep all times the same. It deals in lux values rather than time, and therefor keeps every exposure constant. It is one of the best (if not the best) on the market. I own two and love the repeatability of my printing.
  3. Don, Thanks for the information, but my question is when setting up the lux feature you go to calibration and press focus and the enlarger light comes on and the timer then calibrates the lamphead for two minutes. My question is, does the unit store this information after you are done printing and the timer has been shut off, or the power is shut off in the darkroom, and do you need to recalibrate every time you set up to do another printing session.
  4. Sorry about that
    Yes it stores that information, and uses it every time you turn on the head.

  5. Don: The reason I'm confused on this is that the calibration must be stored in memory. However when you decide to do a dry down percentage of say 95% this figure will not stay there after the timer has been shut off. Let me give an example. I entered 20 seconds in lux 1 and went to memory and then percentage and left it at 100%. I then went into lux2 and entered 20 seconds and decided a dry down percent of 5%. I then set the percent at 95%. Now I can print a print at 20 seconds and another at 5% dry down just by changing from lux1 to lux 2. Except when I shut down the timer for the night, the 95% setting goes back to 100%. However the 20 seconds is still there.

    Therefore I wonder of everything in memory goes away when the timer is shut off much like a computer will do. Another thing that adds to the confusion is the explanation in the instructions on page 2-3 under the heading POWER SWITCH ... also reboots Metrolux when turned on while holding setup key. So are they saying that if you hold the setup key during startup that NOW you are actually clearing the memory.

    Sorry to beat a dead horse on this.
  6. I have this timer and have been using it for about eight years with the Aristo 4500 VCL head and a Beseler MXT enlarger. The calibration remains stored when you turn off the timer, the dry down percentage doesn't, i.e. the dry down percentage you set will stay on for one darkroom session unless you change it but when you turn the timer off it goes away and will have to be set again for the next session). This seems to make sense because the dry down percentage isn't a fixed number. It varies from paper to paper and even from print to print within the same paper(dry down mostly affects highlights and higher midtones so a print that didn't have a lot of these tones in important areas might not need any drydown factor applied, whereas a high key print might need a lot).

    FWIW, while I like the timer I've never really thought that the "compensating" aspect worked very well, at least not with my set up. Despite the decrease in actual time that occurs as the blue light is increased, I still find that I have to adjust the actual times when I change the contrast by more than a couple tenths.
  7. The responses in the subject seem to be related to your question about the Metrolux, not the Zone VI.

    In regard to the Zone VI Enlarger:

    You can call or email Calumet and get a set of instructions, but it's pretty simple.

    If you set the brightness too high, the "Ready" light won't come on reliably when you switch from focusing to making an exposure. Set the brightness at about 5 1/2 or 6 and the "Ready" light will come on regularly when you make an exposure.

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