Densitometer use.
Old 01-19-2020   #1
jmpgino
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Densitometer use.

Anyone use one of these machines in negative valuation. I have read they can pinpoint the paper grade and exposure time, so no need for test strips.
So are they that good or just an expensive toy. I print black and white medium format, a 35mm negative would probably too small to evaluate.
So anyone got some advice.
Cheers,
James.
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Old 01-19-2020   #2
Chriscrawfordphoto
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That's not what a densitometer is for. It is for testing films and developers to find the correct exposure index to use and the correct developing time to use.


What you're thinking of is a printing meter. Some enlargers had one integrated into them, like the Durst L1200 Multigraph.
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Metered printing
Old 01-19-2020   #3
randy stewart
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Metered printing

An enlarging meter is only as good as the person who calibrates it. Basically, it is meter (like any other light meter) which can compare light intensity. In this case, it can measure or indicated light sufficient to print a given tone density in a print, once it has been calibrated to equate the desired tone. It can measure two light intensities and determine the range between them, thus contrast range. I own three such meters, and I rarely use them because I don't want to do the calibrations for small volume work. Test strips tend to do fine for me.
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Old 01-19-2020   #4
Hari
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I use one all the time. The model I"ve got measures both
density and UV light. Some stain developers , like Pyrocat HD,
increase density greatly with the stain. The densitometer is on
a shelf right below the enlarger and also serves as a light box to check negatives
with a magnifier. I do alternative printing
where the increase density is useful.
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Old 01-19-2020   #5
BernardL
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Quote:
I have read they can pinpoint the paper grade and exposure time, so no need for test strips.
Forget it. An enlarging meter can provide a pretty good, but preliminary estimate of grade and exp time, and thus your one and only test strip will be finely spaced around the correct value; But nothing replaces a visual appraisal of the test strip, dried, under proper lighting. Sometimes even, after a full print you realize some changes are in order.

And yes, a densitometer is a valuable tool for process control.
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