Using flash meter as Enlarger meter

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Barney, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Barney

    Barney Guest

    I just heard about this today and was wondering if anyone can give in
    simple terms how to go about doing that.

    I get the impression that one can meter on a certain part of the
    enlargement from the enlarger and get a reading that tells you how long to
    expose the paper?

    Does it also help to give different times if you say...want to go from a #2
    filter to a #3 filter?


    Barney, Mar 17, 2006
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  2. Barney

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Not sure about a flash meter. Actually can't see how a flash meter would
    work at all. You can use one of the various darkroom meters to do this. I
    think one of the incident meter companies used to make an attachment for
    thier meter to use it on the baseboard. But I'd suggest considering any of
    the darkroom meters instead.

    I don't really use a meter for B&W. For colour my Colorstar lets me take
    up to eight readings. The readings are combined by the meter. That lets me
    get exposure and colour balance. It can handle B&W also. I don't have the VC
    probe so my meter can't really handle the filter changes. The meter will
    help with picking the right contrast grade. But since I spilt filter B&W I
    never really use the thing for B&W.

    If you ask in the darkroom group you'll get more answers.

    Nick Zentena, Mar 17, 2006
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  3. Barney

    John Fryatt Guest

    A flash meter, as such, would not work as the light from an enlarger
    isn't a flash. Perhaps you mean a general purpose light meter that, as
    one of it's functions, measures flash? You wouldn't use the actual flash
    metering function though, but the ambient light measuring function.
    My Minolta Autometer IVF has a little attachment* for the metering head
    for this purpose. I've never tried it though, to be honest, as a purpose
    designed enlarging meter seemed like a better option.

    (* This meter has a small 'head' on the top of the meter body, holding
    the actually measuring cell. The head can be swivelled around. The front
    of the head takes various disk-like attachments to adapt it to different
    uses, i.e. reflected light, incident light (flat), inciudent light
    (dome), and enlarging.)

    John Fryatt, Mar 17, 2006
  4. Barney

    nathantw Guest

    That's correct. The darker the spot (highlight area on a negative) the
    longer the exposure.

    I've been using a Gossen Luna Pro F with the enlarging attachment for over
    22 years. In that time I've only had to manually figure out the exposure the
    old fashion way (test strips) once or twice because the negative was hard to
    figure out.
    nathantw, Mar 17, 2006
  5. Barney

    Ken Hart Guest

    I bought a color meter for my darkroom-- got it on eBay for $40.00. Once I
    got it, and started using it, I discovered why I got it so cheaply! When
    printing color, it probably saved me one test print-- the first print is
    perhaps within a single stop of being correct.
    I did find it helpful for B&W "production" printing (printing the entire
    roll with the intention of going back later and reprinting the 'good'
    ones.). As for contrast filter changes, with the Kodak polymax filters, I
    find little exposure correction needed when changing from #2 to #3 for
    example. IIRC, #'s 0 thru 3.5 are the same eposure, #4 thru 6 are double. (I
    may have the filter numbers wrong, the filters are downstairs, and I don't
    feel like going down and checking!)
    Ken Hart, Mar 17, 2006
  6. Barney

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Sounds like one of the older meters. I'd suggest keeping an eye out for a
    Colorstar. Supposedly the newer Colorlines are also good. With the colorstar
    I find it's possible to get a finished print almost 100% of the time with
    the first try. It takes a little time to learn how to best pick the metering

    Colorstars can often be had for less then $100. Easy enough to
    calibrate to.

    Nick Zentena, Mar 17, 2006
  7. Barney

    Alan Browne Guest

    I've often wondered why enlargers don't use flash light. Cooler (temp),
    hotter light source (for color), less vibration prone, faster process, etc.

    Alan Browne, Mar 19, 2006
  8. Barney

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Paper can't handle the fast flash of light. I think some of the newer
    papers aimed at laser based machines can but the common papers can't.

    Plus with older enlargers the bulb isn't that much different then a
    household bulb. Costs not much more either.

    Nick Zentena, Mar 19, 2006
  9. Barney

    Barney Guest

    Yes sorry, that's what I ment. Setting the Sekonic flash meter to ambient
    to get the readings.

    Barney, Mar 21, 2006
  10. Barney

    Barney Guest

    Thanks for the info. Like one poster said, I would probably be able to
    get more info from the darkroom newsgroup. I did not even know there was
    a darkroom newsgroup!!

    Sounds interesting, I'll be checking up more on this.


    Barney, Mar 21, 2006
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