Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zone VI Ferrante Codelite

I have been trying to find more specific information about my new enlarger and light system.  Ansel Adams refers to this device as the Ferrante Codelite a grid light system made up of two aligned neon tubes one that emits green light and the other blue.  The green light control is listed as "soft" and if used exclusively would produce a contrast equivalent to a "0" filter or grade of paper.  This depending on the negative would produce a print that would be made up of values between X-V on the Zone Scale. If the "hard" light control was turned on and the "soft" green light turned off this would produce a print closer to a filter "5" or grade of paper limited to the extremes of the Zone Scale.  If both are turned on to an equal value this produces the equivalent of a "2" filter or grade of paper which is usually where I print and if I want to increase a "blacker shade of black" I will expose the print for a few extra seconds using a "5" filter.  What intrigues me about this system is the ability to dial a light combination between each filter grade as well as control the intensity of the light to stretch out the printing exposure time without having to change the aperture setting which I have discovered can significantly change the print.  The timer which uses a photo cell and allows further control of light volume doesn't measure time in seconds and minutes but in exposure units a "unit" of lowered light intensity will be longer then a "unit" with more light intensity.  If I understand the way this works if one were to dial a different setting to lower or higher contrast and this resulted in a reduction in light output the intervals between units would be increased to compensate.  I am kind of skeptical about this but  interested experimenting with it.  I am looking forward to setting this up and learning a new style of printing as soon as I can build an additional table to accomadate the enlarger and put my other enlarger in storage.

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