ZoneMaster II

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RH Designs ZoneMaster II
Black and White Enlarging Exposure Meter with Grey Scale Display and built-in Densitometer function

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Banish the Test Strip!

A baseboard enlarging exposure meter featuring our patented grey scale print tone indicator which shows you the tonal range of the print, so you can place important tones and preview the look of the print without the need for endless test strips. Includes a spot-metering probe with densitometer function, a wide exposure time range (1 - 240 secs) with steps in intervals of 1/3, 1/4, 1/6 or 1/12 f-stops, and storage for the characteristics of eight different papers. All the features of our Analyser Pro for users with an existing timer - or it can be connected to our StopClock Professional for instant transfer of the computed exposure to the timer.

Our tests (and customers’ experience) with Pyro and other staining developers indicate that the ZoneMaster can be used with stained negatives in just the same way as with conventional developers. The meter will automatically account for the density of the stain.

The latest version features a new sensor and measurement subsystem which provides much faster response, especially at low light levels, and greater stability with changes in temperature and over time. In addition, a new Calibration Kit makes calibration faster and easier, and we’ve re-written the User Manual to make it clearer and easier to read. There’s never been a better time to choose an ZoneMaster II!

Why the ZoneMaster II is different

Enlarging exposure meters often suffer from a number of shortcomings. In many cases, a single reading is taken from a mid-tone area of the negative (or from a diffused image) and exposure based on that reading. This can work quite well but it won’t advise you which paper grade to use.

Enlarging exposure meters which indicate a suggested paper grade do so assuming you want your shadows to be at maximum black and your highlights at paper base white. This isn't always the case, particularly in portraiture work. And if it isn’t the case, then you’re on your own - back to the test strip!

The ZoneMaster II is different because it tells you exactly the shade of grey that you will get on a print for any spot measured area of the negative. You can see the effects of changing the paper grade without making a print - the ZoneMaster's display indicates the changes in print tone for each measured spot as you alter the grade setting. You can manually override the ZoneMaster's suggested exposure time in order to produce a lower or higher key print, and see the expected results before committing a piece of paper. You can even make your own grey scale for use with the ZoneMaster using your favourite materials and processing, so that its indications will be as close as possible to the final print. You no longer need to worry about compensating for dry down (the increase in density of a dry print as compared to a wet one) because the display indicates the tone on the final, dry, print.

All this adds up to a significant saving of both time and materials, and with paper prices rising this can only be an advantage. Darkroom work is much more enjoyable when your success rate is high! The ZoneMaster comes with a fourteen day money back guarantee of satisfaction, so why not try one for yourself?

ZoneMaster II plus StopClock Professional, or Analyser Pro?

We are often asked by potential customers whether they should choose the combination of ZoneMaster plus StopClock, or the all-in-one Analyser Pro. The Analyser is more convenient, but its timer is simpler than the StopClock. Our answer to this one is another question - 'what sort of printer are you?' For people who are interested in getting high quality prints with a minimum of effort and material wastage we recommend the Analyser Pro. Those who like to wring the last drop out of the negative by making several exposures, perhaps at different grades, on the same print will prefer the StopClock Professional. They will usually use the ZoneMaster to get a proof print quickly, then work on that to get to the finished print. Fine Art printers typically fall into this category. See the Compare page for full descriptions of the features of various products.

ZoneMaster II Features

  • All the metering, control and display functions of the Analyser Pro are included in the ZoneMaster II with the exception of the enlarger / safelight switching.
  • Built-in densitometer shows the log.D value of each spot reading relative to the brightest sample, and can be used to assist in refining your film development technique.
  • Adjustable calibration caters for your preferences of paper, processing, and enlarger characteristics.
  • Quickly determines pre-flashing and fogging exposures for contrast control, plus contact-sheet exposures.
  • Can be connected to our StopClock Professional Enlarger Timer for instant setting of required exposure time
  • Powered by a single PP3 / MN1604 type battery (included) or from an optional plug-in mains power supply - see the accessories page for details.
  • Splash-proof case and illuminated, tactile touch sensitive controls for reliability.
  • Full two year guarantee, plus 14 day refund if you are not completely satisfied.

Video Presentations

Watch these QuickTime videos to learn more about the ZoneMaster. Alternatively, visit Beyond Monochrome to see videos about all our products and explanatory notes.

The operation and principles of the ZoneMaster II are basically the same as the Analyser Pro. You can watch several video presentations on the Analyser Pro on that product’s page here.

Please note that in these movies, the video recording of the displays sometimes gives an appearance of flickering. This is not visible to the naked eye.

ZoneMaster II Specification

  • Metering spot size: 2mm diameter approx
  • Internal measurement resolution: 1/60 stop
  • Timing range: 1.0 to 240 seconds per exposure.
  • Time setting intervals: 1/3, 1/4, 1/6 or 1/12 stop; user selectable at any time.
  • Times for Test Strips can be displayed using the currently set time interval.
  • Calibration: built-in, user adjustable exposure and contrast settings for all grades from 00 to 5 in half grade steps. Eight individual calibration sets.
  • Display type: Red LED, 4 digits for time and paper grade: 15 segment bar graph for grey scale
  • Illuminated keypad
  • Can be connected to the StopClock Professional for full enlarger control.
  • Size: Main console: WHD 145x85x28mmm (5.7 x 3.3 x 1 inches) approx. Sensor: WHD 80x56x24mm (3.1 x 2.1 x 1 inches) approx.
  • Weight: 500g approx as shipped, including battery.

Our policy is one of continuous development, therefore specifications are subject to change without prior notice. E & OE. June 2010.

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