Thursday, April 5, 2007

MetroLux II Instructions, Intro and Buttons

MetroLux II®

Owner's Manual.

The MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller by Metered Light.
Before using the unit please read the Owner's Manual.
You can then easily install, configure & operate the unit properly.

To prevent fire or shock hazard do not expose this product to any type of moisture.
This equipment is intended to be electrically grounded. Your MetroLux II® is equipped with a 3-wire ground plug---a plug that has a third (grounding) pin. This plug will fit only a grounded AC outlet. This is a safety feature. If you are unable to insert the plug into the outlet, contact a licensed electrician to replace the outlet with a properly grounded outlet. Do not defeat the purpose of the grounding plug!

Please read instructions before plugging in and observe power ratings for this unit. The MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller is rated to switch lamps up to 720 Watts/120volts. DO NOT EXCEED THIS POWER LEVEL.

Damage to MetroLux II may occur.

The MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller is internally fused.

A premiere compensating exposure timer for photographic printmaking, the MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller monitors the intensity of your printing lamp at the lamp source during the exposure, and adjusts for the output fluctuations of the lamp by shortening or extending exposure times proportionately. MetroLux II® integrates time/light to count light units (lux).

For temperature sensitive coldlights, the closed-loop MetroLux II® is dynamically more effective than voltage regulation systems in stabilizing repeatable exposures. And, MetroLux II® works with practically every lamp source under the sun... including the sun itself. We go outdoors with platinum printers to compensate for cloud cover during their sunlight exposures.

There are many advanced features and custom controls to personalize your MetroLux II® Controls exist to adjust metronome sounds and LED brightness, Hold and Reset functions, exposure range and counting styles. There is even a shutter timer function accurate for measuring your camera shutters into the sub-milliseconds. And, when using the optional MetroLux II® Remote Sensor, you can make easel-top readings. But more about that later. Don't be put off by the size of this owner's manual. There are many capabilities of your new MetroLux II® , but the basic functions are easy to grasp.

Carefully remove the unit from the packing carton making sure not to toss out any accessories you may have ordered such as footswitches or the Remote Sensor. Check for photo sensor (on 10ft. cord), or 3 pin din jack adapter for Zone VI heads. Operating manual and warranty cards should be included.

DISPLAY (+): Sets the numeric display.

Press either key to change one count. [Hold and the display will count
continuously. Hold both DISPLAY keys down for 'turbo' mode and the
display counts fastest. The first key pressed determines direction.

EXPOSE: Quick click to Start exposure, or, to reset clock during exposure.

Click to start exposure. During exposure: click again to reset exposure, or hold 1 second until exposure holds. Click EXPOSE again to resume a held exposure. A footswitch can be added to the EXPOSE function. (Outlet on back panel.)

[Hold EXPOSE to stop clock during exposure without resetting time.]

Power Switch: Turns MetroLux II On/Off.

Also reboots MetroLux when turned on while holding SETUP key.

Back Panel Outlets:
Enlarger plug outlet for printing lamp. (Do not exceed 720 Watt rating). Unit is internally fused with a slo-blo 10A fuse. (220 Volt units are fused with slo-blo 5A fuses.)

Two 1/4" phono plug outlets for optional footswitches. Duplicates functions of FOCUS and EXPOSE keys on front panel.

RCA Jack, Lamp Sensor to printing head.

Mini-jack, for optional MetroLux II Remote Sensor hookup.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

MetroLux II Instructions, Calibration and Printing

MetroLux II®

MetroLux II® compensates for printing lamp fluctuations only when connected to a photo sensor viewing the lamp. If you don't have a sensor installed, please see 'Installing a Sensor'.

Connect the AC cord from your printing lamp into the AC outlet on the MetroLux II® back panel. Connect the photo sensor cord of your printing lamp into the RCA jack on the MetroLux II®

Calibrating the printing lamp with your MetroLux II® can be done very simply with Automatic Calibration. If you don't like automatics, a Manual Calibration procedure is available.

Automatic Calibration: (Use on cold lights only.)

Hold SETUP until Calibration mode is entered (indicated by "CAL" appearing on display. LED lights will indicate LUX 1 and CAL).

Click FOCUS. The printing lamp will turn on and its intensity value will be represented numerically on the MetroLux II display. This number will change as the lamp warms up. The lamp will be allowed to stabilize for two minutes after which the intensity value is automatically stored to memory, the printing lamp will shut off, and MetroLux II will return to LUX 1. Proceed to print.

Lux 2 can also be automatically calibrated in the same manner. After entering Calibration, press SETUP once to indicate the LUX 2 channel. Proceed as above.

Manual Calibration:

Hold SETUP until the Calibration mode is entered. The LUX 1 LED will light. If you chose to enter a calibration value into the LUX 2 channel, press SETUP again to move to LUX 2.

Click FOCUS. The printing lamp will turn on and its intensity value will be represented numerically on the MetroLux II® display. When you see the calibration value you wish to enter, hold SETUP until calibration mode is exited. The printing lamp will turn off as MetroLux II® enters the printing mode.

To manually install a specific calibration number, enter Calibration mode. Leave lamp off. Use DISPLAY keys to enter desired number.

Exit Calibration by holding SETUP until MetroLux II® returns to printing mode. Exiting the calibration mode enters your new calibration value to memory.

Keeping Notes

Calibration Range:

Good calibration values range from 10-900. If your numbers are too low, try repositioning the photo sensor closer to the lamp. If they are too high, move the sensor further from the lamp. If this is not possible, a neutral density gel can be fitted over the sensor.

Printing With The MetroLux II®

The MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller has three printing modes: LUX 1, LUX 2, and TIME. It operates as a compensating exposure timer when in the LUX 1 or LUX 2 printing modes. It operates as a standard timer in the TIME printing mode. To use the unit as a compensating timer in LUX 1 or 2, a photo sensor must be attached to the printing lamp (See Pg. 7-1) and the lamp must be calibrated (See Pg. 3-1).

Compensated Printing (LUX Modes)
This is the usual printing mode used by most MetroLux II® owners.
Use MetroLux II® in the LUX modes just like you would use any other timer, only remember, the numeric display indicates exposure times in LUX units. (One LUX equals one second of time when the lamp is operating at the same intensity as when it was calibrated.) Use [+ keys to adjust exposure values. A second LUX channel is available to use as a convenient place to store calibration values for a 2nd printing lamp, contact printers, or alternate settings on variable contrast heads.

Uncompensated Printing (TIME Mode)
MetroLux II® counts seconds like a normal timer. Photo sensor installation is not required for operation in the TIME mode.

Percentaging (For Drydown and Exposure Control)
Percentaging can be utilizied for any of the 3 printing channels: LUX 1, LUX 2, & TIME.
Click MEMORY key until the % LED is lit.

Set the display to desired percentage using [+ keys. All exposure values (Lux or Seconds) will be factored by the percent displayed.

Click MEMORY key again until your exposure value reappears. The % LED remains lit indicating that exposures displayed will now be factored by a percentage.

Percentaging is most commonly use in applying dry-down factors (best explained in Ansel Adams' book, The Print). Our abridged definition of "dry-down": Photographic printing papers become slightly darker as they dry, most noticeably in the highlights of the print. To determine the value of this dry-down effect, expose a normal print . If it looks good wet, print another 5% lighter. As this second print dries, if it matches your wet print, your dry-down factor is 5%. (Typical dry-down factors range from 1-11%.) Set MetroLux II® percent factor to 95% to compensate for 5% dry-downs.

When the percent factor is other than 100%, the % LED remains lit. Exposures can be factored with this function from 25 to 250%. The latitude of the percent allows printers more than one f/stop of relative exposure control in either direction.

Handling Two Enlargers
Though MetroLux II® comes equipped with a single AC outlet, a duplex AC junction box with 3-way switch can be built for less than $10 and make switching between lamps a breeze. Simply plug both enlargers into the junction box outlets, use an RCA male to dual RCA female Y-adapter (available at Radio Shack) to accomodate two photo sensors simultaneously. (Since only one lamp is ever lit at one time, only the lit lamp will be monitored.) Store calibration on lamp #1 in CAL 1 and calibration on lamp #2 in CAL 2. To switch from lamp 1 to 2, throw switch on the AC junction box and set MetroLux II® from LUX 1 to LUX 2.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

MetroLux II Instructions, Customizing and Shutter Speed Testing

MetroLux II®

Customizing the MetroLux II®

Scroll through the options stack by clicking MEMORY once for each choice.

Use [+ keys to make selections in each option.

A......Audible Metronome?
Choices Selection
A11 Beep on during both Focus and Expose modes.
A01 Beep off in Focus mode, on in Expose mode.
A00 Beep off in both modes.
A10 Beep on in Focus mode, off in Expose mode.

B......Beep Duration/Pitch
This control has two facets, beep duration and beep pitch. Toggle between with the EXPOSE key. The beep will sound in this mode and changes can be heard immediately.

C...... Count Factors
MetroLux' 3-digit display can time exposures in three ranges.
Choices: 0.1 0.5 1.0 10
Range: 0.1-99.9 0.5-99.5 1-999 10-9990

D......Display Brightness
Use [+ keys. Up for brighter, down for dimmer. (Use Turbo mode (see Display, pg. 2-3) as the steps are very small) The display always shows "d88".

E....... Eliminate Memories
Choices Selection
E-3 All print mode memories open.
E-1 Only primary print mode memory open: Memory #1 and %.

F...... Remote Sensor Integration Time
Affects "light-gathering" interval of MetroLux II® Remote Sensor. (See Integration pg. 6-5)
To leave the Customization mode, hold MEMORY until the display goes blank. MetroLux II® will return to the printing channel last used.

Shutter Timing

Use MetroLux II® Darkroom Lamp Controller to measure camera and lens shutter speeds.

Hold SETUP until MetroLux II® enters CAL mode. Click SETUP twice more. LED indicators will light up next to Time and Cal. The letters "SPd" will read out on the display. Place the shutter to be timed on the MetroLux II® front panel centered over the "o" in the word "MetroLux II®" (If you look closely, you will see a hole inside the "o".)

Shine a light directly into the shutter. It's best not to use fluorescent roomlights as their cycle may generate faulty readings on shutter speeds faster than 1/60th of a second. (Your enlarger can be used if bright enough. By lowering the enlarger and removing the lensboard, enough light for this procedure can usually be acquired. The FOCUS key is still active at this point in the procedure to enable the enlarger lamp.)

Time shutter: click EXPOSE. The "SPd" display will change to "---". Trip shutter. MetroLux II® will display the shutter speed in milliseconds (one-thousandth of a second.)

To convert fractional shutter speed times into milliseconds:
Simply divide 1000 by the bottom integer of your shutter speed.

Example: 1/2 sec. 1000÷2=500 milliseconds

Speeds slower than 1 second are displayed in seconds. Upper limit is 6.55 seconds.

If "---" display does not change after tripping shutter:
-increase or decrease the amount of light falling through the shutter.
Clear display to "---" by clicking EXPOSE.

Electronic flash can be timed by firing the stobe in the room. Pointing the flash into the hole is not necessary or recommended. This would saturate the sensor and could make a false reading adding extra microseconds. (Time your TV remote control if you're bored.)

To exit Shutter Time mode, hold SETUP.

Monday, April 2, 2007

MetroLux II Instructions, Using the Remote Sensor, MRS

MetroLux II®

Calculating new exposure times while resizing print:

Position the MRS on the easel with the crosshairs in a bright area of the image just printed. Click NULL. The display will blink the exposure time used on the prior print. Now resize and focus the image. Position the MRS in the exact same area of the image as measured during the first NULL. Click NULL again. MetroLux II® recalculates a new exposure time, loads it into memory and returns automatically to the printing mode.

Calculating new f/stop while resizing print:

Activate MRS, mode 1. Position the MRS on the easel with the crosshairs in a bright area of the image just printed. Hit NULL. The display will blink with the exposure time used on the prior print. Remember that time. Now resize and focus the image. Reposition the MRS in the exact same area of the image as measured during the first NULL. Notice that the exposure time has changed. Watching the MetroLux II® display, adjust the lens f/stop until your old exposure time reappears on display. Hit NULL key to finish procedure and return to printing mode.

Maintaining same exposure time while resizing print:

Printers may want to use the MRS resizing features in combination with the Percentage mode on the MetroLux II®. Before activating the MRS, enter the Percent mode by hitting the MEMORY key until the % light is lit. Activate MRS, mode 1. Select bright area of image. NULL. Resize and refocus. Reposition MRS to first NULL area. Notice that the percentage has changed from 100%. Watching the MetroLux II® display, adjust lens f/stop until 100% returns.

Aborting during resizing:

You can cancel out of the MRS mode at any time prior to the second NULL by using the SELECT key. The old exposure time is saved and MRS operations are aborted.

Error Messages:

If after the first NULLing a "2LO" prompt appears, it is recommended that you select a brighter area of the projected image to measure and start MRS operations over again. If this does not eliminate the "2LO" prompt, you may want to increase the sensitivity of the MRS. This is done through your Customized Options. See "Integration Settings"

Selecting and Memorizing a Gray Tone

Tone matching can help you eliminate some test strips getting you one step closer to a final print. Before tones can be matched, one must be memorized. There are at least two methods:

Step-Wedge Method:

Make a step-wedge of grey values: Size the enlarger for a standard print size (ie. 8 x 10, 11 x 14). With no negative in the enlarger, expose a piece of paper at the appropriate f/stop for a range of times that will include your preferred printing time. Example: If 15 seconds is your preferred printing time, find the f/stop that creates a step wedge with a good range of grays from white to black at exposure times of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, and 27. Use the dry step wedge to record exposure times on corresponding gray steps. Save for later visual references.

Memorize tone.

With 15 entered in the MetroLux II® display, position the MRS sensor on the easel (no negative in the enlarger.) Select MRS, mode 2 by pressing SELECT key twice. Hold down the MetroLux II EXPOSE key as you press the MRS NULL key. (This is a tandem procedure: the EXPOSE key must be held as the NULL key is pressed or the calibration value will not be memorized.) After releasing both keys, the print time will blink. Press SELECT or NULL to exit the tone memorization procedure.

Print Method:

Make a good full-tone work print from a familiar negative. Viewing a dried workprint, select a gray tonal value for the MetroLux II® Remote Sensor to memorize.
Memorize tone. With the exposure time of the work print still entered in MetroLux II®,
Select MRS, mode 2 by pressing SELECT key twice. Position the MRS sensor on the easel under area of negative corresponding to chosen gray value of workprint. Hold down the MetroLux II EXPOSE key as you press the MRS NULL key. (This is a tandem procedure: the EXPOSE key must be depressed as the NULL key is hit or the calibration value will not be memorized.) After releasing both keys, the print time will blink. Press SELECT key to exit.

Matching the Memorized Tone

Always start by loading MetroLux with exposure time used during memorization. Set up new negative for printing. Select MRS, mode 2 by pressing SELECT key twice. Place the MRS sensor on image area to be gray-matched. Press NULL key. The MetroLux II® will blink with values for the areas the MRS is reading. Move the MRS to other areas and you will see the display change accordingly. When settled on a selection, press NULL. MetroLux automatically installs the new exposure time, turns the lamp off and returns to printing mode.

Error messages:

If values selected produce readings too low or too high, MetroLux II® will display "2lo" or "2hi", work with a brighter or darker area of image, or adjust the sensitivity of the MRS . (See "Integration Setting").

Sunday, April 1, 2007

MetroLux II Instructions, Installation

MetroLux II®


MetroLux II® was designed to overcome the problems of light output fluctuations associated with coldlight printing lamps. We watch the light while you print, correcting for fluctuations. It works fine with all light sources that do not exceed the 720 watt power requirement. Certain precautions must be followed when installing the probe:

* While installing the probe, be sure the light source you're working on is electrically disconnected from all power sources.

* Always strain relief the probe such that a tug from the outside cannot damage the tube or other parts of the printing lamp.

* Tie probe wire out of the way. As the enlarger moves up and down, be sure that the probe wire is not pulled or damaged.

* Avoid exposing probe or wire to heat. If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot for the probe (probe temperature range is -15° to 140°F). With some quartz and tungsten lamps, the probe wire will need to be mounted on the outside of the housing, away from heat. In this case, the probe can view the light through a small hole drilled near the source.

* The probe's-eye-view is very sensitive to changes in position. The probe should have a clear view of the printing lamp and not be allowed to move.

Sound pretty complicated? It's very simple. We've installed many probes in all kinds of lamps without problems. If you have problems, drop us a line.

For Coldlights.

Below is an installation technique we have used for the Aristo D-2 coldlight, the most common coldlight. If you have another type, these instructions should provide enough general information for fitting your coldlight with a sensor. Read the instructions through once before starting. Simple tools and a little smarts can perform the operation.


pencil, masking tape, screwdriver, electric drill with 1/8" and 3/8" bits.

1. Disconnect the power chords and remove the coldlight head from your enlarger.

2. Mark the relative orientation of the cap and bottom of the coldlight with a pencil.

3. Remove two small screws on sides of coldlight. Lift the cap off the coldlight.

4. Mark the location on the cap where the hole will be drilled. It must be located on the top such that the probe wire will clear the transformer beneath the cap.

5. Drill the hole with 1/8" bit and then widen the same hole with the 3/8" bit.

6. Clean the hole of any burrs and remove shavings from inside the lamp housing from inside the lamp housing.

7. Feed the probe wire through the hole in the cap. Now pass the probe end through the opening on the fluorescent tube mount board towards the tube itself.

8. Look closely at the probe and note which side "sees". It is the side with the shiny square eye. With eye away from fluorescent tube, strap wire to the tube near the center of the cold light grid with nylon cable ties at both 1/4" and 1" distance from probe. From here the sensor can see the 'average intensity' of the light. Pull snug and clip away the excess ties.

9. Realign cap on lamp; spin in the screws.

10. With the lamp reassembled, take up slack in probe wire by gently pulling excess wire out of cap. Take the strain relief (the strain relief is the odd-shaped, black thing in the plastic bag that the probe came in) and with the wire laid into the larger piece, force the other side in so that it clamps ('pinches') the probe wire. Use a pair of pliers to squeeze and snap this strain relief through hole

Probe strain relief, and close-up of assembly, in coldlight lamp house.

MetroLux II®


As a means of fastening the light sensor to some tungsten and quartz lamp houses, we have used the hole pattern shown below. With these holes, the probe is positioned over the 1/4" hole, with the wire trailing between the other four (4) holes. Nylon ties through the other holes fasten the light sensor wire to the housing. A drop of epoxy on the back of the light sensor holds it firmly in position.

Before drilling holes in the lamp house, we like to perform an experiment: With the light source removed from the enlarger, set up MetroLux II® and the lamp on a work surface. Unwind the light sensor and plug it into MetroLux II®. Set MetroLux II® to the Cal mode. Hit FOCUS to turn on lamp. Take the light sensor's eye and point it at your lamp. Watch the number displayed on MetroLux II® change as the sensor sees more light.

We look for three things in choosing a sensor location--a comfortable place to put the light sensor, a place where the light is fairly uniform, and a place where the number displayed is greater than 10. You'll find that all numbers between 10 and 900 work fine.

After finding the appropriate mounting location, end experiment by holding SETUP.

Other installation examples to mount your sensor:

Variable Contrast Coldlights:

MetroLux II® is designed for compensating for ouptut variations on single grade lamp sources. With a few considerations, it can also be used on variable contrast tubes with great success. Best results will occur when the sensor is attached to the Green tube looking at the Blue tube. This evens out the readings from the Green tube, which is 2-3 times brighter than the Blue tube. You can monitor the effects of your placement by switching between Green light only and Blue light only during the Calibration procedure. Best printing results occur when Green readings are similar to Blue readings.

It is also suggested that you choose a middle contrast setting to calibrate. This way the output variations on contrast changes will not be as large a swing from your calibrated value.

Many printers using the MetroLux II® on their VC coldlights are calibrating their LUX 2 channel for the highest contrast setting.

Pocket Spot

Pocket Spot
Metering in the Office, 10 2/3 EVs

Pocket Spot

Pocket Spot
Metering in the Office, 4 1/3 EVs

Pocket Spot Spec Sheet

Pocket Spot Digital Light Meter Specs

Display: 2-digit Red LED with 1/3, 2/3 LED indicators

Dial: White, laser-engraved on Meter's anodized color background. Intermost dial is ISO with f/# on the outside. f/1.0 to f/128. Outer dial is shutter speeds from 8 minutes to 1/4000 sec on the inside and EV on the outside. EVs from -1 to 20. Body is marked with Zones from Zero to X (10). [Romans didn't have a zero, but what are you going to do? ]

ISO: 3 to 12800 ISO, marked in 1/3 stops

EV range: -1 2/3 to 23 at 100 ISO

Spectral Sensitivity: Compensated for "typical" B&W film, i.e. HP5+ or Tri-X

Angle of View: approximately 1 degree, smaller at very high EVs and 3 degrees at lower EVs

Viewing: Bore-sight through the hole the length of the chassis. Meter is held about 12" or 300mm from the eye (length of strap)

Linearity: about 1% from low to high.

Calibration: Not required. No adjustments inside.

Finish: Black anodized over a solid block of machined aluminum. Texture is random tumble over stones before anodize. Other colors in consideration at extra cost are RED and BLUE.

Battery: 6V PX28 or equivalent, Supplied

Dimensions: 2.25" x 2" x 3/4" (L x W x T) 57 x 50 x 19 mm
Dial on top is 1/8" thick, 3 mm

Weight: 4 1/8 oz (117 grams) with strap and battery, both included.

specifications subject to change

More pictures on page two near bottom.