Zone VI/Aristo combo : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can the Aristo 8x10 head be easily adapted to the Zone VI 8x10 enlarger? Neither Aristo nor Calumet had any info on using one with the other. Thanks.

-- Steve Wiley (, November 07, 2001


I don't know, but suspect it may be difficult. I think the Zone VI negative carrier stage is built into the head, rather than separate as on smaller enlargers. Calumet ought to at least be able to tell you how the negative carrier mates to the light source.

-- Charlie Strack (, November 07, 2001.

I assume you've looked into all this, but you're aware that the Zone VI 8X10 variable contrast cold light head is presumably made by Arista? I've been using it for some time now with the Zone VI enlarger and been very pleased.


-- Nathan Congdon (, November 07, 2001.

Based on mutually uncomplimentary comments over the years from both Aristo and Zone VI about each other, it's highly unlikely that Aristo makes anything for Zone VI or vice versa.

-- Sal Santamaura (, November 07, 2001.

The Zone VI 8x10 head is made by a sign company somewhere back east, as Aristo will derisively point out. It's too bad. The Zone VI heads could have been better had they been made by Aristo. For example, the non-VC 5x7 and 8x10 heads could be excellent for both graded and VC paper had they used Aristo's "recent" innovation of combining the green and blue spectrums in the same tube.

Putting the two of these companies together is such a natural match, one wonders why it didn't work out.

-- neil poulsen (, November 07, 2001.

Neil, I'm hoping it does still work out. Aristo makes a head for the Zone VI 5x7. Apparently, nobody's asked Aristo about an 8x10 adaptation. The Zone VI 8x10 can be purchased without the light source for about $1300. The Aristo head is $575. That's $725 less than the Zone VI with their standard light sorce. I don't print a lot of 8x10, and I need an enlarger with a small footprint. Can anyone think of a better set up?

-- Steve Wiley (, November 08, 2001.

If Aristo and you are willing, why not buy the chassis & ship to Aristo. Aristo could then fab a head for you, and make it available to others? It does seem like a natural combination.

-- Charlie Strack (, November 08, 2001.

Don't assume that the Zone VI light source will fit inside the Zone VI 8x10 head with the power supply provided by Zone VI. In fact, don't assume that the Aristo 8x10 guts will fit inside the Zone VI head with the light stuff removed. (At least without getting measurements, etc.)

I found an 8x10 Zone VI Type II non-VC head on EBay for $600, and I found that it works very well, with no alteration, on my Zone VI Type I enlarger. Calumet will tell you otherwise, but it definitely works on my Type I. The I haven't yet tried this with VC paper, adding the recommended 30 green or 40 yellow to the head, and using below the lens VC filters.

Securing the Type II head to the Type I enlarger is a little different. The holes on the Type I enlarger (with the back guides removed) fit just inside the opening at the bottom of the Type II head. YOu can purchase the correctly sized bolts and rubberized washers to secure the head to the enlarger. There's nothing to it.

-- neil poulsen (, November 11, 2001.

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