Egg timer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Mats_A, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    I am planning to develope some 9x12 cm sheet film taken with myc ICA folding camera. I suppose it will be a tray developement.
    What do you people use to keep track of time in the dark. I had been planning on using a normal egg timer until it dawned on me that I will not be able to set it in the dark. Silly me. What do people use for this? I thought about discoupling the enlarger from the timer and set the timer for 5 minutes and just listen to when it stops and then hit it again. Better ideas? About timers, the timer I'm using has a "glow in the dark" dial. Is this film safe?

    r

    Mats
     
  2. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    you could get one of these shimoda, it has a reapeating beep[ quite annoying] when time is up. And it projects no light, just a simple digital kitchen timer with a stand and magnetic back.Takes SR44 battery.
    regards
    CW
     

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  3. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    A Gralab type timer with green "glow in the dark" hands should not be a problem. Also, you can simply make a cardboard baffle so the light from the timer doesn't shine directly on the developer tray (the film is most sensitive to light before and during development; after it's in the stop, you don't need to worry as much).

    I have used a number of things for my tray developing timer. My permanent darkroom in Oregon has a Zone VI compensating timer with red LED readout, but that is not really necessary.

    In Austria, I simply use a digital kitchen timer (Pakeha, you beat me to it, this is exactly what I have). It has a countdown function which I use to pre-set the developing time. I put it next to the developer tray so that I can easily find the "start" button in the dark. For agitation, I use either a metronome or a loud clock that ticks in seconds, since the time is quiet till "time's up." In the past, I have used just the metronome, counting the entire developing time in my head, however, counting 720 seconds for 12 minutes and keeping the agitation scheme going gets to be troublesome. I prefer a timer to beep at me or have a number to look at at the end of development. BTW, the "beeping" of my kitchen timer is once per second and lasts exactly one minute, which helps timing the stop bath in the dark. I usually transfer to the fix at the end of the beeps and then count seconds (the metronome is still going) till I can turn on the light. The timer is now reading now many minutes past the "time's up" mark; I can simply subtract one minute (the beeping time in the stop) to check exactly how long the negs have been in the fix.

    I tried using my cell phone to time development once in a pinch, but was dismayed when it lit up like fireworks at the end of the developing time! I suppose you could put it in a drawer...

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  4. mpirie

    mpirie Subscriber

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    Another option is to use music or spoken voice in the dark.

    You could make up a tape (or mp3) that has 10/30/60 second reminders or even talk yourself through the entire process if you don't mind listening to your own voice?

    Mike
     
  5. mpirie

    mpirie Subscriber

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    The Massive Dev chart app for the iPhone has timers built in too, though you would need to hide the phone itself because even with the red light setting enabled, it still would not be filmsafe.

    Mike
     
  6. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Thanks for many good advice.
    Now what about drying? How do you dry a sheet of film? I can't hang it to dry like rollfilm, can I? Is it safe to take it out of the Flo-bath and start using a hair dyer on it? I understand that dust drying on the emulsion is a bit of a problem.

    r

    Mats
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Hang it by one corner using the same clips you use for roll film. You do not need a second clip to weight it as you do with roll film.
    I like to use the notched corner as usually it has the most room between the edge and the image area.
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ***********
    A tape is what I used when developing E-4 in plastic orange juice containers. My voice-over for the intervals and even instructions worked well and the music was pleasant in the dark. Nowadays I use an old-fashioned "hourglass"-type egg timer, near a Paterson safelight on a work surface, for timing my print development. I call it a "silica-based-gravity-operated-fixed-interval-development-timing-device" for short.
     
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  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Paterson Orbital Print Processor allows you to process up to four 9x11 sheets at a time. It's a nice little daylight processing system and uses just 150ml of fluid, if I recall.

    The downside is the initial cost. It's no longer in production, so these often cost about $100. Luckily, it's a one-time purchase. Make sure that it has the little plugs that hold the sheets in place, as well as the orbital base.

    Aside from that, perhaps an inexpensive LCD wristwatch with a timer.
     
  10. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Love it!

    I used to use a Proctor Silex Kitchen Timer, counts down, beeps for 30 seconds then counts up, though one can't see any info in the dark. Nowadays I just use a Gralab 300 with a sheet of ND filter over it. It is two feet above the developing tray on a shelf. I've not fogged anything up to HP5+ at 400.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a handfull of cheap digital kitchen timers. I pre-program each one for a seperate step. 1st for dev, 2nd for stop, 3rd for fix and have them lined up where I can find them in the dark. I have half dozen so I can use extras for additional steps if needed. I get mine here in the States at the Dollar Tree for(you guessed it) a dollar each. When the battery dies its cheaper to toss the timer and buy a new one.
    I like AnscoJohn's idea, especially for you new guys. Tape record the times as well as telling yourself which procedure you're doing, which is coming up, and what to do to prepare for it. This in conjunction with a written procedure list could be foolproof.

    Rick
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2010
  12. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I use a Paterson Triple Timer -http://www.patersonphotographic.com/patersondarkroom-details2.htm#middle

    It makes a Bleeping noise as each of the time periods are up.

    I set the first time for Developer, the second for Stop and the Third for Fixing

    As all 3 timers run concurrently, it allows you to time the whole process in one easy sequence.

    There is no back-lighting - so great for complete darkness.

    The only additional feature I would like the timer to have would be it made some sort of "tick-tock" noise to show it is running.
    I find standing in the complete dark, time seems to be a strangely elastic sort of thing - sometimes my 8m15s Dev time seems to be unexpectedly short catching me unawares and yet for others it is an absolute eternity – making me wonder if I have set the timer running.

    Martin
     
  13. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Why I like the Gralab- one can see it running. I often wondered "is that thing running" about the kitchen timer after what seemed like twenty minutes in the developer.
     
  14. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    What I did do (just back) was connect the radio to the timer. Set timer to 5 minutes, when radio dies hit timer again. Radio dies, move to stop. Count to 30 in head. Move to fix, agitate 10 seconds. Set timer to 3 minutes. Hit it. Radio dies, lights on. And the best part, on radio there was a documentary about Status Quo! Worse thing can happen than standing in dark rocking a tray while listening to "You're in the army now" :D

    One question. I noticed when I stood in the dark that I, more or less, constantly agitated the tray. Couldn't help it. Should one follow tank-guidelines for agitation when doing it in trays? What effect will over-agitation have? The opposite of stand development I guess. And that would be.....?

    r

    Mats
     
  15. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I was always advised against listening to music while developing film by a Lecturer at University

    He had found that students agitated their films in tune with the music - easy listening melodies = gentle agitation all the way up to death metal = very vigorous agitation.

    If you are consistent in your music choice then it doesn't matter.

    I knew someone who set up on a tape cassette with the times overlaid onto a set of music tracks - initially it worked great but the repeated listening to the same few songs again and again and again caused him to drop the idea.

    Martin
     
  16. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Great story. Definitely got a laugh out of me.
     
  17. mpirie

    mpirie Subscriber

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    Shimoda - What was the CI for your film processed to Status Quo "In the Army now"? :D

    Maybe we need to have a CI for each song or class of music? :surprised:

    Not that I'm volunteering of course !

    Mike
     
  18. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Let's see... Couldn't we just do away with the concept of N+ and N- development times and simply develop at the same time to different music?

    Need an expansion, put on the William Tell Overture, "Hi-ho Silver! Away!" Need a contraction, how about the adagio from Mahler's ninth. Normal? a Mozart allegro? Would the negatives look cooler if I listened to Miles Davis instead of Mozart? Maybe heroic classical music for landscapes, jazz or rock for gritty cityscapes, soft harp music for still-lifes? The possibilities are endless...

    Maybe I'll stick to my kitchen timer though.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  19. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [If you are consistent in your music choice then it doesn't matter.

    I knew someone who set up on a tape cassette with the times overlaid onto a set of music tracks - initially it worked great but the repeated listening to the same few songs again and again and again caused him to drop the idea.

    Martin[/QUOTE]
    ***********
    I made my tape with Händel's Messiah so there was no chance, for me, of it ever growing old.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    When my father worked for a film processor in the 1960s they had a reel to reel tape recorder with the processing instructions spoken at the correct times.


    Steve.
     
  21. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Will a Gralab 300 fog film???
     
  22. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Will a Gralab 300 fog the print?
     
  23. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    After my second Paterson died, as they do at a youthful age, I bought the ultimate: RH Designs Process Timer.

    It overcomes every problem mentioned on this thread, and is designed for one purpose only: developing film and paper. I guess that you could time your roast with it, but it doesn't play music.

    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/processmaster.html

    A cheaper option is the talking timer, which you will find anywhere that aids for vision impaired folk are sold, but they are bit fiddly to use in the dark, especially if you want to time stop and fix as well as development.

    Regards - Ross

    Regards - Ross
     
  24. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    This looks like a very useful device for this particular problem.

    Great

    r

    Mats
     
  25. mpirie

    mpirie Subscriber

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    All joking aside, I did the same as Ross and bought an RH Designs process timer.......it has got to be one of the best pieces of darkroom equipment I have.

    Mike