Enlarging Timer Hell!!!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by bmac, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I have been using a Gralab 300 timer for both Enlarging and timing film development for almost three years now. I think I am now ready to move to something with a little more control and repeatability. I'm looking for suggestions. Should I go with a digital times (Yilkes! I said digital on APUG!!!) or should I grab an old Time o' light? What are you using?

    Brian

    ps,
    This times will be used with both an Omega D2 (for 6x7 anf 4x5) and a B600 (35mm)
     
  2. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Nuernberg, G
    The Time-O-Lite is an old favorite. I used it 25 years ago in art school. But I would go with the digital timer if I were you. I have a digital timer as part of my Ilford Multi 500H head. It allows for burn in time, and up to ten pre sets, making a print requiring several burn ins quite easy to repeat.
     
  3. EUGENE

    EUGENE Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Brian, check out the Besseler analog enlarging timer, with the foot controller. They also make a digital model, if you want to spend the additional money. The foot controller is a must-have accessory. Continue to use your Gralab 300 to time processing procedures. That's what it does the best. The luminous dial is safe for film, if you keep it about three, or four feet away. I've been using that combination for many years with no problems.
     
  4. John Hicks

    John Hicks Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    I use a digital Kearsarge 301; it's industrial-strength, bulletproof etc, $249.95 at B&H. Yes there are cheaper with more features, but this thing was used daily at a pro lab before I got ahold of it maybe 10 years ago, and I think it's got a couple hundred thousand more miles in it.

    Otherwise, I'd be strongly inclined to consider an RH Designs Stopclock www.rhdesigns.co.uk/ since I print with the f-stop timing method anyway.
     
  5. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bmacphoto.com @ Oct 16 2002, 08:16 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I have been using a Gralab 300 timer for both Enlarging and timing film development for almost three years now. I think I am now ready to move to something with a little more control and repeatability. I'm looking for suggestions. Should I go with a digital times (Yilkes! I said digital on APUG!!!) or should I grab an old Time o' light? What are you using?

    Brian

    ps,
    This times will be used with both an Omega D2 (for 6x7 anf 4x5) and a B600 (35mm)</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I have used an fstop timer for years, it gives my absolute control in my printing. It is manufactured by a British company, RH Designs and I can recommend it and would suggest that you give it the once over.
     
  6. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Thank you one and all!
     
  7. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    A metronome (or other audible timer is the only way to go to get exact repeatability. And use a card to uncover and cover the print. Never have the timer do it for you. I wrote about this in an article "On Printing", which was originally published in View Camera magazine. It can be found at www.michaelandpaula.com under "Writings." Although I use a metronome for contact printing, the same principles hold for enlarging. Use of an audible timer will cut your darkroom time by 30%, more or less, with more consistent results, particularly when dodging or burning.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  8. EUGENE

    EUGENE Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    The Besseler analog timer that I use has audible beeper capability. The only difficulty I have with the audible setting is that I can't hear it. I've lost so much of my hearing ability that the audible feature is useless. I really like the foot control capability of those timers, however.
     
  9. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I can see the advantages of a metronome, but I honestly can image using it without going nuts! Plus how would I hear it over my music! Gotta play Credance full blast while printing... always!

    Brian
     
  10. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,133
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    and I can't count without my fingers...

    I can understand how using it would be faster though... although in the total picture it wouldn't make much difference.
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bmacphoto.com @ Oct 16 2002, 10:16 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>"Should I go with a digital..."</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Go digital; easier to use and more versatile. I can recommend the Saunders
    ET 500. It includes enlarger and safelight outlets and foot switch inlet. Low
    range is from 0.1 to 99.9 seconds and hi range is from 1 to 999 seconds.

    Hi, low, and off light levels and tone at end or count, are usefull. Nice size
    LEDs and start/reset button make for easy use. About $129. Dan
     
  12. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have a Metrolux II that has a metronome in it and it has programable channels and also offers a shutter checker and a small densitometer. maybe a little overkill but it is the best piece of equipment in my darkroom.


    lee
     
  13. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It is impossible to overemphasize the absolute indispensibility of a metronome when printing. Mine drives my wife and kids nuts and I've had to give up listening to music when I make prints, but nothing else has done more to improve my printing ability than this $30 device. You'll get that back in just a couple of printing sessions from the money you save on paper alone.

    Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee use a metronome to make their contact prints and Ansel Adams always used one to make his enlargements. Try it and you'll know why.
     
  14. Cem

    Cem Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Gralab 300 is not accurate enough for repeatability, especially for short times. You should go with a digital timer.
    I use a Kearsarge 301, and highly recommend it: built like tank, very simple logical design, has everything i need, and more importantly nothing i don't need. This thing must be designed by someone who actually prints.
    I use a Gralab 300 for film development, moving hands are perfect for inversions. And i actually have a third timer, Gralab 451, in the tray area. This allows 2 different sequential time programming, so everytime i press "start", it alternates between developer and fixer time.
    This whole arrangement may seem like overkill, but when one spends a lot of time in the dark, anything that saves time and frustration pays off. Everything stays in its place and ready to use.
     
  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Interesting split here, between the superautomatic and metronome users...

    I vote for metronome myself; I had used one for years before I discovered Ansel Adams did the same. If it was good enough for him, it's certainly good enough for me!
     
  16. Lemastre

    Lemastre Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    I used an electric metronome for several years but have had a series of electronic timers lately. My printing times are usually less than 10 seconds, so I need to count in tenths of a second, which the electronic gadgets do very well. With the metronome, I could get only about a half-second accuracy. Surprisingly, a couple tenths of a second make a significant difference in a print that takes only a few seconds over all.
     
  17. fineart

    fineart Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    I'm glad to read that last entry by Michael... I thought I was the only oddball in the world doing this.

    I never use a timer, I count. The metronome is set at 1 second intervals. Turn on the enlarging light and hold a card under the lens. Move it away to expose the paper and count. When you're done exposing, move the card over the lens and turn the light off. Good for enlarging and contact printing, test strips - everything. Edge burning for enlargements is especially easy doing this.

    I leave the thing beeping the whole time I'm working. You'd think the sound would drive you crazy, but it's nice. It's comforting. Do this about 6 times and you won't be able to use a timer again... maybe.

    I bought mine in a music store for about $20.00. It's electronic!

    Anthony - Fine Art Photo Supply