Newbie needs help selecting an Enlarger Timer

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by retrocam, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. retrocam

    retrocam Member

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    Hi,

    I'm beginning to accumulate my darkroom equipment :D. So far I've got :
    1) 50mm lens: Leitz Focotar f/4.5
    2) Enlarger: LPL 670XL VCCE - on backorder...hopefully it will arrive within the month. Thanks to this forum, I've managed to pick one without having to post a condenser vs diffusion vs cold light head thread. :wink:

    Now, I'm looking for a good enlarger timer that is compatible with the 670XL VCCE. My choices are:
    1) StopClock Pro (do I need the paperflasher as well?) - I have read a lot of good reviews about this. Is it sort of an overkill for a hobbyist?
    2) LPL ET-500 - this doesn't come with a footswitch (I think) and less features than the StopClock. I don't know what exchange rate is now - if the price difference with the StopClock less than $150 USD - I might go for the StopClock...
    3) Paterson 2000D - least expensive digital enlarger time that I've found so far.

    Which should I go for or are there other (better choices)? I would like to work with something that would save me from a lot of headaches...:tongue:

    Appreciate all the help I can get...

    Best Regards,
    annie
     
  2. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I use the Paterson 2000D with an LPL C7700 enlarger (I think that's virtually the same enlarger as yours) and it works fine. It is simple to use.
     
  3. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I use the LPL ET-500 and like it a lot. I just got the foot switch and it is great to use.

    Jon
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Three answers, three recommendations (surprise, surprise). The Stopclock is excellent too -- my wife Frances Schultz and I have been using one for years, sometimes quite hard (we do books and magazine articles on photography as well as our website www.rogerandfrances.com).

    What this means, with any luck, is that they're ALL good.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  5. rjas

    rjas Member

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    This will save you a lot of headaches:

    an extension cord with an inline switch + a metronome

    If you'd like to try it, get a digital metronome with adjustable BPM. Makes it simple for factoring in drydown and stuff like that!
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't have one but I think the stop clock is the good choice. Otherwise, I would either roll my own or get the metronome. Right now I am using a Gralab 505 but that's because it came with the enlarger. I print only color so the stop clock doesn't suit my technique well.
     
  7. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    I agree about a metronome. That's what I use. I'm curious, though, why does a metronome have to be digital to have adjustable beats per minute? I thought all metronome down to the old style wooden ones with the swinging arm and weight were adjustable. If they weren't, they'd be pretty useless, wouldn't they?

    Maybe I misunderstand.

    FWIW, there's an article out at Michaelandpaula.com about the benefits of using a metronome.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    They are all adjustable but the adjustment on the swing arm style is not precise. Basically you slide a weigh up and down on the swing arm.
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Annie,

    Purchase one you can set by feel in the dark. Ones with knobs fore tens of seconds and seconds that can be set by feeling the steps as you turn them are quite handy in a pinch. Omega and Gralab make nice models.

    Neal Wydra
     
  10. eric

    eric Member

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    To see if your basic, good old metronome is working right, put the weight on 60 beats per minute.
    See if it takes 1 minute to do 60 beats. Umm, pretty simple huh?
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    That's the problem. Not complicated enough!

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    If you wish to do burning or dodging then a metronone is probably your best bet. Otherwise, a simple one to control the enlarger and settable to a 1/10 of a second is all that is necessary.
     
  13. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Cheaper than the metronome is a digital wall clock that ticks once a second. The dial is useful in timing print development. Some wind-up clocks also work well, and are louder than digital clocks. Not all of them tick four times a second, though.
     
  14. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

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    The beauty of the RH designs timer is being able to do f stop printing very easily.
     
  15. retrocam

    retrocam Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for all the valuable replies.

    Anyway, I found that a local camera store here has a used ET-500 without a footswitch and the shopkeep agreed to sell it to me at a good low price. :D

    I'll pick it up one of these days. So now, I'm off to the next item on my list. :D

    Many thanks again.:smile:

    Best Regards,
    annie
     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's the ticket. All you'd ever NEED to do is set the metronome one time to 60 BPM and you're done. Why would anyone ever need to adjust it in the dark?
     
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Well, there might be the Zone System approach, where you need to set it faster or slower when you're developing film for N+ or N-. Trying to re-set it in the dark would be more difficult, and therefore morally superior.

    For some people, remember, the purpose of photography is not to make good pictures; it's to purify the soul through suffering.

    Cheers,

    R
     
  18. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I tried adjusting the regular "analog" metronomes, but I had a hard time lining it up exactly at the BPM I wanted. with a digital you just choose 60 or 61, there is no 60.482381. a regular ol wooden metronome is just fine, but I just bought the digital one because it was the same price, and I'd rather just always adjust it to 65 from 60 for drydown, instead of getting a calculator and adjusting all the times for 60 bpm. whatever works.
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Roger!
    I think the best way is to simply count one one thousand, two two thousand etc...
     
  20. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I don't have any personal experience with the StopClock Pro, having an Analyzer Pro instead; that said, the timer was worth the money several times over. The Analyzer Pro has a little sensor that needs to be calibrated for your paper settings, but when you get it done you can get a work print very quickly. The StopClock Pro has an additional exposure channel and a bunch of tricks that are very useful if you primarily do test strip printing; I haven't particulraly missed them when I have the sensor on the AP calibrated, although I have longed for them when I didn't have the AP fully up and running.

    If you get the StopClock Pro and decide you want the sensor later, RHDesigns sells an exposure meter that you can hook into the SCP; you don't have to rebuy the timer.

    I occasionally have to use normal timers, and it's amazing how irritating it is after using the RHDesigns stuff.
     
  21. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have used a Gralab 451, Gralab 9000, Gralab 300, Time-O-Lite, Jobo Multi-something, and a Jobo 5000. For color printing, The Jobo 5000 is by far the best (and most expensive). For black and white printing, especially split contrast printing which you will inevitably want to try, the RH Designs Stop Clock Pro is be far the best. It is one piece of darkroom gear that I would not want to change. Well worth the money. I would but the cheaper LPL until you get comfortable printing, and the get the RH Designs.
     
  22. retrocam

    retrocam Member

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    Yes...if and when I've gotten the hang of BW Printing and have the finances for it, I'll go for the Stop Clock Pro. :D

    Thanks,
    Annie
     
  23. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

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    Annie, dare I suggest that the StopClock Pro might help you get the hang of BW printing more easily and quickly? :smile:
     
  24. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    One problem I've found with my metronome is keeping track of the count with that slow Forte Polywarmtone. Maybe I'm getting too old. I use a Zone VI model that hooks to my cold light sensor and adjusts the timing as light intersity varies. A good timer feature is ability to generate an audio beat to use when burning and dodging.