RHDesigns fstop timers

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by lee, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    All,

    I am in the fact finding mode for a Stop Clock Pro. I am interested in any and all words and reviews of said timer. If you use one or have used one I would be interested in your impressions. The guys at RH Designs can chime in too. How has this timer improved your printing? Was this a positive experience? thanks for your time.


    lee\c
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,842
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Rotterdam, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Lee,

    Have you already downloaded the manual from the RHDesigns website?

    Hans
     
  3. ScottH

    ScottH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I love mine. I'm one of those 'time limited' printers, so I can get a basic exposure estimate, run one test strip (2 if I can't decide on the contrast I want) and then proof print. I know more experienced printers could do this w/o the timer, but that's not me, yet. Excellently designed product and cust. service.
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

    Messages:
    3,894
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Engla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have one of the early versions that provides 1/4 stop steps and would not be without it.
     
  5. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi Hans,

    I have not downloaded the manual but I have read almost everythng on the site.

    I am looking for testimonials from satisfied or not so satisfied customers. I can see the benifit of the timer but I just want to hear from real people that have used them.

    lee\c
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excuse me if I do not have experience with the Pro, just with the Stopclock Lite. The second most importand equipment in my darkroom after the enlarger (an air conditioner being the third). It is very well constructed. The buttons have a good feel to them, easy and soft to press yet they lower with a nice click. It does everything it is supposed to do perfectly. My only gripe is that I use a Kaiser enlarger and you need to press the print button everytime you turn the timer on to enable the half second delay function for the said enlarger. It could have been better with a switch.
    I am thinking of selling it though, only because I will be getting an Analyser Pro!

    It now really surprises me that there are printers which do not have an RH timer!
    How can they do without one?
     
  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    One of the members of our Large Format Users Group here in Calgary has one. His also has an analyzer built in too. He swears by it. We were over at his place for the last meeting and saw it in action. Seems like a good box. If I could afford one I would buy it. Another member of our group has just the f-stop timer. He too is thrilled with it.

    I don't think you can go wrong with the RH Designs products.
     
  8. KenM

    KenM Member

    Messages:
    800
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Alb
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    If you're after a simple f/stop timer, you can always purchase a kit from this guy.
     
  9. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a StopClock Pro, and it's the very best piece of darkroom kit (possibly photographic kit) that I've ever bought, and no, I'm not on commission!

    I bought it just before I needed to handprint 10 calenders (with a print for each month, plus spares) for family and friends. If it hadn't been for this timer I'd be there yet! The company give you a ten-day money-back guarantee; before that time was up I'd rather have parted with my tonsils! Now, the words "cold dead hands" spring to mind...

    A read of the manual will give you an idea of the functionality, but not the ease of use. I believe our own Les McLean had a degree of input into the design; if so, it shows.

    Superb kit. Can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  10. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It took me a while to get used to using it; the F-stop stuff was obviously useful and I really liked the test strip, but the process of choosing paper grade etc. took me some getting used to--not due to any failing in the timer or its user interface mind! I'm not letting mine go.
     
  11. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Fond du Lac,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with Frank, although it's not perfect. I'd prefer more than 10 programable steps per channel, and I'd like to be able to turn on the enlarger light at a step, say to postion a dodger with a card over the negative, without canceling the printing sequence.

    -Peter
    www.desmidt.net
     
  12. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would highly recommend RHDesigns equipment, Lee. Got the analyser a while ago, now honestly don't know how I did without it. I believe the Stop Clock has a dry down compensation function which would be useful (for those who don't believe it is a myth ;-)).

    F-Stop printing is very intuitive for photographers and much more efficient; this combined with the foot peddle alone would make it worth getting imo. The programmable steps that Peter refers to, make it a must have.
     
  13. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

    Messages:
    527
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Toulouse, Fr
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Lee !
    I own my Analyser pro for a year now.
    It is the finest piece of equipment I've ever bought (to go in a darkroom) even superior to my Durst Laborator 1000 4x5 enlarger !
    I was told to print finding the most important highlight in my print, finding a correct exposure for it, and then adjust contrast to get the dark tones right.
    With this Analyser, things are done without printing ! you measure the highlights and shadows, and adjust time/contrast to put the LEDs on the proper position on the scale. The first print is a nearly perfect one (you only need to dodge/burn if the print requires it) !
    So I save on paper, time, frustration, and I've tryed it on negs which were quite impossible to print, and it took me a few seconds to have a "correct" print ! Of course, the print you get is a fine unmanipulated one, so you will have, as usual, to close the outer edges, or darken the sky, or.... But even this is easiest because the tmer can measure this and give you the timing for the extra exposure needed !
    I wonder why it took me so long to buy one ! And as you save on papers, it will pay for it soon .....
    Add to this that it is a sturdy steel box made to last and you've a perfect piece of gear.
    Hpe you will enjoy yours !
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. mikeg

    mikeg Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Shropshire,
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Totally agree with everyone. I don't have a Stop Clock Pro but I did get the Analyser Pro for Christmas and it's superb. Takes awhile to get used to f/stop printing but now I wouldn't be without it. My only criticism is that the buttons have multiple functions depending on what mode you're in, which is slightly confusing at first. It could also do with a bit more information and feedback on what mode it's in displayed on the LCD panel. Even though I've got the analyser I still occasionaly use the test strip mode which is fantastic. Just that alone is worth the money!

    Mike
     
  16. fred

    fred Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    See also for the splitgrade from Heiland.
    They are doing a good supporting job...

    Fred
     
  17. Philip Corlis

    Philip Corlis Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    StopClock Professional on Ebay

    Hope this is ok - just thought I'd let you all know I just listed a StopClock Professional for sale on ebay. I also listed a Nova Washmaster Eco there too. Health forces sale.

    Thank You

    Philip Corlis
     
  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

    Messages:
    2,767
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dang, Philip, you should have listed them for sale here and you could have bypassed the Ebay fees. I would have bought at least one of those.
     
  19. Philip Corlis

    Philip Corlis Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'm not a subscriber - so technically - I guess even this mention is verboten. Sorry If I've messed up here.

    Philip Corlis
     
  20. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lee
    I used the RH f-stop timer on a workshop with Les McLean recently and it is a superb piece of kit. I only used it for 2 days but that was enough to convince me that I want/need one.
    I practice f-stop printing using tables and manually setting the increments which can be a PITA. The clock made it a breeze. The 2 channel memory and test strip functions are great as is the abilty to set in a dry-down factor
    Its definitly on my shopping list

    Phill
     
  21. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I bought the Analyser 500 (for the Ilford Multigrade 500) and it is a great device. The support from RH Designs in calibrating it was also very impressive. So far in my short period with it I have found no faults, other than I wish it did 1/24 stop adjustments with multiple steps like the pure Timer.

    I will probably buy their timer for my color enlarger.
     
  22. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

    Messages:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Shooter:
    35mm
    F-stop timing is the best thing I ever did for my priting. The second best thing was compensating for my cold light head, and the third was an analyzer pro (although this was a new purchase and I haven't used it too long). They are great folks to work with. Beware that the timer has special plugs which require you to change the plug on your enlarger, I just chopped up an old extension cord rather then clip the plug off my enlarger. If I has it to do over I would skip the cold light and use timer-analyzer pro combination.
     
  23. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,494
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Bath, OH 442
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Lee,

    I got the StopClock Vario as part of the group purchase Frank Filippone generously arranged with delivery late last August. It was ordered to go with Michael Mutmansky’s Durst 138S converted to 8x10 with Aristo Cold light head. He also highly recommended it.

    In the brief two months of use I agree with all the positives listed by others above. I can add that the Vario model’s sensor adjusts beautifully for all the inconsistencies of cold light printing. Without the Vario sensor no two prints of equal time are of equal amounts of light. I discovered that the other day when I inadvertently disconnected the sensor and got darker prints by using shorter exposures. That was a surprise.

    We have sporadic electrical power here. Since the StopClock is more sophisticated electronics than anything else in my darkroom I have added a surge suppressor. England is a long way to go for parts from down town Bath, Ohio, so an extra precaution.

    There are a lot of happy people in this camp. Come join us.

    John Powers
     
  24. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I bought a stopclock pro off ebay back in March or April. I think this is a great piece of equipment. I too use it on a Durst 138s with condensers.

    lee\c
     
  25. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

    Messages:
    3,049
    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, Lee, I'll throw my hat (or cheesehead) into the "love it; can't live without it" ring. About the only thing I would change with the unit is to add a 'reset' function, so I can set everything back to my base time without either manually changing it, or turning it off. "Clear" does not do this... only clears the memory (ie, channel).

    The manual is... well... it's most likely written by an engineer (nothing against engineers...my beloved is one) but the reference numbers on the illustrations are a mess & the thing is a tad bit disjointed. I've thought about emailing him that I'd be happy as a clam to do a re-write for him. :wink:
     
  26. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    Olías del Re
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dont think twice and jump over one of those.
    Once you get used to it, even your guessing skills will be improved :D, and best of all, it does not have extras, everything comes in the package.

    A zonemaster will be a quite interesting complementary device, then all guessing will vanish as well the endless test strips without being an automatic everything print device.

    The only thing I regret is haven't bought it before.