Quick, a show of hands..., well actually a statement of opinion on you favorite darkroom timer. I am trying to figure out what I want from a timer and I thought that I would put it to all of you to help me out with some suggestions. I want the timer to be able to control the enlarger, obviously, but I also want it to have a long enough time cycle to be able to time my neg. developing by. So let me know what you use and why you like it best. Thanks.
I have used an RH designs Stopclock (enlarger timer) for the past 6 years and I love it. Fstop printing, test strip function in 1/4 stop increments, 2 channels and multiple burn in sequence memory programming. Best of all its really simple to use!
Now the downside. It only goes up to 255 secs. Sorry!
I use a separate cheapie digital triple timer for process timing
I used a LPL digital for enlarging it is not suitable for negatives though.. because of the led display and the rather shorter timing..(2-3mins i beleive)
I use a cheap timer i bought from radioshack that i can operate in total darkness with ease.. does the job
but i forgot to mention i tray develop 4x5 and 8x10 negatives so it will be much different for tank developing 35mm negs..
RH Designs Stopclock Pro for the enlarger. Expensive, worth every penny, accept no substitute.
For film processes I use my Palm unit and a wonderful free program called Foto Timer which remembers all the times and agitation patterns for different films for me and even warns me when an agitation is due. Much easier than a normal timer and highly recommended.
For the trays I use a sports stopwatch, half the price of a timer from a photo store and at least as good.
As does Deniz, I use an LPL digital timer for printing. It has a red LED display that doesn't affect paper exposure and allows timing in 10ths of a second. (when calculating a 9% to 12% dry-down adjustment, that feature is very useful.) It's also not too expensive (less than $140 I think...I don't remember with certainty) and fits nicely on the enlarger table or on the wall.
The wet side uses an old Time-o-Lite analog timer (looks very similar to a GraLab 300) with metal hands which are easy to reach out and adjust for developing negatives or timing developer or fixer. When I first began to tray develop film, I asked about the affect of the glowing hands on the film and was assured there would be none. That's proven true.
i use a gralab 300 for processing film. it looks like a giant black clock with markings from 0-59. it glows in the dark so when i'm running sheet film i move it beyond the fixer tray and angle it toward to wall. so far no film fogging issiues. i throw a towel over the timer when i'm loading film. it's really simple to use, great for running film but i wouldn't recommend it as a enlarging timer.
for enlarging i use an old lectra or beseler audible timer, but julian's timer sounds great!
which ever timer you do choose for printing make sure it's a repeating timer or you'll go crazy :-)
Metrolux II for 5x7 enlarger
545 Gralab for 6x6 enlarger
625 Gralab for timing development and other timiing stuff.
I find that it makes a lot of sense (well, for me, anyway) to use separate timers for dry and wet processes. For the enlarger, I cast another vote for R.H. Designs. I use their Analyser Pro. The model I have is specifically designed for the Ilford 500 Multigrade head. When I first got it, all I could say was, "Wow!". I still do; it's great.
At the sink I really like the Zone VI compensating developing timer.
For the enlarger, if you are using a coldlight, you will need a compensating timer of some sort. I'm using a MetroLux, actually two of them. It has memories, drydown, lamp decay compensation, timer or compensation timing, shutter speed timer, the buttons have a nice feel, rugged as can be, exposures from 0.1 to 9999 sec. Can be used for platinum printing. Great timer.
Dedicated multigraph timer and control unit on the L1200 (no choice really). Durst AT 100 on the modular 70 and a Paterson wind up timer for films and trays. I find the tick rather soothing.