</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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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