Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,561   Posts: 1,545,271   Online: 804
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    2,866

    Why do enlarger timers turn the safelight off during exposure?

    I have a gralab timer and it turns off the safelight during exposure. I always wondered about this, because it makes it hard to align the easel since when the image is on, the rest of the room is dark and vice versa. I was considering bringing in a small auxiliary safelight just so that I could see to position the easel with the image on, but why not just plug my safelight directly into the wall and leave it on all the time? I went to the darkroom at the university and they had whole-room safelights that obviously don't turn off during exposure. What's the rationale for the enlarger timer behavior?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,650
    Images
    5
    Good Evening, BetterSense,

    I don't really know why this is the common arrangement, but perhaps it's because the less light hitting the paper the better. Safelights aren't always completely safe, so it makes sense to have paper exposed to them as little as possible.

    Question: Why would you want to align the easel during the exposure? Standard practice is hands off at that time to avoid even inadvertent movement.

    Konical

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    46
    Such a feature is typically required if you use an enlarging meter. Most enlarging meters are sensitive to safe lights.

  4. #4
    BetterSense's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    2,866
    Well, not during exposure, but you must have the enlarger on to align the easel to the image. Especially if you are cropping in the easel, this can be quite a fiddly process. I usually put a blank sheet of paper in the easel for focusing and alignment, but with the safelights off with the enlarger on it's hard to see the black blades of my easel. I usually end up turning the enlarger on and off rapidly using the persistence of vision so I can see the easel and images alternately but it makes more sense to me to just leave the safelight on. My exposures are usually less than 30 seconds and the paper is in the developer tray under safelight longer than that, so I don't see the point.

    I have a homemade enlarging meter but since I calibrate it every time it would seem that the safelight wouldn't effect it any.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,560
    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Well, not during exposure, but you must have the enlarger on to align the easel to the image. Especially if you are cropping in the easel, this can be quite a fiddly process. I usually put a blank sheet of paper in the easel for focusing and alignment, but with the safelights off with the enlarger on it's hard to see the black blades of my easel....

    I have a homemade enlarging meter but since I calibrate it every time it would seem that the safelight wouldn't effect it any.
    Are you opening the lens all the way up?
    I have no problem with seeing the image on the white easel and the borders cut off by the black blades... but some lenses have smaller aps.

    I thought the graylab had a toggle switch that you threw one way for normal use and the otherway for the safelight... its been many years but that is the way I remember it....

    Hows the homemade meter?
    Last edited by Ray Rogers; 05-03-2009 at 08:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dedham, Ma, USA
    Shooter
    Med. Format Pan
    Posts
    625
    Burning and dodging is easier with the safe light off. You can always plug the safe light into another outlet.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland, USA
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,504
    You don't have to plug into the timer so the safelight turns off. Personally I find burning and dodging easier without the safelight on. In the school were I teach, we use sodium safelights, which take forever to come up to their brightness, so you don't want to turn them on and off constantly. We have them plug in independent of the timers used.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    17,290
    Images
    20
    Enlarging timers are usually designed to turn the safelight off for focusing, and I suppose that turning the safelight off during the exposure is just a byproduct of that arrangement.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Milton, DE, USA
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    6,980
    Blog Entries
    29
    Images
    19
    But, and I noticed this last week and I have a Gra Lab as well, the safelight WILL NOT come on unless the timer was just on and has just run out to 0, as in after exposure of the paper. If you turn on the enlarger to compose another print you lose the safelight for placing paper on the easel until after the timer has run out.

    So I bypassed this deficiency (IMHO) by, as aforementionedly mentioned aforely (wow, where did that come from), plugging the safelight into another outlet, not into the side of the timer.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Valley Stream, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,216
    I use an enlarging meter, the Jobo Comparator II to be exact. It is sensitive to the safelight, so you don't want the safelight on while making measurements. I also find it much easier to compose and focus with the safe lights off. I use a blank sheet of paper with grid marks drawn on it for composing. You'd be surprised at how much easier it is to get the image lined up properly that way. It is difficult to see the black blades of the easel with only the projected light hitting them, but that's also rectified as well. I've simply covered the edge with a piece of masking tape. It's not white like the paper, so you can see the difference; and you always know exactly where it is in relation to the image. Rocket science it ain't.
    Frank Schifano

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin