I'd vote for digital. I just brought Dr. Beat into the darkroom, and am more accurate than my Gralab 300. Setting small intervals for test strips had quite a bit of variance, but we never really printed anything less than 10 seconds. With Dr. Beat, I can set sixteenths @ 120 BPM and get 1/32 second intervals, with quiet good accuracy.
However, I have been playing bass for over a decade (mostly jazz) and have been noted for having excellent time and groove. My girlfriend is a drummer, so she's definitely not a slouch with beat/groove either. YMMV depending on your musical skill, though. For us, at least, we've been overall happier just manually hitting the switch on our voltage regulator and using a metronome vs the old GraLab 300, so if were going to buy one again, it would be a digital one.
New-ish convert to film.
Pentax MX for 35mm
Bronica ETRS for 645
I have a Saunders digital timer and love it. One big factor to consider is consistency. I know that setting it for 8 seconds is going to give me the same time every time. I had a "Time-o-lite" that would be anywhere from 6 to 10 seconds if set for 8. That gets aggravating fast if you're trying to make several prints in a row the same.
I use a Time-o-lite one minute timer similar to this M-72 model for timing the enlarger bulb and making contact prints. Having gone through digital and solid-state meters, I still prefer to use these. They can be found on ebay for very little. Plenty adequate for my work. Then I use the GRALAB Model 300 for timing development in trays/drums. Both timers mentioned have a dial face.
Last edited by DannL.; 01-06-2014 at 06:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Digital timers work well with f-stop printing - I recommend them.
Thanks, Matt! I've got my eye on a Peterson copy on eBay! I'll look up what f-stop printing is in the meantime
I hope you don't mind an unrelated question to what the post is about, but other than a difference in light output, why does an enlarger lens have an aperture range? Or is that the sole purpose? Does it actually effect focus? Does a smaller aperture give you a sharper image?