What are you using for basic timer?
What are you using for a basic in the dark timer? I have an LED alarmclock that I modified years ago. It counts up in seconds. Gets to 9:99 and rolls over. I have a footswitch on it for a reset. The new clocks I haven't been able to figure out how to do this modification. I have a Graylab that I use in the kitchen and it is okay for the darkroom, but I'd like something that I can reset with a footswitch. Analog or digital ok. I prefer count up. This is for developing paper, film, timing washing, all that stuff, but not enlarging.
I have a metrolux II for enlarging and a zone 6 timer for processing and it counts up. both are digital.
Interesting switch. Darkroom timer in the kitchen and a modified clock in the darkroom. I picked up an older model Gralab I think model 500. I later picked up a foot switch. It is a universal foot switch which works on all of the digital Grablab models. It works the same as the switch you would use to start the timer and resets the timer. I have a color enlarger and can make infinite contrast adjustments and appreciate the 1/10ths of sec in a darkroom timer.
I forgot to add that this is a digital timer. I also have the 300 which I mostly use to time print development and finishing.
Have a basic GRALAB 300 for film and paper development.
A Zone VI timer on one enlarger and a Beseler digital on the other. Everything counts down. Tone is shut off.
My nerdy timer
My enlarger is plugged into an old Time-O-Lite 60 second timer. My wall clock makes a mechanical click every second and has a safelight pointed at it. I use that for paper develop/stop/fix timing.
The thing is, I'm a geek/nerd afflicted with two conditions. First, I can never remember simple things very long (ex: "Is this the third or forth time I've pressed the 60 second 'time' button?"). Second, I can't leave things alone - I have to improve/break everything I come in contact with. I wrote software for my laptop that gives me audible beeps for timing enlargements and paper development. It gives me sounds for:
Start enlarging - 5 seconds remaining - Stop enlarging
Place paper in develop tray - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
Place paper in stop tray - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
Place paper in fix tray 1 - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
Place paper in fix tray 2 - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
In the future, I'll probably modify my timer software to time film development and remind me when to agitate.
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A Zone VI Compensating development timer. Has setting for "Film-Paper-and-RealTime".
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For fixing, washing, etc. I use my basic gralab.
I develop film by inspection, so I usually set the gralab to something like a half hour so I can, in effect, count up to know when's a good time to peek and finally, how long I ended up developing.
For contact prints and enlargements, michaelandpaula have converted me through their writings to using a metronome. I used to use metronome software on my palm pilot, but I've since found the metronome that my wife used in high school. Lets me wait until the bulb warms up to start exposing my paper, lets me use both hands without mucking with some gadget, and I don't need to reset anything between base exposure and burns.
For developing prints, I've got a countdown timer on my watch, so I just press the button on my watch for a 2-minute timer. I use rapid fix and confirm the strength wtih a film clearing test before each session, so I know that by the time I've exposed and developed one print, the previous print is ready to leave the fix for the holding bath.
Gralab 545 and Metrolux II compensating timer for enlargers, and a Gralab 625 for timing developers, fixers etc. All three are digital.
timer for washing?
A timer for washing? Okay, I don't get it. I use a Gralab 450 for prints. A radio shack $10 digital timer for film.
This is for developing paper, film, timing washing, all that stuff, but not enlarging.
For paper, I have an old, old 60 second timer. I put paper in, press the button. If RC, I wait 30 seconds and put in stop, bounce paper up and down 3 times (I'm using a NOva) and put in fix, turn on light. For fiber, I do the timer 60 seconds sometimes more, don't need to be perfect. But for washing, anything more than 5 minutes, I don't see the point in timing it. As soon as I put prints to be washed, I watch a TV show or check email and in 15 minutes, I take it out (for RC) or dip in HCA and wash again.
I use a GraLab for enlarger & mechanical metronome for Azo contact prints. After reading Way Beyond Monochrome , I'd like to get an f/stop timer because I'm always having to guestimate number of seconds +- to change for 1 f/stop of print exposure.
van Huyck Photo
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