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  1. #11
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlbertZeroK View Post
    Okay, i get it, I can make the same print again and again with a timer, but other than that, why should I have one? And what's with the analyzer / timer combos or interfaces?

    Is it all really worth it?
    If being able to have predictable and repeatable prints matters to you, then it is almost a necessity to measure the time in some way other than with "instinct." It does not need to be a traditional enlarger timer. It can just be you watching a ticking clock, or counting beats on a metronome. One can count 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, and I would argue that this is a sort of "timer." But one will not be able to count identically from exposure to exposure.

    If you like freewheeling and just coming up with Whatever by chance/guess each time you make an exposure, then you don't need one.

    If you want to print without a timer and get the best repeatability, you might want to stop down so you can use longer exposure times. That way small variations in time don't have as large an effect on the print.

    You really don't need one with lith printing. Small exposure variations don't really matter, and the times are so long that you can just use a clock.

    But enlarger timers are so ridiculously cheap on the used market that I would just pick one up. You should be able to get a Gra-Lab for next to nothing. They are a hassle, as they are not repeating timers. But they are cheap and get the job done.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  2. #12
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Ive only used counting, and cheap timers before (time o light, and gralab 300) and Ive been looking for a nice digital timer for cheap as well. Timers are just so useful, esp when doing test sheets. A timer with a metronome is even better!

  3. #13
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I'm a bearded old guy without a metronome far from Carmel, and often make do with a quartz clock that ticks once a second. That's really handy when dodging and burning. It even has a dial, great for longer times. An electronic kitchen timer is convenient for developing film in trays. Counting seconds is a useful tool for the complete photographer in the field as well as in the darkroom. It can tell one how fast a thunderstorm is approaching. I've heard that Arturo Toscanini know within a second or two how long the music he was conducting would be, and he wasn't even a photographer!

  4. #14

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    For me a digital timer with a foot pedal and an electric metronome set to one "click" per second for dodging and burning. Memory is not always as accurate as we think especially when the phone rings or someone knocks on the darkroom door in the middle of an exposure.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  5. #15
    RPC
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    With my enlarger, when I make small prints (5x7 or smaller), the exposure time is often less than 5 or 6 seconds, often requiring tenths of a second accuracy to get exposure just right. That would be difficult without my timer.

    RPC

  6. #16
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPC View Post
    With my enlarger, when I make small prints (5x7 or smaller), the exposure time is often less than 5 or 6 seconds, often requiring tenths of a second accuracy to get exposure just right. That would be difficult without my timer.

    RPC
    That has to be frustrating and wasteful of paper and time. It would be to me. I would seriously consider adding some neutral density and/or getting a lower-output lamp. Then you won't need to deal in fractions of seconds.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #17
    jmcd's Avatar
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    I used to use a timer but now use my clock with audible ticking seconds as a metronome. I really like this method.

  8. #18
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    That has to be frustrating and wasteful of paper and time. It would be to me. I would seriously consider adding some neutral density and/or getting a lower-output lamp. Then you won't need to deal in fractions of seconds.
    When I'm doing multiple small prints from the same negative (think APUG postcard exchange) I really appreciate the ability to use short exposure times, adjusted to the nearest 0.1 second.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #19
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    When I'm doing multiple small prints from the same negative (think APUG postcard exchange) I really appreciate the ability to use short exposure times, adjusted to the nearest 0.1 second.
    I definitely see why you do that in this special case, but I was referring to the poster, who sounded to me like he was not doing postcard exchanges. I wouldn't call post card exchanges the norm. Most people don't need to bang out 50 near-identical 5x7's as quickly as possible. And many timers (including my own) cannot do fractions of seconds. So I think 5 or 6 second exposures are not generally desirable, hence my comment above.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #20

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    I'm making due with no safelight and a cheap Stirling and Noble wall clock from Target. The only real hassle is not hearing well enough (or not having a loud enough clock ) to hear from more than a few feet away. I have to put the clock on the table by the enlarger so I can hear it. The table with my trays are literally 3 feet away on the other side of my outdoor shed / darkroom, so I can hear it when developing the paper without having to move it from beside the enlarger.

    My exposure times when enlarging are around 20 seconds with 35mm film at halfway between 5.6 and 8 on my lens, so exposing a second longer while I fumble for the switch on my surge protector isnt a problem. I use my enlarger as a light source when contact printing 5x7; the exposure times are between 4:30 and 6:00 minutes, so a second or two is even less of a problem. A couple of seconds too long in the print developer isnt too big of a problem for me. I know that little bit of inaccuracy that doesnt affect my prints, or has so little effect that I cant tell, might be a problem for someone else. Just posting what works for me

    BTW, before anyone gives me crap about not having a safelight, I broke my last one. Apparently the Arista brand safelights cant tolerate being dropped from more than a few feet. I knocked it on the floor and the light shot. I cant find a bulb that fits in any local stores, so I have to order a new bulb from Freestyle. the problem is I can never remember to do it when I make an order. Maybe I'll just get a safelight that takes standard size bulbs so I can just go to Lowe's whenever I knock my safelight on ther floor.... or I could just mount i to the celing, but that would be too much trouble...
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

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