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  1. #1

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    The big deal about enlarger timers?

    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?

  2. #2

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    Timer is JUST that.... Turns on the power and shuts off when the time is up. The "interface" is an AC outlet.

    You don't really need one, if you are content with using your wrist watch or a metronome and manually turn on and off the enlarger. Some people prefer that way. I don't. Is it worth it? Maybe?

    As to analyzer, I do not have one and don't intend to get one for a while partially due to cost.

    Is that your question???
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I have worked for years as a custom printer and never once have I felt the need for an analyzer. I do use a good timer, but that is for consistency more than anything else. I have used a black card and a metronome before with very good results.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  4. #4

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    A timer means you are not reinventing the wheel with every exposure. NO ONE is able to make that perfect print the first time. A good timer eliminates the need to track time and allows you to concentrate on burning and dodging. At least that is what I used one for.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  5. #5

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    An f stop timer is a great aid. It enables you to make increments in exposure in equal steps at the press of a button, something which is more tricky with a a basic second timer. Wouldn't be without mine.

    Tony

  6. #6
    Zathras's Avatar
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    I remember seeing some incredible prints up in Yosemite that were done by some bearded old guy from Carmel, California. He never used an enlarger timer either, just a metronome. Some of his images sell for more than I make in a year.
    When the chips are down,

    The buffalo is empty!!!



  7. #7
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have lived at both ends of this discussion.

    Last summer printing at a pal's cabin. Power from solar cells and batteries and an invertor. The electronic timer hated the harmonics from the invertor, and the mechanical one very cranky also. The solution was to stop the lens down, and steal the metronome from the next room. Base exposure count 9, start dodge, coutn 12 cover lens. Set up for burning in, light on, count 3, cover lens, light off.

    About 20 years ago, print the grad photos for the faculty of engineering at my uni. over 160 portraits, all shot by me under the same light, same film, same development. Dial in the contrast on the first one at 8x10, crank the head down for the small print sizes required, open the lens up to f/8 and let the auto repeating time do it's thing. Exposure time was 3.1 seconds, and repeated as fast as I could shift the negative to the next frame selected for exposure, and swap in a fresh piece of paper.
    The 36 exposure 35mm film was not cut and sleeved until after all of the prints were made, to make it faster to move on to the next needed neg.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    I remember seeing some incredible prints up in Yosemite that were done by some bearded old guy from Carmel, California. He never used an enlarger timer either, just a metronome. Some of his images sell for more than I make in a year.
    And how many of those bearded people do you know? I've used the metronome. Timer much better. JMO
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    It is really difficult to accurately add 1/3 of an f/stop of exposure to a 6 second main exposure without an accurate timer.

    And I don't know about you, but the accuracy and repeatability of my "inner" clock is at least partially related to whether or not I have had my morning coffee.

    I have worked without a timer, but I certainly prefer having one - with a foot-switch!
    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

  10. #10
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    A metronome is just a timer without a power chord.

    I use a timer because I get sick of counting all the time. I still count when I'm over the wet side and it gets mighty boring.

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