Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
I'll bet a case of beer you wouldn't like one if you had one.

A little bit of time perusing a step tablet will tell the tale: look a the difference between 0.1 OD and 0.2 OD, now look at the difference between 1.8 OD and 1.9 OD - it's just not the same visual difference although it is the same same density difference.

Now, if you had this "D-Stop feature" in a timer you would have to tell the timer just where you wanted the density incremented. The same density increment takes a different time increment depending where on the HD curve you are sitting. And of course, it varies again with the paper and the developing and toning.

I find, in my printing, that a grey scale 'step tablet' made at around 10 equal stop intervals from white to black (ie, the zone system tones for the paper and developer I am using) is a very useful thing to have at hand when deciding how to expose an image. It also shows me what will happen to the highlights if I move the shadow tones, gives a quick indication of how much to burn and dodge. And with the meter and timer lets me make close to perfect prints on the first try without any test strips - the scale makes it much easier to see what I am asking for, because, unfortunately, the system gives me what I ask for and not what I want.

I think making zone-system/grey-scale 'step tablet' should be the first lesson in darkroom printing. Takes only a half hour to make, prevents a lifetime of pulled-out hair loss.
I have the RH Designs Analyser for my Ilford head. While it doesn't have a uniform density adjustment, it does show what each change will do to the printed density, both in exposure and contrast. It's also an f/stop timer. I would really hate to go back.

My other enlarger is for color and has a ZBE head where you can leave the time constant and it adjusts the density (in 1/30th of a stop increments). It is another excellent way of printing.

Either way thinking about adjustments in relative stops sure beats thinking in terms of seconds.