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Assembling a darkroom

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Leonila, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    Am I wrong in thinking the Coltim is a process timer? If you want a basic reliable timer, then a Durst TIM 60 will fit the bill
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    Ah, yes. But if I'm printing, I find it requires concentration - which I can't do with the radio on. Then again, maybe you can't either, or you could count better.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    Many thanks for all the helpful responses - am a step closer to sorting out the darkroom puzzle now :)
     
  4. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    What is the difference between a process timer and an exposure timer?

    I tried to look up Durst own description of the two (http://www.jollinger.com/photo/cam-coll/manuals/enlargers/durst/Durst_Accessories.pdf). Durst TIM-60 is described as an `electromechanical exposure timer`, while Durst Coltim as a `useful device for programming colour processing sequence` - for film or paper. So, if I am not mistaken, it sounds like TIM-60 is specifically for timing exposure, while Coltim is for any film/colour processing needs (which should, arguably, include exposure?). Also, what puzzles me is what makes Coltim specific to colour - to me it looks more like a relatively basic timer that can be used for different needs...
     
  5. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    The craft of photography can be experienced in a different way with analogue. It's hard to describe (I really should get a Blog going - might force me to write about it) but in contrast, digital can almost become or be reduced to a button pushing exercise. Many of my (RC) prints are washed manually and even that mundane task of rocking a tray with changes of wash water allows for creative appreciation, thinking & decision making. Same thing happens again in selecting board, marking up, cutting the mat and mounting the print. :) I even quite enjoy spotting!!! :eek::rolleyes: {Usually after it's nearly done.}
     
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    Think you may be right. Don't know much about Durst stuff (I use Paterson timers) but one resource you may find useful, Leonila, is FADU. FADU = Film & Darkroom User group. Here's a link: http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.org.uk/forum/fadu_front_page.php . If no-one here comes up with more info, try them.

    The timer to get, if you can find one and afford it (Rolls Royce of timers), is the Nocon timer but you have to use a specific printing system with it.

    Cheers, Oly

    PS: One of my friends uses a metronome for his print timing. GraLab clocks used to be all the rage in the US but some small electronics companies made timers in the UK. The name will pop0 into my head sometime and I'll try & post again. As for print consistency a timer does help but variations can still occur. Things like the 'frige kicking in during an exposure or neighbour's security lights can cause variations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  7. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I know. Isn't it great?

    I'm digitising all my old 35mm negatives, finding stuff I never knew I had. A lot of it is total rubbish (no surprise there) but some of it is amusing. I'd probably never have printed them but, once digitised, they have a whole new lease on their lives...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    If I've understood the Durst brochure correctly, I think the difference between those two devices is that the TIM-60 is an electromechanical timeswitch, which is designed to be connected to the enlarger, and actually switches the lamp on and off, both for focussing and the exposure.

    The Coltim is just a timer that rings a bell or something after a preset interval - possibly allowing several different intervals to be preset - a bit like the old kitchen timers that told you when it was time to take the cake out of the oven after 40 minutes, or whatever.

    You could use the Coltim process timer for timing exposures, but you would have to do the actual switching manually, which could lead to a small variation in exposures if you took differing times to respond to the bell ringing.

    I think you're right in saying you could use the Coltim for timing anything up to 30 minutes duration - even cakes in the oven! :)
     
  9. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    Exactly! I was thinking that it must be as good for photography as for making soft-boiled eggs, so a fairly versatile tool :).
     
  10. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    ...though do try not to dip soldiers into your fixer!

    Adrian
     
  11. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    you mean a stop bath - assuming it's a vinegar solution - is a safer option? :)
     
  12. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: exposure meters and timers

    Are you thinking of RH Designs? If you are then I can heartily recommend their products. I think the Nocon timer worked on an 'f-stop' exposure system (curiously enough, nothing to do with using actual f-stops on lenses) and the RH Designs unit works on the same principle. Not cheap to buy though, I'm afraid
     
  13. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    The TIM 60 is indeed a electro-mechanical timer. I used one for a long time and found it very reliable. Basically, you just turn the dial to whatever time you want, hit the button and it'll turn the enlarger on for the set time.
     
  14. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: enlargers

    Yet another question to the community: are there any compelling benefits in using a relatively modern enlarger (e.g., leitz focomat v35) vs. the older models such as Kodak Precision (http://www.bnphoto.org/bnphoto/KodakPrecision.htm)? I am not trying to compare these specific models (it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges) - the point is an 80-90ies design with some automation versus a 40-50ies fully manual design. I understand that, at the end of the day, it's the lens that is key to the quality of prints but I wonder whether there can be a marked difference in user-friendliness...
     
  15. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

  16. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Re: Assembling a darkroom: enlargers

    The short answer is yes, but the difference isn't related to the era in which the enlarger was designed but to the amount of engineering the designer was able to specify. I still have a Phillips PCS 150, which is the nicest small format (to 6x7) enlarger I've used and dates from the 'seventies. My all time favourite enlarger, though, was Omega's Prolab 45, designed in the 'forties, if I recall correctly...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I did much of my darkroom work with something fairly similar to the Kodak Precision. However, I was working only in B&W, and this was back in the early 70s, before multigrade papers were invented, so the lack of facilities for filters wasn't an issue.

    Today, if you think you might want to do colour work, or use multigade B&W paper (can you still get single grade paper?), having facilities for handling colour filters built into the enlarger would probably be helpful.
     
  18. Leonila

    Leonila Member

    A very good point - forgot to clarify that I am only interested in b&w.
     
  19. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    If you can get a decent enlarger quite cheap and it happens to be a colour enlarger, then go for it but, if you have a choice and all other things being equal, I will make the case for using a black and white enlarger. To my eye, prints made on a black and white enlarger show a kind of clarity and snap especially in the dark tones that I found it hard to achieve using a colour model.
     
  20. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    A quick check on the websites of the usual suppliers of darkroom stuff seems to indicate that graded paper is getting hard to source - I could only find grades 1-3 listed, so if you want a high contrast print, you're going to have to use multigrade, which means having the right filters (AIUI - since my time! :)), which although not as complicated as needed for colour work, still need some way of holding them in the light path.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015

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