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Thread: Good Film Development Timer?

  1. #31

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Strobel View Post
    I tray develop 4x5 and 8x10 using the talking timer from here:

    And a golfing metronome.No backlights, no fogging, no muss no fuss.


    LOL - this looks like actually the same timer as I mentioned and linked to on Amazon, except with a different brand name (and silver instead of white)

    The only "problem" I've encountered using these timers (I have accumulated multiple versions over time, all different brands but all are the same timer) is that there is a possibility of confusing the "start timer" button in the dark with another button. So there are some anxious moments of second-guessing myself until the first "X minutes remaining" voice is heard from the timer. To resolve this, I made some notches in the "start timer" button so I'm sure I'm pressing the right button to start the timer in the dark. I wish the manufacturers would distinguish the start button on these things better than the other buttons.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern Virginia

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    I've never noticed any fogging with a Gra Lab 300 in my 10'x10' closet er darkroom. I work mainly with b&w film in open trays, but some C-41 loading and unloading too without issues. I have a gooseneck lamp next to the timer to charge the phosphors right before using the timer so it can get fairly bright, though it does fade quickly.
    My darkroom was smaller than that by a ways, and I never had a fogging problem, either. My Gralab timer was on a shelf above the sink, and I processed film in hangers and open deep tanks. I never had a problem.

    I might use the Massive Development Chart on my iPhone to determine the time, but I would use a Gralab to time it. The iPhone display is rather bright, and puts out white light even when displaying "black". I'm more afraid of it than I would be of the luminescent materials on the Gralab.

    Rick "not to mention not really wanting to touch an iPhone with a developer-laden finger" Denney

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pacifica, CA

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    Curt Palm's CompnTemp has been great for me. I might grumble that I had to replace the 2 dollar laptop with another junker when it died New Year's day. But hardware-wise it is just a USB probe, a clamp from Alan Ross and an old laptop. The laptop is up high outside the darkroom behind a window made out of an amberlith filter. I have a dark flap to drop over it when developing film. Start/Stop chime gives positive feedback in the dark that the timer is running, and I use the "multiple print" feature to chime several times at the end.

    It is very nice being able to knock the variable "temperature" out of the process.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Rick "not to mention not really wanting to touch an iPhone with a developer-laden finger" Denney
    For my talking timers, I wrap them in a single sheet of cling wrap to avoid contamination with chemicals. It works on iphones.
    Last edited by cyrus; 30-Jan-2012 at 14:54.

  5. #35
    Scott Walker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Okotoks (rural), Alberta, Canada

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    I am overly paranoid about light so I have always been wary of the GraLab. In the past I would cover it and peek at it now and then and use a metronome. I later made a cassette recording sounding off at 30 second intervals which I used in conjunction with the GraLab timer and really only used the GraLab for the buzzer at the end. I found this worked very well.

    Recently with the advantage of the iPhone and all the wonderful apps, I have made a new recording that is superior to anything I used in the past.

    I get everything ready to go then cover the film I am about to develop, turn the recording on the iPhone on, minimize the app so it goes dark. I then collect my film and get ready to put it in the developer. The recording counts down 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds, and start. At the start point the massive development chart app takes over which gives audible indicators for exact time and duration for agitation. I also used a voice over that counts up on every minute, telling which minute I am at. I also added a voice over for each 30 second mark. For me this is far superior to watching the GraLab because I lose focus easily and tend to daydream forgetting why I am staring at the clock, which is not good for consistent results.

    To make the recording I used the app voice memos and app massive development chart along with a watch. I started by opening massive development chart and found a film, developer, time combination that gave me desirable agitation times and intervals and lasted 20 minutes. I minimized the app and opened voice memos and started a recording watching the second hand on my watch I started the recording by saying 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds, and start. During this countdown I minimized the voice memos app (it keeps on recording) and opened the massive app again. Once I had counted down to start I simply pushed the start button for the development cycle on the massive app, voice memo records all the audible information as massive counts up to completion of the development cycle. At the 30 second mark I said 30 seconds and 1 minute at the 1 minute mark, 2 minutes at the 2 minute mark and so on until it ended at 20 minutes. I counted the minutes up so I would know exactly where I was for time so I could use the recording for all films that I use as well as for normal +/- developing. I have discovered that I can now process film requiring different development times at the same time because it is easy to remove 1 or 2 sheets any given time before the others.

    I made a second identical recording except it has a countdown for a 5 minute water bath before development.

    The recordings take a bit of time 20 minutes and 30 seconds to be exact and 25 minutes and 30 seconds for the water bath version. but once done they are as easy to use as the GraLab, far more versatile, and way more acurate because you get an audible reminder at exact times to start and stop agitation throughout the entire development cycle.

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?


    The iPhone app from Massive isn't there yet, needs a few tweaks.
    You have to touch it after each stage, they are working on a auto run and being able to name the stages as you wish and add stages (too few right now). Then it will be a great app. plug it in the sound system, tunes and timer all in one!

    For 40 bucks, buy a used CP Touch Timer.
    9 stage programmable.

    processing 1 enter (set time) hit enter (after each command)
    repeat 2 , 3 etc

    1) Presoak
    2) process
    3) stop
    4) fix one
    5) rinse
    6) fix 2
    7) rinse
    8) Hypo clear
    9) Wash

    or what ever method you use.

    I have 2, they are great,
    shit, maybe I should buy a spare before posting this??

    They are actually a pain in the ass the first few times you do it, but then it is a no brainer.

    Scott's voice memo idea is cool too, throw some humor in your recording and watch (listen to) people react in the dark. I like it Scott!

  7. #37

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    I think I want an app with Uma Thurman telling me to shuffle and agitate, I could speak to Siri on my iPhone 5 and tell it I want to develop TXP with one liter of HC100 dilution B at 70 degrees and it would do everything else on my commands. Why touch it when it responds to voice?

  8. #38
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    McLean, Va.

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    No one has mentioned the f-stop timer. I thought it was fairly popular, but I guess not...

  9. #39
    Eric Biggerstaff
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Denver, Colorado

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    Check out the CompNTemp timer at
    Eric Biggerstaff

  10. #40
    Old School Wayne
    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Re: Good Film Development Timer?

    I use a Gra-Lab when developing film in trays. I had to put glow in the dark paint on it so I could see it at all. But I do keep it about 5 feet away from me and the trays.

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