View Full Version : portable metronome/timer

27-Jun-2005, 02:05
It's occassionally difficult to look at the watch and at the same time ensure that wind movement isn't present during exposures. Is anyone using some kind of a timer or portable metronome that beeps on every second? I'm referring to one used in the field, not darkroom. I know of one used for music practice but I'm looking for a better (or simplier) alternative. Thanks!

jose angel
27-Jun-2005, 03:12
You can use a Palm device. There are free software for timming, alarms and other utilities. I find StopClock useful for darkroom processing and other applications. Hope this helps,

Antti Aalto
27-Jun-2005, 03:22
I'd suggest you paid a visit to a musical instruments shop, they should have the metronome you need. I'm not sure what you're referring to as a darkroom metronome, but if you mean a wooden one with a needle swaying from side to side, you'll be surprised how easy to use and portable the electronic ones are. I searched briefly and came across two, which I doubt are that big.
In addition to the plain 60 beats per minute, you might find one with an adjustable beat helpful. Mine's not very portable, but I bought it for playing music and now use it in a darkroom. Three beats a second with emphasis on the first makes being exactly on the point easier. Your ear will intuitively make use of a "too fast" tempo so you don't need to worry if you can count 180 bpm.

Emrehan Zeybekoglu
27-Jun-2005, 04:31
Although I don't need/use one in the field, I know there are electronic metronomes that provide all kinds of beat. They are very small, about the size of a credit card, so you can easliy slip one into your shirt pocket. Cheers..

Tom Westbrook
27-Jun-2005, 05:00
For long exposures more than about a minute, I use an electronic stopwatch. It beeps a lot when the time has expired so you don't have to stare at it constantly. If you get one, be sure it has a countdown timer--they don't all have that feature. I got this one (http://www.sportmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11340) and it works well. It doesn't have a built-in light to see the numbers in the dark, but I just use my headlmap for that.

John Brewer
27-Jun-2005, 05:42
Aaron, my mobile (cell) phone has a stopwatch built in which I have used in the past. Alternatively Pattersons Triple Timer http://www.adorama.com/PATT.html is a handy timer in the field or darkroom.

Matt Miller
27-Jun-2005, 05:48
I have a very small metronome that fits in my ear. I purchased it new from an ebay seller. It was fairly cheap, under $20 I think, weighs nothing, and takes no space in the bag. The beats are adjustable.

Brian Ellis
27-Jun-2005, 06:38
You can buy one like Emrehan describes for about $15 at almost any musical instrument store. Just make sure you can set it to tick in increments of one second. I have a couple metronomes like this, one I keep in the darkroom to use as a timer when making contact prints by light bulb, the other I carry in my back pocket when photographing.

27-Jun-2005, 06:54
Thanks for all the good recommendation. I took a look at all of them. Pretty much the same as those found in music stores in my area. But I appreciate all the response. I think Matt Miller may have what I'm looking for. So matt, I would really appreciate it if you could let me know the brand, model and country of origin. Thanks to all again.

Matt Miller
27-Jun-2005, 07:16
Aaron, I don't have the metronome here in front of me and can't remember the brand name. I did just now google "ear metronome" and came up with lots of links.
This (http://www.grothmusic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-MM1.html?E+scstore ) looks just like the one I have, but there might be a better place to buy one.

Good luck,

Alan Babbitt
27-Jun-2005, 07:35
After 25 years as a TV director, I can measure time in my head almost as accurately as a watch, usually within about 1 second per minute, and more accurately if I'm counting.

I used to have a little travel alarm clock, about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch thick, that included a countdown timer and a synthesized voice. You could set the timer in hours, minutes and seconds, and the synth voice would count down "one minute remains", "30 seconds remain", etc., finally counting down from 10 seconds to zero.

Here's one (http://www.independentliving.com/prodinfo.asp?number=835905&variation=&aitem=20&mitem=29) similar to the one I had. Hey, it's 9 bucks. How can you go wrong?

Andrew O'Neill
27-Jun-2005, 08:36
I've been using a very small electronic metronome that clips onto my vest pocket for quite a few years now. I bought it at a music store while I was living in Japan. I use it in my darkroom, too.

27-Jun-2005, 09:30
I also use a small, battery operated electronic metronome I bought at the local music store. By setting it at 120bpm it's easy to count half-seconds, too.

Mark Sawyer
27-Jun-2005, 11:27
I would consider a little cassette tape player of someone counting "one potato, two potato, three potato, four potato..." There might be a site where you could down-load it to an I-pod for 99 cents...

27-Jun-2005, 12:48
Try counting down maybe 5 seconds while looking at your watch, to get the cadence right, keep counting, then look up and do the deed. I bet that would be accurate enough.

27-Jun-2005, 20:15
I'm glad I asked here. So many good hints & ideas. Really! Thanks again Matt for the help with the search. Thanks for the potatoes, Mark. Puts a smile on my face. The I-pod's a good idea worth considering. Thanks to all.

Graeme Hird
30-Jun-2005, 13:24
Or you could DIY! Say these words when needed:

"One potato, two potato, three potato, ....."

2-Jul-2005, 20:52
Go to a kitchen supply place & get a small electronic timer. Takes AAA batteries & clips on the belt if you need it. Can beep every second or when the time is up. Small & lightweight & work well.