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Thread: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

  1. #1
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,435

    Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    This should be trivial to find, but not the case.

    When developing film in an open tray, I'd love to have an LED count UP dimmable timer. I can't seem to find one that isn't a project.

    I don't want DOWN, because you must set the time. Just a button to set to zero and it counts up. Must be dimmable so I don't have to hang an old neg or some ND in front of it.

    Is this too much to ask? What are you all using for such purposes?

    I have Burke and James clock timers -- nice but can't see in the dark. I have the old GraLabs, but the glow is too bright at beginning and too dim at the end. They make great kitchen timers. I have an old alarm clock that I modified to count in minutes and seconds, but it is a pain, too bright and only counts to 10 minutes.

    Thanks for the tips.

    E

  2. #2
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pine Junction, CO
    Posts
    867

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    The Zone VI compensating developing timers count up. You don’t have to use the compensating feature.
    Keith Pitman

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    226

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    If you have an iPhone, consider using the stopwatch function. I don't know if you might even be able to make it show red numerals on the black background (which I'd think would be perfect for you when using near open trays), but mine shows the time (counting up) in whitish numerals on black background and you can adjust the brightness of the overall screen to quite dim levels. I use a JOBO and 3010 Expert Drums, and time with my iPhone's stopwatch, so I don't need to worry about the phone screen fogging the developing film. If the iPhone stopwatch feature doesn't allow you to make the numerals red, I suppose there might be apps available that will.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Providence, RI, USA
    Posts
    169

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    Quote Originally Posted by JMO View Post
    If you have an iPhone, consider using the stopwatch function. I don't know if you might even be able to make it show red numerals on the black background (which I'd think would be perfect for you when using near open trays), but mine shows the time (counting up) in whitish numerals on black background and you can adjust the brightness of the overall screen to quite dim levels. I use a JOBO and 3010 Expert Drums, and time with my iPhone's stopwatch, so I don't need to worry about the phone screen fogging the developing film. If the iPhone stopwatch feature doesn't allow you to make the numerals red, I suppose there might be apps available that will.
    iPhone can be set to only output red light, but would that be too much light for working with film?

  5. #5

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    This should be trivial to find, but not the case.

    When developing film in an open tray, I'd love to have an LED count UP dimmable timer. I can't seem to find one that isn't a project.

    I don't want DOWN, because you must set the time. Just a button to set to zero and it counts up. Must be dimmable so I don't have to hang an old neg or some ND in front of it.

    Is this too much to ask? What are you all using for such purposes?

    I have Burke and James clock timers -- nice but can't see in the dark. I have the old GraLabs, but the glow is too bright at beginning and too dim at the end. They make great kitchen timers. I have an old alarm clock that I modified to count in minutes and seconds, but it is a pain, too bright and only counts to 10 minutes.

    Thanks for the tips.

    E
    I believe Catlabs is selling a timer that will do hat you want except they are pricing it around $300
    I use a zone vi timer without the compensating feature....my favorite!

  6. #6

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    Catlabs CET01....$368 with footswitch....not even sure it counts UP!!
    someone needs to make a simple timer like the zone vi for a reasonable price....
    exactly who wants to count down?? not me...

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    14,726

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    if no timer

    i silently count up seconds into minutes

    and check myself with audible timers
    sin eater

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    967

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    Record music you like with a voice over giving each half minute. Works well and you can enjoy listening as you agitate the negatives in the chemistry. Easy to do and you can always make more than one so you have some musical variety.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Here, there, and everywhere
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    115

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    The lack of precision in your suggestion is ridiculous. Look at the other recommendations. There are plenty of other options that will be more accurate. Maybe with your 14k responses, you should back off and let more informed members offer more useful information.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    if no timer

    i silently count up seconds into minutes

    and check myself with audible timers

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    193

    Re: Looking for a count up timer for use with film development

    I use a couple of free iphone apps (called Develop! and Darkroom Clock) that have countdown, not count up, timers, but you can preset a sequence (like 10 min dev, 1 min stop, 4 min fix, etc) and just press start. And store multiple sequences for different films. There may be another app that counts up. Both of these apps can be set to red and dim the display BUT that is intended for paper. I wouldn't trust a phone display to be dim enough or monochromatic enough for film, unless you put some extra filtering over it, which you wanted to avoid. I use them for developing in daylight tanks.

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