Enlarger timer: the indispensable darkroom printing tool


In the next set of videos I’m gonna speak
a bit about darkroom printing or wet printing as it goes
by but first I wanna spend a bit of time speaking
about this piece of gear which is an enlarger timer
actually it’s not a really good name for it because it is just a timer really
We don’t really need an enlarger to do photographic printing
but we’ll see that in another video so what does this timer do? actually it just sets the time
during which a light bulb is switched on so for instance we can set it to 3 seconds
so 1 times 3 is 3 seconds 10 times 3 is 30 seconds
let’s try it for 3 seconds and…
it works All right, as I mentioned it already
we don’t really need an enlarger to do photographic printing we can just do contact printing
but for that we need a big negative a large negative
such as a medium format one because for 135 format
the small format the 35mm format it’s going to be
pretty useless so this timer is really the only necessary
piece of gear to do photographic printing
because for exposure times that are shorter than
let say 10 seconds or shorter than 1 minute let say
then it’s going to be very hard to this manually obviously it can be done for exposure times
that are longer than 1 minute because the error is going to be minimal
but for short exposure times, for short exposure durations
then the error is going to be quite massive for let say a 3 seconds exposure
so this is really an important piece of gear for short
exposure times for which it’s going to bring us a good accuracy
for reproduction obviously there’re several types of brands
and models some of which are really expensive
but they really don’t need to be expensive to be accurate
this one is an electromechanical one and it’s very accurate for it needs to do
this type of gear is very robust and can be had for a small amount of money
on the second hand market on a pure practical note,
I like this type of timers to be really, really standard
because some are really dedicated to some enlargers
and have very specific sockets so this one is a… actually has got a pretty
standard socket into which I can plug a very standard plug,
like so ok, and it is linked to a very standard bulb
that we are going to test for 3 seconds
and again it works so basically this setup is only really what
we need to do contact printing in a very minimal setup
so for those who have a very small space it is an ideal setup
for doing photographic printing obviously I’m only speaking about contact
printing here but I mean, for me it’s great!
so with this setup that goes in a shoe box we’re going to go into contact printing with
it in the next video

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