Philips PDT 022 darkroom timer
Old 01-08-2017   #1
Whateverist
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Philips PDT 022 darkroom timer

Hi all,

I started darkroom printing a few days ago and am currently trying to get the hang of it. To make exposures easier I have been using a Philips darkroom timer to dial in exposure times and switch the enlarger on/off automatically.

The timer also has an automatic mode that uses a probe to measure exposure and calculate exposure times from there. Assuming the probe is still accurate, how good are these systems? Is this a way to get into the ballpark or can I trust these measurements? The times I'm getting are close to what I get out of my test strips but as a beginner I don't feel comfortable saying those are accurate either.
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Old 01-08-2017   #2
Doug
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Sounds useful, as going through a lot of test strips can be frustrating! I'd suggest trying the meter function for test strips and see how it can work for you. In fact you may find it helps zero in on the desired exposure that is then verified with a final test strip...
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Old 01-08-2017   #3
BernardL
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You will not make a good quality print without a at least one test strip. What you might gain with an exposure meter is a first approximation of the correct time, allowing you to target more finely spaced exposure times on your test strip.

You might need more than one test strip, one for a significant highlight region, and one fo a significant shadow region; first expose the two strips, then develop together. And you need to judge your test strips after drying them (hair dryer, microwave...). You may have to start over if you misjudged the contrast grade.

Sure, you can print snapshots in automatic mode; but is that what you want to invest your time into?
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Old 01-09-2017   #4
sevo
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Darkroom exposure metering is on one hand easy, but on the other hand difficult - the quality of the print will rarely ever depend on matching a test card. It will save you the first round of tests, but it will not deliver a final print...
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Old 01-09-2017   #5
Whateverist
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Quote:
What you might gain with an exposure meter is a first approximation of the correct time, allowing you to target more finely spaced exposure times on your test strip.
That's pretty much all I wanted. Judging the initial range of exposures is really hard if you have zero experience so anything that gets me within 20 seconds is a huge boon. Test strips handle the rest.

By the way, having a button that does an exact 2 second exposure is incredibly convenient for test strips. No more one-Mississippi's...
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