New Darkroom Timer

CompnTempscreen_sWorkshop alum and Stanford scientist, Curt Palm, has created a new darkroom timer that significantly “one-ups” the popular Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer.

CompnTemp ® is software rather than hardware and is available for both Windows and Mac computers. I set up a small shelf in my darkroom for my Mac Powerbook and all I have to do to get going is plug in the accessory USB temperature probe and cover the screen with red plastic.

What sets CompnTemp apart from ANY other timer is that is completely user-programmable. if you want your target temperature to be 73 degrees instead of 68 that’s fine. If you want it to count UP instead of DOWN, that’s fine, too.

You can save profiles so you can toggle from one group of settings for prints to another set of preferences for film. It even lets you customize the compensation curves.  It also gives you a continuous read-out of the ACTUAL temperature.

Photo Spotter for Prints and Negatives

Print spotting is something none of us can avoid having to take to task on some level. Some of us are better at it than others, some just can’t get the hang of it at all. Some are good at it but just don’t have the time or patience for it. If you or anyone

Meter Calibration

According to Ted Orland’s poster Photographic Truths:  “No two light meters agree.”  Sadly, that does seem to be pretty much the truth – unless you do something about it.

For years I had a pair of supposedly “matched” Pentax digital spot meters that were never closer than 1/3 of a stop from each other – so I had to remember which meter I used for film tests and which one I had in the field.  One of these meters had an accident and got sent off to its maker for a rebuild – and came back 2/3 of a stop away from where it had been, now 1/3 higher than the meter it had been lower than!  So I sent the other meter off to its maker and after two months got it back about the same as when I had sent it.  Which meter was right?

Airport X-Rays

It’s something that worries all of us: Is my film going to get wrecked by airport security? I guess the answer is always “maybe”, but recent experience makes me want to say “probably not.” In the last year and a half I have had the opportunity to make three international trips with 4×5 camera gear

To Mount or Not to Mount

There’s no doubt about it, a dry-mounted print is the flattest. It was Ansel’s style to mount prints – in fact at the time it was THE way to “properly” present a print. Many people still prefer to mount their prints – when it’s well done and overmatted it looks terrific. The downside is that

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