Beginner to darkrooms - Need a list of "things to buy"

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by keith204, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I were to set up a basic darkroom, what type of things should I look into buying? I'll probably be doing B&W small prints at first, and once I can conquer that, move my way up.

    Here's an enlarger at craigslist in my area - http://springfield.craigslist.org/pho/808124240.html

    What all else do I need? How much space will this take up? I have a small room in my house with 1 window that would be perfect for this, I think...just need to convince my wife it's a good idea! I'd love to learn the darkroom.
     
  2. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Okay I'll regurgitate a bit first and then get started on advice I have some idea about. <regurgitation> Buy the best enlarger you can find probably Omega or Besler they're dirt cheap nowadays</regurgitation> Freestyle sells a "Classic Darkroom Kit" which seems to have everything I ever used in my B&W class here. I would have to agree with the best enlarger bit even though I've only ever used one kind of enlarger and it worked fine I say this because if you get hooked on darkroom you're going to be looking for excuses to use it and LF will start to look like a good option which means at least a 4x5 enlarger.
     
  3. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Actually you might just want to get everything in the kit but upgrade the trays to at least 11X14 as I'm pretty sure you can't do 8x10 paper in an 8x10 tray as easily as you'd like.
     
  4. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    this sounds exciting. The kit is only $55. Now, how much should I look at spending on an enlarger? They're $600-$2000 at B&H. They're $50 and up for old ones on Craigslist.
     
  5. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Truthfully I've been looking up enlargers for a while I'd go to ebay and look up completed auctions for and Omega 23c or Besler 45mxt (these are just the ones I've been looking at) and it looks like for about $200 to $300 you can get an excellent enlarger. As I said I'm no expert on enlargers. I'm sure someone will pop in here and give you some better advice.
     
  6. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Seems like the 23C is only good to medium format though.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    How far is Bolivar, MO from Lawrence, KS? I've got the following for sale for $100 if you pick up:

    Clean and in good working order. Includes everything you need to start
    enlarging 35mm or medium format film on the dry side except multicontrast
    filters:

    Beseler 23C enlarger with baseboard
    instruction manual
    plastic dust cover
    Schneider Componar-C 50mm enlarging lens
    El Nikkor 75mm enlarging lens
    35mm neg carrier
    filed out 35mm neg carrier
    6x6cm neg carrier
    6x7cm neg carrier
    6x9cm neg carrier with glass
    proof printer
    2 bladed 8x10 easel
    multi print size easel (8x10, 5x7, 4x5, wallet)
    enlarger timer
    3 extra 111a bulbs

    The enlarger is set up as a condensor enlarger, but also includes a cold
    light head and power supply. The cold light head is packed up in it's
    original packaging. It worked 7 years ago when I tried it out, but I don't
    make any guarantees about the cold light head. Everything else works great

    Everything for $100. You pick up (will fit in most cars).
     
  8. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Evil Evil I tells you... Buy it if you can.
     
  9. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    probably so! Need to figure out what everything means though! I go to Olathe/Lenexa, KS every once in awhile, which is only 30-45 minutes from Lawrence. Used to live in Lenexa, and would go to Clinton Lake twice a week during the summer.

    Alrighty, can somebody explain a bit of what that does or doesn't include? Obviously, I see the list, but I am very new at the darkroom thing. What else will I need, and how good of a deal is this?
     
  10. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    It is a full setup for running an enlarger. but you'd still need to spend the $55 or so on the setup I was talking about earlier.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Your darkroom has a dry side, and a wet side. This is everything you need on the dry side to make up to 8x10 prints from 35mm or medium format negs, except a set of multicontrast filters and a safelight.

    For the wet side you need film tank and reels, jugs, timer, various measuring cups, trays, tongs, something to hang the film from (I used clothes line and clothes pins), and something to dry prints on (I used fiberglass screens).
     
  12. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the offering of the 23c and what it has at 100 is worth the trip IMHO. you will need some trays and some tanks for developing film along with the filters.

    the kit on craiglist is too much for what your going to get. don't be confused with cheaper being better. that enlarger is not as stable as the 23c and the lens probably is the one that came with the enlarger which is not high end as well.

    if you go to the ilford film site and check out their pdf files you will find one that will list everything you need to set up a darkroom.
     

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