building a darkroom

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by JonnyVPA, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. JonnyVPA

    JonnyVPA TPF Noob!

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    okay, so im being given a bunch of darkroom equipment, canisters, an enlarger, and so forth....

    Now its been a while since highschool photography class and alot of that has slipped my mind.

    What do I need to build a small darkroom, in terms of equipment, chemicals, and so forth.

    i have a relatively large space in my basement to do so including a sink and refrigerator....

    so any help will be greatly appreciated... thank you
     
  2. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    My darkroom (for film processing) consists of a tank, two reels, a graduated cylinder, a thermometer, a stirring paddle, and the needed chemicals (D76, fixer, PhotoFlo) to process B&W film.

    I'm still working on a system for prints...

    Good luck!
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oooo, I envy you the running water! That will certainly make mixing chemistries and print washing convenient.

    Sounds like you've been given the main equipment. If your enlarger is in perfect working order, then you need only assess the negative carriers that come with it and make sure you have what you need for the format you shoot. It's nice to have more than one enlarger lens, too, although I don't think it's crucial if you have what you need to start with.

    Are you getting trays, safelight, timer, thermometer, grain focuser, print tongs, easel, etc?

    You may not know exactly what small item(s) you'll need until you get it all moved in and lined up for working. Take your time, and keep a list. Enjoy it!
     
  4. JonnyVPA

    JonnyVPA TPF Noob!

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    Are you getting trays, safelight, timer, thermometer, grain focuser, print tongs, easel, etc?

    i dont think so..... where can i find that kind of stuff.... as well as... where the hell can i purchase chemicals
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you don't have a local photography store that carries any of it, it's easy to find tons of this stuff online. You could start by looking at Freestyle (click the left-side banner above, the one that rotates with LensBabies). They're an awesome company to do business with. B&H, Adorama - any of them, really.

    Try locally first, since it's nice to be able to look at what you're getting in advance, and you could go in with a list and get some help. :) If you're confident using eBay, that's another source, though you have to pay close attention to the condition of used supplies. I got both my safelights and a mess of trays through eBay.
     
  6. rabidzoomer

    rabidzoomer TPF Noob!

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    For B&W the darkroom should consist of running water (68-72*F), Enlarger, Chemical Trays (3), tub or something large that holds water to bath the photos after chemicals, Squeegie, easle, dryer or blow dryer.

    Chemistry: Dektol, water, fixer.
     
  7. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    eye am an expert!!

    want proof??
    ha ha ha ha ha.. oh is this gonna be phun!!!



    Lets have some phun..

    first question: what color do you PAINT a darkroom?



    WRONG!!! ha ha ha ha ! Yeah I Know you didn't answer!

    there is onlyl ONE COLOR TO PAINT A DARKROOM


    WHAT IS IT ???

    then I will show you who I am !!! (nobody) ha ha ha ha ha.!!
     
  8. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    I have a piece of round cardboard.. circle.. flat..

    I divide it into thirds. I paint each third a color

    red green blue

    when I spin that.....

    what color will I see..??

    THAT IS THE COLOR YOU PAINT A DARKROOM.. NOTHING ELSE!
     
  9. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    I have built 16 darkrooms.. COLOR darkrooms.

    I have been processing my own color since October of 19...... 69!

    and I move around toooo much!!!


    when you spin that wheel.. your gonna see ??? WHAT color ?


    first lesson.. "black is not a color"!

    White... is the "presence" OF ALL COLOR(S)

    BLACK IS THE ABSENSE OF ALL COLOR(S)

    WHITE.. .. is the only color to ever paint a darkroom.. why?

    IF A ROOM IS TOTALLY DARK (LIGHT TIGHT) it would not matter which.. color you painted it

    Now since we have a room that is DARK. .. paint it white!

    guess what ? It is still DARK

    now turn on the safelights. ooooooooohhhhhhhhh!!!

    you can see ! THE "SAFE" LIGHT WILL BOUNCE or REFLECT FROM THE WALLS, You... won't get tired working long hours!

    Paint it black.. turn on the safe lights.. huh ?? I can't see..

    and your going to get very tired very quickly BECAUSE. THE LIGHT WILL POOL on the walls. and you can't see squat!

    Play rock music in your darkroom..?? you won't last very long..
    Play classical music.. ha ha ha ha.. 4 years go by in 4 weeks!



    this is a very small portion of darkroom #15.. working but not yet finished.. I had much to do..

    [​IMG]
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Wow, Majik, I think you've been working around the chemicals too long:lol:
     
  11. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    This is very true.. "CONTACT DERMITITIS"

    just the fumes would make my skin break out like leprosy!

    so .. don't think for one minute..you are immune.. wear examination gloves when working in the trays.

    yeah 20 hours a day.. in my darkrooms!! for many years.!

    I have a lot to teach you.. and please forgive my sense of humor!!

    1973.. Kodak.. had ten millon on the table. for me! I will tell you this true story later.!
     
  12. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    I haven't used a camera since 1990. but I make a fortune from these images every year! My Eskimo Images http://majikimaje.com

    buying photo equipment is very expensive. Hunts has the cheapest in the country ! Hunts Massachusetts Medford / Malden request a catalog

    let your hobby pay for the new equip it is very easy to accomplish!


    BUILDING A SINK is the absolute best way to go.. Place your trays inside the sink, now you dont have to worry about spilling!
    temp control is an easy matter to achieve in this manner

    Patterson trays are the best! but I am sure new stuff has come out since I have last purchased anything. But the grooves are the important thing
    don't use trays with smooth bottoms, I lile patterson trays because there are places to insert your finger to turn over the print.

    I posted an image of darkroom #15

    That sink, in less than four months brought in 12,000 dollars from one photo that I was selling for $3.00 1979

    I was working at a nuclear power plant in the desert of Wa. state. Tri cities. Hanford.

    Lampson had the world's largest crane on the job site. I would process 100 8 x 10 every night in two trays in that left hand side of the sink

    I could do it in about two hours or less! just using two trays. only for processing. first I would expose 100 sheets of 8 x 10 color paper

    THEN OVER TO THE SINK. 1 quart of solution in each tray Developer EP2

    AND BLEACH (DARK RED)

    3:15 SEC IN THE DEVELOPER

    WAIT A MINUTE.. 100 x 3:15? in less than two hours ?? how?

    "trix are for kids"! I was / am known as the "kodak kid" !!

    Kodak says.. you can process 3 sheets of paper at a time in one tray!

    by placing them in the tray @ 20 second intervals

    this works with black & white as well as color

    they come out @ 20 second intervals also Now you know why I have so many Gra-labs in my lab.

    kodak says that with MUCH PRACTICE 6 sheets can be processed at one time

    well..with MUCH PRACTICE I GOT MUCH BETTER. THUS MY "SIG"

    I am not here to brag .but to teach! 100 sheets 5 nights per week for four months @ 3.oo per sheet that is what was made & how it was done.

    we were doing 20 sheets at a time in just two trays. It was a well choerogaphc ballet watching the two clocks one, for incoming and one for outgoing.

    after each run. the trays had to be replensished with 3/4 new solution(s)

    that is why I have 3 1/2 gallon contianers for the solutions

    Even though I am in washington state I am still purchasing from Hunts

    There was a camera shop in town Richland washington Sunland photo

    for 8 x 10 color paper local was $40 or $42 dolars for 100 sheets type N or F or E hunts price $25!

    the moves to learn this tray ballet do not require much practice but in essence

    drop a sheet of paper into the tray face down and rock the tray gently
    20 second later drop the second sheet in and press it down rock gently 20 sec later drop the third sheet and press it down and rock now take the bottom sheet and bring it to the top and push it down and rockand repeat.. keeping track of the 3 sheets! that all ! so if youever have to do "batch processing" this is the way to do it easily and quickly

    when it is time to take them out. curl one sheetinto a roll and bring it up and let it drain for 5 sec and face down into the bleach or 2nd tray for B&w

    Ihope you get an image some day soon, so you can learn how to batch process it is a lot of fun! Print #1 and print #100 were always identical!

    thus my sig!
     

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