Dark Room materials?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BlackFire19, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. BlackFire19

    BlackFire19 TPF Noob!

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    I wanna at some point try to get a dark room but what things would I need like the projector or something that is used to project film onto photo paper and anything else i would need like the chemicals and anything else I haven't mentioned here please tell me what i would need for a dark room when developing photographs? And also are the prices for them too?
     
  2. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    Well, you're gonna need a lot of things, a developing tank, developing reels, developer (chemical), fixer (chemical), a projecter, a safelight, and a few other things. I can't give you a complete list.
     
  3. BlackFire19

    BlackFire19 TPF Noob!

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    I see can you give me a website where those things are sold just so I have an idea of what they look like or what there prices are?
     
  4. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You could always go with a hybrid/digital process.... where you develop the negatives and then scan them and print them digitally.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a huge topic; not something that can be covered in a few posts in an on-line forum As Patm alluded to, you'll need a lot. For film, you need a changing bag, (Unless you're lucky enough to have a truly light-tight darkroom). Patterson tank, reels, a line to dry the film on, and your chemicals. Developer, stop-bath, fixer and a wetting agent. For printing, you'll need an enlarger, timer, easel, magnifier, developing trays and tongs, print (vice film) devloper, stop bath, and print fixer, as well as a print washer or big sink.

    Your best bet is to hit your local library or used book stores and pick up a few 'How to' books. There are thousands of them out there, and they're generally quite cheap.

    Good luck.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    go to ilford's website , they have a series of pdf files that will give you a basic list of everything you will need.

    it would be helpful for you to find someone in your area that has a darkroom or darkroom experience that give you a visual tour of their darkroom, or take a class at a local school.

    as has been suggested this is a very involved topic that really needs to be discussed in great length. you are going to have a lot of questions (as you should), and it will move faster if you can find someone to help you face to face.
     
  7. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    Some of the bests deals you can get are going to be on Freestyle (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/index.html). They also have very cheap black and white film. And I'm also going to suggest that you go with scanning the film with a film scanner rather than going through the whole process of making prints with an enlarger because:

    1. Enlarger paper is very expensive
    2. For the price of a good enlarger, you can get a good scanner
    3. It's a lot easier to archive shots on a computer than it is to physically archive them.
    4. Photo paper for printing is less expensive than enlarger paper.
    5. Enlarger paper is sensitive to light, like film, unlike print paper (though you should still keep it out of the light).
    6. You don't have to go searching through multiple rolls of film to make another copy of the image you printed 3 months ago.

    Etc. Etc.
     
  8. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    With regards to that, try finding a friend of a friend or a family member that works in a hospital. They may be able to pull some strings and get you some access to the hospital's radiology darkroom. Most hospitals have switched to developing their x-rays and such digitally, but some still have darkrooms for back when they did it the old fashioned way. If you can sneak a peak inside one of those, you will at least be able to know what working in a darkroom is like and will see what measures they took to light-proof the room. It won't be active, so you won't be able to see the developing supplies or machines.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    As ann says the Ilford Photo (Harman) site has a lot of useful and reliable information in the 'Applications' section. Darkroom equipment is generally very cheap and excellent value these days. Excellent enlargers can be had for little more than the cost of shipping. eBay is a good source.

    For B&W it is probably cheaper to achieve decent quality by traditional means than by hybrid means. Good film scanners are relatively expensive, and good B&W inkjet printing is neither easy nor cheap (good inkjet paper is expensive). Furthermore many people simply prefer working in a darkroom to working on a computer, and the 'look' of a traditional B&W print is preferred by many.

    Please continue to ask questions so that we can fill in the gaps...

    Good luck,
    Helen
     

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