Home Darkroom Stories

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by carolineruth12, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. carolineruth12

    carolineruth12 TPF Noob!

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    I'm working on setting up a home darkroom...I've found a beautiful Beseler 23CII on Ebay along with some other equipment. :lovey: The only things I need now are film and chemicals! Any advice on where to get chemicals? What are your home darkroom stories?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    CONGRATS.. thats the same enlarger I have. ....

    Mine is built out of the laundry room in the basement. A table on one end with the enlargers and I put my trays on the washer and dryer. My only issue at this time is I need to pipe in drainage.... so I can bring a sink in. A couple home depot work lights and red light bulbs for lighting. Works well except that it is difficult to maintain the right temperature in the winter... should be solved when I get the sink working.

    i can find chemicals and stuff at a local camera shop. It helps that the local college has a photography program and the students help keep this stuff in stock.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats on the new darkroom!

    If you find you have trouble getting chemistry through a local store, you can always click on one of our sponsor ads here. Freestyle, B&H, Adorama - all have darkroom supplies and more. Freestyle has great deals on student grade papers, so while you're learning it's a great way to save.

    My own darkroom is a converted upstairs bedroom. Windows are taped over with several layers of plastic garbage bags. I have one long table for my trays with amber safelights mounted above them. On the opposite side of the room I have red safelights mounted, so if I have a paper that severely requires one or the other I can toggle back and forth. I have a Chromega D5 enlarger; this beast is mounted into a sturdy desk, which gives me lots of room and a comfortable chair. I have another small square table for my paper cutter, a shelf above for storage, and a couple more odd shelves for storage of supplies.

    I use strips of black cloth tape around the doorway and stuff pillows under the door. (If I'm in there at night, it's not needed.) I would love to have water in there, but make do using a large plastic storage bin filled with water. It's my holding tank till I can get the day's prints down to the kitchen sink where my print washer fits in perfectly.

    Have fun putting yours together, and I hope you spend many happy hours in there! :)
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    My darkroom is my bathroom. I set up a card table with my trays, and my enlarger is mounted to a tool stand with wheels, so I can keep it in the closet. I bought some black-out cloth at the fabric store that blocks light and use velcro tape to secure it over the door. Not perfect, but not too bad. Congrats. You're gonna love it.

    Oh, and I second Terri: I buy all my chems from Freestyle.
     
  5. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Back in the day, my darkroom was in the closet of a spare bedroom. Film was washed in the sink of the second bathroom. The tub in the same bathroom was for washing prints, slapping them on glass, squeegeeing them off and waiting for them to dry. Film was hung from hangers on the curtain rod to dry.

    It was fun, but I really prefer doing it all with my computer. It keeps the tips of my fingers from being stained brown.


    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Isn't that the best part?:lol:
     
  7. carolineruth12

    carolineruth12 TPF Noob!

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    Haha, I agree. To me, the smell of darkroom chemicals is heavenly. :)
     

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