My darkroom

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ksmattfish, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. ksmattfish

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

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    Here's a tour of my darkroom via my wife's Fuji Finepix 310A.

    The photos are arranged in order if you were to enter, turn to the left, and circle around clockwise. Pardon the mess. I've been working around it all holiday season, which has just made it worse.

    On the door is a 16x20 color photogram I made in Color Class. Down in the lower, left corner notice the warning to our cats (who may speak spanish, they surely don't understand english) "No Gato Permitido!"

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    Next is the camera collection.

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    These are my enlargers; the black Omega D2 is used for 4x5 and MF. The blue Besseler 23C handles MF and 35mm. Notice the carven head in the lower left corner. This is a talisman carved by my father to ward off evil darkroom spirits; the night he carved it lightning struck our house (wrecked our stove, but no other damage).

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    My cluttered work table, a safe light, and more wards against evil spirits.

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    The wet side. The fixer splashed all over the place is the sign of a true pro :wink:. I know, I know, the film fridge under the chemistry table probably not the greatest idea.

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    The sink area. Notes taped to wall are supposed to keep track of chemical exhaustion; they haven't been updated since the day they were put up.

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    And back towards the door again. 16x20 color photogram on back of door made with assorted colored peppers.

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    Wave, y'all come back now.
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Love it!!! I hope to have as big as mess one day as you're sporting in there. Way cool. :D
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thats quite a camera collection
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tour. I wish I had a devoted room to have as a darkroom. I'm so scared of missing a spot when I clean up after I prepare my chemicals. I guess there is something bad in one of the chemicals that is really bad for felines... similar to antifreeze. Our last cat died of kidney failure when she was 5. I didn't have a darkroom at that time so that was not the cause but I sure as hell don't want to kill the new cat.
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    You should figure out what it is exactly. They make so many alternatives to the traditional old chems that you may be able to get chems that don't have it.
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I saw a reference on a bengal message board that says some photo developing chemicals have ethylene glycol (same as in antifreeze). Still researching what would contain that.

    AHHA! Looks like a chemical only used in color photo developing. I'm gonna check my bottles anyway.
     
  7. photoman

    photoman TPF Noob!

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    I see you use a condenser enlarger, is there a difference in print quality vs a diffusion enlarger.

    I also have the Omega D2, but only have one stand and am currently using a omega dicromatic II color head for b&w because of some vintiging while using the D2 head with a rodogon 50mm lens for med format.

    Is there a major difference between them for black and white?
     
  8. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    go here:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1768&highlight=diffusion enlarger

    see posts by me and ksmattfish
     
  9. ksmattfish

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

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    Both enlargers are currently set with condenser heads. I have a cold light diffusion head for the 23C that can be switched out with the condensers. The D2 came condenser only, although I have several sets of condensers for different formats.

    I've used both kinds at home, at school, and at the local arts center. I prefer condenser enlargers. Prints from a diffusion enlarger are lower contrast, although this can be adjusted with filter, and there is a very, very slight decrease in sharpness.

    But the main reason I prefer condenser heads is because, at least on the older equipment I tend to be using, the florescent bulbs in diffussion heads require a lot more effort to maintain a stable level of light output. As they warm up over five or ten minutes of use the light output changes. They are also affected by fluctuations in household current. I have a voltage regulator to help with that, but I just don't like having to pay so much attention to how long it's been on or off while I'm busy printing.
     
  10. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    I don't see a window. I was looking into making a darkroom, but I was told that good ventilation was a must.

    Do you use some other form of ventilation, or am I missing the window, or is it just not that important?

    Thanks for the tour.
     
  11. ksmattfish

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

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    There are three windows, but of course they are heavily sealed against the light. For general darkroom chems I don't worry about it too much. I'm constantly leaving this room and going into the next to check my prints under brighter light anyway. I don't notice any staleness when I am cooped up in there for long periods. Also my house has central air and heat, which keeps the air circulating pretty good.

    When I am toning in cold weather I set up one fan right behind me at the wet table, leave the door open, and there is another fan in the next room blowing out a window at full blast. This keeps the air circulating pretty good. When the weather is warmer I do my toning outside on the porch.

    Toning chems can definately be bad news, but for regular darkroom chems I think the warnings about ventilation are stressed because so many folks set up darkrooms in small spaces that may not be part of their home's air circulation system.

    If I had modern windows I probably would try to darken only the glass, so that the windows would still open. But I've got creaky old house windows, and I've just found it better to leave them always closed and blacked out. I used layers of cardboard and cut up light tight bags discarded by my local lab (their big rolls of paper come in it).
     
  12. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    cool :D

    now can we send our negs your way? :lol:
     

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