safelight filter and blackout curtains

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by explody pup, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. explody pup

    explody pup TPF Noob!

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    Fortune has smiled upon me, once again. I'm the proud new owner of a Beseler 67C enlarger (also came with 67S2 color head) and I'm in the process of setting up a darkroom in my bathroom.

    First things I need to take care of is light.

    All of this came with an old safelight with a rotting filter. Incandescent buld, nothing special but it'll work. Does anyone have any recommendations on what type of filter I should get? I plan on sticking to b/w. The filter is 5x7.

    Next is taking care of stray light. I've got 2 doors and one window. I figure the best way to take care of this is to make some blackout curtains and I'm wondering who here has done this and what material you used. I guess black canvas would work, but I figure there might be something better. I'll just be hanging these from curtain rods.

    The enlarger is right next to a large (5'x4') mirror. I'm guessing that this will have to be covered up but I'm not sure. I won't really be using this mirror anymore since all this crap will be infront of it. I plan on going to the craft store and buying a couple yards of black construction paper to cover it up with. Or maybe a large map. I dunno. Suggestions?

    Also, I have a nice area under my tabletop to put my chemicals. Should this have a curtain over it as well?

    Thanks.

    Many more questions to follow.
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats! Sounds like you're well on your way. The filters are usually amber or red; some paper manufacturers will recommend one or the other.

    Windows are fairly easy. You can cover them pretty cheaply with large black plastic trash bags. Not the prettiest thing, but it's cheap and works fine. You could tape them over the mirror, too, or with the black canvas.

    You could shut the light off and let your eyes get accustomed to the darkness and evaluate the light leaks around the doors. Sometimes it's as simple as running a line of black cloth tape over them when you go in there.

    Will anyone else be going near those chemicals (small kids, pets)? No real reason to section them off by a curtain unless you want to keep them hidden away.

    Good luck with it. Let's see some pictures when you're set up! :)
     
  3. stingray

    stingray TPF Noob!

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    be careful with "just hanging stuff from curtains"... you may not be able to see some of thee light, but the paper will. you would only curtain off the mirror to be safe, otherwise if it's compltely dark the mirror won't do anything anyway. as for the chemicals, unless they'll be in direct sunlight when your darkroom is in bathroom mode, there's no use curtaining them at all... keeping them in a dry cupboard will be a better idea but as long as they're not in direct sunlight they should be ok
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    You will need to be careful of reflective surfaces such as the mirror and shiny surfaced toilets. I would recommend setting up a few matte black poster boards to box in the enlarger.

    The light, I would just buy a coated safety light bulb. Around $10 or $12.

    Get some black gaffers tape for your door edges if you will be in there for awhile, and trust me, the time speads up in the darkroom.;)

    No need to worry about the chemical area except for the fumes.
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I use blackout plastic sheeting cut to size, which is very effective as you gaffer tape it at the edges and it can be ripped off the tiles/carpet in a hurry if you need to get out for any reason. With windows, I'd advise staying away from the curtains and directly taping your blackout plastic to the window frame.

    One advantage of black plastic is that it's truly opaque unlike most cloths. It's also lighter per sq ft which enables you to tape it up less vigorously. I would suggest doing an overlapping slit over the main door, so you can escape and reseal without too much bother.

    I tend to leave the darkroom set up for a week or so and then take it all down again. This gives you a week of fun, but you've only had to set it up once. Of course if you only have one bathroom you may have issues!

    Rob
     
  6. explody pup

    explody pup TPF Noob!

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    Okay, the blackout sheeting sounds good to me. Is this something I can get at a hardware store?

    2 more questions:

    Will gaffers tape damage the paint it's adhered to? Since I'm a renter and don't own the door frame I'll be applying this to, I'm worried about what happens when it's applied and taken off numerous times.

    I kind of want to use my current safelight because I already have it and I'm on a tight budget. I stopped by my local photo shop after work today and all they had for 5x7 filters were extremely dark. More than the 75W mini-bulb in my light could handle, so I'm wondering what I should specifically be looking for (probably on ebay) as far as this filter is concerned.

    Anyhow, thanks for all the replies so far. This has been very helpful. I'm off to the hardware store to see what I can find.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just head to a building supply store and pick up a roll of that "delicate surfaces" painter's tape. It's blue, and will be in the paint section. Works like a champ. And I still advise black plastic trash bags with the tape. You can pick a box up at the grocery store and lay them over the windows in about 10 minutes. Light tight. ;)

    No, you'll want to stick with the amber or light red filters, not those opaque ones. You should be able to search eBay and pick up a 5x7 one extremely cheap.
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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