So, my darkroom is pretty close to being finished

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by rob91, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    I'm still kind of scared about light leaks though. I ran my first test, sat a quarter on a paper for a couple minutes in pitch black, developed and nothing came up. So that's good.

    The one thing that does worry me, though, is that when I turn my enlarger on it kind of lights up the room. It's a small bathroom with white walls, and the light reflects and illuminates the room pretty decently. The tub with the trays is normally pitch black, but with the enlarger on there is some light over them. I tested, just left a blank sheet in the developer for a minute or so with the enlarger on and it stayed white. It seems fine, but still has me a bit nervous. Is this kind of thing normal? Any thoughts on it?

    Oh well, still fine tuning, I'll get there soon.
     
  2. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Well, enlargers do put out a lot of light. You might want to look into a black curtain to go around it, partly to reduce spill into the rest of the room, and partly to reduce reflection back onto the paper. I doubt you'd notice a problem on most prints, but it could produce noticeable fogging on some low-overall-density shots, where there's a lot of light coming through anyway.

    I wouldn't worry about getting the curtain light-tight, just make sure you put the extra paper back in the bag/box before you turn the enlarger on.
     
  3. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Sounds about normal to me... At least that is about how it was in my College's darkroom.
     
  4. Smilemon

    Smilemon TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Unless you really start to see fogging it's probably not a problem. My darkroom is like that, my schools darkroom is pretty bad in terms of actually being dark. The prints come out fine.
     
  5. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies, makes me feel a bit better.

    Also, what kind of "black curtain" do you use when lightproofing? Most materials I've found do allow some light through and need to be triple or quadruple layered. Just wondering if I'm missing something or not.
     
  6. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would do something about the reflections. They will fog paper. It's
    the same light that's exposing your paper after all.

    I hang small black fabric "curtains" with tape around my enlarger wherever
    light leaks out. It's pretty easy and helps the print a lot, IMO.
     
  7. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    What sort of "black fabric" are these "curtains" ? I'm just curious as to where I would buy them. I went to the fabric section of Walmart and all of the fabric allowed light through. Would have to double, triple, quad layer it...
     
  8. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Felt would probably work any fabric store should have black felt. Another option might be poster-board I'm not exactly sure how you would attach it but it would work.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Back when I was using a dark room, I had the enlarger on a counter (basic kitchen counter) and right below it was a slightly recessed drawer where all the paper and other light sensitive stuff was kept. The gaps of the drawer where quite small and did not let light in even when the overhead light was on.

    If you can spare the dime and the space definately build or buy your self a nice drawer line it with felt it if you like.

    And BTW our Darkroom had supergloss pink tile walls.....
     
  10. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't recall where I got the material. Just any opaque black material will do.
    The black plastic envelopes that photo paper comes in will work in a pinch.
     

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