Starting a darkroom... Advice??

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Alexandra, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra TPF Noob!

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    Ok, first I need to confess. I never ever ever developed films and i've never been in a darkroom. That being said and now that you all know how lame I really am, i'm moving on to my important topic.

    I just understood that I was seriously into photography. I love it more than any form of art i've tried so far, and I'm thinking of seriously comitting myselft to it. Therefore, of course, I need a darkroom.
    (ok, i think i'll "bold" the important parts for those who don't wanna read all my rambling.)
    So, I'm looking for any useful advice.
    My parents will help me out with the basics, like processing and stuff. Actually they both studied polygraphy (is that the word for it?) and printing-related subjects in university and throughout their whole life they've been developping their rolls stacked in the bathroom with a red sock tied over the bulb... Considering that i'll have to work in similar conditions, their basic advice will do. They're both awesome for helping me out, here.
    But, as there is always a but, they were not really doing "photographic" stuff, their thing was just frieds' and family snapshots, so there are things they might not know.
    I know this place if full of experimented and knowing people, so please, pity the darkroom newb and help me out! If you have any advice, infos and facts that would be useful for me to know, advice on any extra equipment or chemicals i might need for advanced things, organisation tips, whatever comes to your mind... Please, let me know!
    All advice, tips and ideas (and I repeat: other than very basic stuff. I already know the very basic stuff.) are oh-so-welcome!!!!
     
  2. crystalview

    crystalview TPF Noob!

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    Alexandra,

    Here is a site that will get you started at least. I dont have any tips for you or anything because I will be going through the same process as you are. I just found my dads' old canon canonette QL-17 and can wait to get it fixed up.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.markushartel.com/tutorials/archives/2005/12/how_to_develop.html

    Markus used to frequent this forum along with his wife some time ago. He does good work in my opinion.

    Other than that, I'm scouring the internet for ideas, facts and tutorials on this myself. I'll let you know if I come across anything monumental if you want.

    Good luck!
    -Jared
     
  3. Alexandra

    Alexandra TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Jared!
    I already knew most of the process, buti'm sure this is gonna help me! :thumbup:
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Alexandra, once you really start putting things together, you'll probably have really specific questions. By all means, post them here, and we can probably help you figure everything out!

    The darkroom is a place of wonder. Congrats! :D
     
  5. Alexandra

    Alexandra TPF Noob!

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    thanks terri!
    :D
     
  6. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Things I wish I would have known when I started.
    1. You have to have reels to develop film, yogurt containers don't work
    2. When touching chemicals, wearing gloves is preferable
    3. Get music, it tend to boring without it
    4. The colors filter that might come with an enlarger are for contrast
    5. Storing chemicals in bottles helps them last longer than a day
    6. Test stips save paper
    7. Chemicals smell bad at first, then you get used to it, covering the trays when not in use is a good idea.
    8. Ventilation is probably a good idea
    9. This should have been #1, but I'm too lazy to re-number. You need chemicals to develop prints
    10. Film canisters are a pain to open, can openers are helpful

    I think that's about it
     
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  7. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    Get a clock! :confused:

    Also check your room is completely light tight! I found out last week that my room lets in a tiny crack of light shining upwards from near the bottom of the door! I fogged 2 films before deducing it wasn't the camera and something was wrong with the room & then spent an hour looking for it! :lol:
     
  8. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup: I once went to the darkoom at 8:00pm just to make a few prints and I lost track of time and when I finally came out to get some air it was past mignight.
     
  9. Alexandra

    Alexandra TPF Noob!

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    Wow, you're unbelievable :D
     
  10. Alexandra

    Alexandra TPF Noob!

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    that's apity for the 2 rolls...
    thanks for the advice!
     
  11. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Oh, two more things.
    Don't forget the lights are on when you open a bag of paper :( and don't hook up any other lights to the same power stip as the enlarger, because you might often forget that the bright overhead light is on and waste a lot of paper :(
     
  12. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    This is mostly from experience, bad, bad expierences. Like the time I didn't relize I had a hang-nail until I went to pick out a print from the stop bath :meh:
     

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