Thinking about buying darkroom equipment

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Oculus, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    So I recently did a photography workshop where I learned how to develop B&W film, and then how use an enlarger to put those images onto paper. I am thinking about setting up my own darkroom at home and while searching for darkroom equipment I came across this one ad, where they are selling an entire "set". These are the main items:
    - Opemus 6 enlarger
    - YNA 6 enlarger
    - Lubitel 166 Universal
    - Revue dry mount press
    - safelights
    - some sort of protective filters
    - some sort of professional air release
    and a bunch of other stuff that is used in darkrooms.

    Here is a link to the ad (it is in german): http://bit.ly/2fsm4De
    In the description it says that the seller just found these items in his basement and even though he doesn't know anything about darkrooms, he thinks that all of the items are working as they should. The items can be tested. The asking price is 200 euros, which is roughly 220 USD.

    So I am wondering, is the set worth the asking price? And if it is, how can I can make sure the items work as they should? Like I said before, I participated in a workshop, but we had an instructor, so I am not sure if I know enough to sufficiently test the equipment.


     
  2. Advanced Photo

    Advanced Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now is a good time, it is still readily available and is very cheap as more people move away from it to digital every day.

    My favorite line from the ad is this: And a plethora of other objects and crimes, which are thus part of a photolabor.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you keep looking it's likely you can put together a B&W darkroom with good equipment people will give you at no charge, just so they can get rid of the stuff.
     
  4. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not familiar with those enlargers or most of those brands/styles of equipment. But it looks like a fairly complete set of darkroom equipment. I'm not sure what to do to test other than to plug everything in and see if it powers on and runs. I'd see if the enlargers raise and lower so you can project an image and raise/lower to focus.

    If you go look at it, could you take along a strip of negatives so you can try projecting an image and see how it looks? maybe take along some plain white paper so you can see it well enough to tell.

    Smaller items would be possible to find elsewhere, but parts for the enlargers may not be easy to find, and the enlargers are most of the expense of a darkroom. So I'd make sure those work.

    I don't know how easy it is to find this where you live, or how much an entire darkroom usually sells for. To me the price doesn't sound unreasonable for two enlargers and a dry mount press + timers and trays and an easel and all the small items. Seems a little pricey but not totally out of line to me for that much equipment if everything is working. I suppose it depends if it's worth spending the money on it for you.
     
  5. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    "Krimskrams" actually means knick knacks. ;)

    I could do that but I would probably wait forever. I searched a few forums and I only found three people giving away their darkrooms for free, and those post are at least 3 years old.

    Well, I was told that darkrooms tend to pop up once in a while on that site (most other darkrooms I found on german sites are all located in Germany, and thats too far away for me) and they usually sell for around 150 euros (although that was for just one enlarger, and no camera). I found one other complete darkroom for 300 euros (http://bit.ly/2fZHbgT - i can translate it if you want) and another one for 1500 euros which is obviously too much for me.

    I was also wondering, could the set, I posted before, be used for B&W photos or just color ones?

    Or would it be a better idea to just buy everything new? The cheapest enlarger I managed to find sells for 200 euros and I'm not sure if its worth anything, as the professional ones are well above 1000 euros.
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't know, because I don't know if those enlargers are for B&W or color film. Usually here at least most people did B&W in their homes/basements so that's usually the darkroom equipment that turns up. In the pictures it looks like the smaller equipment is what's usually found in a B&W darkroom.

    In the second one it looks like it says Color on the enlarger.

    edit - Looking at the first pictures again I see a case that says Opemus 6 Color so that must be a color enlarger. I don't know about that Yna, doesn't look like any B&W enlarger I've ever used. I'd make sure that's for B&W film - or maybe it'd be better to let this equipment go on by... maybe do research on B&W equipment and learn more about it before you get into an expense and then find out it isn't usable.

    I've thought if I ever want to set up a home darkroom I'd consider a new enlarger; for doing alternate processes I've been able to find tongs and trays and beakers etc. easily enough. And the one time I bought some at a camera swap they threw in a bunch of photo paper they obviously wanted to get rid of!! so some of it can be fairly cheap. (I use the old paper for alternate processes so I was glad to take it off their hands!)
     
  7. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hope you already picked this up. I had a friend with a Durst enlarger that looked similar to this Opemus and it could also do color, but we used it mostly for B&W and it was a fine enlarger. It looks to me like the Opemus enlarger just has a normal B&W condenser head on it right now, there may be a color head in that box (which you could use for B&W, but I always liked the condenser heads for B&W).

    The kit includes all kinds of stuff that can be useful and looks like you could start developing film and printing right away. I also started out with a darkroom that a neighbour was looking to get rid of and then I just added to that over the years, but kept many items that I may never had picked up such as the print dryer.

    I hope the location is close by. Most people have a hard time selling darkroom materials as it can just be too expensive to ship vs the value of the equipment. To transport the enlargers I usually dismount the column with the head from the base. A lot of times the head will also come off the column with no problem as long as you don't have to mess with the assembly that raises and lowers the head.

    Generally to test just see if the enlarger light turns on and you smoothly can raise and lower the head on the column. Run the lens through the stops and see that it focuses smoothly. It looks fine so I wouldn't even bother testing unless you want to negotiate the price. Looks like they may have the original manual for the Opemus or download it to check on any suggested maintenance and how to check and adjust the head to baseboard alignment.
     
  8. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Since you're relatively new to this, and the seller found all this equipment in the basement so apparently it belonged to a relative and the seller knows nothing about it - would it be possible to contact someone where you took the darkroom workshop and ask about it?
     
  10. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    Well it isn't close by, but it is right between the city I currently live in and my hometown, and I usually go home every few weeks.

    Thanks a lot! I also found a manual for the YNA 6, it is it in russian (http://bit.ly/2fzeODe).

    Yeah I will try to do that.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice! Really appreciate it!
     
  11. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    While not knowing the quality of the equipment ... I'd say it's looks to be a pretty good deal. Personally, I would use that money towards a film scanner. You can do so much more ... so much easier with a digitized negative/image than a film negative.
     
  12. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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