To build a darkroom or not to build....

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by schussey, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    By summer, I will no longer have access to a darkroom....which is terrible. I was thinking of buying a film scanner, but then i thought, that's not nearly as fun. I would really like to build a darkroom in my basement, how much labor/expenses am I looking at? Thanks for the help
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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  3. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    I just put a darkroom in my basement. Well I basically turned the whole basement into the darkroom, I didn't build new walls or anything. I just covered the windows, put weatherstripping on the door at the top of the steps to block the light, moved some workbenches from the garage down, and changed out the sink, put up a safelight, etc... It's not an ideal situation due to the washer and dryer so dust may be an issue, but it's doable for now and I can always figure out a better solution later.

    Some rough estimates of what I've spent:
    enlarger n misc stuff lot (ebay, $50)
    digital timer (ebay, $60)
    black duct tape for windows (over top of garbage bags) - $3
    weatherstripping for door - $2, $3, then $5, took a couple tried to find one that worked right
    safelight - $20
    misc trays n stuff on ebay - $35 (included funnels, papersafe, chem bottles, 5 trays, etc)
    print washer - $20?
    grain focuser - $10, need a diff one, I can't use this one
    6x6 neg carrier - $2.21, god I love ebay
    timer for film - $16.50
    2 more trays and hypochek - $12, just bought that today at local shop
    filters and graduates - 25ish
    80mm enlarging lens - $57, altho the bastard hasn't shipped or contacted me yet :(
    stuff I just ordered from Adorama - paper cutter, temp regulator thingy, a hose, gloves and some film - $116

    I think that's it, except for chems and paper...

    You could probably get some of the stuff cheaper, because I got some stuff new that I didn't need to, but then I think I got a great deal on my enlarger, so it all works out in my mind...

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
     
  4. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    oriecat- thank you so much for the help. I plan on starting this weekend. Any thoughts on a decent enlarger to go for?
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    I like Beseler and Omega, but there are lot's of other good brands. Brand of lens is probably more important; I like Nikkor and Schneider (Componon is higher quality than Componar).

    Make sure you get an enlarger that will handle the largest film format you ever dream of using, as enlargers are going cheap these days and a good one that'll do 4x5 on down really isn't any more expensive than one that will only do 35mm.
     
  6. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    So my darkroom project is underway, I have sealed off all sources of light from the area, and clean out the room. I have bought chemical trays, projection print scale, tongs, squeegee, and just the etreme basics. I am on the market for timer, enlarger, etc. The only problem I came across is that I have no sink. Any cheap ways to wash prints?
     
  7. ksmattfish

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

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    I don't know where you are located, but Home Depot has cheap plastic sinks that can be hooked up to existing plumbing, or rigged via hose and faucet.

    Remember, once you've fixed film/prints, they are light safe, so you could move them to the kitchen or bathroom and do the washing there. Running water in the darkroom is convenient, but not necessary.

    I used my bedroom as a darkroom for years, and did all the washing in the kitchen. Even now my darkroom sink really isn't big enough to handle my 16x20 print washer, so I do it in the bath tub, or even outside hooked up to the garden hose when it's nice out.
     
  8. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    i'll definitly check out home depot- i was thinking that i would have to make trips into the bathroom, but will try anything for conveinience
     
  9. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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  10. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Well I can't get the url to go directly to the page, but the one I got is the 23x25 for $ 17.98. I never would have thought I could get a sink for 18 bucks...
     
  11. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for the help- hopefully I win the enlarger that i am bidding on (ebay)......i plan on getting both the sink and print washer
     
  12. schussey

    schussey TPF Noob!

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    so- my darkroom is basically complete, its shabby looking, but suits the purpose. My gf's father gave me a huge box of stuff, that he used to use. Inside was everything from trays to the enlarger itself! :D

    [​IMG]
     

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