Yey - darkroom

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Fate, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Fate

    Fate TPF Noob!

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    Ive decided to turn our utility room into a darkroom, much to my mums annoyance.

    SO ive bought a complete darkroom kit off ebay....£180... and its a hell of a lot of stuff, so not bad in my opinion (got 3 slrs with it as well lol). But im guessing the enlarger isnt gona be that great :(

    Anyway, main question is about chemcials and stuff. Do i need to put fresh trays of chemicals out everytime i go into the darkroom to do some more prints. Say, if i did some printing one night.. would those chemcials be ok left there till the morning and stuff like that?

    Also, whats the best way to get a constant temperature for the chemcials... that doesnt involve expensive heating trays and stuff.

    Many thanks :)

    Dave
     
  2. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    Well I know that we didn't change the chemicals all the time in photo class in high school. This could very well have been because art is toward the bottom of the school budget though......
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If you're interested in squeezing every last drop of productivity out of your chemicals, you can run tests to see how many rolls/prints you can get out of a single batch of chemicals. Chemical manufacturers generally will make recommendations about how much you can safely process with a batch. Otherwise, mix up just enough for a use, dump when you're done. Some things can be re-used, like fixer.

    As far as temperature, it's probably easiest to just place your tray or canister into a larger tray with warm/hot water, then heat the contents up to temp.
     
  4. Fate

    Fate TPF Noob!

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    Also, how much would you think a fairly good darkroom kit would go for? cus im just not sure about the quality of the stuff im gona bid on
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you can cover the trays with plastic wrap, it needs to rest against the liquid.

    with regard to cost, it will all depend on which enlarger, timer etc. these days a lot of really good equipment is going very cheaply
     
  6. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very important for the developer. This chemical has a tendency to oxidize when left exposed to air. It will turn an ugly brown and loose strength.
     
  7. michaelk

    michaelk TPF Noob!

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    Darkroom chemicals can be reused the next day. But all chemicals have a "life". That is exposure to air over time can degrade them and there is a limit to how much film or how many prints you can run through them. I never use my film developer more than once. Why take a chance with my negatives. If the chemicals are bad I can't do it over again.​
    As far as chemicals for paper, if they have not been out in the tray too long you might pour them into collapsable plastic jugs so you can squeeze the air out and store them. You should find out the capacity of your chemicals though. You should be able to find this information on the company website. For instance, the fixer I use has a capacity of 30 fiber based or 60 RC prints per liter of working solution. The capacity for film is 1400-1600 sq inches per liter. I usually throw it out a bit before capacity to be safe​
    As far as temp goes there are many things you can do. You can try to keep the room the same temp when you are working. This depends on your home having a decent HVAC system though. With prints, it is nice to always have the temp the same but it is not as critical as with film. If the temps are in a range of say 68-72 or 3 you should be ok with your printing. You might give a bit more time at lower temps than at higher. With film you can use a water bath. This does not have to be very fancy. You can use a shallow tub of water. If you are doing 35mm you can set the tank in the tub then grab it to do your agitation then set it back in the tub of water. The more water in the tub the longer it will hold temp. If you can't get the water out of the tap cold enough, use ice in the tub.(though you probably won't have this problem where you live) The closer the room temp is to your desired development temp though the easier everything will be.​
    Good luck with your new darkroom. Make your mom a nice print.​
     

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