Darkroom Project

John Mc

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Sep 18, 2010
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Hi all,im new to the forum,so in advance,i'd like to appologise to the Moderators in advance if im posting in the wrong thread here.
I also appologise as its a long thread,but theres a few questions i need help with.

Ive recently started a Photography course in which we have to start from the begining,Black and white film.at first,i wasnt best pleased,i was more of a Digital person to begin with. but after developing and producing a few rather good prints,i found i really enjoyed it.it got me thinking about creating a Darkroom in my own house,well,parents house.i gave myself a budget of around £600 and a 4 month window to complete it,around christmas i expect to be finished.

I know the first majour thing i'd need,was going to be an elnarger,and i thought,stick to what im used to.Lpl C7700,which is what i used in college.
On ebay on day last week i came across one,

  • LPL C7700 Colour Enlarger with transformer
  • Adjustable negative holder - 35mm up to 6x7cm
  • Timer (not connected to power)
  • Nikon El Nikkor 50mm f4 lens
  • Paterson Focus Finder
  • 3 Easels
  • Contact frame
  • Red safe light (not in photo)
  • 2 Print Glazers (1 boxed) not shown in photo.
All this came too £100 buy it now,so,i bought it.a gift from my girlfriend.im a lucky man.my budget and time to get this built has droped from £600,to around £150-200,and 4 months,to 2 weeks.

Its all going to go in a 6'x8' foot room,its where the boiler is,which im not sure if thats going to effect the prints due to the fact its warm.the room has no windows,just a door,so once in im able to lock myself there,and have hours of fun :)

I need other equipment,not alot,and i know my parents are planing on getting a new kitchen and bathroom put in and to get the plumbing redone,so nothing in the room is going to be perminant until they have completed this.so i can get taps and a small sink fitted.

The questions i have are,would i need to paint the room a Matt Black?or leave it whitish/yellow?
will the temp make a difference in my prints?its not too warm,but its deffinently above room temp.
Thats it for about now,i'll have more as im building.

There is no need to paint the room black. yellow or even white would be nice.

You may consider painting the ceiling black with a 12inch border down the sides to reduce any enlarger flare. If you have some type of "walls" around the enlarger that could be black, but walls can be what ever, even light gray, which is what we used the last time we painted the lab. It makes the whole room lighter and easier to get around as it is a gang darkroom with 12 stations. It had been black and was just too glooming.

Temperature can effect the print, you can also use a water bath of some type if it gets too warm. I beleive the lab is about 72
Hopefully the room has some sort of ventilation.

The walls in my school's lab are cream-colored. Don't worry about it messing up your paper. Paper has a low iso.
Cheers for the advice,one of the reasons i wanted to paint the room,was because its an unpleasent colour,But Grey Might be a nice compromise to black,ive got a big tub of white paint and a small tube of black siting here. The enlarger was going to get its own little alcove,as the space is small,im going to have to have a light box next to it.ive already thought about having a paper safe as to keep undeveloped prints safe.

Regards to ventilation,i am looking into that,but because the room is litrally in the middle of the house,its tricky,i need to wait for refurbishment of the kitchen or bathroom to sort this,but for now,im using a Air cooler to keep air cool,and circulated,which will hopefully drop the room temp down so im not sweating whilst working
I think the Ventilation is for the fact there is chemicals that will release gas, therefore, I doubt you want to be stuck in a confined space with gasses.
I thought this too,what i might do is get a filtration system,or some flexable vent tubing so i can hang it out a window close by
that make all sorts of vents for windows, check a good photo shop. calumet should be one
I'll take a trip to my local Calumet store next week,my main thing this coming week/end is to get the worktops up and painted
Bit of a daft question,but Darkroom equipment isnt my strongest point,and ive struggled to find the info im after. But are Enlarger timers universal?or do i need a specific one that links with my Enlarger?

Thanks john
they are pretty universal. there are analog timers and digital ones. Unless you have a high end larger a universal is fine. You can check around for an old fashion time-o-lite timer which is a classic.

i may have one around the lab that i can sell you fairly cheaply. let me know.

with timers, one plug into the electrical outlet. the power cable from the enlarger into the timer. pretty straight forward
My enlarger came today,and ive set it all up,not worries.my teacher in college gave me a Paterson 2000d timer,which has a 3 pin "kettle" type cable input.but the Enlarger to the transformer is a 2 pin cable,the question i have is how do i set up the enlarger,transformer and timer. does it go in the way i said,or another?im all confused
which enlarger, and when you say 2 pin, do you mean a standard two prong plug. oops, i just noticed your in the uk. i don't know what your plugs look like across the pond i would check with your instructor.
Haha,its okay,i think ive got it,but i do mean the Standard 2 pin prong that go's into the Transformer,im then presuming the Transformer go's into the timer.
The 3 pin Socket i refer to is called an IEC socket,theres a female one in the back of the Timer for transformers,but the conection on mines is for a mains supply,so im going to have to change it.
So here are some poor quality photos,Alot of camera shake as i hand held :(but you'll get the idea. :)

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