How to start a dark room

Photographictime

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Hello,

I am trying to start some Film Photography. I have good experience in Digital stuff. I just got a 35mm Film Camera "Yashica FX-103 w/ 50mm 1.9, 2x tele convertet and a 210mm Tamron lens. I also have a ton of Kodac 400 film. I am also interested in 1. my own prints and 2. my own development. I've watched some youtube video and understand the process. How would I start this cheaply? I see a Enlarger that looks good but I have no idea on what brands of developers are good and inexpensive.
 

compur

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Beseler and Omega are the most popular brands and both companies are still in business. Their used enlargers are plentiful and finding accessories is relatively easy. Prices on used enlargers is also very low -- some people even give them away. There are other good brands too like Durst, LPL, and others. But, Beseler and Omega are the easiest to find accessories like negative holders, lens boards and other things that you may want down the road.
 
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Light Guru

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The cheesiest way would be to keep an eye on Craigslist and watch for people who are getting rid of a whole darkroom setup.

You should realize that a darkroom for prints will take up a lot of space, the bigger the prints you are making the bigger the darkroom you will need.

You could also do a hybrid darkroom where you just develop the film and then scan the negatives.
 
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Photographictime

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Light Guru

Space isn't an issue, We have an old Victorian home with 13 foot ceilings and I have a large guest room thats empty.

Also, its not cheesy at all.
 

compur

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There are some other things you'll need besides the enlarger. One of the most important is an easel. This is what holds the paper flat during exposure by the enlarger. It may sound unimportant but a good easel makes a world of difference in printing. I suggest a 4-blade type easel. The ones made by Saunders are probably the most common and are of good quality.
 

cgw

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Space isn't an issue, We have an old Victorian home with 13 foot ceilings and I have a large guest room thats empty.

Also, its not cheesy at all.

If you can hold off, try to attend the big PHSC(phsc.ca)fairs. The next one is coming up in the fall. One stop shopping for darkroom gear of all sorts. Not exactly next door to London but worth a trip if pickings are slim locally.
 

KenC

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I have no idea on what brands of developers are good and inexpensive.

It depends on the film. From my experience if it's Tri-X then Kodak HC-110 is about the best, and if it's Tmax, then Tmax developer is best. Both get diluted from a concentrate each time you use them. The concentrate lasts a while.
 

amolitor

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I use rodinal for film, and Ilford's paper developer for paper.

Pretty much anything will do, though. At this point you don't seem to have firm ideas about what the results should look like, so anything that's not some sort of radical "high contrast developer" or "extremely slow acting fixer" or similar, anything that's labelled and sold as a basic developer, stop, fixer, for fim and/or paper should produce decent results. It's when you decide that you want a different look in some dimension that you can start looking at specific products.

You should be able to get a fixer that's good for both paper and film (different dilutions, but the same concentrate) and stop bath should be fine for both film and paper.

Developers are generally just plain different for film and paper.
 

timor

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Light Guru

Space isn't an issue, We have an old Victorian home with 13 foot ceilings and I have a large guest room thats empty.

Also, its not cheesy at all.

If you can hold off, try to attend the big PHSC(phsc.ca)fairs. The next one is coming up in the fall. One stop shopping for darkroom gear of all sorts. Not exactly next door to London but worth a trip if pickings are slim locally.
This is a good pointer. Here is the latest PHSC newsletter with all the info regarding this event:
http://phsc.ca/camera/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/PHSC-E-Mail-V13-3.pdf
 

bsinmich

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To the Beseler & Omega I would add a Durst enlarger. They are top quality also. I had a Durst and now have a Beseler & Omega. I leave one set up for 35mm and one for 2 1/4 X 2 1/4.I also have space. I will be going through London in a couple of weeks. If you need some of the old plastic film developing tanks let me know. I have bought a few box lots and am overflowing on film tanks. I also have a spare bulk loader.
 

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