Converted to film

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by zackesch, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. zackesch

    zackesch Member

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    I am officially converting from digital to film. Long story short, i do not want to pay the money to keep up with digital. Plus, being a design engineer, im sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours a day, and i do not want my hobby to be behind a screen. Fortunately, I didnt have too much invested in my digital gear, being a canon rebel xt with the 18-55 kit lens, 75-300 sigma, and my pride and joy of my lenses my canon 50mm 1.4. All my software is open source “im a linux user.”



    On ebay, I bought a canon elan II and a Durst F60 with Fexicon 50 and 75 condensing lens, Beslar 75 and 50mm printing lens, OEM film carrier for 6x6, generic 35mm film carrier, polycontrast filters: pc1, pc 2.5, pc 3.5, pc 4.5. Both for around 75.



    My local photography shops stock Ilford film, Ilford paper and the chemicals/lab supplies needed. With all this being VERY new to me, im very excited to learn and grow in this hobby.
     
  2. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    welcome to apug and film Zach. The people here are a great resource and btw you are not the only linux user here.
     
  3. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Welcome to the dark side. Or at least the dark room....

    I came back to film a couple of years ago. I find that film encourages me to be "in the moment". I find more joy in anticipating a shot, and waiting for the magic moment. I also prefer the feel and look of the analog image.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Welcome; another linux user (since 1993). Don't be surprised to someday get a hankering for 1950's-1970's photo equipment too. I'm sure the EOS gear is nice and capable, but it doesn't represent the breadth of awesomeness of equipment choices.
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Congratulations in escaping from the virtual world into the real one.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  7. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Welcome to APUG and to film, Zack. I also switched back to film almost two years ago when I built a 35mm version of the Populist Pinhole camera. Didn't take me long to drag my SLR out, then buy a more modern AF SLR (my eyesight isn't what it used to be, sadly).

    I'm also in front of a computer 8 hours/day as I'm a web developer. It's nice to get away from the screen once in a while.
     
  8. zackesch

    zackesch Member

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    Jp, I view the Elan more as my step into film. It has what im familiar with but in film. I put too much money into my 50mm 1.4 to let it sit around, plus i want to see what my 50mm is capable of in film. Dont you worry, i crave older gear too. :smile: Id love to get an AE-1, and find out personaly what range finders are capable of. I have much to learn and discover and I anticipate every moment of it.
     
  9. zackesch

    zackesch Member

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    Thanks for the link IC. My favorite photography books that i own are Bryan Petersons Fieldguide to Photography and The Rules of Photography and When to Brake Them by Haje Jan Kamps.
     
  10. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG. You are not alone in detesting the behavior that the digital work flow requires. Been developing software for 30 years and can't stand to sit at a computer at home.
     
  11. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Welcome Zack, Film is just more fun for me. I think like you learning something new is exciting and fun. Hope to see some of your shots soon.
     
  12. Grif

    Grif Member

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    I'll see your linux, raise you my Altair 8800 and I still have the first edition of Operating Systems: Design and Implementation by Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Good memories. Too bad he and the linux crowd seem to be at odds with each other.

    The cool thing about film now,,, I can afford the Nikon F subminiture dream system I lusted after in the late 60's. 4x5's are free if you buy the lens (ok,,, almost, free for a good user). Heck, I've got an Orbit and a Symmar with a bit of fungus, and a ratty case I'll bet would sell for less than $175. Mamiya Cxxx TLR's are an amazing value if you're into the minature formats. (ok,,, I'm just fishing for format snobs,,, flame on!!! ;-) All in good fun...

    All joking aside. Love my F, will never get rid of it. I'll likely not shoot that much 35mm. When that was all I had, it was a constent fight for me... ASA 25, tripod... With a large format mind set, owning a Nikon and not liking TriX 35mm prints was a bad thing;-)

    5x7 b&J, 4x5 Linholf. I may actually get rid of everything but the Nikon, Linholf and try to find a clean C330 with 4 lenses.

    I've got a Pentax 645 that may be the reason I'm going to be embrasing the Bi life style. 20 rolls of film, processing and scanning, shipping almost $400. Oh, and try getting 20 rolls of film in and out of Mexico. Was fairly smooth, I did my homework, but the folks with digital cameras just breazed on thru.

    Digital and film are different hobbies for me. Like was mentioned in a previous post, going out with the film camera is a totally focused outing for me. Way different than grabbing a bunch of family shots at the reunion or wedding party. I guess that sort of makes me an outcast from both sides of the fence ;-)

    Darkroom being built as we speak,,, I do miss the odd smell of Dev and fixer for some reason.
     
  13. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Film Rules.
     
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  15. zackesch

    zackesch Member

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    Since this is a darkroom forum, I do need some help on basic equipment. The only room i can use as a darkroom is my bathroom. The bathroom is broken into two sections, there is a door that seperates the tub and toilet from the sink and counterspace. Im thinking that this would either make a good seperation between wet and dry space, or with the doors being perpindicular with each other, do everything in the closed off section. When both doors are closed, the closed off section has no light leaking in at all. Now, with that out of the way, I know a safe light is needed, or will a bulb that has the safelight coating on it be fine. Before i use my enlarger, do I need a enlarger timer? Any info will be greatly appriciated.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Welcome!

    You should be sure to look through the Darkroom portraits and temporary darkroom threads at the top of this forum.

    Some safelights are just bulbs with the right glass or coatings, while others are regular bulbs behind filters. There are also LEDs that work as safelights, and more exotic light sources that emit light that is safe.

    For B&W printing, tiny bits of dim light can leak in, but for film, not so much.

    Remember that you will need a source of electricity, and you will also need white light too.

    You might want to do a dimensioned sketch, indicating where electrical and water sources are, and post it here.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Welcome zachesch,

    My first safelight was a 2W neon bulb. I think the instructions told me to cover it with some amber paper. Holy cow, I still have it and it still works. The generic red bulbs are not safe enough for most papers today.

    You really should look for a good quality OC (dark amber) safelight filter (or whatever the paper maker recommends), with a fairly dim (15W or less) bulb kept several feet away.

    If it doesn't come your way, you could work in the dark. You would miss out on the joy of watching the print develop, but your print would be better than it would if it got exposed to light that wasn't good for it.

    Timers are easy to come by. But you could use a metronome or any other way to count out the seconds.
     
  18. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Zackesh, welcome to film, and the darkroom, and to being able to influence almost every aspect of image taking, and above all, of the creation of a beautiful, tangible print. Digital is useful, definitely utilitarian, and leads to its own, interesting forms of art, but, ultimately, for an artistic soul the sensation stemming from the chosen process of creation is as important as the final output. I also do, and very much appreciate digital, but film makes me happier.

    I hope you enjoy the process and your results, even if the road ahead is full of surprises, and some obstacles that one needs to overcome, at every stage of this journey.
     
  19. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Welcome zackesch. I'm also a design engineer (electronic) and know exactly how you feel. Enjoy your new camera and darkroom!

    Andrew
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG and film zachesch!
     
  21. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    If there is enough space in the inner, light-tight area to put up a separate shelf for the enlarger then this would allow you to create a wet/dry separation in that space, and save you trouble of having to light-proof the other area and put a second safelight there. You could still use the tub for print washing (assuming it is in the non-light proof area) since this is done in the light. However I don't know whether this scheme is practical given your space.

    If you are able to paint your bathroom, then you may find that matt black paint on the door jamb and the area of the door that is in contact with it will remove any residual light creeping into the darkroom. Try turning off the lights and sitting there for 5 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust and then see whether you can see any leaks. I found some around my door (despite also using draught exluders to fill the gap between the door and floor/wall) so I painted the mating surfaces with black PVA and now I can't see anything at all.

    I use a red safelight bulb. However when I tested it I found slight but noticable paper exposure at around 60 seconds exposure to the light. Rather than change the safelight, I put a black material shroud around my enlargers that prevents the safelight from shining directly on the paper, and also serves to soak up any light spill from the enlarger. My trays are under the safelight, so I simply put the paper in the developer upside down to prevent any fogging.

    A timer is useful but not essential. I started out with just an analog clock on the wall that makes an audible tick every second. I counted the ticks to get the correct exposure, which for my setup is typically in the 15s to 1 minute region (at f/11). I've since been given a timer by a camera club member who doesn't use it any more, and it does simplify life as it allows one to dodge or burn without worrying about having to turn the enlarger off at the right moment. But it's certainly possible to manage without one.
     
  22. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

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    Oh, your wallet is in mortal peril now.

    :blink:
     
  23. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Shh. No scaring gentle souls quite yet. :smile: Anyway, all of this can be done without much expense, yet with great results. Expense adds convenience, and can help productivity, or become an excuse and a distraction, speaking from personal experience.
     
  24. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    28 for me not counting college but the same still applies!

    Welcome fellow film enthusiast and linux user! Switched to ubuntu in 2005 and never looked back!

    Lot's of great stuff here. And great people, too!

    Me too! And "Computer Networks."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2012
  25. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    You will want a real safelight, although you can make do with some alternatives. If you use a dim red light as far away as you can get, you can try and get started with that. Worst you will do is fog some prints, but it'll probably work. I used a red christmas tree light in a night light holder for some time with no problems unless the paper was out for a LONG time.

    You can get away without a timer but it is much more convenient to have one. You can use a stopwatch or a clock with second hand if you can see it by your safelight. We are told that Ansel Adams used a metronome. Anything that you can use to time accurately.
     
  26. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I guess what you mean is that whatever you buy today and you determine that they are the best whether it's enlarger, camera, film, paper or chemical there won't be anything better in the future for you to spend money on. Otherwise film photography will tend to be more expensive than digital. With that said, welcome to film world. I am a film only photographer.