Darkroom in a bathroom: how about the mirrors?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by argus, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. argus

    argus Member

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    Having a look at those temporary darkroom setups in people's bathroom, I wondered if the mirrors should be eliminated or not?

    You can read a lot about isolating the enlarger to eliminate reflections and unwanted light escaping from the enlarger head.
    I guess is might be bad for printing? Did any of you run some test on this?

    G
     
  2. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I look forward to having this discussed. I have a huge mirror in my soon-to-be darkroom (it doubles as a bathroom, and the wife insisted on having it in there :tongue:).

    Morten
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    When I used a bathroom I had a large mirror right behind the enlarger. I used to see light coming out of the enlarger neg carrier, but it bounced straight back, so I never did anything about it, and never saw any evidence of it affecting prints. My current darkroom has white walls and I've seen the same thing but it's not as obvious.. I haven't done anything about that either!
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I have a rather large mirror on the opposite wall from the enlarger, and it has never been a problem for me. But it's slightly offset, so any stray enlarger light gets reflected in the other direction. So, I think it really depends on the individual configuration.

    If you encounter a problem in your space, I'd suggest seeing if you can block the light leaks before messing with the mirror. For example, a strip of black weather stripping felt taped on the outside of the condenser housing facing the mirror might solve the problem.
     
  5. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I have a mirror that stretches from behind the sink all the way over to the edge of the shower, from counter top to ceiling. 7'L x 3.5' H The bathroom is also white and the shower is full of nice shiney white tiles. Due to the room layout, my enlarger sits on the bathtub.
    I capped the lens on the enlarger so no light could escape. Put some photo paper on the easel with 2 coins on top. Turned on the enlarger for a minute. Processed the paper, could not see the coin outlines. OK, did it again, left the enlarger on for 5 min., still no sign of the coins. One more try, left the enlarger on for 10 min. Now I was starting to get some fogging and the coins outlines could just be seen on the paper under bright light.
    So now I know that enlargements times of 10 min or more with my setup may cause some noticable fogging on prints. Hopefully I won't need times that long.
    Easy test and only takes a few minutes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2005
  6. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I also have a white bathroom with a large mirror as my makeshift darkroom.
    No problems whatsoever.
    It can even be an advantage cause you can quickly see if the mirror image is better :smile:
    No honestly, in all that I've done until now I havn't seen any fogging or had any problems that could be caused by the mirror.
    Kind regards Søren
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you look at the pictures of my dark/bathroom in the Darkroom Portraits thread, you'll see that the mirror is over the sink, and not behind the enlarger. Omega D type enlargers are also notoriously leaky, so you'll notice that there's a black plastic band around the condenser housing (which actually houses the cold light head). This is just a plastic bag from a box of 8x10" paper, slit lengthwise and folded in thirds, and then wrapped around the housing and taped to itself, so that it slips down a bit over the edge and cuts down on the leakage between the head and the negative carrier.
     
  8. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Funny no one has mentioned this but... my darkroom has a large mirror against the wall opposite my wet side. Once the prints are rinsed, they get squeegeed onto the mirror. RC is dry in about 3 minutes after that, and fibre stay on the mirror until the end of the session (or when they start to peel off the glass; whichever comes first) and then go onto the drying racks.
    I wouldn't want to be without a mirror in my darkroom: it's an invaluable asset!
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    The last time I worked in a make shift bathroom darkroom I was living in Italy and mirror was attached to wall and I could not just take it down, so I painted the mirror with red poster pant. When I returned to the states I just washed the poster paint off. The red did not look as bad as black would have looked.

    Regards

    Paul
     
  10. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    due to the layout of the bathroom I use as D-room now, I put the enlarger with the back to a wall, with the mirror bahind me.
    I haven;t had problems (yet)