Darkroom in the closet

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Thomas Wagner, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    Well, at least the darkroom is finished. Well, sort of, you will note from the attached photo that I still have stuff in boxes under the counter. Setup is mainly for 8X10, but I can go larger if I take down one enlarger. For print rinse I use a large water filled tray on a cart that goes under (replaces the yellow kitty litter box). Then prints go a short hop to the bathroom where they are rinsed in the tub. Thank gawd I am a bachelor.

    As this is a rental suite I could not do a major renovation. As a matter of fact the height of the bench was determined by the two sliding doors I took off. They lay in the back and actually form the support for the back of the bench.

    Tom
     

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  2. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Relax, Thomas. You're on APUG. You don't need to be a closet darkroomer around here. :D

    Seriously, nice adaptation of the space.

    BTW, I use the kitchen sink for print washing - a much more convenient height.
     
  3. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Very neat, Thomas, and not dissimilar to my own set-up. My darkroom bench and equipment are in a walk-in cupboard off the bedroom, so when the doors are closed it's all out of sight/out of mind but when I'm using it I have the full space of the bedroom to cover with junk!
    I see that your right-hand enlarger is a Durst. I have a similar model, which I'm very happy with other than the fact that it tends to suffer from Newton's Rings when the head is lowered on to the negative. It doesn't happen all the time and never with my old negs, so my guess is that it's the modern thinner film base having that bit more curve and allowing it to contact the condenser when lowered. I've just increased the thickness of the orange mask to try to avoid the problem.
    Best wishes,
    Steve
     
  4. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    Never had that problem with the durst. But have had some associated problems with the Meopta. I would really like to get rid of that glass clam shell carrier. It is totally useless for small negative. Not shown is the air compressor to keep the dust out of the enlargers.

    No picture of the rest of the room forthcoming, but needless to say it is rather full!

    Tom (who is back in the closet)
     
  5. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    Looks like a sensible arrangement. Dursts of that vintage are easily mounted on different baseboards, so you could put both units on the same base and gain about a foot. That assumes you don't need both enlargers simultaneously.

    I would do a safelight check - the lamp looks a touch close to me unless you have dropped the wattage.
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Thomas,
    If you were truly dedicated to analog photography, you would have set up a roomy darkroom in your bedroom and slept in the closet :D
     
  7. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    Well Neal, as a matter of fact I am more than dedicated.

    Before I became single (again) I inhabited one room what did indeed have my bed, my computer, my darkroom, all my cameras, my junk and my cat. Both me and the cat are enjoying our own apartment, and the first thing finished was the darkroom.

    Does that qualify me? The only thing worse would have been to try and move it all to the boat!

    Oh yea, the safelight. It is running a tiny christmas tree bulb inside. I did have to put the deep brown one closer to the enlarger. Paper safes are on the shelf beside the enlarger and for safety I use a really tiny safelight on that side.

    The Durst does indeed have a larger base. I have the extension post, so the base is now 18" square. Don't know for the life of me how those tiny bases it comes with can be any use at all. I also have 35, 50 and 75 mm lenses all of which are interchangeable for optimum magnification.

    Window has "masonite" blackout boards in slides. So I can get the whole place really black.

    Tom (and the cat)
     
  8. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Well, I suppose that I had better qualify you, it sounds just like my set up minus the cat. The boat sounds like a good idea, automatic tray rocking. :smile:

    You should post your darkroom photo in the "Darkroom Portraits" thread. That's become a portfolio of innovative and creative darkroom ideas.
     
  9. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Thomas,

    You've inspired me to try setting up a darkroom in my apartment (shared with my wife and a very energetic dog). I've thought about it but have no idea how to go about it. But then I found APUG and all the knowledgeable folks here. There's no dearth of help.

    Good job Thomas!
     
  10. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Thomas,
    I can relate to the problem of setting up a darkroom in a rental property. My first darkroom lasted seven years in a rental unit. I only ever had to fully dismantle it a couple of times. My second was in my own house, so I could make minor modifications to the door and window (Velcro strips mainly). Now I'm in another rental house, but there is a crappy old shed out the back which is perfect for the dry part of the darkroom (and tape on walls is not a big issue) and now I just have to wash prints indoors as the shed has no running water.
     
  11. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    With the exception of the university darkroom I have never had the luxury of running water. I even considered using drums for prints at one time. But, I find dumping them all in a big try of water, then transporting them to the kitchen or bathroom has never been a problem.

    I am quite proud of the blackout system. Two masonite panels in a slide frame in the window. I can open them for light when I am not using them. As well, I will be making a drop in panel for fans for those extra smell things. So far though the smell has never been an issue. The door is far enough away that it is not an issue, but a quick drape may be needed for some stuff.

    Tom