Enlarger in separate room?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by dustmite, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. dustmite

    dustmite Member

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    Hello all Apuggers!
    I have hopefully a simple question; I am in the process of thinking through setting up my own bathroom darkroom. I've gone large format, so my enlarger will be on the larger side; this is in a condo that I own, so I can install any kind of sink I would like to; the bath need renovation anyway, so I plan to get a smaller darkroom sink that will enable tank film processing and also hold a Nova 12x16 processor. That leaves enlarging; there is a large closet directly across from the bathroom; this is what I've been imagining; install the enlarger in the closet; before exposing paper, make sure all sensitive material is put away in paper safes, etc; after exposing paper, move across the hallway into bathroom, close door, place towel along bottom of lightproofed door, place paper in Nova processor. Sort of a back-and -forth across the hallway printing routine. Am I missing anything obvious that wouldn't let me do that? I know I'm stuck in the bathroom until the print is in the wash, but that's ok.
    Thanks
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Thats a lot of shuffling. Can you darken the hallway and just leave the doors open, maybe at night?
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    Sounds like you thought it all out. I used to have to do something similar in a lab. We had a an 8x10 enlarger, and a copy stand and Nova processor in one room. So people needed to use the 8x10, put the paper in a box, and walk to another room for the chemistry. Once you nail the exposure, just bang out a few sheets before heading to the wet side.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My dry darkroom is n my den; my wet darkroom is in the master bathroom. No problems, just shuffling back and forth.

    Steve
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    That's what I do... though it really sucks (!) when you want to print during the day. I needed to have at LEAST a dry room though- where I could load film and dev tanks 24/7...
     
  6. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    I think that would drive me crazy quite quickly - or I would just give up.
    Suggestion - instead of using the Nova, process your prints in daylight drums which can be had second hand for next to nothing. OK, you cannot see the print come up in the dev - but you can't do that in a Nova either.
    I've used such a set up in the past and am doing so again until I've fixed up a darkroom in the garage.

    Just a thought.

    Jack
     
  7. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    My darkroom is my blacked out hallway for the dry side and my bathroom for the wet side of printing. It's not crazy. Unless you wanted to hide away your beautiful enlarger, I'd not put it in the closet. I have mine on a table in my hallway and out on display like you would a fishtank or a sofa :D It's a piece of functional furniture for me and my friends can come by and admire it.

    I just have everything blacked out, though, with a safelight for the hallway and one for the bathroom so I can tray develop.
     
  8. catem

    catem Member

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    Even though I know this definitely WOULD drive me crazy, I well know how long the journey can be to a purpose-built darkroom, so you do what you can - it can be more convenient than renting darkrooms.

    One thing I would say - I have never had my enlarger in a separate space but I had to store it in the hall while my last darkroom was being built, and wheel it in and out of the bathroom if I really needed to print - I think your main problems, apart from blocking light, will be dust & movement, so a good idea would be to make sure it is as rigid as possible & that you use a good dust cover on it, even if it's impossible to keep the whole area dust-free.
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    My dry side is in my laundry room - my wet side in the bathroom all the way across my apartment. I put the exposed paper in an old paper box and the walk has never bothered me. In fact, as my ventilation is not very good, using two spaces allows me to leave open the door of the space I'm not in to let the air circulate.
    juan
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is my changing bag called a "Changing Room". It is portable so I can take it anywhere ...
    Does that mean I have my darkroom in three rooms? :tongue:

    Steve
     
  11. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I am not familiar with the Nova processor, but if you can load the exposed paper in a lightight cassette then walk across the hall that's fine. I exposed my paper in the darkroom but after loading the paper in the print drum, I turn on the light and walk to the bathroom for the wet steps.
     
  12. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    What about ventilation? That sounds like a pretty small place to spend a lot of time with fumes. If there is a bathroom fan that is noisy you might want to replace it with a super quiet Panosonic brand. If you do add a powerful exhaust fan where is your fresh air going to come from? Will it be dark and filtered? A lot of dust can come in under the door. If you could build a box to hold a furnace filter in the door the air coming in might be cleaner and darker.

    John Powers
     
  13. evilhomer78

    evilhomer78 Member

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    Here is what I'm doing because my bathroom is to small and impossible to light proof.

    I have a spare bedroom that I have light proofed. In the bedroom I have my enlarger as well as a table with 4 trays (dev, stop, fix, holding bath).

    I do all of my processing in the bedroom and once I'm done I carry my finished prints in a tray to the bathroom shower where I wash the prints in a print washer.
     
  14. dustmite

    dustmite Member

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    jp80874,

    Yes, I plan to install a better Panasonic vent fan than the stock unit, and and also a lightproof vent in the bathroom door, but a furnace filter over the lightproof vent on the outside of the bathroom door sounds like an excellent idea, I will probably do that. My idea for the Nova processor comes from the size of my bathroom, 60 inches by 100 inches, including the surface area of the tub. I would save a lot of space with me planning on sometimes doing 12x16 prints, and it would leave the tub for final washing. I suppose I could fit 3 trays on a shelf on the tub, but no room for anything else in the tub area. When I was done processing prints, I would have to take the shelf down, empty and wash out the trays, take out the shelf on the tub etc, before I could do any print washing. My hallway is too short and narrow for placing the enlarger in the hall; interesting idea, though. Thanks to all who have made an effort to help.
     
  15. dustmite

    dustmite Member

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    Akki14,
    You mention blacking everything out. Do you mean the windows? What do you use to lightproof the windows? In my circumstance, it would have to look acceptable to the outside(condo rules) with a white or off-white look from the outside.
    Thanks
     
  16. mgonzale

    mgonzale Member

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    Depending on how you have your blinds installed on your window, you may be able to have regular window treatments showing to the outside while you have your "dark" material on the inside. With my recessed window, this is how I deal with the issue of how it looks from the outside.

    I like this thread--I may have more elbow room if I put my enlarger in another room and keep the bathroom as the whole wet side. Interesting.
     
  17. dustmite

    dustmite Member

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    Yes, my windows are recessed, and I could do what I've seen recommended in other posts, using velcro tape around the window opening and using blackout fabric. I think I'd have to have velcro sewn onto the fabric, which is no biggie, and I would have to staple black felt around the doorframe of my front door, cover the peep hole, and unplug the electronics that have little lights while I'm printing, but now I'm thinking of having the enlarger in my living room next to the bathroom! Now I'll have to get an enlarger that will work well and also look cool.....
     
  18. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Blackout fabric (which is white on both sides) with sticky-backed velcro around the edges of the window frame (which comes off easily because it's a plastic-type window frame. In fact it can come off too easily sometimes). I then put a bit of black gaffa tape around that which occasionally needs a little squish-down before a printing session but only if I'm working during the day. I have my own sewing machine so sewing the velcro to the blackout fabric wasn't a problem but it does leave tiny holes in the blackout material hence the extra layer of gaffa tape which also helps seal it all. I can still open said window since it's a swing-out/book-open type window so I can get even more ventilation if needed in an emergency.
    If you're only doing paper, you don't need complete total blackout, not like panchromatic film processing in trays or anything. I use a piece of folded over gaffa tape around some of the doors to create a sort of flappy lightseal which works pretty good, but I only did that when I started tray developing enlarged negatives onto panchromatic film.
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    One point that hasn’t been mentioned in this thread that may be relevant is that there is no need to develop paper immediately after exposure. I can be left several days, or longer in a light proof container if need be. So you could expose a number of sheets, and develop them at a later date elsewhere without detriment.
    Not sure if that helps, but just thought I’d throw it into the discussion.:smile:
     
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Dave's covered it really. I was going to say: Expose a number of sheets, place each in the same spare photo paper box, put top on, carry across the passageway to darkroom and open in safelight conditions. If the paper was smaller than the 12x16 quad you should be able to do two prints at a time in the slot using two hands. The simple papersafe with a "lockable" hinged lid is even safer. Jessops in the U.K. did one and there must be others making such safes. That way if you drop the safe on your way across there's no harm done. I used to carry my paper to each night class session in just such a papersafe in broad daylight with no problems.

    pentaxuser
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is what I do.

    Steve