Light locks for entering darkroom - and computers in darkrooms

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by matti, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. matti

    matti Member

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    Two questions:

    Is there a simple way to make a light lock for entering a darkroom without letting light in? I remember using revolving doors or just a zig-zag path when I worked as a journalist. I wouldn't want to use a revolving door. But is there a way to make a simple light lock by just putting up some walls or curtains. It would be great to be able to let air in and also sneak out for a glass of red wine while waiting for the lith print to develop.

    Also: Is it possible to use a computer in the darkroom? Maybe a combination of rubylith and some sort of baffles? Anyone did it?

    My first darkroom was me sitting on the floor of our really small appartement bathroom. As you can understand, my new darkroom is going to be huge! Now I just have to wait for the old oil boiler and tank to be removed before I can start!

    /matti
     
  2. nsurit

    nsurit Member

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  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Two doors in line with a person-sized space in between works, but may take up too much space. For a home darkroom I'd probably use a door and a curtain.
    Often I do DR work at night, so if I know I want to leave the darkroom while somethings going that requires dark, I'll turn out the lights in the adjacent rooms beforehand, then I can open the DR door at will.
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Member

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    Yes, but why?
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'm not sure why you would not want a revolving door. That is the most compact solution. A light maze entrance takes up much more space.
     
  6. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    It doesn't look pretty, but I have several black plastic bags from photo paper stapled to the inside of the door to my darkroom. They also sell the plastic in rolls if you don't already have the plastic bags. My darkroom is also the laundry room and it's the somewhat unfinished area of our basement so no one really cares what it looks like, luckily.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    To ask for advice from APUG, of course.
     
  8. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I've used rubilith for laptops and a small televisions. Great for music (laptop) and sports (television). If it's a good distance from your paper, one layer is sufficient. If it's close, you may need a double layer.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Eugene Smith used a red safelight filter over his B&W television.

    My darkroom is integrated into a study with an adjacent bathroom. The computer stays off or in sleep mode when I print, but I have to cover all the little indicator lights on the drives, printer, etc. with gaffer's tape.
     
  10. matti

    matti Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Using a curtain might be good enough, if the room outside is dark. Maybe I can just arrange it in a semicircle around the door opening. This is not a room where anyone goes, to get laundry or so, but it would be nice if it was possible for the other people in the family to just come in, without ruining things. That way I might even get some company!

    If I use rubylith and put the computer behind some sort of black-painted wall. If I find a way using the computer, I can have my notes at hand, play music and browse APUG while waiting for the lith developer to kick in, all at the same time, so it would actually mean a lot.

    Problem is I don't know where to find rubylith. Maybe there is a program for OSX that can make the screen dark red? If no one knows here, I will ask the astronomy guys at cloudynights.com. They need to save their night vision.

    /matti
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I set my darkroom up off of a small hallway I built when dividing up the basement.

    There are pocket doors on the darkroom, and the door from the main rec room into the hallway.

    The hallway leads at one end to a cold cellar, and storage area for my photo gear, dry chems, and christmas decorations.

    The other end of the hall opens into the laundry room/print finishing workroom (i know, dust, but some sacrifices had to be made).

    There are no windows in the one end of the hallway, and the two in the laundry can be blacked out with black foam core board inserts I have made.

    When I develop in trays or print I slide both doors closed. If I want to leave I can open the darkroom door, stand in hall, close darkroom door, and then open other door to go upstairs, or step stright into the laundry/print finishing room.

    The laundry is actually fitted with safelights for when I balance 20x24 trays on top of the washer and dryer when printing big.
     
  12. matti

    matti Member

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    @Mike Wilde, that actually sounds like what I have. A hallway and inside of that a large room without windows for the darkroom. Probably it will be sufficient to use double curtains at both sides of the door and keep the hallway unlit. It needs to be childproof, as I want the kids to be able to just come down visit me, when I print, without hassle.

    /matti
     
  13. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Any good screenprinting shop in your area should have some or can order it for you. If you're smart and have a few friends, you can get a nice amount of it for free, as US company Ulano provides 10-sheet sample packets. This is what use for my safelights.
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    LCD screens are usually backlit, so switching to a red color theme doesn't usually help, because the backlighting doesn't change.
     
  15. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Your local home improvement store will have a whole aisle full of different types of weatherstrip to install in the door frame. You might get it done for $5 or less.
     
  16. yellowcatt

    yellowcatt Member

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    You could get a sheet of clear red perspex to cover the screen.
    At one lab I worked at there was a small black and white TV with this arrangement, mostly used for watching Wimbledon.
     
  17. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    PCs tend to throw a lot of light just from the chassis. We use one in the planetarium, and I spent a lot of time with tape and baffles , trying to prevent light leaks. Apparently some genius motherboard designed decided that insanely bright green, blue and red leds were just the thing. And let's not forget the way the ethernet port lights up whenever there is activity.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I would suggest that if you have the room, a walk through light trap is the best alternative. Just remember light can only go round corners by reflection. Curtains are a bad Idea as they create dust and if you have wet hands they will soon be in a right state. Alternatively, I once encountered a darkroom with a single door that was fitted with a micro switch on the edge. It was wired so that when you opened the darkroom door it switched off the light in the room you were coming from, but turned it on again when you shut the darkroom door behind you.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you ever get to see the movie "Jonny Skidmarks" the main character watches TV in his darkroom. There is a red filter over the screen.
     
  20. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I think I read somewhere that Edward Weston used to smoke and watch TV in his darkroom with a red filter on the screen.

    They make revolving doors, too.
     
  21. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Place the doors at right angles inside, close door behind, outward closing, turn right or left next door in front opens into darkroom. I'm a bit worried about the old boiler/ tank wont he/ she cut off your funding?
    Humidity would be the only other concern in the darkroom, I have an old HI FI surround in my darkroom/ tv and fridge, these will die there.