Modernising the darkroom..

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by JayGannon, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. JayGannon

    JayGannon Member

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    The more I print the more I start to realize there are a wealth of things out there that modernize and assist in the darkroom be it products like RH Designs StopClock or Jobo ATL processors, these devices do away with some of the more mundane jobs in the darkroom while still allowing full creative control.

    I am going to look into introducing a small touchscreen into mine to serve as a timer and reference to massive dev chart etc when developing. Anyone else done anything similar?

    What do you guys use in the darkroom that brings a bit of the 21st century to a 19th century craft?
     
  2. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    I have a UPS, Uninterruptible Power Supply, i.e. the device the allows an electrical object to go on working even in case of power failure. The beast is an APC Smart-UPS 1400, 1400VA, and is capable of producing a proper "pure sine wave".

    I use a Jobo CPP-2 to process E6 and I don't want to compromise quality of processing if there is a power failure during the first development.

    I only paid it around €100,00 included second-hand battery on eBay. Gives peace of mind.

    Fabrizio
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Closed-loop feedback mechanisms for hands-free control of frequently changing variables.

    For water temperature control I use a Hass Intellifaucet K250. For enlarger light intensity control I use a Zone VI Compensating Enlarging Timer. For processing temperature control I use a Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer.

    (The two Zone VI items are no longer in production, but sometimes available used.)

    All three of these fall into the "fire and forget" category. Once adjusted, they quietly migrate into the background and just do the job of holding important variables to much tighter tolerances.

    This, in turn, then allows me the additional time and opportunity to make far more creative and subtle darkroom errors that are by nature much more difficult to track down and correct...

    :tongue:

    Ken
     
  4. JayGannon

    JayGannon Member

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    Lovely stuff Ken exactly the type of things Im looking for!
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    1) Desktop Computer for film curve analysis
    2) Laser Alignment Tool
    3) Peak 1 grain focuser
    4) Pocket Calculator
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    LED bulbs as safelights.
     
  7. hadeer

    hadeer Subscriber

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    Spoke to a guy yesterday who uses an ipad with a stock of reference prints when toning or printing. I use an Android Nexus One phone with a darkroom timer app for developing film. RH Design Stopclock and Zonemaster II are great tools too.
     
  8. hadeer

    hadeer Subscriber

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    Oh, forgot this one: I use a bycicle rear red LED light to assist my darkroom lighting in places where it still isn't bright enough. Would this be high or low tech?
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I think my darkroom is pretty basic by modern standards. The most high-tech thing I have is probably my Chromega F, and even that is pretty low-tech in the grand scheme of things. It's just a blown-up version of any other enlarger in the end. I also have a color analyzer that came with my enlarger, though I have never used it.

    One of those digital heads that puts a computer picture through an enlarger onto photo paper would be pretty neat to have. But they are very expensive, and wouldn't be much use to me unless I shot more digital. If I had one, I very well might shoot more digital, though.

    One recent acquisition that has really helped keep the scurry factor down during my film processing is an automatic tempered water bath. It is designed so that a water jet agitates the floating tanks, but I never use the rolling tanks. I used to just manually adjust the water bath temp by turning the hot and cold sink valves. I just use the tempered bath to make a water bath at 100 F for color processing, or 75 F for b/w processing. I imagine it will really help with color processing at home, when I start that again. (It has been some years for me since I was printing color at home; I've not yet done it in my current darkroom.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2011
  10. srmcnamara

    srmcnamara Member

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    I, uh, just bought a new 16x20 tray?
     
  11. hadeer

    hadeer Subscriber

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    Is that the sort of tray with nano coatings?
     
  12. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    Heiland Splitgrade unit.
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I meant to say color printing at home, not color processing (film implied).
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Well, to broaden the scope slightly, but still a techno-enhanced thing; I've been thinking about using printouts from D/files to use for burning or dodging. The thought would be to determine the right scale to hold between lens and paper when enlarging, to make a dodging form that years ago would have been made by tracing the image and cutting out of cardboard. The printed form would be exact, and then just need cutting out. I already explore scanned negs in Pshop before investing time in the darkroom, so this would be an additional use of that work flow. Hope this isn't too "D.....L".
     
  15. srmcnamara

    srmcnamara Member

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    well, it's green and it has those ridges on the bottom so the prints don't get stuck and it has a pouring spout so I don't spill, and--get this--it's got ridges to rest your tongs on so they don't fall in.

    Livin' the life, here.
     
  16. srmcnamara

    srmcnamara Member

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    I know at school our alternative process classes would do this, essentially scanning their small format negs, adjusting contrast and the like to optimize for the process, and then printing them on transparencies for the final print. Maybe we're veering off course here, though.
     
  17. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I am talking only about using the digital output as a manual mask to be used for standard burn/dodging. It provides an accurate outline of the area to be masked or burned in.