Need advice on this purchase please!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Katie, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    I am new to home development, and am currently using my bathroom as a darkroom for developing B&W negatives from my Hasselblad 500C and Bronica ETRS. I would LOVE to be able to make my own prints, and have been in contact with a seller (I bought the Hassey from him for $300 - will be developing first negatives tonight) who has a complete setup for sale. Here's a link to the setup on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/42463945@N06/

    My question(s): Is this worth $500? Is this a good option for me to print from my 6x4.5 negatives? Apart from darkroom classes forever ago, I am not sure how to even use this equipment. He has offered to show me how, and go over all the equipment with me, which honestly is worth quite a bit to me!

    Thanks for your input, advice, and time! I look forward to hearing from you all!

    PS. I have been reading my eyeballs out on this board for a few weeks now...
     
  2. GregY

    GregY Member

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    Absolutely worth it. You may be able to get a cheaper deal on something.
    But in the aggregate, it looks like a clean complete set-up. It to took me more $$ and a lot longer to put something like that together. I'd say Go for It!
     
  3. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Oh Good! Thanks Greg! I kinda thought the same thing ...

    Also, the time it would take me to gather all the stuff would be enough to make me go for it. I live in a tiny little town, and would have to travel lots to get it all. Shipping would be a nightmare I'm sure for anything that size. :smile:
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The lessons along with the gear look to be a reasonable value. As GregY says, you likely could put together a similar kit for less, and much less if you spend a lot of time at it.
    However, the enlarger looks to be in above average condition, and cared for. A lot of the value hinges on the lenses, if they are top line lenses in good condition then it's probably worth it.
     
  5. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    I'd say scoop it up while you can! To buy all that seperately, and have it shipped would probably cost a lot more. It looks like pretty much everything you need, and if you get lessons with it that's an extra bonus!!

    It looks like it comes with two condensor heads, plus a cold light head. I'd be interested in a condensor head if you get it, reducing your costs!!
     
  6. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Thanks guys! We are planning to meet up in a few weeks for him to show me how to work through the equipment and I will pick it up and bring it home. Here's my quandry:

    My current studio space/office (I shoot digital as well) lease is up in December. I have been looking for a new space that I could incorporate a small darkroom in, and have found nothing so far (still trying to talk hubby into buying a small home fixer-upper on the railroad tracks, but alas, he is worried about resale value with the window rattling sounds at 2am from the train). My oldest child will be moving out next year, leaving me with two guest rooms (which I don't need). Can I use a bedroom as a darkroom? Do I HAVE to have running water, or is the bathroom next to the room good enough? This will hopefully just be in the interim until I can talk my husband into an investment property for us to use as a home office/studio/darkroom/guesthouse... :smile:

    Paul - I'll let ya know if I am not in need of one of the condensor heads. I think shipping to Nova Scotia from Texas might be pricey though.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Running water isn't essential, but it does make things much easier. Lots of folks here don't have plumbed darkrooms though.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Convenient access to a source of water and a drain is important. Running water is nice.
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Don't forget ventilation. Over long periods of exposure to darkroom chems it can cause you some trouble. Think of it as insurance.
     
  10. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    If the common wall between the bathroom and bedroom contains the plumbing, adding a sink is pretty easy. Otherwise you only need running water for washing prints and film, and an old microwave cart can be used as a portable basin. The only thing you don't really want is a carpeted floor in a darkroom. That looks like a good deal for the equipment too. :smile:
     
  11. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Wish I could snap up something like this for $500! I'd jump at the chance - the 4 blade easel is probably worth that new on its own! :smile:
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If having a darkroom is worth $500 for you, and you can spare the $500, I would definitely purchase this lot! This will save you a lot of TIME and a notable amount of money over tracking all this stuff down bit by bit. Additionally, you can get the lot, set up the darkroom, and then sell off the pieces that you determine you do not need, recouping some of your investment.

    P.S. Those two sets of 15x15 cm Ilford Multigrade filters would cost you $50 each if you bought them new. That grain focuser is a good one, and could prove pricey if purchased separately. Five lenses. Four extra lens boards. Is that an extra head too? It's a deal! Go for it!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2010
  13. R gould

    R gould Member

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    My darkroom is a converted bedroom, I do not have running water and wash my prints in the kitchen,I use a holding bath for the prints,and take them though to wash either at the end of the session or when \i have enough to wash, not a problem, as for ventilation, after every 2 prints I open the door and sort of whish it for a bit and do not get a problem, if using toners I simply leave the door open,Richard
     
  14. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Yay - good to know that everyone thinks my find is a good one! I am for sure getting it.

    Thanks for the advice on the temporary makeshift darkroom. I have read the thread about everyone's setups and have seen some amazing darkrooms - and some very creative one's as well. My house is over 100 years old - no carpet - all hardwoods - and ventilation, ha! The old windows on this house let enough air in and out that I'm not sure they actually do anything other than keep the flies out! The shared wall between the bedroom and bathroom does indeed have a sink on it (on the bathroom side) so I suppose I could get water to the room from there. But if I can avoid a remodel - I will just tote back and forth as Richard does.

    I sure am excited to start doing my own enlargements! I actually just ordered a print (in deep matte paper) from a negative scan (from my V700) so that when I do start doing my own enlargements, I have something to compare a true enlargement to (a computer print). Hoping the enlargement blows away all ink prints and I can push some clients toward the much overlooked analog side.
     
  15. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's definitely a good deal. A couple of things to note about the enlarger. First, I see that there are 3 lamp houses with the enlarger. Two are the standard Beseler condenser heads. These are good and maybe the better choice if you will be using variable contrast papers. The small one (it looks like a silver can) is an Aristo cold light. This one uses a florescent tube for a light and may not be the greatest for variable contrast papers. Take a look at it when you get it. If the lamp is marked as model V45, it's not so good. The W54 model is better. In any case, the cost of replacement lamps is very high - if you can find one. You'll eventually need a 6x4.5 negative carrier, I didn't see one in the photos. You can always mask down the 6x6 negative carrier as a stop gap measure. The enlarger itself is a monster. I have one and I like the way it is built, but it is BIG. When the head is at its highest point with the condenser lamp house in place, the machine stands a few inches short of 5 feet tall.


    Printing in the darkroom is a completely different experience from working on images generated from a scanner. Will they be better or worse? At first, they won't be better. There's a learning curve to climb; and at first it's a steep one. With persistence, you'll get there.
     
  16. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    thanks Frank! I am hoping the Gentleman will show me how to use everything - and I asked about negative holders, he said he had them all. Maybe he assumed I wouldn't need the 6X4.5 because I was buying a Hasselblad, not knowing that I had the Bronica ETRS... I will ask.

    I know pretty much nothing about the enlarger or heads, but am excited to learn. I am in it for the experience. I like to learn new things - and get really good at them. I will persist!
     
  17. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This looks like a great deal, and will make getting your darkroom set up quickly to start learning to print!!! Hope you'll post a few pix of your set up when you get it going!! :smile:
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I see all sorts of gems in there.

    For instance, I think I see a Kodak process thermometer - assuming that it is in good shape, it can probably serve as a reference thermometer for the rest of your life! Be careful with it, because if it is a mercury version it would be best not to break it.

    I see as well a Sekonic hand meter - also worth having.

    I note that the photos were uploaded to flickr over one year ago. Maybe there is some flexibility on the price :smile:.
     
  19. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Thanks Suzanne ... thought I might find you on here! (It's Katie from ILP!)
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If your bathroom is large enough to leave the enlarger in, no problem. The 45 is pretty large & bulky but not really heavy.
    You say your house is 100 years old. That means the walls are plaster & lath it wouldn't too difficult to open the wall behind the sink & install another sink depending on what kind of pipe is there. When you move, just remove the sink & patch the wall
     
  21. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Yep the plumbing should be dead easy to get to. If it's copper you only have to cut out two small sections of pipe for hot and cold, tee off from there and connect to a faucet. Use a ball valve on each supply somewhere so you can shut this water off separately if needed.

    As far as the room goes you only need blackout material to make it light tight. However, you might need to add a vent because after blacking out you'll cut down on room venting.

    I recommend the delta 96" abs sink.
     
  22. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    As said many time if you got the cash jump on it.

    I have a small darkroom in my spare bathroom. Here are a few pictures of it. It's kinda cramped and a little uncomfortable, but it works very well, has running water, good ventilation(via the fart fan), and I can print up to 11X14. My last darkroom I had a Beseler 4X5 enlarger but it is too big for my current setup, so the 67 enlarger is all I can do.
     

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  23. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Wow, ya'll are so helpful! I am really looking forward to learning more from you guys!

    ***FART FAN*** - HAHA! And, oh wow, there's your enlarger right there on the potty! Genius!
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Remember too that while a bathroom can work -it will get old *very quickly*. By far the most tedious parts of darkroom work are setup and take-down. Running water and a sink help to speed this up and increase the value of time spent.
     
  25. John Koehrer

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    Hole for the drain too. If you put the ball valves inside the wall if you move all you need to do would be shut the water off.