ok, let me re-ask the question

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by kjsphoto, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I am building a darkroom and I am doing the framing Monday and need to know if 8x12 will work or do I need 10x12. I will be doing 4x5 negs and want to print at least 16x20 and maybe 30" prints.

    Please advise current darkroom owners, as I really need advice here.

    I need to make a decision but because I never owned a darkroom before I am not sure as to the size I am going to need. I have worked in many darkrooms but I never really thought about the dimensions.

    Thanks,

    Kev
     
  2. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Hey Kev,

    My thinking is bigger is better. Although 8x12 would work, it would be handy that extra space.

    If it does not add much to the cost of construction, I would go with the 10x12.

    Jim
     
  3. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Kev,

    I've never worked in a darkroom that was too big.

    Brian
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    As a person who has built things too small before I would opt for the added two feet. I do not own a darkroom but have worked in ones that were too small and one that was spacious. The spacious one was about 10x12 and it was very, very pleasant to work in. I did 16x20's on a regular basis and the space was really nice. Trust me you will fill the space you build.

    Mark's first law of space. If it is there it will be used.
     
  5. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    With all the darkrooms I've used I have never found any darkroom to be too big, so my advice would be if you have the choice go for 10x12. Also the squarer the area for me the more comfortable it feels for moving around.
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Bottom line: More is Better. Regardless of neg size more room is better than less room. Whatever your constraints are, go for the maximum space. People process in in bathrooms, closets, under the kitchen table and I know of one woman who used to use a goat shed in Calif. until she built a "real" one. My first darkroom was 5'X11' which was not nearly enough room so my present one is 9X10 (55 SqFt to 90 SqFt) and it is not big enough - my point is whatever it is, it won't be big enough.
     
  7. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Go with the larger size. Because of my basement's configuration, I have an 8'x8' darkroom - talk about cozy. I wish it were larger, but... that's life for now.
    gene
     
  8. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    My darkroom is 20 x 10 and I could still use extra length, the width is more than adequate. I have a wet side and a dry side with a 3ft aisle down the centre that saves a lot of walking back and forth for after I've done the work at the enlarger I just turn around and the wet bench is inches away. I would also encourage you to think carefully about the height of the wet bench. I decided the height of mine by working out the best height for me to lean comfortably on when I'm rocking trays. If you are over 6ft a low wet bench will cause backache. I also have a 2" x 2" leaning rail fixed along the full length of the wet bench and have found it very useful in preventing sore elbows. The roof does not have the traditional upside down " V " peak, the highest point is the dry side where I have my enlargers. if you have the traditional peak roof the highest point is on the gable end. Just a few points that you may have already considered.
     
  9. galyons

    galyons Member

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    Kev,
    I just recently "finished" my new darkroom. ( Finished is in quotes because it never will be!! ;-) ) The room is under the house. The house is on a hill side. I excavated nearly 40 yards of mostly Bay Area sandstone. The darkroom floor space is 18 feet long, 8 feet wide with a storage area that is 15X8 adjacent. (Storage space = "wife acceptance factor")

    Due to the slope and my existing foundation, I cantilevered the wet space counters and sink an 3 additional feet. So effectively, the width is 11 feet. It is comfortable, but if I could have gained more width I would have, even just an additional foot.

    If you have the space available, ( it sounds as if you do!) Build as big as you can. This is the cheapest and easiest time to go large. Bear in mind that framing is generally based on 48" widths. (Studs 3X16" OC) Interior sheathing, drywall, panelling or plywood all come in 48" widths. So 12X12, other than additional foundation costs, is probably, in the overall cost, the same as 10X12. The least expensive square footage is at the framing & foundation stage. Unfortunately if you do not, I am sure the time will come when you sincerely wish you had!!

    Best of luck and keep us posted.

    Cheers,
    Geary Lyons
     
  10. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Geary, Kevin comes down to our valley area often. Why not invite him over to see your new darkroom?
     
  11. galyons

    galyons Member

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    Well Aggie,
    Great minds truly must think alike!! While you were posting this, I posted an invitaion to do a Bay Area get together in Member (Dis)Organized Functions!!
    So many great folks on the site that I would love to meet in person and see their work!!

    That being said, Kevin, or anyone, is welcome whenever I am home. See the darkroom, check the refer for a cool one, whatever!!

    Cheers,
    Geary
     
  12. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Thank you for all the adive. What happened when I did the foundation I wasnt thinking abotu the studs and drywall therefore I short changed myself abit and I didnt at the time think I was going to add a toilet. Major mistake on my part. I only envisioned a bathroom when I started laying the subfloor.

    So my box is 12x24 and I also want to have a place to do framing and mat cutting in the front of the darkroom wall. The 3x5 bathroom really takes up more space than I planned. I was hoping to get away with 8x12 but it seems that it will not work to good.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    However long you go for stick the light switch on a cord (pull) switch and run it the full lenght of the darkroom.
     
  14. jss

    jss Member

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    you guys and your dedicated darkrooms.. i'm so jealous.

    i have two enlargers (including an omega d2 for doing 4x5) in my small bathroom in my 1BR apartment! when i print 16x20s i have only room enough for two trays on the counter.. the fixer tray is on the toilet and i wash in a tray in the bath tub! necessity is the mother.... as they say. :smile:

    congrats on your new darkoom of *any* size!
     
  15. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Boy is this true, I did NOT do this and keep having to go back by the door to turn on the switch, which is behind a rolling shelf. Oh, and put a good quality light in the room, I put a florescent one in (round) and the light is OK, but not good for working with the lights on.
     
  16. jantman

    jantman Member

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    Bigger is better, especially when talking about darkrooms.

    I can't imagine working in a 8x12 darkroom, and probably even a 10x12. But that will all change when I go off to college...

    My current darkroom is about 20'x30'. But that includes my work area (print mounting and framing) as well as a spacious layout, large wet side (about 6' x 20') and a horizontal 8x10 enlarger.
     
  17. lee

    lee Member

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    my darkroom is 13.5x13.5 foot for the dark part. There is a 10.5x13.5 foot room that is an office and print mounting area.

    lee\c
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2004