Options for analoque without Darkroom

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Soeren, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi All
    At the risk of being cursed I am reposting this here

    My photography has been standing stil for sometime now.
    I used to have a B&W darkroom which I was forced to give up just when I got hooked
    I did some 35mm colorslides and shot B&W mostly with my MF but also a little 35mm.
    Now what ? Should I shoot color(negs) and have the results processed by a prolab ?
    I did some colornegs with the P6X7 and they turned out great though a bit expensive
    Should I try that other format ? I realy don't feel like it.
    Alternative processes ? Something easy and lees equipment demanding than enlarging.
    How to keep shooting analog ? Go hybrid ?
    I like shooting with my P67 though it needs upgrating on lens and finder and I really like those "big" negs (and slides) it produces.

    Sugestions please
    Cheers Søren
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Not to deliberately be heretical, but, since you've obviously got a computer, why not get a reasonably good (less than US$ 500) scanner, and then experiment. From a good scan you can make digital prints or enlarged negatives which allow lots of alternative processes. You will have many paper options, size options etc. as well. For certain processes, like Bromoil, you don't even necessarily need sharp negs, so an even less expensive scanner will do. The important thing is that you'll still have your intact negatives and/or transparancies should you choose to make enlargements in the future. Good luck.
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thanks for your answer John
    The thing with the d......neg was in my mind so its just a case of finding a simple process that doesn't require a lot of space and equipment, Which ? Bromoil ? Isn't that complicated ?
    Regards Søren
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    It has its limited applications because of the color, but if you want a SIMPLE alternative process, cyanotype is about the simplest and easiest of them all. After that, although not cheap, Platinum/Palladium is pretty straightforward. VanDyke Brown is also supposed to be pretty simple, but I haven't done any yet. All you need for those processes is a decent dry space, decent wet space (a bathtub will do!), and a UV lightsource (BLB fluorescent tubes work best on a budget, and can be found at good hardware stores or ordered online).
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Consider getting the book: "Coming into Focus", edited by John Barnier from Chronicle Books. It is: "A Step-by-Step Guide to Alternative Photographic Printing Processes". Okay, ready? It describes:

    Becquerel-Developed Daguerreotypes
    Calotype Negatives
    Salt Prints
    Traditional Cyanotype
    Albumen
    Collodian: Wet plate negatives, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes
    Monochrome Carbon
    Platinum/Paladium
    Kallitype
    Printing out paper
    Gum Bichromate
    Rawlins Oil
    Bromoil
    Frederick Temperaprint
    New Cyanotype
    Argyrotype
    Digital Negatives for Alernative Processes
    Three-color Gum Prints using digital negatives
    Using Step Scales
    Enlarged Negatives
    Paper

    Whew! It's obviously not going to take the place of a workshop or monograph devoted exclusively to any one of those processes, but it will certainly give you a thorough sense of what you'll be attempting to do with any of them.

    N.B. The Monochrome Carbon essay is by Sandy King, a regular contributor here on apug. Perhaps he would entertain a PM if you want further information about the book.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    How about alternative process? Shoot 5x7 or 8x10 to get a decent sized neg; process in a Paterson tank (load and process using a changing bag); then PoP or Argyrotype or whatever other alternative process you fancy.

    Or consider a Nova tent darkroom. There's a picture of one in the free 'Our Darkrooms' module in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com. Just 42 inches/110cm square. Have you a garage? Put it in the corner...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  7. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Bromoils will still require an enlarged print so you will either need a darkroom or a good lab to make the prints for you.
     
  8. tchamber

    tchamber Member

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    Another option, if you're short on space (and maybe time) is POP paper. Because you don't need to go through the coating step you can start right in with contact printing. It's not particularly sensitive to visible light so you can handle it under dim lighting.

    I use a 100-watt BLB bulb (I think they're designed for discos - I got mine from a music shop), no reflector but a white umbrella to even out the light. Times are *very* long, but the results are good.

    Then you just need a sink to tone, fix, and wash.
     
  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    A few options in the fairly traditional realm occur to me:

    First, you could shoot Kodak BW400CN or Ilford XP2 Super, which are C-41 B&W films. You could then have them processed by any lab that'll process medium format color film. That might not be any old minilab, but it might be easier to get processed than conventional B&W film.

    Second, I've seen daylight enlargers on eBay. Basically, they're enclosed enlargers that enable you to expose and process paper in a small space without having a full darkroom. This could be very handy if you simply cannot make a room light-tight.

    Third, you can often convert a bathroom (even temporarily) into a darkroom. Put your enlarger on a cart with wheels (so you can move it in and out of the bathroom), put a wooden board over the bathtub and use it for trays, and you've got a working darkroom. Obviously this works best if your bathroom has no windows; if you've got windows, you'll have to block them in some way, and perhaps work only at night.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I use my bathroom, which is windowless, and therefore easily made dark.

    Film is loaded there into developing tanks, and actual development happens in the kitchen.

    For prints, the enlarger sits on a wheeled microwave cart, which has two lower shelves big enough for bins that hold (most of) the rest of the equipment and chemistry. I just roll it into the bathroom when required. The exposed prints get loaded into Beseler or Unicolour tubes, which are taken out to the kitchen for developing, at the sink.

    It's the first time I've ever had a darkroom with a view.

    I just tell my wife that it is the latest in decorating accents.
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Seeing that your shooting a 6x7 neg, I would go with slides for lower processing cost. If money is available, a scanner can be nice to have. For b&w I purposefully choose Ziatypes because of simplicity and variability in printing. At 6x7 tho I would pass up contact processes. Small can be nice, but it's an acquired taste that does not necessairly exploit the potentials of a larger neg. Enlarged negs are another matter that requires a persons investigation as to the different process's and equipment needed to produce a good print. There are tradeoff's from a monetary/equipment/quality perspective.

    Sometimes hitting a wall requires right angle thinking. Be creative.
     
  12. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Wauv, Thanks to all of you for your great advise.
    I havn't thought of the POP and I have only seen it mentioned (by a certain Roger Hicks in B&Wmag I think :wink: ). I like to know more about the process.
    Roger, I have seen your Darkroom tent ( I visit your site regularly) But We havn't got the space for it. You mention Paterson tanks. Do you mean the regular for 35mm and MF film ? Somehow I like the idea of getting a 5x7 but LF camera are rare and expensive in DK so I would have to order one from abroad so which is the best source ? And it has to be cheap too :sad: (100 - 200$)
    My former makeshift darkroom (bathroom) still blacks out to a usefull degree so I can use it for shorter periods of time.
    Again thanks for your suggestion. I will look into them and learn more.
    Cheers Søren
     
  13. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    We're on the tail end of a couple of years without a darkroom. During that interval, we shot b&w and loaded our reels in a changing bag, processed in Diafine (no exact timing or temperature control needed, and could reuse the same chemistry for six months or so) at the kitchen sink, then scanned the negs or got them printed by a lab.

    WHen we shot 4x5, we also printed with POP, exposing the prints in daylight, setting the contact printing frame on the trunk of our car in the driveway.

    A friend of ours who has never used a darkroom was so impressed by the ease of the setup that he'll shortly be doing the same thing.

    -KwM-
     
  14. Magpie

    Magpie Member

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    Hi Roger,

    I have a similar problem, have a 5x7 and will soon be needing to deveop film.

    Do Paterson tanks come in large sizes? My local stores only have 35mm & 120 size?

    Regards

    Brendan
     
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Soeren and Brendan,

    What you need is a Paterson Orbital tank, which is a sort of covered, light-trapped 8x10 tray with 'golf tee' dividers to cut it down to 5x7 (two up, two dividers) or 4x5 (four up, four dividers). They are (I think) out of production, but sufficiently recently that you should be able to find 'new, old stock' in some shops. Otherwise it's either camera shows or (makes sign of cross) Fleabay.

    Ideally, roughen the base either by 'kissing' it with a Dremel engraver (my way) or dabs of glue. This stops the film sticking to it and means you don't have to clear it afterwards (see also BTZS tubes). With 4x5 and even 5x7/13x18/half plate the film should skate about but with 8x10 there is a risk of uneven development if you use the motor base. With manual agitation it shouldn't be a problem.

    I'll try to post a couple of pics on this thread, maybe tomorrow (it's scanning and getting around to it) but I'll also try to do a free 'how do I..? thread in the photo school at www.rogerandfrances.com. It'll take a day or two to write it; a week to mail the CD to Karl (the webmaster) in California; and a week or more for him to put the module up. But there's more and more on that site...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    5x7" cameras may be rare and expensive in Denmark, but I find they're surprisingly cheap and common both in Norway, Sweden and Germany. Well - most of them are 13x18cm, but that rarely makes much difference.

    At the moment I only have two of them, but a shop in Bergen had five of different vintages last time I visited. Don't be afraid of "antiques" - the old German "Reisekamera" are sturdy and generally very well made. Put a decent lens in a good shutter on one of them, and it's good enough for 99% of all possible situations. More in Denmark, since your landscapes tend to be somewhat flatter than I'm used to!

    I develop my films in trays (needs a darkroom or at least a dark room) or Jobo drums. The 28xx paper drums are fine for sheet film development, with a CP-something you can even do colour films. I do E6 in 13x18 in a 2830 drum on a CPE-2.

    POP is a fun process too. If you look at www.retrophotographic.com under POP, you will find one of my prints there as an example. That was shot on 5x7" FP4+, developed in a JOBO 2830 tank, and printed on a sunny day.

    Roger, I've done up to 30x40cm films in JOBO paper drums. Tip the drum one in a while to slosh the developer around a bit, and development is quite even. I manage to get rid of all of the anti-halation backing as well - there's sometimes a little bit left after fixing, but that disappears in the wash.
     
  17. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Dear Ole, Roger and KwM
    Thanks for your advise. I think I am now looking for a cheap 5X7. Does anyone know a good place/source/seller (apart from Ebay)
    Those Orbital tanks, aren't they rather big ?
    I did consider the CPXX processors but I am really on a low budget and space is limited so color processing is not quite an option right now. Perhaps sometime in the future :smile:
    Cheers Søren
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Soeren,

    An Orbital tank is at most 25 x 30cm and maybe 10cm deep (with the light-trapped lid on). At camera fairs in the UK they go for £2 to £20, say 3 to 30 euros.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Pics of Paterson Orbital attached (I hope). Today I've done a module on Orbitals for the 'How Do I...? thread in the Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com and I hope Karl can have it on the web in a month or so.

    The open one has one sheet of 5x7 and one of 4x5 in it; there is room for another sheet of 4x5, obviously.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Dear Roger
    Ahh thats the Paterson Orbital. Now things come together :smile:
    It Dosn't look that big. What is it standing on ? is it part of it ?
    Hmm Not good, GAS/MBC is striking again :wink: Should I place a wanted ad for a 5X7 eg the Kodak here on APUG ?
    Cheers
    Søren
     
  21. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Soeren,

    Yes, it's standing on a part of it. There's a sort of domed base that makes the agitation possible -- a manual version (twirl it by hand) or a power version (shown). You CAN use it without but it's harder and longer dev times are advisable.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  22. garri

    garri Member

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    Hi Soeron, I am in the UK and have an orbital processor I dont use, you are more than welcome to it if you are happy to cover the postage.It is the manual one, no motor I am afraid.
    leave a reply here and I shall arrange to swap addresses etc.
    Gari
     
  23. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Dear Garri
    Yes I am Interested in the orbital processor
    PM send
    Cheers
    Søren