Seeking Suggestions For A List of Items

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Sean, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Seeking good price performance ratio, ebay suggestions and general advice welcome too. Thanks!

    -contact printing frame (fineartphotosupply.com?)
    -spot meter (just something reliable that doesn't require a 2nd mortgage)
    -contact printing light bulb system for AZO
    -dry mount press (at this stage just need to mount 8x10 contact prints)
    -best archival drymount tissue
    -matting (looks like I'll go with artcraft archival)
    -safe light (the newer LED ones sound pretty impressive, I think there are few out there)
    -focusing cloth for 8x10 (eyeing the one up at fineartphotosupply.com)
    -filter set for 8x10 (what filters will get me started, and I want them to be good quality)
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Aggie!
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    In addition to/in lieu of the items already mentioned.

    I have used Seal Colormount tissue for over twenty years. Works just fine, others use it, and it is available on Ebay at times. I bought two of the 20 inch rolls for about 50 dollars a couple of years ago. By buying it in rolls you are not limited to stocking several different sizes.

    A dry mount press is a nice addition if you don't already have one. If you see yourself enlarging to the capability of your enlarger the Seal 210 or even the 500 might be wise. 210's come up on Ebay from time to time. I bought mine over 20 years ago. Still works great.

    I use the Zone VI led safelight. I like it a great deal. Cheap safelights can fog paper. The best safelight available (for amount of light output) is the Thomas. These come up on Ebay from time to time.

    Paper trimmer. The best is the Rotatrim Mastercut or present day equivalent. Expensive but you only buy it once. I bought a 20 inch cutter and wish I had a 24 inch today. This will be a consideration when you look to enlarge on Azo. The paper comes in 20X24 inch dimensions only above 8X10.

    Mat cutter. Model and complexity is dependent on the amount of mounting/overmatting you want to do. Buy something that has a squaring arm and will have ability to handle 32X40 sheets of material. Additionally if you buy your glazing in cases of the same dimension you can cut your glass on the same cutter. Mine is over 20 years old. I learned through experience to not "sneak up" on a purchase. Buy good equipment and buy it once.

    In lieu of a spot meter you may want to consider a good incident meter. If you get to a point where later you will use the BTZS principles it will be needed. I have the Zone VI modified Pentax digital spot meter in addition to an older quantum incident meter. The modification to the Zone VI is a good thing when shooting items with high IR emission tendencies (such as pine trees). Since these typically underexpose when relying on a conventional reflective meter.

    An accurate scale to measure chemicals down to 1/10ths of grams. Buying chemicals in bulk quantities makes sense especially considering where you live.


    An accurate thermometer. Doesn't need to be expensive just accurate.

    Storage containers in gallon, half gallon, quart, and 200 ML sizes. I use air evac bottles for the larger and darkened glass for the smaller size.

    Photographers Formulary sells a fairly inexpensive printing frame. You may look to an easel for your enlarger if it doesn't have a vacuum easel incorporated in the design.

    If you shoot negatives of adequate density for Azo you will probably need to use the 300 watt reflector flood lamp. The extra light is nice when you look to burning or dodging.

    Spotting brushes. I use the 3/0 and 4/0 brushes. Along those lines Spotone dyes, as well. The number three dye is used more commonly but they sell a kit including about six dyes.

    Negative retouching dyes. V C sells dyes that are excellent. Blansky will have the "scoop" on those.


    Filters...if you will shoot several different lenses later, my recommendation is to go with a Lee type compendium system. You can have a lens hood and filter system combined. Not be limited to one size of screw in filter. Large screw in filters get expensive. I bought a Calumet compendium and had a local acrylic supplier cut down filters in yellow, orange, red colors. Cost was reasonable compared to other filters. Acrylic has better optical transmission then most glass. I don't like the effects obtained with polarizers and black and white (can lead to uneven sky values).

    Ooops...looks like we just got another mortgage. Oh well, we only pass this way once. Good luck.
     
  6. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

    Messages:
    357
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sean,
    the Ultra-Spot is the predecessor of the current Spotmaster 2 (see http://www.gossen-photo.de/english/foto_produkte.html). It is a nice device (the only one with full display in the finder), but eats a lot of batteries (as I can tell from first hand experience).

    A dry mounting press is hard to find and usually expensive. Be aware of high shipping cost if you buy one oversees.

    Safelights are usually cheap. As long as you not do color processing, you can take a simple red one (that is VC paper safe). You may buy an LED or color safe one as they come by or you really need one.

    A focusing cloth shouldn’t be hard to buy or custom made. I would recommend a black and white double face one. This isn’t that hot in summer and you can use it as well as a reflector.

    Filters are nice, but a shade is important, IMO. You may want to combine both and buy a shade with filter holders (e.g. Lee – expensive but a good investment) and use Gelatine Filters. For a cheaper start (as long as you do not have several lenses with several front diameters) you may want to buy a screw-in filter and rubber shades. For B&W, I would recommend buying filters in the following order: orange (most universal and still effective), red (most effective), polarizer (even more effective in combination with orange or red), ND grad., yellow-green, yellow, green, and cyan (e.g. Wratten #44 to imitate the look of Ortho-Film). With Heliopan Filters, you are on the safe side. Other manufacturers make good filters, too, but offer different quality levels (not only different coatings), which are not always transparent to the customer.
     
  7. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sean, I can second the contact print frame from Photographers Formulary...bought an 8x10 earlier this year, works well for me - do not have anything to compare it to.

    For spot meter, I use a Polaris 2, with a 10 degree spot attachment, they have a new one with built in 5 degree. Nice meter, does all I ask of it.

    For filters, check out this site for the Camera People -http://www.camerapeople.net - they visit many of the local camera shows, seem to be good folks to work with.

    Dry Mount Press, I picked up a Seal 160, not current 160M, on ebay and have been very happy with it. Shipping can be a little high so watch this, some of the ebay sellers make most of their money on s/h charges. The pad can be replaced, and the platen is pretty easy to clean. I can mount 11x14 on 16x20 board without much trouble at all. Search all of ebay for these, some show up in other area (not photo) because they are used for T-shirts, etc.

    Good luck
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
     
  9. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Brazil
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sean

    If you are handy with a soldering iron, it´s fairly easy and cheap to build a LED safelight.

    Pls let me know if you care to build one.

    Jorge
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jorge, I'd like to first try to build an LED infrared light for my night vision goggle. The local electronics shop has infrared led's but not sure what I need to do. I don't need much light. I assume I would need to solder them onto a board, add a few parts, then a battery?

    Thanks for the advice guys.
     
  11. chrisl

    chrisl Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Sean, I just got the Lee compendium shade w. 2 filter slots for xmas, very nice! Highly recommended.

    Regarding filters for this, thru b&h, there's 'polyester' filters that are real cheap,$16, and these 'resin' ones for $70: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=87370&is=REG

    What's the difference in these??

    I picked up a seal 200 on ebay in great shape for only $250...great deal. every now and then a good one w/ a buy now pops up w/ a good price. good luck!

    i like the pentax spot myself. i like the dial and the help previsualizing the scene.

    chris
     
  12. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Ya know Sean, you really don't need to buy or build night vision goggles. If you do a test with time and temp controlled and if you find your normal time then you can do a ring around if you insist on this DBI thing. Not saying it is wrong but the guys that use it the most have about 30 years or so of experience. They don't use them (the night vision goggles) Back to the test. Expose a set of negs all the same and then develop them all in the same tray. Lets say our time/temp time for normal development turned out to be 11 minutes so figure out what minus 25% of 11 minutes is (8.25 or so)and pull one neg out at that time and look at it with the green light. Throw that neg in the stop bath. Then at minus 15 % of 11 minutes (9.35) pull another one out and look at it. Into the stop bath. Then at 11 minutes pull another one and look at it. So on until no more negs in the developer. Of course, after 11 minutes we are starting to add time to our 11 so it would be say +15% and then +25%. After the lights can come back on you should see the effects of the minus and plus development. Now if you do that a number of times you will get the hang of DBI and you will start to see what the film looks like under the green light. (It will not look like much of anything for a few times just some off green/white blobs.) And you have not spent time or money on a project that may or may not help you any. That time could be used using the Deardorff and learning about that. This is not rocket science but is something that you have to do past reading and thinking about it. Experience is the very best teacher you can have. It will teach you how to apply what you have read here.

    Go for it!

    lee\c
     
  13. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Brazil
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello, Sean

    I've been away from home for the new year holidays, and could not reply to your post before.

    You have to solder a few LEDs in a series connection (cathode of one to the anode of the other and so on), place a resistor in series with this string and connect everything to a battery.

    So, it's fairly simple, but we have to know:
    - How many LEDs would be necessary? Maybe do a test with say 3 LEDs and 4 penlite batteries?

    To do that test, pick the highest efficiency LEDs you can find (it means more light) a battery holder for 4 AA batteries and one 56 ohms 1/2w resistor.
    Connect everything in series a stated above (for the test you don't even need a board, do a kludge) connect through wires the cathode side to the negative of the battery and the anode side to the positive, do not forget the resistor.

    By then you will have IR light to do a test.

    Let me know if you have any doubts on the above .

    Jorge O
     
  14. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    so far so good. Have had some good luck on ebay. I got a decent spot meter for cheap, and just won a good condition Seal 110s Drymount Press for $200, same unit sells at Calumet for $680 new. I'm getting the material to make some dark curtains and a focusing cloth this weekend.

    Can anyone recommend a good loupe? I am not sure what magnification is best, I typically like a lot of magnification to make sure things are razor sharp. Thanks!
     
  15. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Sean,
    If you get a loupe that is too strong, you will end up seeing the grain of the glass and not the image. And that happens at about 10x. I use a Toyo and it costs about $50 or so dollars. You will have no trouble focusing with something like that. Or you can buy some of those glasses that are used for reading. I used to buy them at Wal-Mart before I bought this Toyo.

    lee\c
     
  16. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks lee, what magnification is your toyo?
     
  17. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    I agree with Lee. The biggest mistake that people make is thinking that the higher the magnification, the better. I use an old Kodak,4X I believe, that served me well through decades of commercial use.
     
  18. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Sean,
    I think it is about 4x or just under that. I have had it awhile. I wanted one of the fancier ones but they cost too much and I could not get a deal.

    lee\c
     
  19. Poco

    Poco Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using a simple dime-store magnifying glass to focus with for three years. I started out with a loupe, but already had a spotmeter and framing card dangling from my neck and so I used to put the thing in my pocket, where it was too bulky and picked up difficult to clean crud. The magnifying glass works just fine -- and even better in some ways because I can angle it in the corners like a Silvestri loupe. Do I look unprofessional under the darkcloth without a loupe? You BET! ...but who cares, it's DARK under there! Anyway, I keep it, a pocket level, and a pen light in my one back pocket all the time and can always tell which I'm pulling out by its shape.
     
  20. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    The Toyo is 3.6 I believe. It is nice because it has rubber ends, so you dont scratch the GG or your eye glasses (If you are 1/2 blind like me)

    Still waiting for an autofocus ULF camera :smile: Brian
     
  21. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Thanks Brian. That is the number I seem to remember.

    lee\c
     
  22. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    9,297
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi, I am not having much luck finding information on this Lee compendium filter system. Not that I want to buy it, but I'd like to know if I went that way, which one do I get? Initially I'll be using it for 8x10 with a 240mm lens. This is the Lee site, but I am not sure which model would suit me. Also how are they attached to the camera or lens? A good online dealer of this system would be helpful too. Thanks!
    http://www.leefilters.com/CPTSHO.asp?PageID=391
     
  23. chrisl

    chrisl Member

    Messages:
    178
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    Sean, I just got the 2 slotted hood for xmas. It attaches to the lens w. a lens adapter ring that matches the front lens threads. I can use ND filters at same time a B&W filter if desired. I went w. the 67mm ring and step down rings to accomadate my other lenses in the hopes that one day, I'll get a wide angle lens.

    good luck
    chris