Summer Bummer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Flotsam, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Don't get me wrong. I'm no big fan of slippery roads and shoveling snow but now that the leaves are just starting to bud on the trees, I'm beginning to confront the downside aspects of summer.

    The days of just dropping the blinds at 4:30 pm and printing away are gone. Even now it doesn't get dark enough until almost eight o'clock and it's only going to get worse. Starting a printing session at 10 just ain't my style since Alison Steele (The Nightbird) left WNEW FM. Last year, I cut black foamcore to block the windows but took them down for the winter. Time to put them back up.

    Before long I am going to have to start bringing my solutions _down_ to 20C instead of up and my tap water is going to running at 22C +. If anyone has a cheap and convenient solution to that problem, I'm all ears. I'd rather save my ice for Bloody Marys.
     
  2. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Ah, Alison Steele. Neal, you bring back memories...

    My house has air conditioning. I generally keep four, one gallon bottles filled with water at 70F ((ambient temperature in my darkroom) somehow the coldest room in my house in summer). This covers everything except washing prints, which is faster at 75F anyway.
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Here the desert Southwest my tap is 90+ from May to Oct. Air Conditioning is a must, but holding the house at 70 is just expensive. The only options I know of are chillers, such as found in drinking fountains or a homemade chiller for the tap. I do have a homemade chiller for negative wash and keep water at 70 for 10 or 11 with one 7 pound bag of ice. For the most part I develop in Diafine at room temperature, or use B@W C41 and just stick to color until November.

    Paul
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I'm like Tom and keep water in old milk jugs and then process with the chems all at ambient temperature.

    It was very odd when I developed my negs yesterday at 7pm instead of the usual 10-11pm--finally got a black plastic curtain up the other day to block the light around the door (darkroom is in a windowless bathroom).
     
  5. rjr

    rjr Member

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    For film developing, I keep an empty Rodinal bottle in the fridge and use that to mix up the 20°C solution for the developer.

    Stop, Fix? Paper Dev? Who cares what temp it has as long it stays below 30°C? :wink:
     
  6. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I now have a 14 cu ft fridge in the garage for my film. This year, I'll keep a couple of gallons of water in there that I can mix with tap water to bring it up to 68F.
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    During summer (we're just finished that) I have to cool the developer and I keep a jug in the fridge to use to get the developer mixed to the temp I want. I particulary hot days/nights, I find I have to rest the tank inbetween agitations in cold (from the fridge) water to stop the developer temp rising too much (I use Paterson tanks that allow the thermometer to be used during use). In winter, the room, which is part of the house is warm enough that I don't need to heat the tank to keep the developer warm, as long as it is right going into the tank it is ok for the duration of development.

    For washing, I'm at the mercy of my cold water temp as we have a instant gas hot water service which can't deliver 20C water at suitable volume for washing (i.e. by the time you mix enough cold to get it down to that the flow is too great). Once it gets too cold coming straight out of the tap, I use the Ilford wash method working from a bucket of water tempered to suit. I have a little inline temp gauge on the tap which in the last week or so has been showing 19.8C to 20.2C. One day it was showing 20.0 and I nearly took a picture of it! :smile:
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I keep a couple of 1L bottle half-filled with water in the freezer. One of those in with my summer tap water brings my small cooling tub to 68 degrees in about 10 minutes and the temperature is steady enough from there.
     
  9. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    Neal, on the subject of light tightness, I discovered expandable foam. Don't know if you can afford to mess up your work area with this stuff, but my new darkroom is in the basement, and it doesn't matter. But for those hard-to-get-to cracks and holes, there's nothing like it. And, if you do happen to have a basement, is it cool enough to store chems and water?
     
  10. Clueless

    Clueless Member

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    Black foam-core window plugs. Please elaborate re "issues": E.g., thickness, fading, warping, adhereing, Etc.?
     
  11. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Neil as far as the window, I put blinds then a shade that has tracks on either side (made from garage door seals) then black curtains lined white. That way when not using the dark room I get fresh air and light and when in use it is light tight.
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    The light problem is solved. Black foamcore is opaque, cheap, lightweight and easy to cut. In one window I cut it to fit around the air conditioner and seal the edges for the summer with black tape. For the other window I have board with felt weatherstrip on the edges that I put in place when I want to print. There is a window in the door ( about a foot from my paper safe) that I can put a board on temporarily with velcro.

    This system has worked out great. It takes moments to set up and, without the safelights on, it is probably dark enough to load film even on the sunniest day. (Although I have a small, windowless room for that) .

    Clueless, (Sorry, That sounds really insulting :smile: )
    I've found it to be a very good solution. Obviously not as durable as using masonite or wooden boards but much easier to to work with. A razor blade will customise it to fit individual needs. I've seen no fading even on the external black paper. I assume that it would fade if exposed to constant direct daylight long enough but don't know if that would affect its opaqueness. If you leave a sheet leaning against a wall for several days it will start to bow but light pressure will push it flat.
     
  13. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Living in Devon, UK, I don't have any problems with excessive heat (excessive rain, yes) but hate shutting myself away in the darkroom when it's sunny outside. Sometimes I even find myself hoping for grotty weather so I don't feel guilty about spending a sunny Saturday afternoon in a red glow!
    Steve
     
  14. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I used to simply chill my developer and let the stop/fix/wash be whatever the temperature happened to be. Then I began using Efke PL100 and had problems with pinholes in the emulsion from temperatures variations between solutions. Chilling wasn't an option as I'm using about four gallons of each solution at a time. I worked out times for minimal agitation at 80F. Seems to work just fine.
    juan
     
  15. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    my darkroom is in the basement. during the winter its around 65-68F and in the summer its like 68-72. I store my chems down there with no problems. Usually the water coming out of my tap can be as cold as the low 60s in the summer.