YAY! I have an old room - now what?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Nicole, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi all, we have just finished decking out our new laundry, which frees up the old laundry, which is/used to be in the middle of our house with only a skylight in the roof. This means this room is now 'out of order' until we can renovate it into a new bigger bathroom - and has nothing in it but an old laundry trough/sink.
    Anyway, I have a room and would love to know how to develop my own films (I think) :smile: I'm happy to have them printed at the lab until I'm comfortable developing for now.
    Firstly, why would I want to develop my own film?
    What are the benefits? What does it achieve?
    What do I need to do that?
    Where do I start?
    I suppose - get a book. :smile:
    But any answers to my initial questions would be most appreciated.
    Kind regards from Down Under
    Nicole
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    What size is teh room?

    1. You want to develop your own film because it's fun, you have CONTROL over what you do and you can experiment.

    3. What you need:
    - Developing tank
    - Scisssors
    - Measuring cup
    - Gradute/syringe
    - Chemicals: - Developer
    - Fixer
    - Wetting agent

    4. Whewre to start?
    You can look into a couple of online tutorials for pointers on how to start, or you may get a book such as Upton's Photography
    Agfa has a great BW course online:
    http://www.agfa-artcards.com/en/cafe/photocourse/bwcourse/cont_index.php3

    There is one from Kodak... If I could only find it
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    For Black and White, having control over the many variable elements of film development and printing gives you tremendous personal control over the look of your final image.

    Oh yeah... it's also satisfying, interesting and fun :smile:
     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    First of all, you just don't need another bathroom. If one is busy, just pound on the door until the current occupant surrenders out of sheer terror, and that's that. Using the old laundry with it's ...trough..(I love that) will make an excellent darkroom, which, when fully equiped, will be utterly indispensible and out of danger from the people who will by then have gotten tired of being terrorized when in the middle of a good read.

    The principal advantage is that you get to do your own 'custom' work. No more reliance on whoever is minimally employed in the lab which will increasingly be given over to digipics anyway. Yes, books and apug threads will get you started, but then you'll begin to master your craft and be increasingly able to achieve exactly the results you intended...and not whatever the lab offers.
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Nicole,

    Why do it yourself? As Flotsam states, CONTROL (and a lot of it) is the primary benefit. It's also likely to be cheaper. Unless the lab you use allows for your input about the processing and is willing to work with your preferences, your own results will almost always be superior.

    Konical
     
  6. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    First, find an internet forum dedicated to analog photography that is full of experienced, helpful people who will answer any question and offer specific on-going advice as you begin to explore this new undertaking. :smile:

    It sure would have saved me a lot of trial and error when I was just starting out.
     
  8. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Neil, my trusty responder. Thank you very much.

    Jovo - Don't you have troughs in NY? :wink:

    I like the more 'artistic' approach and freedom. Sounds great!
    Kind regards,
    Nicole
     
  9. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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  10. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Good evening Konical. :smile:

    Does it take long to process a roll of film?

    Hmmm, Neal, now where do you think I could find a forum like that??? :smile:
     
  11. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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  12. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Wow, what brand equipment? Chemicals? Now it gets interesting... :smile:
     
  13. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    Sure...but sinks aren't usually called that here. It's amusing because it's a word that often is associated with where one 'slops the hogs' for instance and gets analogized as the site where rapacious politicians go for financial sustenance. I love the international aspect of the internet with its instant capacity to share culture.
     
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  15. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Am I starting at the wrong end of the stick? How long will chemicals, papers, etc... be around to make it all worth while?
     
  16. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Giggle, John, troughs are usually on in laundrys (or outback dunny's and washrooms) here and sinks in kitchens and bathrooms. :smile: Culture is great.
    I have quite a few cultural stories to tell from my tourguiding days way back... :smile:
     
  17. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good MORNING, Nicole,

    Not only do we have somewhat opposite times, but, unfortunately, we here in Illinois are just beginning that long, dreary slide into winter. It's mid-50's, cloudy, drizzly, and gray here; I'm sure Perth is much nicer right now. In fact, I think I'll go over to weatheronline.co.uk to check!

    To answer your question: Processing times vary depending on the film, the developer, and the temperature. Times in the five to ten minute range are fairly typical.

    Konical
     
  18. Max

    Max Member

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    Oooh - you're in for some fun!

    It's cheaper, faster, and as everyone has pointed out, gives you the control.

    There are several online sources of info, but I also like analog reading - a book or two might be a good idea.

    I had a copy of Mastering Black-And-White Photography by Bernhard Suess, which I found helpful. I'm sure there are several others just as good if not better.
     
  19. JD Morgan

    JD Morgan Member

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    Nicole,

    The very best thing for you to do is visit with someone else that has a darkroom. That way you can see all the items and figure out how things should be layed out etc. Most would be glad to give a guided tour -- take notes and measurements.

    Then go to eBay and use the search word 'darkroom.'
     
  20. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Konical - it's spring here and beautiful weather as usual. Actually, we don't get enough rain here on the west coast and Australia seems to be drying up pretty fast. Summer can get pretty hot, but gee we're lucky to live in such a beautiful country!

    Thanks Max. I prefer analog reading took, doesn't cook my eyes as much! :smile:

    I'll check it out.
     
  21. sbuczkowski

    sbuczkowski Member

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    Time well spent

    on average, I'd say it takes me about 40 minutes to develop my film from the time I pop open the 35mm canister to when I hang the negs to dry. There's a little extra lead time on that getting the chemicals to the right temperature, but you can be doing other things while that happens.

    Steven
     
  22. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi JD, unfortunately I don't know anyone with a darkroom.
     
  23. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Augh! Don't start another one of those threads! :surprised: They go on forever and in the end everybody has the same opinion that they started with.
     
  24. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Thanks Steven. Can I develop both medium format and 35mm with the same equipment, chemicals, etc...?
    How do I know which chemicals and paper are best for me?
    Silly and tricky questions, I'm sure... :smile:
     
  25. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Woopsies. Sorry! Won't go there....
    Just had a good debate on another site regarding 'D' vs Film. But that's getting of track and certainly getting boring.

    Ciao
    Nicole
     
  26. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Nicole,

    Great news about the extra room. You'll be so glad you tried it! You can use the same tanks for both 120 and 35mm film, but different reels. If you have a two reel 35mm tank, it'll take one reel of 120 film. I just keep my times and temps the same for both. I prefer the stainless steel tanks, better agitation, and the plastic tanks can start to absorb chemicals over time. But the stainless reels take some practice to get loaded up. Just sacrifice a roll of film to try it with the light on. The 120 reels are much easier. There is a huge development chart at Digitaltruth.com with all sorts of developer/film combinations. I think a good place to start is Tri-x or HP5 in Kodak D-76. When you get comfortable then playing around with different developers and films will be easy. Tri-x and HP5 are fairly forgiving when it comes to slight temperature changes. etc. You want your first rolls to come out!

    Good luck with this.
    Cheers,
    Suzanne