View Full Version : Really need some darkroom equipment...

07-22-2007, 04:26 PM
Hey guys,

Here's my story... If you want to skip this and just get to the point, read the "What I need" part.

I'm a young photographer looking to "backtrack" to film from digital. I got a Rebel XT for myself as a graduation gift (I'm probably one of the youngest people on this forum... 19). I really enjoyed taking digital photos but through months of browsing photos on flickr, I'd always come across these very "warm and fuzzy", lifelike photos--turns out they were film in almost every case. So I took a photography class at UVSC and got myself a Canon Ftb. I was hooked on the process of actually MAKING a photograph in the darkroom from there on out. The next semester I went to USU in Logan where I took another Photo I class taught by Mark Dungan. By this time I had gathered 3 Olympus XA's (insane deals I couldn't pass up, thank you DI), a Pentax ME Super (also DI), a Canonet GIII QL-17, and lots of black and white film. Going to Logan proved to be my biggest step forward as a photographer.

My final project was basically portraits in the style of mugshots. In short, the focus was to connect different people through facial expressions. It worked out great. However, while dry-mounting all of my photos for the final presentation--they warped on the edges due to just a tiny amount of moisture left in the fiber paper. While finally presenting, during the critique my professor said "Here you have an excellent set of portraits that are ultimately ruined with the blackhole that is the form of presentation." He was referring to the warped photos. They were pretty badly warped. It was the last day of school and I obviously couldn't do them over again. Normally, he wouldn't accept such ruined prints but realizing that it's the last day he offered to accept them for whatever they'd be worth and give me the chance to do them over again at home. If I can get those 12 prints to him before school starts he'll issue a grade change!

Basically what I need now are a few things for my darkroom...

What I really need:
An enlarger (something that will do 35mm and 120)
A Timer for the enlarger

I can't really find anything good on craigslist or KSL.com--if ANYONE can help me out I'd greatly appreciate it! I'll put the stuff to years of good use!

Andy K
07-22-2007, 04:33 PM
Have you tried Eb*y? Plenty of kit going for peanuts there.

07-22-2007, 07:28 PM
True, eBay would have a lot things. But I usually find that shipping an enlarger is something that's quite expensive and risky.

Plus I'd like to get involved with the local APUG community in some way!

07-22-2007, 07:34 PM
I agree -- eBay's a good source. Also, for a safelight, consider a simple red bulb, such as this one, (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?cat_id=&pid=6007) this one, (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/15766-REG/Delta_35110_Brightlab_Universal_Red_Junior.html) or even this LED one (http://www.superbrightleds.com/specs/E27-W24.htm) (you'd want the red version). Oddly, the LED bulb is less expensive than one of the tungsten bulbs. Note that some red bulbs intended for use as decoration don't completely cover the bulb or use a coloring that doesn't block all the non-red light, so not all such bulbs are suitable for use as safelights. Those sold by photo retailers should be OK, though, and a lot of people here (including me) are now using red LEDs as safelights with good success.

If you get an enlarger but it lacks a lens, send me a PM -- I've got a couple of spares.

07-22-2007, 07:38 PM
True, eBay would have a lot things. But I usually find that shipping an enlarger is something that's quite expensive and risky.

That depends. A bigger enlarger will cause problems if the seller tries to cram everything into one box because you'll get oversize package fees. If the seller packs it correctly it should be OK. Distance can matter, too, of course. A year and a half ago I bought a Philips PCS130 with PCS150 control unit, which is a color enlarger suitable for enlarging up to 6x7 negatives. The cost was $50 plus $24 to ship it from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island. The seller packed the column separately from the baseboard, head, and control unit, thus avoiding oversize package fees.

07-22-2007, 07:39 PM
OPTheory; good to have you on APUG.

First things first; where are you currently located and to where would the stuff have to be shipped?

david b
07-22-2007, 08:21 PM
You might want to mention where you live.

07-22-2007, 10:59 PM
Oh yeah sorry guys. I'm in Highland, Utah! I'll definitely work on my profile info. I went looking on craigslist just a moment ago and I'm heading down to California for a vacation. I checked out the listings there and i found an Omega Super Chromega D with three lenses and other extras for $100. I've e-mailed the guy but I'm awaiting a response now. I have a feeling this is sold already...

srs: Thank you for the clarification! I'm setting up the darkroom in the basement. It has two light sockets that I can probably use with those red lights. In school we used yellow sodium vapor lights I believe.

07-22-2007, 11:12 PM
For cheap trays, try a restaurant supply store or a "Smart & Final" store. They sell gray busing trays (the type the busboys use to gather up dishes for washing) that are cheap and good for print developing. You can also get lids for them if you need them.


07-23-2007, 11:55 AM
Check Craig's List, there is usually something listed there.
I have seen complete to nearly complete set ups listed there.
It looks like you already have placed an ad there looking for stuff.
But there is an ad there for a nearly complete set up.
Beseler Enlarger and Darkroom Supplies - $500 (http://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/pho/352028603.html)
Good Luck!

07-23-2007, 09:24 PM
There also seems to be a number of enlargers for sale in Portland on Craigslist, (see the recent thread on picking enlargers) seeing as how you're willing to drive to California for one.

07-23-2007, 09:29 PM
I was just about to take pictures of some darkroom stuff I have for sale. I have a timer, the 60 second version as well as a Gralab 350 digital. I have some enlarger lenses as well. I also have a screw in safe light. And 2 film washers (the kind that looks like a tube and a hose goes from bottom). I'll take pix tonight and if PM me, I can send you a url of the pix. If you get a Beseler enlarger, I have a 6x6 neg holder for it.

07-23-2007, 10:31 PM
You can search the auction site for enlargers by "Distance Near Me" and name the California city your visiting. Pick up only auctions really cut down the biding.

I found a 4x5 Beseler with color head and stand, almost brand new for almost nothing. I already have one with a color head and won it just to get the stand. Did the same on another one just to get the cold light head. Be patient and good things will come your way.:D

07-24-2007, 04:04 AM
Well guys... I appreciate all of your offers and suggestions! I've taken a couple of you up on them.

I posted a want ad on craigslist. Within 20 minutes I got a response from a guy with a Beseler 67 Dichroic, and pretty much everything I need to get this set up minus the basics like a safelight and easel. In addition to the enlarger I now have tons of containers and lots of chems including E6 and RA-4 things. Now in regards to film and paper... wow...
-A huge roll of "near infrared" aerial film. I think it's kodak.
-500 feet of Kodak Ektachrome 160t
-100 feet of Tri-X
-Probably 40 rolls of various Fuji and Konica color negative film.
-Several hundred feet of Fuji Crystal Archive,
-A few hundred feet of Agfa color paper "Type 11"
-At least 50 sheets of 11x14 Agfacolor portrait paper
-Big roll of Kodak EDGE 8
-5 boxes of Sterling fiber paper (B&W)

Well I'm definitely set up for color... Any of this stuff really special that I should be aware of?

08-06-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi - go down to Howells and talk with Dave. They have some excellent stuff there for not much.