I have a changing bag and it worked well after a lot of practice.
I thought the room had to be 100% light free. I developed in the kitchen, maybe not do this again!
I think I am super allergic to these chemicals. I noticed my mood deteriorating as well when I am around it, maybe this is concidence but I know this is really harmful and hence the reasoning for ventilation. There is no way I want to try developing under the stairs with 3 trays of chemicals!
Well now you have opened my eyes... I'll try and think where I can enlarge (although doesn't it really need to be dust free and free of vibration?)
Well I could enlarge under the stairs and carry the paper up to the bathroom which needs blacked out (What about electricity, how can you see?) Unless I can wire a safelight into the main light.
Before you come to any conclusions about whether you are allergic to fixer, it might be prudent to try some fixer that is a bit younger than fixer purchased in 1996 :).
Originally Posted by nocturnal
And ventilation is important - the chemicals used in black and white photography are relatively benign when encountered at working strength, but lack of fresh air is bad for you no matter what you are doing.
For years I worked in a darkroom that was about 4x6 feet, with intruding heating ducts. It can be done.
Out of curiosity, I did some googling around the Barclay's fixer and agree there isn't much info out there.
The language used in the instructions does ring a bell however, in that you can find some of the same wording about the short times on a couple of education supply websites, although those words are applied to other manufacturers' products.
As an example, one educational supply house used that language when describing Fotospeed FX20 fixer.
None of the other retailers for that fixer recommend those times.
So I have a feeling that the instructions you have just reprint an error, that has been repeated elsewhere as well.
Whether 40s or 4 minutes is the right time doesn't matter. You can re-fix the film in an icecream container or something, it doesn't need to be on a reel or in the dark. If it's underfixed then it will degrade in the long term but there will be no damage at all just yet. It's also very difficult to damage film by overfixing, it takes about 10 minutes before any damage is measurable (yet invisible) and something like half an hour before the image quality is visibly reduced.
So there is a good chance you can save your film now by fixing it longer, there is little to no chance of the film being damaged yet by under fixing and there is basically no chance that you will damage it be refixing, just make sure that the corner of one piece of film cannot come into contact with another piece, i.e. do one piece at a time.
The room doesn't need to be dark at all for film developing as long as you use daylight tanks and load them in a dark bag. You only need darkness for printing.
I agree that your intended darkroom sounds very small and would suggest that you use the laundry or bathroom instead. Black window-drapes taped on will block the light well, plus a towel under the door gets it quite dark enough to print, especially at night.
As to sensitization, fixer isn't generally much of an issue and it definitely doesn't cause mood issues. It can smell bad and if there's a rotten egg smell (H2S) due to the fixer being really old then that is a bit toxic but ventilation (or fresher fixer) will deal with that issue.
You can become contact-sensitized to some developers (metol), and especially colour developers. Gloves while printing fixes that problem for B&W, and don't do colour prints in trays.
Originally Posted by nocturnal
if you need to dev by inspection plug 2nd safelight into shaver socket
give away any developer containing metol and buy set of micro scales with 0.01 gm resolution and use more benign chemicals unlikely to be the acid fix we soak our French fries in acetic acid hmmmm.
Citric acid is more benign and not so smelly...
At a minimum get a V500. I got one on sale for about $130. They are good for internet posting and just previewing your negatives. You will make mistakes in developing when you first start and it is a lot better to look at a scanned set of negatives and pick out the winners than waste materials in the darkroom. B&W scanning is easier than color. Color is difficult to do particularly for C-41 because it is difficult for a newbie to get the colors right.
Originally Posted by nocturnal
I don't print anything without a scan first. I've found all sorts of flaws that saved me hassle in the dark room.
I got a V600 for $150 - just keep an eye on them. Right now is a good time to get a nice deal. Like others, I use mine primarily for review and sharing.
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I am really enjoying this forum and spending little time on another 'gadget' forum now, although they were very helpful when I was a newbie to the Pentax system.
Right a couple of things:
I intend to fix these again in an ice cream carton or something. They look bloody sharp and I estimated the flash exposure to a good degree. I was using a Metz AF-1 50 on a Pentax ME Super. I have legacy flashes but wanted to use the Metz for the ceiling bounce and Rembrant lighting effect etc. so it was a decent experiment. Another good thing is that this is my 2nd ME Super which worked perfectly with no light leaks. The first one I bought had leaks and would need a service, I absolutely love the Pentax ME Supers as they are so simple without all the DSLR crap!
I'm thinking of building a collapsible shelf for my enlarger onto a solid exterior wall in my bedroom. This will be easy to black out and it nearly is already as I have black out blinds although I can make it fully light proof which I want for sleeping anyway. I am like the paper itself LOL and hence my nickname!
I can also blackout the bathroom (for paper dunking) with a sheet of plywood or MDF which I can set in and take out. Both rooms need the windows above doors blocked also. The problem is where to plug the safelight in the bathroom. I am definitely not installing electric in there! Maybe I could wire it into the light somehow. Don't worry I can do electrics! There is no shaver socket and I think it is against the regulations here as I have never seen them in any house here.
I managed to 'scan' them with my regular flatbed and invert them. So I made a pseudo contact print. I just did these in the acetate holding files. As you all know dust is an almighty problem and maybe a bedroom is not great for enlarging due to carpet/fabrics etc. The bathroom has less airborne dust and I think if you run water it helps. In a local guitar factory they have a waterfall in the special spray room to help eliminate dust.
Yes I know scanners are banned although I'm only using it to inspect the negatives and as I sent them around the internet to my friends they thought it was so 'artistic' to see the strips of film. They though they were great but I explained that I should be able to make fine art prints from them and then they will understand why I go to the bother of using film!
I read somewhere that flatbeds are not the best. I seen a review of the Plustek dedicated 35mm ones and the resolution it pulled from the negatives was mighty.
Another reason I want this (and should please you folk) is to show how film completely out resolves any digital imaging device and to sicken the pixel peepers! Although then again why should I as they are gadgetographers and not photographers!
I finally won by auction a set of Ilford Multigrade filters and the previous owner trimmed them to 75mm which is exactly the size I need for my filter tray (receive them soon).
I am looking at the Scheider Kreuzach Componon-S 50mm f/2.8 and hopefully I'll buy it. I think it has M39 Leica thread which should fit my enlarger which came with a cloudy Rodenstock Trinar 3 element lens.
Then just a matter getting the room or rooms ready.
I can't wait to do my first print!
The film development was excruciating at first but it is great to be able to do this!