I was planning on having my negatives scanned and printed elsewhere. I don't have much room and most enlargers I've seen were fairly big (granted, they were enlargers I've seen in a darkroom).
Anyways, I can also get access to a dark room at my university, but it would be cool to do things at home as well. I'll have to check prices on everything over the next few weeks. Hopefully it won't cost TOO much.
Thanks for all of the help so far. It's a lot of information to process and I'm in the middle of exams right now, so I will have to re-read everything over again in a few weeks :)
One more essential item: A sign to hang on the door reading "Bath by Appointment Only."
Hahaha that's awesome gainer! I'll keep that in mind :)
A trick to get more space in a bathroom darkroom is to use a wooden bar stool by the commode. Put a plank from the top of the water closet to the stool and use this for your trays. Use piled up photo mags on top of the water closet (you have lotsa mags, right?) to level the plank. Great space saving trick. The problem with the plank on the tub is that you end up looking like Quasimodo after working the trays a while. The other necessities are 1) an understanding roomie 2) the rolled up towel to block out the brightest light encountered in photography: the light coming under the darkroom door.
John (been there, done it) Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
I do my own developing at home. The only "darkroom" I have is the bathroom where I go to put film on the reel (I find 120 MUCH easier than 35mm - but that's me.) For the time being I can only scan negs, but here's my setup for that:
I have 4 containers: 1 for developer, 1 for stop bath, 1 for fixer and 1 for Fuji Quickwash (optional) Make sure the developer is in a light-proof bottle since it can deteriorate with exposure to light
A squeegee for wiping off excess water from negatives
A good timer
A copy of the Massive Dev Chart from here: http://digitaltruth.com/software.html - it has dev times for a zillion different film/developer combinations - invaluable!
I've found that once you get the film onto the reel, the rest is pretty easy. Hope that helps and good luck :)
Even better then unscrewing the bulb - a screw in adapter with pull chain - so you can turn the light off and on, when the fan is running.
A cart with casters to hold bins of stuff makes it easy to roll your darkroom materials in and out is good, and adds a work surface too.
Here is an example:
If you are going to have the negs scanned and printed elsewhere, I would also recommend contact printing them. The wee prints you get from 2 1/4 square negs can be little gems. :)
And it is easy to do - a box of 10x8 paper, a sheet of glass (or a simple 10x8 contact proofer), print developer, and you are away.
This will also provide you with a supply of prints which you can use to experiment with toning techniques - a source of great creative delight out of the darkroom.
Don't take all day loading the tank. The door can be open
Originally Posted by jasonjoo
during film processing. Planning ahead, prints? Dan
FWIW, the Meopta 6x6 and Durst F-30 are very nice, yet compact 120 enlargers. They go for cheap prices at the auction (shipping will likely cost more than the machine) and are often give aways on Craig's List.
IIRC the "footprint" of my F-30 was about 11"x14"
One of those, a set of trays, a speed easel, a grain focuser, some clothes pins and a bit of line and you're in the printing business! You can probably get the whole kaboodle thrown in with the enlarger.
I've also used the screw adapter with a pull chain in my last dark/bathroom. In my current dark bathroom, I've got one light socket in the ceiling and no electrical outlet, but the enlarger is actually in the hallway adjacent to the bathroom--much roomier and more comfortable, but it means I can only print at night. So in the bathroom, I put in a two-bulb light socket adapter with a pull-chain adapter on each socket. One side has a Verilux daylight incandescent bulb and the other side has a Kodak LED safelight. As a process timer, I use a battery powered Paterson triple timer.
To black out windows, you can order Delta plastic blackout material from B&H.
A handy thing I had in the previous dark bathroom was a typing table with wheels for my enlarger. The bathroom was tiny, but I wheel my Omega D-II on the table over the commode. To get the enlarger to sit on the table, I added an extra set of 4 rubber feet from a hardware store to the baseboard to match the footprint of the table.
Another handy thing I've found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond is an expanding metal rack used normally to increase shelf space in a place like a closet with a high ceiling. I can put it in the bathtub to elevate my trays or put two trays on top and one underneath for more space.