I am new in bw printing. I have built a temporary darkroom in my bathroom.
I have read that light leaks are not too critical during the printing phase.
Is that true.
Actually, I have already tried to print during the day, with some leaks in my bathroom, and I did not notice any "fog" problem on my photos.
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My downstairs half bath serves as my darkroom and I stopped sealing it long ago. No problems.
My Darkroom isn't totaly dark - just very very gloomy in bright sunshine.
Ilford papers seem very tolerant to low level gloom.
However, I prefer where possible to avoid bright sunny days to print and work as much in the evening and night as possible.
I only ever handle and process film at night
Am currantly using the utility room off the kitchen so I print at night. I have a changing bag, so I do film any time during the day, That way I have my negs. ready for the night shift.
I suggest you do some tests. The procedure is the same as for safelight tests. One way would be to lay out some paper with a few coins on it. Every 30-60 seconds, remove a coin, until they're all gone. Total time should be based on the time you expect a paper to be exposed to light, from its removal from its box to when processing is complete, but make the time long to be on the safe side. Once you've removed all the coins, process the paper. If you can make out the outlines of any of the coins, then fogging has occurred, and you can use the number of coin outlines you can see to estimate how long you can leave paper out in your darkroom. You might want to perform this test multiple times, for different papers and/or different locations in your darkroom (your enlarger and your developing area, say).
You can get away with a lot of leaking light in handling paper. At the same time, leaks can lead to consistancy problems it's always best to have no light leaks, if possible.
Fogging on paper is not always immediatly apparent, especially if it's slight, testing is the only way to know for sure.
Ralph Lambrecht has a super method for testing safelights. It;s a bit of a bother but well worth the time and trouble. If you sit for five minutes or so in your darkroom with all lights off you may begin to see cracks and crannies you would not see otherwise. The eye, when thoroughly dark adapted is amazingly sensitive. I prefer to have no leaks - that way there is no question.
You can also take a few bits of pocket change,place them on a piece o photo paper,let them sit for 5 minutes then develop.If you see an outline of the coins ya got a light leak.
Paper that has been exposed to image forming light is quite a bit more sensitive to stray light, bad safelighting etc. Try flashing a piece of paper to threshold and then try the coin test. Some may argue that achieving total darkness in your darkroom is a counsel of perfection, but you should try and make it as dark as you possibly can; only that way can you eliminate the possibility of fogging.