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  1. #41

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    Ok, I've decided that I will try and go through with actually printing, first off starting with printing at night and then eventually building a permanent darkroom. I've been eyeing off an ebay auction which is listing an lpl c7700 enlarger + trays + lights +easel, the problem is that I already have an enlarger but I don't have trays/safelight/ or an easel. I can probably buy the 3 tray brand new from vanbar for around $20 so is it possible to live without a safelight (e.g. just use the enlarger with the red safelight to illuminate the room a bit) and is an easel necessary for holding the paper flat or is it mainly for framing purposes? Alternatively I guess there might be a cheap option for trays like getting some plastic storage containers from a homeware store and I hope they would have tongs aswell.

    Finally the only other thing I need to get is a paper developer and some paper, what is a classic combination for the beginner kinda similar to how kodak tri-x and d76 is meant to be a traditional combo. However I have read that paper developers have a subtle impact at best and that ilford rc papers are decent to start off with; is this the right track?

    Thanks for the help guys!

  2. #42
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Ilford Multigrade and some RC paper (e.g. Ilford Pearl) is probably the cheapest+easiest way to start out and you can't really go much wrong with it. There are cheaper or better options, but this is a pretty classic combination, readily available anywhere in Australia, they will both keep very well and not have any unusual pitfalls for beginners.

  3. #43
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    I can probably buy the 3 tray brand new from vanbar for around $20 so is it possible to live without a safelight (e.g. just use the enlarger with the red safelight to illuminate the room a bit) and is an easel necessary for holding the paper flat or is it mainly for framing purposes?

    You can get away without proper trays, but don't get trays with a flat bottom, as suction can cause the paper to stick to the bottom of the tray.

    You rally do need a safelight - it makes printing far easier. You can pick up a cheap second hand safelight filter somewhere for a few $$ (or PM me - I probably have something floating around).

    Easel - you can get away without one, as RC paper sits pretty flat on it's own. When I ran a commercial lab I used to use a large ceramic floor tile which had thick cardboard stuck to 2 edges. I would use a old sheet of paper to focus/compose on. You can do the same with a piece of MDF - either cut the MDF to size and stick some feet on the bottom so it doesn't slide around on the baseboard, or use alarger piece and put some cardboard on the 2 edges. Trace around some old prints with a texta so you have the various print sizes for composition..
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  4. #44
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Darkroom work must be even more difficult in The Antipodes because everything is upside down.
    Ben

  5. #45
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    Darkroom work must be even more difficult in The Antipodes because everything is upside down.
    That's OK; we have claws on our feet so that we can hang like bats. You do need to tape the paper to the easel though

  6. #46

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    I find darkroom a lot more fun!

    Jeff

  7. #47

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    Printing in the darkroom is amazing fun! Today I bought ilford multigrade and 100 sheets of kentmere vc 10.5x14.8cm and used up around 20 sheets and got 6 or 7 decent prints. I think I will definitely have to try a larger paper size down the track once my photographs actually warrant it. Anyway once again, thanks a lot everyone for the advice; watching my first image appear was magical albeit difficult to see without safelights!

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    Darkroom work must be even more difficult in The Antipodes because everything is upside down.
    Composing on the ground glass is a cinch though - it's rightside up here.

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