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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Have a read through the FAQ in my signature. With B&W you can mix n match brands of chemistry as much as you like - I use Ilford fixer and both Kodak and Agfa developers, to process mostly-Fuji film.

    Shake the fixer up. If it's still clear and doesn't smell like rotten eggs (it should smell vinegary and a bit weird, but not rank), it should be OK. If it has pale yellow precipitate (floaties) in it or smells really bad, then it's gone off. Fixer is really cheap though, so I'd just buy 1L of fresh Rapid Fixer if I were you.

    The paper may or may not be OK. If I were you, I would test a sheet by developing+fixing it in the darkness, with no image exposure. It should be totally white; if it has any grey then you want to go buy some fresh.

    Plenty of enlargers come up for sale (or free) here and on Craigslist (assuming you're in the USA). Get a medium format enlarger; it will be more rigid than most 35mm enlargers and means you can move up to bigger film soon. Contrary to BMbikerider, I would recommend a colour enlarger - you get the same contrast control, the filters never fade, and it's usually easier to do split-grade. Oh and of course you can print in colour! (don't let anyone tell you that's hard; it's not). An MF enlarger in excellent condition should be under $50 and an excellent lens for 35mm should also be well under $50. Both together, $0 to $70 depending who's selling.

    Shoot the FP4 first; it's the most forgiving of both exposure and processing errors/variations. Delta 3200 is also pretty forgiving on exposure (expose for ISO1600 and develop for 3200), but you need to be more precise in your development time and temperature control for Delta films. Pan-F is beautiful stuff, but requires you to be more careful with exposure as it's very contrasty.

    Asking about scanning on APUG will get you shouted at, but I have this to say: don't buy those little "5 megapixel" scanners, they're total rubbish. Buy a real film scanner if you can, otherwise something like a V600 is really cheap and will get you images good enough to put on the web. Not good enough to print large digitally, but you don't need that because you'll be enlarging!
    I was reading a lot from the links in your sig the other day and there are many, many dead links. A lot.

  2. #12

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    Mr Rusty,

    I need to learn what contact prints are. I have seen this mentioned but I need to go and read a FAQ section or something for beginners. The scanning would not be for printing purposes and that is why I want an enlarger. I'll need to pick a suitable enlarger first and I don't know much about this.

    What do I need an easel for? What is the biggest scan I can do with a certain enlarger? I have a ton of questions.

  3. #13

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    Neal,

    I'm in a University club. They have darkroom equipment but no darkroom!

    Yes this Uni has 26,000 students and it doesn't have a darkroom (for us anyway!)

  4. #14

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    Pentaxuser,

    I am a pentax too! I have 2 Super ME's, 1 x s1a and one of those modern digital things... K30!

    I'll try that with the fixer to see if it works. Do you mean an 'exposed to light' small piece of film leader?

    I can use the barclay paper for experiments anyway. I am a novice although I seen the original price of it and the paper was the most expensive part of the original darkroom kit (no enlarger!)

    Thanks

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    I was reading a lot from the links in your sig the other day and there are many, many dead links. A lot.
    By dead do you mean 404, or sections that say "TBD" ? There's a lot in there that I've not got around to writing yet. Consider this a call for submissions - if anyone wants edit rights to the FAQ to add new content, please just ask me!

    If you're getting 500 errors, try shift-reloading. My web host has been having bad trouble lately.

  6. #16
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    nocturnal: a contact print is where you press the film and paper in a sandwich using a sheet of glass and expose it that way. The print is the same size as the negative - real hard to see for 35mm, but actually quite pretty on larger formats. A good practise to get into is to make a "contact sheet" of every roll of film you shoot. You cut the film up so that it fits into an 8x10 sheet of paper and contact-print the whole lot in one go. It will tell you a lot about how good your exposures are, etc.

    An easel is a thing that holds your paper down in the enlarger; they have a couple of metal blades on the edge that hold the paper down and are adjustable so that you can make different sized prints. If you want to scan your prints, then print to 8x10" or maybe 8x12" as that's about the largest size that a cheap scanner can accept.

    If the uni club has equipment but no darkroom in which to use it, you should definitely make them an offer for some of it. They may be very glad to reclaim some storage space and/or see it go to someone who will use it.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    nocturnal: a contact print is where you press the film and paper in a sandwich using a sheet of glass and expose it that way. The print is the same size as the negative - real hard to see for 35mm, but actually quite pretty on larger formats. A good practise to get into is to make a "contact sheet" of every roll of film you shoot. You cut the film up so that it fits into an 8x10 sheet of paper and contact-print the whole lot in one go. It will tell you a lot about how good your exposures are, etc.

    An easel is a thing that holds your paper down in the enlarger; they have a couple of metal blades on the edge that hold the paper down and are adjustable so that you can make different sized prints. If you want to scan your prints, then print to 8x10" or maybe 8x12" as that's about the largest size that a cheap scanner can accept.

    If the uni club has equipment but no darkroom in which to use it, you should definitely make them an offer for some of it. They may be very glad to reclaim some storage space and/or see it go to someone who will use it.
    So I need an easel to attach/sit on the enlarger base plate?

    I'll have a look on youtube for contact print tutorials.

    Someone donated a lot of equipment to the Uni club including studio lights etc. They are still trying to get a darkroom set-up although I don't think they are too serious about it.

    Thanks

  8. #18
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    Enlargers often come with easels, but basically yes, you need one. If you're feeling ultra-cheap then you can use a sheet of steel resting on the enlarger baseboard and some strip magnets to hold the paper down to it. A proper easel is much easier and more repeatable though.

  9. #19

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    Thank you, I shall get an easel too. Ultra-cheap? Me?

  10. #20
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    The fastest way to learn the basics is to get one film, one film developer, one paper and one paper developer rather than trying 4 different films. Although made by the same company, each will be very different in response to light and processing.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

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