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  1. #1

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    Necessary equipment for "bathroom" darkroom?

    Hey guys and gals,

    I'm pretty new to the film game. I've recently abandoned the digital world and I'm starting fresh with film. My new (to me) Rolleiflex 3.5E will be coming in this week and I've decided that I want to develop my own film. I've read some tutorials online, and while I'm sure most are reliable enough, I'd like to get some advice from you folk.

    To be brief, I have access to a small bathroom in my apartment. It has a bathtub, toilet (duh :P), and a sink all built in a fairly small area. I could fit a small desk in there as well if need be.

    Since I'm starting from scratch, what are the materials that I will be needing? BTW, there is NO ventilation in the bathroom. The only way to turn on the fan is to turn on the lights (it's coupled together). Will this be a potential health hazard? Safety first right?

    Thanks in advanced,

    Jason

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Since you're developing roll film I would go with a daylight tank. Then all you need is a dark room (or a changing bag) and a flat surface to load your film onto spirals and into the tank.
    That way you can develop your film in full daylight if you want. After you have your film in the tank it's a walk in the park to do. You need chemistry, good thermometer, good graduates, a timer, and a good measure of combined patience and accuracy.
    I want to say, however, that it's probably a good idea to try to get into printing and/or scanning those negatives as soon as possible after you start developing film. Otherwise it's next to impossible to determine whether you're doing a good job with the film developing or not.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3

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    thermometer, funnel, bottles for chemicals, developing tank & reels, graduated cylinder or pitcher for mixing & measuring the chemicals, some way to hang up the film to dry....I use a bent up coat hanger with clothespins on it

    maybe a few more things....but that's what I can think of for now

  4. #4

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    oh yeah...a stirring rod for mixing chemicals

  5. #5
    bob2's Avatar
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    Im in the same boat

    This is a list from"henry`s online store"I think its complete


    The Labokit Includes...( $65.75 ebay)
    1 Developing Tank
    2 Multiformat self-feed film reels
    1 Graduated cylinder 20 oz ( 600 cc )
    1 Graduated cylinder 2 oz ( 50 cc )
    3 Developing trays 8x10 ( 20x25 cm )
    1 Film squeegee
    3 Print tongs
    2 film clips (1 weighted) 1 Stirring paddle
    1 Straight glass thermometer
    1 instruction manual


    still will need chemicals.but have they left out anything? timer?
    Last edited by bob2; 12-05-2007 at 11:04 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: better info
    only 19 years to retirement

  6. #6
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Congratulations! You are were I was two months ago. Yes I had developed film and printed enlargements, but it had been many years. I still do not have the 120 film loading properly every time but I am getting there. Enjoy! Once you have film down, you will probably come across an enlarger at a good price [Craig's List in Los Angeles, the prices are good and you do not want to ship an enlarger if you can avoid it].

    I suggest that you unscrew the lights when you do printing and run the fan. Put the lights back in when you are done.

    I built a window covering from wood and black-out material for the bathroom, the wet darkroom and cardboard cover for the bedroom, the dry darkroom [enlarger]. I put a board across the two sinks for the tray, but you can do the same with the bathtub.

    Contact me when you are ready for the wet darkroom and I will help you brainstorm. We also have many other APUGgers in Los Angeles.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #7
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Jason, I live in a one bedroom apartment with a small bathroom. Tub, toilet and sink. I put a piece of plywood about 2'x2' over the sink to put stuff on. I load my film holders from 4x5 to 8x20 here. I put my daylight tank on here to load my 120 into the daylight tank for development. For sheet film developing I do it in the tub. I got some tile backer board ( hardibacker 1/4") and cut it to fit the tub. I develop my sheet film 4x5,5x7,8x10 in tanks here. I do my 8x20 in trays here also. Everything is within arms reach. I disconnected the fan so it is off when the light goes on and taped the vent so no light gets in. My bedroom has my enlarger in it and I darkened it out also. I develop prints on the platform in the tub. I put my 8x10 washer in the tub to wash prints or I use my Kodak anti-siphon to do prints in an 11x14 tray. For my 8x20' contacts and 16x20 enlargements I put my big washer in the tub and can only get two trays on the other half of the tub and have to use the sink and toilet for the other trays. Where there is a will there is a way.It is very doable. 16x20 is about as large as I can comfortably do in my apartment. Good luck.

    Jim

  8. #8

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    for a timer I just use a clock

    before I had an enlarger...to make contact prints all I used was a plate of glass, and a flash

    I varied exposure by how high I held the flash over the paper..and sometimes I'd partly block the flash with a finger...but it usually worked perfect when I held it slightly above my head with the glass/negatives/paper on the floor

    it wasn't sophisticated, but it worked OK until I had something better

  9. #9
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Item 1: a bathroom
    Item 2: darkness.

    Replace the bath by darkness, and you will have a darkroom.

    On top of what they others mentioned, I would add: get a decent enlarging lens already. You can find a Schneider, Nikon, or Rodenstock for less than 100 USD. Actually, I think there must be some for sale in the APUG classifieds. This is an investment that will last forever, and will give you great results, regardless of the enlarger you pick.

    As you will be tearing down the bathroom often, I'd recommend you get a good bubble lever to check your enlarger's alignment quickly. Yes, it's not as precise as other methods, but it helps.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  10. #10
    richard ide's Avatar
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    For instant dark, unscrew the bulb and then you can use the fan.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

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