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  1. #1
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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    OK, what do I need?

    Well, the room will not be done anytime too soon (has to be built from scratch includeing new water proof foundation bricks as I live in a house from the 1930's. I'll have to show you all shots of my someday dark room!) but I have a place in the basement that I can make light tight (laundry room) and easily put in ventalation, so I figure there is no time like the present to start to develop my own shots!!! What is the best stuff to use for a total beginner? I have no darkroom experience at all! Never been in a darkroom! I've read tons and watched the process so I'm pretty sure I can do it but I just need to know what to buy as far as chemicals, paper, film, etc... what is the best (easiest) for a total beginner. I can see myself getting into more artful presuits but for now I just need to develop one of my shots!

    I have a Beseler 23 CII with a 50 mm lens and a 35 mm negative holder, timers (3), 4 trays that are larger than 8x10, a 8x10 easle, a 5x7 easle, reels for 35mm, lots of tanks (none that the 35mm reels fit in tightly, except one without a lid!) includeing one that I think is a print processing tank (very large), a print dryer and ferrio type (sp) plates. I know I need a safelight and a tank that the reels fit in better. My enlarger had one clear plexiglass piece in the filter tray (above the condenser) that is scratched and will have to be replaced. I have a whole set of color filters (like brand new) that are smaller. Do they go in that slide in tray above the lens??? Told you I didn't know anything!!!

    If anyone can give me a heads up on anything else I may need, let me know. There is a used camera place in Billings that has a ton of used camera and darkroom equipment so I can probebly find anything I'm missing there. I for sure need to order supplies soon cause I've caught the bug big time!

    Thanks ahead of time,
    Lori

  2. #2

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    I wouldn't worry about the plexiglass above the condensor until you set things up and see it matters. It might not matter at all.

    I assume the colour filters are contrast filters? Or are they colour printing filters? Are they in a box?

    What kind of reels and tanks do you have? Bent metal reels are fun to load :rolleyes:

    Chemicals?

    Developer. I'd pick something common like D-76 to start
    stop
    fix.

    You'll need a different developer for the prints. D-72 wouldn't be a bad place to start.

  3. #3
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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    Forgot to say that I will be developing B&W only (for now???). Lori

  4. #4
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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    The filters are in a recipie file sized box that say unicolor 3"x3" color printing filter set. There are dividers for all the different variations of Cyan, Magenta, and yellow and there are also UV and red in there. They are thin plastic filters. All of my reels (6) are plastic and the boxes say unicolor 35mm reels. The tanks are all unicolor also. They came with the enlarger. I think I'd like to get the metal reels and tank. They aren't that expensive and I'm pretty sure I saw some at the Camera shop. He also said he had a lot of darkroom equip in the basement.
    Lori

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    welcome to APUG. Nice to have you posting...really nice. I am going to forego adding advice for the moment because all my directions have Sheridan Wyoming as a starting point.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  6. #6

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    The thing about metal reels and tanks is they are a bit harder to load. I'd start with the plastic ones you already have.

    As far as chemicals, for developing film you'll need:
    Developer: I use either Freestyle brand stuff, or a common powder developer like Kodak D-76 or Ilford ID-11
    Stop: I use water.
    Fix: I use either Kodak's or Arista's rapid fix.

    For prints:
    Developer: I use Dektol by Kodak, there are tons and tons of developers out there.
    Stop: Again, I use water. Sometimes I put about 50/50 water and vinegar.
    Fix: Same as film.

    Enjoy! It's so much fun in the darkroom.

  7. #7
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    The bits and pieces are a lot of fun, but one very important consideration is paper. I recommend you start with variable contrast RC, because it is cheap to learn with, washes quickly without using a ton of water and dries pretty flat on its own. Ilford Multigrade IV is a common easy to find paper that is top notch.

  8. #8
    lorirfrommontana's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help everyone! Lori

  9. #9
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    What is needed

    Others have stated most of your needs, my advice is follow the basic recommendations given already but pick one film/developer combo and one paper/developer combo and stick to it until it no longer meets your needs then move on and explore the universe of these combinations. Good luck and Welcome to the Brotherhood/Sisterhood
    No escaping it!
    I must step on fallen leaves
    to take this path

  10. #10

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    Contrary to the modern zeitgeist, I recommend a book[s] on photography. Amazing what's in a good one. Some of it will be true, too.

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