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  1. #21

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    I have my darkroom in my motorhome and regardless of how hard I try, there are still some minor light leaks...ie around near the edge of the window black out cloth, in the ceiling around the air conditioner vent and under the door. As long as I am just printing, I have never had a problem. I tend to make sure during development to place the image side down until I am ready to make a quick look to see how the print is looking.

    I learned the hard way to not develop infrared film unless it is also dark outside. So all film development gets done once the sun sets.
    Christine Hauber
    http://www.workingintheusa.com
    My book, my art. Life is what you make of it.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    We recently had a series of threads about pro darkrooms from the 70s and 80s on filmwasters. Neil Slavin had red plastic windows in his - see here for details.
    That sounds so cool..

  3. #23

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    In the first darkroom I ever worked in, it was hardly light tight. There were many pinholes through the black acrylic paint over the windows, some spots had black construction paper over it too but still..

    One project was to cut a piece of paper and hold it against the window and move it slowly, then process it. I have a few spirogram-looking prints like that.

    Otherwise, if you kept your paper away from the window you were fine.

  4. #24
    wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonhall View Post
    Simple test that should be done from time to time. Even should be done to make sure your safe light will not be a problem. Take out a single sheet of paper and lay on the table where you would normally work, be it enlargments or cantact prints. Let it lay there with some objects on top (IE you grain focuser, or anything with a simple shape). Let it sit for about the longest amount of time you would expect a sheet to sit out while working on it. 10mins maybe. After the time is run out, develop it as normal and when in light, look for signs of the shapes on the paper at all. If the the paper is completely white, you are OK. Try it with safe light on and off to test for light leaks and/or to confirm you safe light is infact safe.

    Jason
    This is always one of the better solutions, although, I would say double the time. If it's safe at 20 minutes, it will be safe at 10 minutes. You never know when something stupid will happen, that requires an unfixed print to stay in the dark longer then planned, like dropping the tongs on the floor when a print is in the stop......
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  5. #25
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    Why, I wonder, has nobody mentioned the coin test? Lay a coin on a piece of unexposed paper and leave it for some length of time. Develop the paper and see if you can tell where the coin was resting. If so, you need more light proofing.
    Gadget Gainer

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    Why, I wonder, has nobody mentioned the coin test? Lay a coin on a piece of unexposed paper and leave it for some length of time. Develop the paper and see if you can tell where the coin was resting. If so, you need more light proofing.
    Yes, this is the simplest of tests. a better test is to evenly pre-flash the paper just a bit, as paper that is being exposed (like the one your making your next masterpiece on) is more sensitive to light problems because it has "got a start". Takes very little time and effort. Those that have leaky darkrooms, but say they're not getting fogging- Do you really know that? Or are you just guessing? Eensy paper fogging may not be readily observable, but it is a highlight killer. We have the occasional thread "How do I get that glow?". Well, you'll never get it in a leaky darkroom or unsuitable safelight/paper combo, but you might plug away a long time looking for a magic bullet that will never come because you have a fundamental problem that is undetected.. Dark is dark.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 06-14-2009 at 05:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K View Post
    I have often wondered if, instead of blackout material, using a red gel sheet over windows etc. would work for an enlarging only darkroom.
    When I was allowed to spec a darkroom/classroom in a new building ten years or so ago we put a 4x8 foot plate glass window between the classroom and the printing area of the darkroom.

    Window was tinted with an OC Amber film we bought from Calumet, I think.

    Let the teacher monitor goings on in both rooms from either room.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    Yes, this is the simplest of tests. a better test is to evenly pre-flash the paper just a bit, as paper that is being exposed (like the one your making your next masterpiece on) is more sensitive to light problems because it has "got a start". Takes very little time and effort. Those that have leaky darkrooms, but say they're not getting fogging- Do you really know that? Or are you just guessing? Eensy paper fogging may not be readily observable, but it is a highlight killer. We have the occasional thread "How do I get that glow?". Well, you'll never get it in a leaky darkroom or unsuitable safelight/paper combo, but you might plug away a long time looking for a magic bullet that will never come because you have a fundamental problem that is undetected.. Dark is dark.
    Sounds fair. I have done some fog tests, but these were done in either a) total darkness or b) with the safe light, straight from the packet.

    When you suggest pre flash, for how long and using what method? Just put it under the enlarger @ F16 for a second or two?

    Cheers

  9. #29
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    There are others that are far more technical than me. I just flash the paper to a light grey, the exact exposure will vary with your paper choice and enlarger. No need to use an entire sheet, just a piece and the remainder can become test strips.

  10. #30
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    Thanks J. Next weekend when the darkroom is set up again, I will give it a shot. From the fog tests that I have done thus far (OK, I didn't use a coin, I used the focus scope) everything has been fine.

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