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  1. #31
    fatboy22's Avatar
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    Stephanie,

    What town in Iowa do you live in?
    Keep Film Alive, Shoot Everyday!
    JamiesInfraredPhotography.com

  2. #32
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Webster City. I'm about 2-2.5 hours away from you.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  3. #33
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I use drums for B&W, because I don't have space to use trays in the room I can make dark. Every once in a while, I rent or borrow darkroom space, just to get my "image appearing in front of me" fix.

    Don't discount the drum option, especially if you have to set up and tear down your darkroom each time.

    My film loading, enlarging and tube loading happens in the small bathroom I can easily make dark. My developing (either film or paper) happens in the kitchen, working on the counter, near the kitchen sink.

    I can just about fit my entire darkroom kit on to one fairly sturdy, wheeled microwave cart - enlarger on top, two medium size rubbermaid bins on shelves underneath. That cart fits easily into a clothes closet, or nook in our hallway.

    I also use one further small under-cabinet cupboard.

    My enlarger is fairly large too - a Beseler 67C with the older, single large girder.

    I've worked in the past in a very wide range of darkrooms, from the small converted bathroom I started in, right through a large, multi-station darkroom in a major metropolitan newspaper. My current setup is just as much fun as the rest.

    Matt

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirePhoto
    Stephanie: I wish you were a little closer. I have a like-new condition Beseler 23CIII enlarger set up for both 35 mm and medium format that is collecting dust in my basement since I use my good old Omega D2 exclusively now. I'd love to make a good deal with someone who would put it to good use. Shipping might be pretty costly though.
    This is going off on a bit of a tangent, but....

    Concerning shipping costs, these can vary substantially depending on the carrier and how the enlarger is shipped. A few months ago, I bought a used Philips PCS130 with PCS150 control unit via eBay. The seller shipped it to me (Pennsylvania to Rhode Island) via FedEx ground for $24, which I thought was impressive. I've seen similar enlargers with eBay shipping costs over similar distances for more than twice that. A couple of specific suggestions:

    • Look into shipping the unit in multiple boxes. Mine arrived in two boxes, one for the long head support column and a second for everything else. Putting everything in one box would almost certainly have incurred an oversize-package charge.
    • Check the prices at different carriers. After I got my Philips, I sold my first enlarger (a Durst C35). This enlarger was smaller and lighter than the Philips, so I managed to fit everything into the larger of the two boxes in which the Philips had arrived. Although I'd measured everything ahead of time and knew the box was just under the limit for the USPS oversized package charge, the Post Office tried to impose that charge, which made shipping ridiculous ($100 or so, IIRC). I took it to a nearby UPS outlet and they shipped it for a much more reasonable fee. I believe the USPS employee mis-measured the package, but even aside from that, policies and charges can vary a great deal, so you may find a way to ship an enlarger inexpensively at one carrier even when another's rate structure would make shipping it very costly. Fortunately, if you've got accurate dimensions and weights, you can check out costs online at the carriers' Web sites. Just be sure you (and they!) measure the package accurately!

  5. #35
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Enlargers and good lenses are easy to come by used. A good sink and water supply is essential but more difficult to implement.

    If your space is limited, use the single tray method (check out www.heylloyd.com). I have alot of space but I still prefer single tray.

    If you are starting out, use RC paper, especially without a dedicated print washer. A good timer is not essential but if you have to spend money on something new, get the RH Designs StopClock Pro.

    An incidental item which I have come to appreciate is an anti-fatigue mat for the hours of standing around.
    Jerold Harter MD

  6. #36
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694
    This is going off on a bit of a tangent, but....

    Concerning shipping costs, these can vary substantially depending on the carrier and how the enlarger is shipped. A few months ago, I bought a used Philips PCS130 with PCS150 control unit via eBay. The seller shipped it to me (Pennsylvania to Rhode Island) via FedEx ground for $24, which I thought was impressive. I've seen similar enlargers with eBay shipping costs over similar distances for more than twice that. A couple of specific suggestions:

    • Look into shipping the unit in multiple boxes. Mine arrived in two boxes, one for the long head support column and a second for everything else. Putting everything in one box would almost certainly have incurred an oversize-package charge.
    • Check the prices at different carriers. After I got my Philips, I sold my first enlarger (a Durst C35). This enlarger was smaller and lighter than the Philips, so I managed to fit everything into the larger of the two boxes in which the Philips had arrived. Although I'd measured everything ahead of time and knew the box was just under the limit for the USPS oversized package charge, the Post Office tried to impose that charge, which made shipping ridiculous ($100 or so, IIRC). I took it to a nearby UPS outlet and they shipped it for a much more reasonable fee. I believe the USPS employee mis-measured the package, but even aside from that, policies and charges can vary a great deal, so you may find a way to ship an enlarger inexpensively at one carrier even when another's rate structure would make shipping it very costly. Fortunately, if you've got accurate dimensions and weights, you can check out costs online at the carriers' Web sites. Just be sure you (and they!) measure the package accurately!
    I don't trust UPS for reasons better left unsaid, but I do so love Fed-Ex. Quick, direct, and excellent tracking. Someone PMed me about an enlarger in Iowa, but I'd almost rather have the 23CIII. Last I knew, it could do 6x9, which has recently become a requirement. Heh.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  7. #37
    purple's Avatar
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    If you find yourself in a bit of a space jam, a Nova monochrome tank is an excellent way to go. I have a Trimate myself, and it's saved me space, time and complexion.

  8. #38
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    Hi Stephanie,

    A bit late to the thread and much of this has already been said.

    I agree that Ilford MGIV in Ilford Multigrade is a very good starting point, in RC to kick off with and in FB if you decide you want to. MG Warmtone is very nice too and more responsive to tonal manipulation / toning should you want to experiment.

    I use trays and have no experience with drums or slot processors and so can't really comment further on that. A print washer is certainly handy but a tray siphon (or even a tray with holes in it with a shower head above !) is perfectly adequate.

    For setting up a darkroom and technical printing guidance the best book I know is Tim Rudman's "The Photographer's Master Printing Course". (His other book "The Photographer's Toning Book: The Definitive Guide" is also a cracker!)

    For the full creative process from previsualisation through to printing I'd recommend Les McLean's "Creative Black & White Photography". Another absolute belter is John Blakemore's "Black & White Photography Workshop".

    The best advice I can think of is to get on, set up, play around and enjoy yourself! Don't be afraid of making mistakes and don't be in too great a hurry to accumulate equipment.

    Have fun!

    Frank
    The destination is important, but so is the journey

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