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  1. #11

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    A couple more comments:

    • I suggest you test the light from your timer. It might not be a problem. In any event, putting it in a changing bag is probably overkill. A simple barrier, like a 3-ring binder propped open next to the timer, will probably be more than sufficient even if the timer's light causes problems when it's unshielded.
    • For development in the dark, I use an electronic kitchen timer that beeps. (I use the same timer for developing B&W paper and for film, too.) It's easy enough to start it running in the dark, since the buttons on the model I've got are easy to locate and distinguish by feel.

  2. #12

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    Perkeleellinen, my LPL easel has rubber tips below that prevent it from slipping. You might be able to find something similar. I just set the blades, align it to the projected image and that's it.

  3. #13

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    Lots of timers have a beeper or buzzer at the end of the timing period, even 40 year old Gralabs.

  4. #14

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    Also, if your easel is not new, the rubber feet probably have hardened and will slip easily.

  5. #15

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    Thanks again for the tips. Recently I'd been using a little Paterson 5x7 fixed format easel which is very light and plastic. I also have a much larger LPL easel that is metal with rubber feet. That may be fine - I'll have to go and check later today.

    I'm happy to hear that small amounts of light from timers etc may not fog the paper. I was under the impression that 100% darkness was necessary. Having just the faintest glow of light may help with orientation also.

  6. #16

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    I did get a little bit of fogging from the red LED display on my Spiratone Darkroom Director when I did color printing. I taped a few layers of unexposed color negative film over the display to dim it, and that worked pretty well. Another tip: put small pieces of glow-in-the-dark tape at strategic places to help you orient yourself in the darkness.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    Thanks again for the tips. Recently I'd been using a little Paterson 5x7 fixed format easel which is very light and plastic.

    If you "rough" up the rubber feet of the Paterson with sandpaper and it is sitting on the enlarger baseboard, you'll be surprised how much of a grip it has. I did just this and was surprised.

    It does of course lack weight and you'd need to be able to feel for it fairly gently. If you become totally disorientated in total darkness and many do then I'd use an RH Designs colour safelight torch or similar.

    Remember you've got to feel your way over to the Nova and ensure that the paper gets into the dev slot correctly and not one of the later slots.

    An affinity for accurate working in total darkness can be learned otherwise the personnel at Harman in Mobberley who have to do this would never be able to function but it may take quite a long time to learn.

    You'll never know until you try I suppose but if it were me I'd use a torch or even a DUKA safelight.

    pentaxuser

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    Remember you've got to feel your way over to the Nova and ensure that the paper gets into the dev slot correctly and not one of the later slots.
    FWIW, I develop color prints in open horizontal trays, just like I develop B&W prints. On two or three occasions, I've accidentally placed a sheet of paper in the stop bath tray before putting it in the developer tray. On each occasion, I quickly realized my mistake, pulled the print, washed it as thoroughly as I could in total darkness, and then started again from the developer. The prints seemed fine to me. Of course, that wash step is important; I wouldn't want to contaminate developer with stop bath!

  9. #19

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    The better easels are heavy and do not move.

    Heavy tape for a lightweight. Or a thin piece of wood and small C clamps hold the top edge. Clamp the bar to the edge of the enlarger baseboard. Glue on some wood to stop left/right movement.

    I recommend a Saunders V-track if you stay with this. All cheap photo equipment is a pain to work with because it either does not work at all or there have to be so many work arounds for the bad designs, it is no fun.

    Use your clip on the center of the long edge. Set the print on the top front of the nova, then drag it back until the edge drops in. Immerse fully. then agitate left right & up down.

    After development is complete, pull up and drag back to the next slot. Repeat .

  10. #20
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have my fair share of el-cheapo favourite easels. Some are more like base plates, the masking arms and edges removed long ago. One has had a layer of fimo modelling clay formed up to add mass by being mounded to fit the voids on the underside of the working deck. Once the clay dries/is baked it shrinks a bit, and a hot glue gun was used to fix it in place.

    I am fortunate that I have a number 13 safelight filter, with a 7.5w bulb bounced off the roof about 6' from the easel. I find that it gives me enough light once I have been in the dark for about 10 minutes if I come in from the daylight to see my way around to get the paper in the easel and then into my roller processor after exposure.

    But I also work just as frequently in total darkness, with, like the others say, a few spots of glow tape to give you orientation. I find that I build all cart corners for gear that can be rollered in and out with about a 6" radius on the top, so you do not bruise as severely when you leave your mental map of where you are behind for a second. A small stereo unit behind the enlarger also helps to keep you oriented.
    my real name, imagine that.

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