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  1. #1

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    First Post. First Darkroom

    This is my first post as a part of my first camera forum. I am somewhat familiar with forums and am excited to join this community. I have shot (recreationally, although occasionally for pay) since 2008 entirely digitally. I enjoy shooting portraits but that is partially do to my inability to really capture how beautiful landscape is. About 9 months ago I moved into a new space and had all my camera gear packed up. I had been shooting less prior to the move. My digital routine had become somewhat monotonous. I ended up not unpacking any of my digital gear. Instead I pulled out two cameras that have been given to me as gifts. Anyway, I have decided to solely shoot with my Yashica D and Canon F-1 for this next stretch of my life. This is quite a different step as these past couple years I have been a Canon DSLR snob. I say that not as I looked down on others gear - I just always liked having what I thought was the best. Being someone who enjoys the raw therapy that comes from hands on repetition (I can carve wood all day. By no means am I a talent but it sure feels good.) I decided I wanted to be involved in as many steps of pictures creation as I could.

    Friday I had a bit of an impulse buy. An ad on craigslist popped up for darkroom equipment and having always wanted one I jumped. For $125 I received the following. Beseler 45mxII with Zone VI color head, GraLab 451, 3 Safe Lights, lots of paper in various sizes (opened but in box and plastic - still any good? what's the shelf life on paper?), trays in an array of sizes, 4 lenses, tongs, string with clothing pins, 3 sizes of negative carriers, beaker, chemical bottles, 35mm casette, two magnifiers, two darkroom books, and a collection of tiny others things that aren't coming to mind. My first question is: For $125, did I do alright? As said earlier - I just jumped for it. Second question: In darkrooms you have used, what do you find yourself most thankful to have around the workspace? Anything from a radio to a product you enjoy. My last question: If I am developing the D and the F-1 is there anything else I need to get? Thanks!

    Appreciate your time and thoughts! Thanks again!

  2. #2
    eddie's Avatar
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    It sounds like a good deal, to me. The Zone VI isn't a color head. It's a cold light head (for B/W). Did you get lenses?
    The paper may or may not be good, but it's worth trying it. I have Ilford paper which is many years old, but works fine. Other brands haven't lasted as long for me.
    I like having music in the darkroom. I also have a 9" TV covered with rubilith, which I have set up on the opposite side of the room, and use occasionally.
    You might mention where you are located. Maybe a local member can fill in some pieces, and help with setup.

  3. #3
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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    Welcome Home Ryan !

    Ron
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  4. #4

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    Thanks eddie! I actually am aware that it is a cold head and not color head. I guess my mind was elsewhere when composing that sentence - so thanks for helping me out! I did receive lenses. I am away from the goods currently but will be sure to post any information I can about them once I get back. I was thinking music would have to be a must. Perhaps it is just fantasy but listening to a solid album while developing sure seems like it could bring a lot of happiness. I am located in Columbus, Ohio. I feel like I should say something about the city I am from but I can't think of anything catchy.

    Thanks for the warm welcome Ron!

  5. #5
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Wow, you got a good deal on that enlarger! Enjoy, darkroom work is wonderful and relaxing!
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Welcome, sounds like you might need a tank and reels for developing film... unless it's in there somewhere...

  7. #7
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Welcome and enjoy your darkroom journey. My favorite darkroom accessory is talking timers. I have two or three on the go usually. They help you keep your eyes on the process instead of on the clock.

    Columbus is a great city. Home of Ohio State University is it not?

  8. #8
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG. Nice buy on all the darkroom goodies. I didn't see any mention of developing tanks for 35mm or 120 film. Either stainless steel or plastic tanks will work. Both types can be bought at a reasonable cost.
    The cameras you have are also nice. I've had a Yashica D for 40 years and it's never let me down. Although I've never used the Canon F1 I've read good things about them.
    Music is also a part of my darkroom routine. It makes for a nice relaxing session.

    Edit: I see the tanks and reels were covered in an above post. I need to be faster at typing LOL.

  9. #9
    winger's Avatar
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    Welcome! I think you got a good deal. I have a Beseler 23CIII and a Beseler 45MX, so maybe I'm biased.
    You also might want to check out this area - http://www.apug.org/forums/forum174/ There's a group of us who gather in near-East Ohio every so often, too. If you need some help from someone local, give a holler.
    When building my first darkroom, the electrician said I should think about adding more outlets than I had planned. Yes, good idea - I ended up using most of them. Radio/CD/mp3; heater if necessary; pump for the water (my sink was below the outgo pipe); you might acquire things like a print dryer, dry-mount press. Darkroom stuff seems to multiply when left in the dark (I found two lenses I had no idea were there earlier tonight).

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    Hello ryanderson and welcome to APUG. You got a good deal, hopefully an omen regarding your quest into the darkside.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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