So I'm finally getting my darkroom in here.
First off, I cannot extend enough thanks to the APUG community. Looking at the darkroom portraits from all of you was inspirational, educational, and strangely soothing in my time between darkrooms. I've been doing black and white completely on my own for about 8 years now, and with having never actually worked in a proper darkroom (not even one time), the information all of you share here has been invaluable to me. In the past I was always in rental properties, so there was no option to build specifically, it was pretty dodgy, cobbled together, punkrock darkrooms for years. The last one had a hole in the floor for a sink and drain, in a different part of the basement.
Now I finally own a house and spent over 2 months last winter putting this together after I was unexpectedly laid off. Best thing that happened to me in awhile.
Started out with tearing out a cold storage room, patching some deteriorated parging on the foundation. All in all, about 70% of the materials were either used, scavenged, or recycled. The sinks were made out of the metal/enamel liners from two old ass freezers that were left in the house. The ceiling was done with nearly full size sheets of new drywall that were waste from a neighbour's reno. Almost all of the lumber was scavenged. I had to buy paint, some electrical and plumbing and 2 sheets of plywood.
There is a master switch to close off all of the electrical, including plug ins.
The plumbing has it's own set of shut offs for easy maintainence or changes.
I got one of the lawler mechanical temp control valves off of the auction site for a little over $100. Someone here had posted a link to this, http://conradhoffman.com/9700.htm, for tips with tuning these valves up. I went through and followed it, and the valve works like a dream.
I got the LPL enlarger for free from one of the high schools here in town which has an incredible photography program. Since the film price jump a year or more ago, they've had to scale back on the film component, and so were getting rid of a bunch of equipment. I modified the column slightly to mount it to the ceiling so that the work surface underneath would be movable for doing bigger enlargements. It has only 2 positions, but they both have adjustible bolts so that it can be properly aligned with the enlarger.
There is some more stuff in it now with settling in and refining here and there, but I sure am happy with it.
I'm pretty typed out now, but if any of you have any questions, ask away.
Thanks again APUG, couldn't have done it with out you.
Really glad you got your first darkroom up and running - as first darkrooms go it sure beats under the stairs/in a cupboard, good times ahead. Enjoy your space!
Looks like my first one! Nice!
Very nice work! Seriously cool.
Originally Posted by rovinghermit
When you ceiling mounted your LPL, how did you modify it? You mentioned that it has two positions, do you mean it doesn't work properly in the upside down orientation, or did I misread that?
Looks like a stunning first darkroom. Congratulations, and enjoy!
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Here's mine after a minor update. I've enclosed the enlargers (left) under a lightproof "tent" of black material to reduce stray light from the enlargers and prevent direct paper exposure to the safelight while printing and added a set of metal baskets (right) for drying fibre-based prints.
So I was given a new enlarger and complete darkroom that pretty much replaced everything I had. So now I need to find a new home for my other two enlargers. The Omega D2 has a new home, but need to re-home my Beseler 67S2 color enlarger with an extra head.
But here's what it looks like now:
Here's what all I got:
Jobo CPA2. I can't seem to figure out how to get the drums to work. But I will figure it out. Heater and pump seem to work.
BTZS sheet developing system
Durst CLS 450 enlarger with a few voltage stabilizers.
Timers, safelights, and papersafes
Four Jobo drums that cover 35mm, 120, 4x5 film and prints up to 20x24"
A 150mm Schneider-Kreuznach lens
50mm, 80mm, and 135mm Nikon enlarging lenses. All are El-Nikkor.
All kinds of odds and ends.
Your Jobo CPA is set up to use a Jobo lift, but one is not attached in the photograph. That will allow you to connect the drums to the processor.
Re: Darkroom Portraits (Part 2)
Thanks for the info, I guess my next question is how do I set the Jobs up to not use the lift. I don't have one.
Originally Posted by Greg Davis
This in response to ParkerSmithPhoto's question.
To put this in another way, (I'll assume you've used spring supported head/columns before). The head and it's mount to the column are in the same orientation as normal, just the column and baseboard mount are upside down.
The only thing with getting it to work with the column upside down, had to do with the spring that supports the weight of the enlarger head. It originally hooked onto the top of the column, and to work upside down, it needed to hook on to the bottom.
To do this meant removing the "plug" (I don't know what the proper term would be) that fit into the column tube and has a post that fits into the base mount.
Next, I removed with a file, enough material from the backside of the column, where the spring runs, so that the spring hook would sit flush with end of the column.
Then material had to be removed from the back of the plug to accommodate the part of the spring hook that sits inside the tube. And then it all goes back together.
This was a bit involved, but as much as I can, I like any mods I make to things to be reversible so things can still be used again as they were originally intended.
As for the two positions. This is concerning the working surface that the printing easel sits on. Most of the times it's at regular desk height, and here you're printing 4x5 inch prints, up to 11x14's, depending on what kind crops you're making.
But for doing larger prints than this, and I do prints up to 20x24 inches, you can move the surface down to about knee height. This allows me to do almost up to 50% crops even at that size, depending on what format of negative I'm using.