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  1. #1
    jgwetworth's Avatar
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    Darkroom Equipment Help.

    Hey guys, I have a few questions about equipment for my dark room. It's going to be setup in about a month but I have slowly been gathering supplies.
    Here is what I have so far.
    -Enlarger
    -Paper
    -Safelight
    -Timers
    -Thermometer
    -Paper Trays
    -Development Trays
    -Developing Tank

    Now my question is what else do I need? And What chemicals would you recommend I get [Note: I use 35mm B&W]I have been looking at Formula 130 from photoformulary but what else will I need if I plan on doing both paper and film or is the formula 130 all I need?
    Also any tips or advice would be great!
    Thanks a ton!

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of DIY photography

    See Ilford "Making Your First B&W Print." The exposure meter is optional.

    Also, Kodak "Basic Darkroom Techniques."

    The three things that immediately stand out for me as items missing from your list are (1) a grain finder (2) an easel (a 2-blade is cheaper, but a 4-blade is more flexible), and (3) chemical storage bottles.

    Start with one set of materials (i.e., film, film developer, paper, paper developer) and a basic procedures before experimenting with different materials and procedures. I recommend starting with resin-coated paper (RC) and 8"x10" size.
    Last edited by walbergb; 08-16-2012 at 11:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bob Walberg

    The fix is in!

  3. #3
    jgwetworth's Avatar
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    (3) chemical storage bottles.
    Are there any home bottles I can use? IE: Bleach bottle washed out or another chemical or drink.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgwetworth View Post
    Are there any home bottles I can use? IE: Bleach bottle washed out or another chemical or drink.
    Don't use bleach bottles!

    Empty and thoroughly washed pop (soda?) bottles are workable for most chemicals, provided that you have lids that retain a good seal, the bottles are the stronger, slightly more rigid types, and they are very clearly marked so as to avoid anyone mistaking them for beverage containers.

    Glass is even better, but heavier and harder to handle.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5

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    freestyle sells very nice chemicle bottles for this, not too expensive and last forever.

    as to other advice, not sure what formula 130 is (the web site says it is paper only) , but if you have never, ever, done darkroom work before have you considered just a basic good solid developer like Dektol for prints and D-76 for film?

    They're widely used and cheap for a reason: they work very very well for the vast majority of uses. I've used little else for decades and am very happy. They also cost half what the Formulary stuff does.

    like a preceeding person said, start with RC paper -- cheaper and easier to wash and dry. Fiber based paper is nice, gives better whites, but is harder to dry properly (a blotter book is a handy thing) and more fussy.

    get yourself a good quality set of print tongs, too -- chemicals irritate some people's skin badly.

  6. #6

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    Buy a 12 pack of grolsch, drink beer and you have 12 excellent bottles.Or go to your local chemist/drug store and buy some brown 500ml medicine bottles.
    Also graduals for measuring your chemicals,plus jugs to mix in.Graduals to 250ml and jugs to 1 litre work for me.One for each,that is one jug for developer,1 for fixer,1 for stop.Funnels perhaps for pouring fixer back to bottles.Print tongs and clips [you can use clothes pegs].Supply of paper towels /clean cloth is handy.
    Two thermometers, 1 for fix,1 for developer.
    Now this you may find usefull.On the back of the door to my darkroom I have a large blackboard, on this I listed the process from start to finish..such as remembering to adjust aperture on enlarger lens after focus is found.
    Most importantly, enjoy and don`t worry about mistakes -

  7. #7

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    I was planning to use used bottled-water bottles (the thin-walled type) for my stuff. Is that a bad idea?

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    i2nd walberg's advise,except for the easel, i never saw a need beyond a flat wooden boardon leveling feet.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9

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    Tongs and cloth pins.

    Reels to go with your developing tanks.

    Lots of measuring cups.

    Anti-static cloths/can of air/soft brush (something to clean your negatives)
    Long mixing sticks.

    Contrast filters.

    Enlarger lens and a jam nut.
    Last edited by tkamiya; 08-17-2012 at 07:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    only if you confuse them one day!happened to mewatered-down paint stripper tasts awful.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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