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  1. #621
    jhitesma's Avatar
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    Despite my major in college I ended up no pursuing photography as a living. I found that I really only enjoyed shooting for myself and not for professors, or clients Photography was still a major interest of mine though, and the beauty of the southwest desert constantly called to me. But between the limits of rental housing and the lack of local supplies - and the fact that most of my photos were shared on-line rather than in person...it just made sense to shoot digital. I still yearned for good old Silver Halide and vowed to one day setup a darkroom once again when I owned my own house. Meeting and marrying a woman who also has a love for photography and traditional darkroom practices only made that vow seem all the more likely to come to fruition.

    When a local couple opened up a camera store that included a darkroom section - I knew the time had come! I picked up some fresh paper and chemistry that day and went home to start figuring out how we could make a darkroom happen now that we own our own home!

    It's far from ideal....and not as specialized as my first darkroom. But it's ours and will only continue to get better now that we're enjoying shooting film again!

    Our house has a 3rd bedroom which was an addition and is only accessible through the laundry room. It has only one window (and a dog door) and it's own A/C unit. We have plans to expand the room at some point in the future and those plans now include a bathroom that will have some special features allowing it to double as a darkroom. But for now we have a temporary setup that is functional.

    Some aluminum foil and aluminum tape took care of the one window. The doors had almost 2" gaps under them - so a little bit of wood working and a good amount of weather strip was required to get them light tight:



    The tiny laundry room had two lights for some reason...which never made sense before. But now works out perfect with one converted into a safelight. I have to finish wiring it - but a bathroom fan was added that exhausts through the water heat closet to an old unused dryer vent:





    My durst was setup on an available table (I'd like it higher but my wife prefers working while sitting. Someday I'll make an adjustable table to please us both.)



    And a small piece of counter top was installed next to the wash tub to make room for some trays...it's a tight squeeze...and I only had 2 trays so we had to improvise for the stop and wash:



    It worked well enough that the next weekend we did some upgrades. A used cabinet was bought at a local thrift shop for $15. We painted it and the laundry room, hung some peg board over the sink, hung a spare timer on the wall and had a much nicer though still cramped setup ready to go:





    My wife is a copy editor at the local paper and mentioned our darkroom project in her blog. On a slow news day the paper ended up running it as a story and we've been contacted by some local people with equipment they no longer want. While I still have my D-II back in Ohio in my parents basement...it will be a few years until I drive a U-haul with it and the rest of our old furniture out here. So we picked up a used 23C-II from a local couple.



    Oddly though it only had a 6x6 neg carrier and a 50mm lens. So I'm waiting for my old 90mm lens to be shipped from Ohio before I can do much printing.

    Since getting back to film I decided I don't want to shoot 35mm much anymore. My wife has an old Rolleicord that used to belong to her grandfather that we've been using, and I have a Lubitel 166 which has managed to surprise me with what it's capable of. I also bought myself a used Bronica ETRS - but it has a problem with the darkslide/shutter interlock so I'm looking for another body now.

    It's good to be back and I look forward to becoming a part of the community here!
    Last edited by jhitesma; 09-10-2008 at 10:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Jason Hitesman
    My Photos: DunePhotos.Com
    My Blog: Never Mind the Sand

  2. #622
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Very interesting history Jason. Welcome back to the dark-side!

    Have fun, Bob.

  3. #623
    Simplicius's Avatar
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    Heres mine: the Darkroom Formerly Known as Bathroom : Taken over by the Axis of Analog in Jan 2008.

    Simplicius

    "defying gravity since 1898"

    My Flickr Account

  4. #624
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    By the way, in case you missed it, Aperture #188 had a whole set of darkroom photographs by Québec photographer Michel Campeau. There was an intro by Martin Parr. Worth watching. I also saw the exhibit in Montréal and had a chance to chat with the photographer.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  5. #625
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langedp View Post
    There are some really great darkrooms in this post. I've been watching it for some time as I was completing this one. This is my third one and has incorporated a lot of good ideas I've seen on this forum. Probably the biggest and best idea was to build plenty of sink, 16' in this case. I lined it with PVC that you can buy in 4'x8' sheets. This has worked out really, really well. I built the base plenty strong to hold the Jobo ATL full of water. A couple of other items on the wet side are the commercial spray faucet for washing out big trays and the Haas Intellifaucet that regulates water temperature to the Jobo as well as the cold lines to both faucets on the sink.

    The end wall holds the drying cabinet, the dry mount press, and the densitometer.

    On the dry side is the LPL 4550XLG enlarger along with plenty of storage for all the stuff for enlarging and film loading. I used to have a Chromega F 10"x10" enlarger where the vertical shelves are now but I decided to go horizontal which brings me to the last photo and my latest project:

    I recently acquired this Durst HL2501 AF horizontal enlarger from a pro lab that was closing down. This thing is amazing. It's the best built enlarger I've ever seen. It rides on 20' of track and can be run in completely automatic mode or completely manual if you choose. I tore it all down, cleaned everything and have reassembled it and it is a beauty. It's almost sad to see these things being retired. As you can probably tell, it's outside my main darkroom since I needed room for the 20' of track and a vertical easel. I'm in the process of building an adjacent room as we speak that will just be for the Durst.

    Anybody interested in a nice, used Chromega F???
    WOW Now THAT is an enlarger. How does she handle on the road ?

  6. #626
    Batiendo's Avatar
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    here is mine

    not the best darkroom. but work's good for me
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF2113.jpg   DSCF2114.jpg   DSCF2115.jpg   DSCF2112.jpg   DSCF2118.jpg  


  7. #627
    John Jarosz's Avatar
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    My basement darkroom has evolved over 30 years. The only thing left from that period in time is the 6' sink along the far wall and the temp control water valve. I started with a little 6x6 enlarger (actually the Durst 606). Big changes came when I started carbon. The UV lightsource and the second sink on the right were needed for that. Newest addition is the 8x20 vacuum printing frame (yes it's wood -- I made it just like my aluminum one for more traditional aspect ratios. )

    John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 8x20 vac frame & Hg lamp small.jpg   Darkroom 2008_0915 small.jpg  

  8. #628
    langedp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dances_w_clouds View Post
    WOW Now THAT is an enlarger. How does she handle on the road ?
    Handles like a fine sports car It's certainly engineered like one.

    I just acquired my fourth 8x10 enlarger in a NY State surplus sale. It's a Durst 1840 vertical enlarger in extremely good condition. I'll probably be selling it in the near future because who NEEDS four 8x10 enlargers? It's a beauty though so I'm going to contemplate this one for awhile.

    The 1840 came with a bunch of other commercial darkroom equipment they were selling on the auction site. What I really wanted in that sale is the subject of my next addition to the darkroom. I'll post pictures once I get things assembled. One hint however. How best to process 30"x40" RA4 color prints that you want to make from those 8x10 negatives?

  9. #629
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    I am going to start 120mm horizontal enlarging on my Bseler in the near future and I bet it is not quite as good as that one !!m 16 X 20 maybe 20 X 24 Maximum so I really think that size and using color is WAY out of my league.

  10. #630
    DeBone 75's Avatar
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    "I just acquired my fourth 8x10 enlarger in a NY State surplus sale. It's a Durst 1840 vertical enlarger in extremely good condition. I'll probably be selling it in the near future because who NEEDS four 8x10 enlargers? It's a beauty though so I'm going to contemplate this one for awhile."

    So does that mean that nice John Deere tractor will have to spend the winter out in the cold.
    Leslie D. Wall
    AKA DeBone75



 

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