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  1. #11
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    My nearest running water is in an adjacent room and it is only a small inconvenience for the amount of work that I do.

    You'll probably want to get some sort of easle pretty quick. You use it constantly while you print and it is a major help to position your paper under the enlarger and hold it flat.

    Sounds like you are on the right track, you'll be printing in no time
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natron
    . . . One additional question I had was which safelights are safe to use for this type of work. I see red, yellow, amber and brown safelights and am assuming each one has its own application. I don't want to pick up a red safelight and a pack of VC RC paper only to find out they aren't compatible and I just ruined my fresh pack of paper instantly. hah!
    Amber or light amber/yellow will probably give you the most light and is OK with VC paper. Red is used with ortho (green sensitive) film, and brown has some other application I don't recall at the moment. Placement (distance to the paper) is the key issue. You'll want to do the "coin test" where you place a scrap of paper in the easel with a couple of coins on it with the safelight turned on for 5 minutes or so. If you can see the coin spots, the safelight is too close.

    Quote Originally Posted by Natron
    I'm a bit worried hearing of everyone's sink setup as well since I won't have the possibility of setting up any kind of sink in the rooms I have available. I have no easel at this point but am considering ordering one when I order the rest of my equipment and chemicals from B&H.
    I wouldn't worry about the sink. While convenient, it's not essential during printing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Natron
    I've heard of people getting away with temporarily using their 50mm enlarger lens for making prints from 6x6 negatives. What are the limitations if I decide to give this a try (just a bit anxious to finally put the old Rolleiflex to good use)?
    A 50mm lens will only enlarge a portion of a 6x6 negative properly, as they are designed to cover only the size of the 35mm neg. It might be OK for cropping a portion of the 6x6 neg, but for normal full-frame use, you'll want an 80mm lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Natron
    So, some Dektol or Neutol, pack of paper, 3-4 trays minimum, stop bath, fixer, extra thermometer or two, extra bulb, tongs for each tray, possibly an easel and... anything else small I may be missing here? Thanks again, everyone! I really appreciate the info and help.
    The easel is pretty essential. There are inexpensive two-sided ones that have 8x10 on one side, and 5x7, 4x5 and wallet on the other. That's a good choice to start. Eventually, you may want the more versatile 4-bladed type (e.g. Saunders).

    You'll also need some means of accurately timing your exposures. Enlarging timers are made to accept the plug from the enlarger, so the timer turns it on and off at the right time. The newer ones are mostly digital, with various features, but an old inexpensive used Graylab black box timer would be sufficient to start. It's about 10" square, with glow-in-the-dark numbers and big sweep hands.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #13

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    I use a red safelight with VC paper and it's fine (ie. doesn't fog) but most people say an OC (amber) is easier on your eyes. I used to have one that colour but it was so dim I can't really compare to my current one. I use a multi sized/sided masking frame like Ralph mentions and it's very handy but you can't alter the shape of the image if you need to make a long skinny print, etc. I use it a lot (probably 90% of the time I'm using 8x10 paper) but occasionly I have to use a regular 2 bladed easel to do what I want.

  4. #14
    Jeffrey A. Steinberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige
    odourless stop bath and fixer
    Ok, I have been at this for 25 years and I never knew there was odorless (how we spell it over here) stop bath and fixer.

    What brands/products can people recommend for each. This is going to go a long way to improving the number of hours I can spend in the darkroom.

    Is there a downside? Does less stink result in some other isuse other than cost difference?
    --Jeffrey

    ______________________________________________
    Jeffrey Steinberg, K2MIT
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    www.jsteinbergphoto.com (my avocation)
    www.reversis.com (my vocation)

  5. #15
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    I recently started using Sprint brand chemicals. They are all purpose chemicals, they work well, and are not nearly as smelly or irritating as the all purpose Kodak chemicals I've used in the past.

  6. #16

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    A 50 mm lens will not work well with 6X6, you really need a 75 to 90mm for 6X6. If you don't have a sink you will to watch the tempature during the winter so you can keep the developer around 68 degrees. You will also need a good basic reference book and sheets of black cardboard for test strips and dodging. Go to E bay and look for a few additional trays, dodging tools, ( a set of black plastic shapes that attach to thin wire to hold light back during exposure) and the like. The safelight needs to match the paper, most modern papers are safe under amber. If you are starting with 35mm I recommend that you start with 5X7 until you learn the basics. For an easel you can use sheet metal painted black and magnets. Save as much as you can and buy paper and chemistry.

    Have fun and good luck.

    Paul

  7. #17
    rjr
    rjr is offline
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    Odo(u)rless

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey A. Steinberg
    What brands/products can people recommend for each. This is going to go a long way to improving the number of hours I can spend in the darkroom.
    For stop, you can use either plain water or citric acid - go to your supermarket, you´ll find it in the section with cleaning agents at low cost.

    It comes as crystals, 20g/l make a decent stop bath suited for film and paper. 20g, thats one film canister or two table spoons.

    Discard it after use, drain it when you clean up - it won´t keep well in a bottle.

    Fixer? Get a neutral or alkaline fixer designed for color film processes E6 and C41 from Agfa, Fuji-Hunt, Kodak or other companies (TF4 isn´t different in composition, just in price). They are cheap, long lasting, very stable, very unobnoxius to your nose (slight tint of ammonia). Biggest point are the costs - it´s dirt cheap ´cause those minilab operators run under heavy cost pressure and pass it on to the companies making the chemicals. 2l of concentrate costs 6EUR and makes 10-15l of fixer at film and paper strength. But I´d recommend you to get the big 5l jug, even cheaper and it will keep a long while without detioration.

    One brand I know you can get everywhere in the world and which comes with "BW instructions" is Agfa Universal FX. If you are not shy, ask the minilab operator nearby if he is willing to order a jug for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey A. Steinberg
    Is there a downside? Does less stink result in some other isuse other than cost difference?
    Yes. It´s cheaper than "stinky" unless you fall for some advertising and pay premium for zero advantage. ;-)
    Last edited by rjr; 03-04-2005 at 07:36 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: One (r) lacking up there
    Tschüss,
    Roman

  8. #18
    eric's Avatar
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    Easel...I forgot about that.

    I have a 2 blade easel...it is yours for the postage amount if you like. I can take pictures of it. Of course, I need to find a box to fit it in....

    I prefer a 4 blade but if you are going to do it right, get a 4 blade. But if you want to just practice, anything will do

  9. #19

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    Regarding safelighting: virtually everything works with a red safelight. The only exceptions I can think of are some specialized papers for color negatives. Graded papers respond only to blue light, and so can use yellow safelights; VC papers are sensitive to some of that, and usually require amber. I forget what brown is for. The paper should say on the pack or on the web site what it requires. For what it's worth, I use an amber 5x7 safelight with Ilford, Agfa and Forte VC paper with no trouble.

    I don't actually have a sink setup; I have a tray ladder, which is a thing that stacks the trays vertically. I then put my trays on a card table. So don't worry too much about not having an enormous sink; it's very nice to, but it's not critical.

    F-stop printing is a different way of marking out time; this is a brief description, and there are a couple of f-stop printing tables out there on the net. I like Ralph Lambrecht's, although since I have a timer that does it natively it's not as much of a problem.

    Using a 50mm lens on medium format negatives is probably not going to do what you want. You need an 80mm or thereabouts, which you can pick up fairly cheaply on eBay or whatnot. I really like using medium format negatives in the darkroom; they're easier to handle and easier to print with. So it might be worth looking at that, although probably you should play with 35mm to begin with.

  10. #20
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    Odourless stop is citric acid based - it has no smell whatsoever. You can either buy commercial ones with indicator or you can get citric acid powder and use about 5 - 10g per litre.

    Low odour fixer still has a small pong, but not as bad as the usual stuff.
    I use a commercial low odour fix from Fotospeed which is probably not available in the States, but there are bound to be local equivalents.

    Cheers, Bob.

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