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  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Aquitaine
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    4,913
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
    Andrew,

    I started a few months ago with a gifted Durst M300 along with some relevent Chirstmas gifts. What was said above, I agree with, however if you can find it look for Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz's book Dark Room Basics. I don't think its in print anymore but well worth hunting for.

    I would also start with RC paper because its cheaper and user friendly. Once you get comfortable with that then give fibre paper a try.

    Bill

    Dear Bill,

    Thanks for the plug. I HOPE it's still in print because we've not been told by the publishers that it's gone out of print -- ISBN 1 - 85585 - 812 - 6 (hardback, which may be out of print) and 1 - 84340 - 048 - 0 in softback.

    And I'd certainly back your advice to go for RC to begin with.

    Cheers,

    R.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago, Western Suburbs
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,444
    Dear Andrew,

    FWIW, 6x7 enlargers with dichroic heads (handy for printing with variable contrast papers) are really cheap on the used market. Systems for 35mm alone are even cheaper.

    Here are some links. Please excuse me if this is the sort of information you already have.

    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=9
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/aj3/aj3.pdf
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...Pubs/f2/f2.pdf
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/ak3/ak3.pdf

    Neal Wydra

  3. #13
    RobLewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Evergreen Park, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    167
    Images
    14
    Andrew-
    Welcome to the dark. As most here will say, and some already have- it is really not that difficult to get up and running, equipment wise. Check Craigslist-Chicago for darkroom stuff on the cheap- I got easily enough equipment to start two complete basic darkrooms for under $100. Working pros going digital is our gain! You might have to drive a bit to get the stuff, but probably worth it.
    As far as classes, in da region, (NW Indiana, for the non-region rats among us) you may want to check out Ivy Tech for a photo course- or maybe Purdue Cal or IUN. Maybe the Munster Arts center offers something.
    The non-darkroom aspect of the course will most likely be waste of time, if you are an experienced shooter.
    But as already been said- don't be intimidated by chems, either. Might stink up a room for a few hours, and if you're messy, could stain clothes. But mostly harmless. Like many here, my laundry room also serves as my darkroom. Takes 15 minutes to black out the window and door with black plastic and painters tape, and I'm good to go.
    Have fun!

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    36
    Thank you all for the advice and encouragement. Like haris, I prefer learning through trial and error (with the aid of books and the occasional Google search). That said, I agree that a class at a local college would be a good starting point; it saves me from wasting chemicals, film, and paper with simple mistakes and, of course, it's far easier to self-teach when you have some idea as to what you're doing.

    I've found some darkroom equipment, thanks to RobLewis. It might just be everything I need for now.

    Thanks again, everyone.

  5. #15
    RobLewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Evergreen Park, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    167
    Images
    14
    glad to help.

    *Here's the disclaimer on craigslist stuff- or ANY used stuff for that matter- particularly the enlarger, as it is the most important and most costly of the things you'll need- make sure the head moves up and down the chassis nicely, the lens is in good shape, (should be- since it probably never gets handled- but make sure the aperture is functional), make sure the focusing works, the unit is stable overall, (a wobbly head=useless enlargements) etc etc.
    Just about anything else you buy as part of a kit can be replaced or substituted pretty cheaply if it's broken.

    Cheers-

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