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  1. #1

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    Enlarger in separate room?

    Hello all Apuggers!
    I have hopefully a simple question; I am in the process of thinking through setting up my own bathroom darkroom. I've gone large format, so my enlarger will be on the larger side; this is in a condo that I own, so I can install any kind of sink I would like to; the bath need renovation anyway, so I plan to get a smaller darkroom sink that will enable tank film processing and also hold a Nova 12x16 processor. That leaves enlarging; there is a large closet directly across from the bathroom; this is what I've been imagining; install the enlarger in the closet; before exposing paper, make sure all sensitive material is put away in paper safes, etc; after exposing paper, move across the hallway into bathroom, close door, place towel along bottom of lightproofed door, place paper in Nova processor. Sort of a back-and -forth across the hallway printing routine. Am I missing anything obvious that wouldn't let me do that? I know I'm stuck in the bathroom until the print is in the wash, but that's ok.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Thats a lot of shuffling. Can you darken the hallway and just leave the doors open, maybe at night?
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3
    eric's Avatar
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    Sounds like you thought it all out. I used to have to do something similar in a lab. We had a an 8x10 enlarger, and a copy stand and Nova processor in one room. So people needed to use the 8x10, put the paper in a box, and walk to another room for the chemistry. Once you nail the exposure, just bang out a few sheets before heading to the wet side.

  4. #4
    Sparky's Avatar
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    That's what I do... though it really sucks (!) when you want to print during the day. I needed to have at LEAST a dry room though- where I could load film and dev tanks 24/7...

  5. #5
    Jack Lusted's Avatar
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    I think that would drive me crazy quite quickly - or I would just give up.
    Suggestion - instead of using the Nova, process your prints in daylight drums which can be had second hand for next to nothing. OK, you cannot see the print come up in the dev - but you can't do that in a Nova either.
    I've used such a set up in the past and am doing so again until I've fixed up a darkroom in the garage.

    Just a thought.

    Jack

  6. #6
    Akki14's Avatar
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    My darkroom is my blacked out hallway for the dry side and my bathroom for the wet side of printing. It's not crazy. Unless you wanted to hide away your beautiful enlarger, I'd not put it in the closet. I have mine on a table in my hallway and out on display like you would a fishtank or a sofa It's a piece of functional furniture for me and my friends can come by and admire it.

    I just have everything blacked out, though, with a safelight for the hallway and one for the bathroom so I can tray develop.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  7. #7

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    Even though I know this definitely WOULD drive me crazy, I well know how long the journey can be to a purpose-built darkroom, so you do what you can - it can be more convenient than renting darkrooms.

    One thing I would say - I have never had my enlarger in a separate space but I had to store it in the hall while my last darkroom was being built, and wheel it in and out of the bathroom if I really needed to print - I think your main problems, apart from blocking light, will be dust & movement, so a good idea would be to make sure it is as rigid as possible & that you use a good dust cover on it, even if it's impossible to keep the whole area dust-free.

  8. #8
    juan's Avatar
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    My dry side is in my laundry room - my wet side in the bathroom all the way across my apartment. I put the exposed paper in an old paper box and the walk has never bothered me. In fact, as my ventilation is not very good, using two spaces allows me to leave open the door of the space I'm not in to let the air circulate.
    juan

  9. #9

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    I am not familiar with the Nova processor, but if you can load the exposed paper in a lightight cassette then walk across the hall that's fine. I exposed my paper in the darkroom but after loading the paper in the print drum, I turn on the light and walk to the bathroom for the wet steps.

  10. #10
    jp80874's Avatar
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    What about ventilation? That sounds like a pretty small place to spend a lot of time with fumes. If there is a bathroom fan that is noisy you might want to replace it with a super quiet Panosonic brand. If you do add a powerful exhaust fan where is your fresh air going to come from? Will it be dark and filtered? A lot of dust can come in under the door. If you could build a box to hold a furnace filter in the door the air coming in might be cleaner and darker.

    John Powers

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