Timers are only necessary if you have something you need to time.....
Sorry, I couldn't help myself...
WOW, thanks for all the replies
I've heard that buying used enlargers is cheaper, too. I found a Lucky enlarger (nice name) for around $350. It only does 35mm, but comes with a lens, red filter and film holder thingy. I found another one that does up to 6x9, but it's around $600 I'd probably be using my bathroom which has running water, and I'll need a black-out curtain to put over the window.
I thought I could cut corners by skipping the timer, but then realized I'd probably be doing short exposures. I used to print lots of nighttime shots and remember exposing the paper for 10 seconds or more.
Also I noticed that the enlargers can be used with Leica screw-mount lenses I've got an Elmar, Summarit and Summar that I'd love to try out.
Work is looking a little fuzzy for the upcoming year, so I don't know if I'll be able to setup a darkroom at all, but I'm really hoping I can. JPEGs are one thing, but pearl surface Ilford paper is another
Those who know, shoot film
camera show vendors around here always have a couple of minty gralabs 300 for $25 a pop... the main reason for my resisting the urge so far? i love those "ah, let's give it a few more seconds!" moments--much smoother with a pocket watch. since most, if not all, my favourite prints were born this way, no timer in my nearest future
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Needs are external; wants are internal.
The doctor gives you what you need, not what you want.
An interesting conclusion is "If you can't find it then you don't need it."
Which leads to "Every thing you need is close at hand."
I find these two admonitions to be very useful, especially when I find myself wasting time looking for something I don't need.
Then there is "If you can't afford it then you don't need it" -- the bane of the advertising industry.
I always use a metronome, wich I think is great. With a metronome, I can always keep my eyes on the image and I don't have to turn on and off the light between burnings. When i have to do multiple dodging on the first exposure, metronome is very acurate, I keep always looking at what I'm doing, without having to look at the timer.
If you need half seconds, you can program the metronome for it and even quarters of second or less. I use a black card to interrupt the exposure. Ansel Adams used one (I am a musician, too). When I saw a video of him using a metronome, I tried it and never used the timer again, except when I have a photo where I don't need to do any burning (wich isn't very frequent).
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I have another, more general question.
What is basically required to enlarge? I'll be on limited funds from April, and I'm trying to keep the costs down. I'm planning on getting ...
- trays for chems
- clips to hang prints up
- black-out curtain
- tongs, etc.
I read that it's better to get an enlarger that does MF from the beginning (You never know whether you'll want to go MF or not.)
What does the easel do? Keep prints from being crooked?
Those who know, shoot film
Before I had an enlarger timer, I used my stopwatch. And before that, I used my wristwatch.
And before that, I was using the darkroom on the Air Force base, which had a timer.
But for consistent result, an enlarging timer is a real plus. You should be able to find a used one for a few dollars.
Omega made a low-priced one that I used for years. Just a single dial/knob.
Enlarger -- it depends...the last time I was in Japan the enlargers I saw were quite expensive, but maybe you could get a used one fairly cheaply. I would recommend getting something that could do MF, but if there's a big price difference there's no harm in starting with something smaller. Make sure it comes with enlarging lenses as well.
Trays -- this may depend on how many sizes you print, and how many processes you do. I've got trays (at least 3 in each size) that runs from 4x5 to 11x14. I prefer to use trays that are one size larger than the print I am using. You may prefer to use tongs as well, to get the prints in and out of the chemicals (gloves could work too, but you'd have to be careful of cross-contamination).
Clips -- go to the 100-yen store and buy some cheap plastic clothes pins -- they work great for film and prints. Of course, you'll need something to hang them on -- for film I use those little square hangers that have many (8-16) clothes pins on them (usually used for hanging underwear or small things), for prints I bought a laundry drying rack (for sweaters and things) and hang the print off that using normal clothespins. I've tried lots of different clothes pins (!) but the best ones were from the 100-yen store. For fiber paper I prefer to lay the paper flat on screens, but that may be difficult to store considering the storage space limitations in many Japanese apartments.
Blackout curtain -- I guess this will depend on where you are living and how many things you need to black out. When I was living in a house I blacked out the windows with two thick garbage bags and painters tape -- it wasn't pretty, but it worked, as I had three windows and a door to cover up. Now I I use a blackout curtain for one door -- went to the fabric store and bought the cheapest fabric I could find -- it's hot pink (!), but it works great.
The easel help keeps the paper flat (a lot of paper, especially fiber, has a curl to it when taken out of the package). I recently have been using Fujibro paper (RC) and that stays nice and flat -- I really didn't need an easel for it, except that I wanted white borders for my images. I suppose you could tape the paper flat to the baseboard, or use really clean glass over the paper as well...I'm sure others will have different suggestions.
You will probably also want dedicated graduates for measuring out chemicals and liquids -- again, the 100-yen store is your friend. I was only in Japan for a couple of months last summer so didn't want to buy a lot of stuff, but I was able to get by for film developing with a little ingenuity. I also noticed that at Yodobashi Camera and Bic that a lot of the darkroom stuff was actually cheaper than what it was labelled on the shelf. I got a 20000 yen camera backpack (discontinued) at 3000 yen (but the price on the shelf was 8000). A large graduate -- labelled 3000 yen, I got for less than 1000 yen. Maybe I was just lucky -- I don't know where you are located, but that's something to consider as well.
Last edited by mooseontheloose; 02-03-2010 at 10:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
I'm currently looking at the LPL 3301D (http://www.khbphotografix.com/LPL/LPL3301D.htm) which is about $300. Not cheap, but MF ones are twice as much. The 3301D comes with a 50mm lens, red filter and lightbulb to get started. I will try using some of my LTM lens like the Elmar, Summarit and Canon 50/1.4. Also the Summar, which should be interesting
Originally Posted by mooseontheloose
eBay is not an option for me, and local auctions may require jumping through a lot of hoops (having to sign up for premium service, monthly fees, sellers not accepting bids from people with no feedback, etc, etc.) :rolleyes:
I don't shoot much MF, only 6x6 and I have one box camera that does 6x9. A friend suggested I do contact prints, then scan them and enlarge them in PS. Worth a try, I guess.
Those should be easy to find, and cheap.
Trays, Clips, Blackout curtain,
I think I'll try first without an easel. I saw a new one at Bic for $300 the other day, which seems quite steep. If I really need one, I can get one online for around $20. Taping the paper down .. would removing the tape then rip the paper?
The easel help keeps the paper flat (a lot of paper, especially fiber, has a curl to it when taken out of the package). ...
I use 100 yen shop pitchers for dev chems. I keep them under the sink, out of the light. Since I develop film a few times a week, they don't sit around and get old. I also use a 100 yen shop measuring thing, which works great.
You will probably also want dedicated graduates for measuring out chemicals and liquids -- again, the 100-yen store is your friend. ...
Last edited by IloveTLRs; 02-04-2010 at 02:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Those who know, shoot film