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  1. #1

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    Darkroom door/curtain.. best way?

    I'm getting pretty darn close to finishing my darkroom, finally. I still haven't quite addressed the door situation. It's a rectangle room about 9'3" on the long end and about 5'6" wide. There's a workspace on the outside for stuff that can be done in the light (wash, drymount press, storage, etc.)

    The end of the rectangle is just open and I need to figure out how to close it off. I was thinking of a double curtain just for simplicity and the fact that I can open it up really wide when needed. An actual door will require work since one wall is concrete. Take a look at my crude MS Paint drawing and let me know if you have any ideas that won't require a major construction project.

    Thanks for your help!
    Chris
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails darkroom.jpg  
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  2. #2
    ann
    ann is online now

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    i vote for the curtain, as you will need space to move equipment in and out, and at sometime that is going to happen (if not, your really amazing and should go down in the guiness record book )

    If other people are going to be useing the "light " area then a door might be much safer, but if you have control of that area as well, i wouldn't think a door meaning a physical shutting door is that important.

    Of course , watch the type of material you would be using with this option.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  3. #3
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I suggest a set-up of three curtains, two attached to one wall, the middle attached to the opposite wall to create an "S" shaped gap. The gap doesn't need to be big enough to walk through like a tunnel, just overlapping so light doesn't leak in.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  4. #4

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    i too suggest a curtain.
    i've been using black canvas that i bought
    at a fabric store for cheap. it hasn't let me down ...
    the fabric is sandwiched between lathe and screwed to the top plate.
    nothing fancy, they just block light and fall to the floor
    if i get really serious i put something on them on the floor ...
    Last edited by jnanian; 03-18-2010 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: forgot

  5. #5
    VaryaV's Avatar
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    Hi f/stop - I have a similar setup as yours with a studio and skylights going from my d/r. I have a door but over that, I also have velcro strips running along 3 edges of the outer edges of the door and a piece of thick black plastic cut several inches larger than the door, with velcro running along it to attach it. It keeps the bright sunlight of the studio out when I need it completely dark. It is also removable or can be partially pulled back. cheap, easy and works beautifully.

  6. #6
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    One other thing to consider is ventiliation. I wanted to close my darkroom off to the rest of the house to provide positive pressure in the darkroom.....keeps the dust down and I can get the fumes outside. That does mean a door.....or a lighttight cloth with velcro as Varya suggested

  7. #7

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    I have a pocket door. If I have to move the wet bench out, I will have to unframe the door, but otherwise it works. I have a raised threshold (for a light proofing channel) which may not suit everyone.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  8. #8
    MarkL's Avatar
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    As long as you're looking at options you might make use of folding closet doors, the type that fold vertically. They don't require the room that a full size door needs to swing open.

  9. #9

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    Mark, you bring up a good point about the ventilation. I planned on running some duct with an inline fan out the door area. The space outside the darkroom is 800+ sq.ft. of unfinished, unwalled basement. I suppose only having the outlet vent will create negative pressure. With a curtain is that a concern?

    The curtain is sounding like the way to go. I especially like the three curtain idea. Keep them coming, though! Effective, elegant simplicity is great!
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  10. #10
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    I don't know if this would fit but the nicest darkrooms I have used have been easy to get in and out of.

    Assessing prints in normal light is of great benefit

    A curtain is needed to block all stray light when you are processing film. Alternatively it could be replaced my a sliding door.

    Good Luck with the project

    Martin
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