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  1. #1
    Katie's Avatar
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    Need advice on this purchase please!

    I am new to home development, and am currently using my bathroom as a darkroom for developing B&W negatives from my Hasselblad 500C and Bronica ETRS. I would LOVE to be able to make my own prints, and have been in contact with a seller (I bought the Hassey from him for $300 - will be developing first negatives tonight) who has a complete setup for sale. Here's a link to the setup on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/42463945@N06/

    My question(s): Is this worth $500? Is this a good option for me to print from my 6x4.5 negatives? Apart from darkroom classes forever ago, I am not sure how to even use this equipment. He has offered to show me how, and go over all the equipment with me, which honestly is worth quite a bit to me!

    Thanks for your input, advice, and time! I look forward to hearing from you all!

    PS. I have been reading my eyeballs out on this board for a few weeks now...

  2. #2
    GregY's Avatar
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    Absolutely worth it. You may be able to get a cheaper deal on something.
    But in the aggregate, it looks like a clean complete set-up. It to took me more $$ and a lot longer to put something like that together. I'd say Go for It!

  3. #3
    Katie's Avatar
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    Oh Good! Thanks Greg! I kinda thought the same thing ...

    Also, the time it would take me to gather all the stuff would be enough to make me go for it. I live in a tiny little town, and would have to travel lots to get it all. Shipping would be a nightmare I'm sure for anything that size.

  4. #4

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    The lessons along with the gear look to be a reasonable value. As GregY says, you likely could put together a similar kit for less, and much less if you spend a lot of time at it.
    However, the enlarger looks to be in above average condition, and cared for. A lot of the value hinges on the lenses, if they are top line lenses in good condition then it's probably worth it.

  5. #5
    Paul VanAudenhove's Avatar
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    I'd say scoop it up while you can! To buy all that seperately, and have it shipped would probably cost a lot more. It looks like pretty much everything you need, and if you get lessons with it that's an extra bonus!!

    It looks like it comes with two condensor heads, plus a cold light head. I'd be interested in a condensor head if you get it, reducing your costs!!

  6. #6
    Katie's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! We are planning to meet up in a few weeks for him to show me how to work through the equipment and I will pick it up and bring it home. Here's my quandry:

    My current studio space/office (I shoot digital as well) lease is up in December. I have been looking for a new space that I could incorporate a small darkroom in, and have found nothing so far (still trying to talk hubby into buying a small home fixer-upper on the railroad tracks, but alas, he is worried about resale value with the window rattling sounds at 2am from the train). My oldest child will be moving out next year, leaving me with two guest rooms (which I don't need). Can I use a bedroom as a darkroom? Do I HAVE to have running water, or is the bathroom next to the room good enough? This will hopefully just be in the interim until I can talk my husband into an investment property for us to use as a home office/studio/darkroom/guesthouse...

    Paul - I'll let ya know if I am not in need of one of the condensor heads. I think shipping to Nova Scotia from Texas might be pricey though.

  7. #7

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    Running water isn't essential, but it does make things much easier. Lots of folks here don't have plumbed darkrooms though.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Convenient access to a source of water and a drain is important. Running water is nice.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Don't forget ventilation. Over long periods of exposure to darkroom chems it can cause you some trouble. Think of it as insurance.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  10. #10

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    If the common wall between the bathroom and bedroom contains the plumbing, adding a sink is pretty easy. Otherwise you only need running water for washing prints and film, and an old microwave cart can be used as a portable basin. The only thing you don't really want is a carpeted floor in a darkroom. That looks like a good deal for the equipment too.

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