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  1. #1
    macandal's Avatar
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    Darkroom minimums

    I want to build my darkroom and would like to see what others have done. I live in San Francisco, CA. Looking at what others have done would help me in designing my own as I have a limited space to build it on.

    My parents would be willing to let me build one in their house (I live in an apartment). They have a huge room next to the garage and would be willing to let me build one using as little room as possible. So, I guess my question should be, what is the minimum space needed to build a darkroom? I would also like an enlarger, etc, to make my own prints. I shoot 35mm, MF, and LF (4x5). I'm not a big guy; I'm only 5'7". I mention this because I know that if I were a big guy I would need a lot more room to maneuver my body in that room.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Check this out if you haven't already...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/1...portraits.html
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  3. #3
    macandal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitstik View Post
    Check this out if you haven't already...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/1...portraits.html
    guitstik, thanks, yes, I have checked that thread already. I started reading it, but, you know, it's looooooooooong. Someone here on APUG, must have a small darkroom that can give me an idea of what I need. Do you know anyone? Thanks.

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    My darkroom is 7x14 ft with a dry and a wet side. I do Color and B&W, and I make and coat my own emulsions. You can do practically anything in a small space if you set your mind to it.

    PE

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    My darkroom is approximately 7' x 7' with a 6 1/2' ceiling. One wall has a 6' sink, the opposite wall has my enlarger and my UV exposure unit. I do a wide range of work in it - I have done color printing and silver-gelatin enlargements in it, but now I mostly do large format contact prints. I do have some storage outside the darkroom because being such a small space I have to break down and re-configure depending on what I'm doing. If I'm processing film, the trays have to be removed and the Jobo put in the sink. When I'm not processing film, the Jobo goes out in the hall on the floor. It's a pretty efficient space, with my vertical slot processor (for silver gelatin/color prints) and print washer fitting on the floor under the UV exposure unit. Under the sink is where all the chemical storage bottles are kept. Lenses and negative carriers for the 4x5 enlarger are in a rack mounted on the wall.

  6. #6
    George Nova Scotia's Avatar
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  7. #7
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Your darkroom size is only limited to the space you have available. It is what you do with it that counts. I'm not trying to be obtuse but those of us that have darkrooms have learned to deal with the space available. Right now, I move from one room to another depending on the needs of the family. It is a PITA because I have to move my enlarger from the bathroom to the laundry room from time to time if I want to print. I have plans in the works for doing a permanent set up but as of now I live with what I have available to me.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    For years I worked in a darkroom that was 4 1/2 x 6 feet plus a sink in the next room. It was functional - I could do 11x14 prints. Try for a bit bigger, with plumbing if possible.
    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

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    Well, I'm just across the bay from San Francisco... Mine is 9' x 8' and was partitioned out of an existing building. Details at http://grahampatterson.home.comcast..../darkroom.html It's a standard wet side/dry side arrangement. It is just big enough to run 11x14 prints in a dev, stop, fix, rinse sequence without using a tray stacker.

    This is my first permanent darkroom. I'd like a little more space, but compared to various temporary arrangements it is bliss.

    Graham
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  10. #10

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    When living in an apartment, my darkroom also doubled as the kitchen (or bathroom). I have had permanent darkrooms in 8x8 rooms. My current darkroom is 12x12. I had two enlargers and a Jobo processor in the permanent darkrooms. Keep the dry and wet side separate--it just save a lot of headaches. And then it is just about organization. Think about the way you work and the things you need. Oddly enough, ceiling height can get you into more trouble than the width and lengths of a room--I have an Omega D5XL with the column mounted below the work surface.

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