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  1. #11
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Good ventilation is critical for health and enjoyment of the darkroom experience.

    Bathroom fans can solve the problem. There are also lots of other solutions too. You don't need something that is darkroom specific, as long as the solution you choose doesn't allow stray light to enter.

    If you are building walls, consider incorporating light baffles and air ducts in the walls themselves.
    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

  2. #12

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    Hello !
    Changing air in a darkroom is an essential piece of gear in a darkroom.
    Bear in mind that allergy to chemical comes with time and that your lungs are not easily replaced. So keeping them up to the job is of utmost importance.
    IMHO one should push fresh air in and extract "used" air (this will take two fans...) and ensure that the volume of air pshed in is greater that the extracted volume in order to keep the darkroom in positive pressure.
    I've constructed an extraction pipe (by making holes in a PVC sewer pipe) which runs on the wall above the sink, so the fumes are attracted away from me and extracted. The blowing fan is on my back when I work on the fan. This way, my nose gets fresh air from outside and polluted air is extracted away from me.
    I borrowed this idea from Claudio Bonavolta ( http://www.bonavolta.ch ) and it proved an easy design.
    Last but not least, if you can, put the fan(s) outside the darkroom in order to get as much noise as you can outside of the darkroom. A lot of fans are quite quiet when new but make a lot of vibrations or grinding noises when they get older....
    Hope this helps.

  3. #13

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    Clear air is essential to clear thinking as well as health! There is a proper darkroom extractor fans made by Vent Axia -around £300 so a long way from cheap, but if you intend working in your darkroom for significant lengths of time I don't think there is really any choice. It has to be done. Do make sure there is adequate air intake too - filtered for preference. The exhaust air really needs to go directly outside.

    Keeping the fug down will improve your enjoyment and make all your darkroom equipment last longer too. You don't need too much to be damaged by dampness before the cost of an extractor is covered several times over.

  4. #14

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    Since I live in California I have to consider heat extraction as well as fumes and moisture. I have a quiet bathroom model fan which ducts horizontally to the eave of the building where there is gravity-closing vent and flap (dryer type). There is no light leakage. Having the extraction point in the ceiling does pull out heat in colder weather, though. My pocket door provides the air ingress. It is not really possible to seal a pocket door without making it hard to slide, so a separate inlet is not critical in my case.

    For short periods, especially if the room is large, you can get by without ventilation, but it is not the best or most pleasant option.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  5. #15
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    My first two darkrooms had the opposite of an extractor fan. A filtered blower fan pumps up the room with excess pressure so that dust and fumes tend to leak out rather than being drawn in. The blower fan can be installed anywhere convenient. Because the blower fan never encounters chemical vapour it tends not to corrode. A light proof exit vent on the far side of the darkroom sink completes the circuit.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

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