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  1. #1

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    Oct 2002
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    B/W darkroom in my VW camper...need ideas

    I'm coming back to the B/W darkroom...home DR is doing fine...now my challenge is developing while on the road...I need someway of developing my B/W film while on the road in my [COLOR=DarkOrange]VW Westfalia (Westy) camper....[/COLOR]

    I'll be using onboard water...

    Need ideas and product recommendations....I have all the standard developing equipment and misc stuff (changing bag, decekoping tanks etc)...

    BTW: 120/35 format....about 10 rolls per week!

    I like doing business at Freestyle and have all their current catalogs...feel free to email me chuckphoto@earthlink.net or PM...

    Thanks as always!
    Chuck

  2. #2
    sparx's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I have no suggestions but I just wanted to say that is such a cool idea, and in a veedub. Fantastic.
    [size=1]the all new darkplanet photoblog[/size][size=1]
    [/size]

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck (CA)
    I need someway of developing my B/W film while on the road in my [COLOR=DarkOrange]VW Westfalia (Westy) camper
    But why, Chuck? When I had my 72 Westy (orange too), way back when, I had the same idea to develop on the road. After thinking it out, I really saw no reason whatever to justify the hassle of doing so. I'd just wait till I got home to your "real" darkroom. Much less trouble.

    My 2 cents' worth.

  4. #4
    titrisol's Avatar
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    If you'll be doing just film all you need is a changing bag, a developing tank, chemicals and some dryer gizmo. I think a hair dryer (in low temp setting, high flow) can be a make do.
    Which developer are you tempted to use?

    PS: I forgot Measuring cups/graduated cylinders/ syringes
    Mama took my APX away.....

  5. #5

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    Oct 2002
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    I have the equipment covered...what I was looking for is recommendations for chemicals that will reduce development times and wash times...I'm headed into some pretty remote CA and OR areas ...ya...things would be easier in my home DR...but...being on the road is my NEW way of life...love to travel in my Westy...anyone want to go ?

    Would like to here from anyone that has done this....

    Thanks
    Chuck

  6. #6
    rjr
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    A Agfa Rondinax would be just fine - everything you need to process a roll of film on the street,
    available in 120 (Rondinax 60) and 135 (Rondinax 35U) for a dime or two (really, I paid 1EUR for my
    35U at ebay.de).

    It is a daylight loading tank, you won´t need a changing bag, no thermometer, no scissors, it is very
    economical (150/200ml developer!).

    I love my 35U and use it regularly, but messed up a film when trying to figure the 60 out...

    A hair dryer on the road? NEVER trust the electric installations, even (or especially?)when using a
    camping place it is a safe guarantee to bust a fuse!

    No, there is room enough in a Westfalia VW bus to install a small drying cabinet - we had a small
    cabinett in ours, take out the boards, install a hanger, done. Or hang a Jobo Mistral drier into the
    roof - I guess you have that collapsible top on your bus? You don´t need the fan, just hang the
    "plastic bag" up there and the film in it, it will keep the dust from the film.

    Are you going to try standdevelopment on the Autobahn? ;-> Movement is sufficient to wash clothes, so
    it might be good for a roll of film - we usually throw our clothes in a plastic container (our
    "moroccan washing machine"), fill it with hot water and soap, close the lid and after 300km the
    clothes are clean.
    Tschüss,
    Roman

  7. #7
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Great idea. Just fill the tank with developer, find stretch of bumpy road, and you've got auto agitation. Rig a piece of PVC pipe to the van's heater for drying film conveniently as you drive.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  8. #8

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    This seems like a really cool idea, I'm a big instant gradafication person, especially if you're going to be on the road for a while. The challange seems to me to be washing most of all, specifically water usage. How much of an issue that is varies with how much water you can carry, and how near you are to a water supply. Tempering water could be done with hot water from the stove, and an electric cooler plugged into a lighter socket, or a power inverter. Drying wouldn't seem like too big of an issue to me; I develop at home and dry my sheet film in a tupperware bin with lines strung inside it, and the top kept cracked to allow air flow, for sheet film you could hang inside a dry cleaning bag. Waste water could be kind of an issue if you're away from plumbing for a while, but your wash water should be able to be dumped anywhere (it'll only contain trace amounts of anything), fixer can be re-used quit a bit, probably a couple gallons of working solution would do you until you got home and could dispose of it, and is easy enough to carry. Used developer and stop bath could be carried until you're near a drain to dispose of it in, acctually stop bath can be re-used too. I'll be very interested in hearing your results and/or experiences of others who've done this, as the only things keeping me from doing a couple month long road trips are money and time.

    Peter

  9. #9
    mobtown_4x5's Avatar
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    Cool idea- best of luck.

  10. #10
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    I saw an article in Pop Photo, must have been about 1970, where the guy had a whole darkroom in his VW. I don't remember why. Little enlarger, trays, the whole bit.

    Seems like Rodinal or HC110 would be good developers. Easy. Won't go bad. You need something that will work at different temperatures. And definitely some way to dry negs, because you will have lots of dirt. Tight box to store negs, with desiccant if you go somewhere humid.

    Happy Trails and
    Watch for Loose Gravel

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