Dedicated Contact Printing Darkroom Pics/Drawings Wanted...
I am moving to a smaller house that has no darkroom at this time. I will have a very small space I can use as a dedicated contact-printing-only darkroom. I will have 8x12 ft or so. To achieve efficiency, I will need to be rather creative and use every inch very wisely (not used to that!).
I will be doing everything in there using 8x10 and 7x17 film/paper.
So, to help me out, can you send me pics or drawings of your small contact printing darkroom? I need clever ideas...
Cheers and thank you.
I'll be glad to send you some sketches of my dedicated contact printing AND enlarging darkroom- in 7' x8' of space. For now, here is a description of the space:
The one wall is occupied by the 6' sink. The opposite wall has two enlarging stations, with Beseler 23CII and Beseler 45MX enlargers. Under the 45MX, there is my UV exposure station, paper storage, and easels. Under the 23C (which has a dropped bed in place of the baseboard to make it easier to print 16x20) I have room to store bulk chemicals and my Nova 16x20 processor when I'm doing alt process work in the sink.
My darkroom is 8'x11' and is for contact printing only. I have a 30"x96" sink on one side, and a 30"x96" table on the other side. I keep my home built UV unit under the sink, along with my drying screens & some storage space. I have some wires stretched across the ceiling above the sink for drying negs. I have shelves on the wall behind the sink for labware & chemicals. I have a timer on the wall behind the sink, and a safelight above it.
On the table, I have my lightbox, a mat cutter, and a timer. The timer is connected to one of two lights that hang above my table. One for exposing Azo, and a dim one for enlarging paper. I have a safelight on the ceiling above the table as well. There are shelves on the wall behind the table.
My darkroom is adjacent to a stairway, so I have the benefit of extra storage space under the stairs.
Hey, FlyingCamera, why do you have both enlargers in there. Isn't the 45MX a 35mm to 4x5 enlarger?
I too have a darkroom that is about 8x12 and I enlarge and contact print, so I think you will have more space than you think. Basically on one wall I have a continuous counter with storage cabinets and drying screens below that is my dry side work space. The other wall has a 10 foot by 26 inch fiberglassed plywood sink with more storage on open shelves below that. The door is on a short wall. About the only thing I would like to change is to have a 30 inch sink, it gets tight with 16x20 trays, but it works. I also wish the room was 9 feet wide for just a bit more room between the wet and dry sides, but that wasn't an option. I like to think of less comodious spaces not as small, but effecient. All you have to do is turn around and you're there, much less walking. I think you'll find your new darkroom will be very nice and funcional. Good luck with your new house.
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Well, enlargers are a tough sell to unload. The 23C stays around because I built the workstation for it with the drop bed. I'll have to redesign it to put in the 45MX. That means taking the darkroom out of commission for a few days. Both enlargers are dichro heads- I keep the 23 set up so I can do regular color printing with it on a traditional timer. I have the 45 MX hooked up to an RH Designs Analyser Pro, so that chassis is basically dedicated to black-and-white printing.
Originally Posted by Troy
I am just in the middle of a darkroom construction project. The plans call for basically a 8x8 room with a hallway 3x5 leading into it, and another little 30x30" bumpout. I bought a 6' x 30" Arkay SS sink, that's to be on one wall with a counter at the end for an archival washer. Opposite will be a 30" x 6' workspace for Alt and contacts. The enlarger table (at present for a D2V but shopping for a D5, MXT, Durst L-1000 or DeVere 504) fits into that 30x30" bumpout.
At present, I've had a plumber come in to move a water heater to clear some space, and I have a contractor coming this week to begin framing. Once that's done, the plumbers back to rough in the supplies and drains, and I will run the electrical wiring for outlets and lighting. Then the contractors back to hang wallboard. Last, paint and flooring.
Pretty excited. I've had many ad hoc darkrooms, but this is the first one that will be a from scratch design.
My darkroom is 10'x10'.
There is a 9'10" sink along one wall; a Beseler 45 MCRX, Elwood 5X7, 11"x14" UV box plus a cabinet top with densitometer, trimmer and coating space.
There is also a chemistry cabinet in one corner.
I do all sorts of 19th century processes as well as enlarging in this small space. I wish I had more, but it has served me well for about 20 years.
Make yourself a drawing of the space and the footprint of each item. cut out the footprints and move them arounf until the layout seems reasonable and go with it. The only change I have made over the years is to build a bigger sink and move it to a different wall.
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You can do a lot with that space. My darkroom is about 7.5 x 11 feet. I can print 16x20s with my Saunders enlarger. I contact print AZO with a vacuum easel placed on a wide piece of wood that is supported by the edge of the sink and the counter on the opposite side. A bare bulb is mounted on the ceiling.
Originally Posted by Daniel Grenier
The first thing I did was to design the darkroom on paper. I spend a fair amount of time doing this and came up with a design that is very effiecent. Drying racks are placed beneath the counter on the dry side. I have a film drying cabinet that provides a dustless environment for drying film.
When I built the room the first thing I did was to gut the room, removing all the sheetrock so I could wire the room as I needed. When you build be generous with outlets and think in 3 dimensions.
8x12'? Such luxury! I've posted this in the "darkroom portraits" thread, but here's my contact printing setup--
I contact print up to 11x14" this way, and I can enlarge even bigger.