Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
1) If you print colour, you need to work in total darkness. The developing tube is light tight, but permits you to fill and empty the chemicals without opening it. This allows you to load the paper in the dark, and then do the developing with the lights on; and
Yep. I do all my printing (including RA4) in (Jobo) drums. RA4 developer is pretty stinky and people tend to be come badly sensitised to it; drum processing avoids all that because there's none out in an open tray. Not to mention you don't need to try getting a print into and between trays while blind. And a drum takes up MUCH less darkroom space than a row of trays, especially when you do larger prints: think about how big a row of three 20x24 trays is going to be and that doesn't even include washing!

Google for "unicolor roller" as that's what you have. You can get a motorised base to run it on and not wear your arms out.

2) It is easier to do a couple of quick prints with the tube, because it isn't necessary to set up and take down as much stuff. It is a bit of a pain though to do much more than a print or two, because you need to thoroughly rinse and dry the tube before each print. I solve that problem (when I am using the tubes) by having a number of them, plus space to air dry them between rounds.
Nope. Tube can be wet when you put the next piece of paper in there, just give the paper a 20s pre-wet so that it's ALL wet, not just the bits that got dripped on. Keep in mind also that tube processing will oxidise developer so it will not last very long, but you need very little compared to trays. I use 100mL at a time of Multigrade 1+10 (I think 60mL is enough for some 8x10 drums) and run it through the tube 3 or 4 times before discarding. Even if you use 1L at a time, it'll still only last maybe 10 processes before it dies because it's not the paper that's exhausting it.

Your enlarger really is only good for 6x6 (but it will make perfectly good 8x8", maybe 12x12" B&W prints with that 4-element lens); neither the lens nor the condensers will cover 6x7 properly. Good 6x7 enlargers are pretty easy to find though, usually for $0 to $50, maybe $50 to $100 with a good 6-element lens (Componon-S, Rodagon, EL-Nikkor); you want 80mm for 6x7. You will want a dichroic (colour) diffusion enlarger if you ever want to print in colour, easily recognisable by the presence of cyan/magenta/yellow knobs. And they're (IMHO) easier to use for B&W printing than a condenser enlarger with separate contrast filters.

My FAQ has a printing howto that will probably answer a bunch of your next questions, or better yet, get a copy of Way Beyond Monochrome. More modern than The Negative, plus it covers the stuff in The Print too.