My bathroom darkroom
OK Jason, so you're looking for some idea's and images of a genuine bathroom darkroom... Well, since up to now nobody actually posted some pictures, I'll help you out ;-) as I am not to embarrassed about the setup... I think it's a pretty decent darkroom in it's own right. I'm happy with it...
I realize my bathroom is somewhat "non-standard", and that I have been pretty lucky to be able to use such a space. The bathroom is irregular in that is completely enclosed in my small home, hence no windows and therefore no need to blind anything before each printing session. In addition, since the bathroom doesn't feature a toilet, and the former bathtub has been replaced by a less space consuming shower, there is actually plenty of space left, allowing me to make a permanent enlarger setup (actually, I even have two ;-) in there). So also no need to haul in and out a cart with an enlarger. Just pull the door close, and I am up-and-running. Total size of the "bathroom / darkroom" is about 2.2 * 2.5 meters (7' * 8' that is???)
So here it is:
Notice I managed to create a pretty large permanent workbench, made from a regular tabletop reinforced with an extra 2.5 cm wooden plate, to hold the 40+ or so kilo's of the Durst Laborator 1200 and 670BW enlargers.
Also notice I cover up both of my enlargers using plastic bags after each printing session to reduce dust load and maybe some humidity.
As you can see, it's still a fully functional bathroom, with the washing machine below the workbench. My printing "rocks" when it spins
Enlarger heads revealed. Also notice the two 18W fluorescence lighting on the back wall. There is another 36W fluorescence on the left. The 18W's are 6500K, the 36 W is 4200K, mixing into something close to daylight (about 5200K). I regularly switch these on during printing for proper control of correct contrast and printing. This has proven invaluable to me and was one the biggest improvements after the initial setup.
I also have two darkroom safe lights: an Ilford 902 safe light, visible above the L1200, which I use for regular multigrade printing, and a small red safe light bulb (visible in between the fluorescence tubes) for use with liquid photo emulsion (Rollei Black Magic requires red safe lighting).
The "wet section"... 35*45cm tray setup. Notice I managed to cramp in another small workbench in between the ventilation shaft and the wall enclosing my shower. Developer furthest in the back, than stop and fix.
50*60cm tray setup. Notice the laundry basket actually doubles as support for the fixing tray. Well, you wanted a genuine bathroom darkroom! ;-)
The "washing" section. The thermostatic shower supplies 20 degrees water year round.
Papers, chemicals and empty film boxes... Notice the bathroom ventilator. It draws in fresh air through the bathrooms door (I'll go into that with the next images) and keeps moisture levels to an acceptable level. This ventilator is always on during printing and showering, keeping the climate comfortable both for me and the enlargers. Despite three years of printing and showering, no apparent issues with corrosion or mould on the enlargers optics. I make sure the bathroom ventilator runs for another 15 minutes or so after showering...
To get even more bench space, I have fitted another tip-up bench to the wall opposite of the shower, behind the bathroom door. As you can see, I have cut the bench in 45 degrees angle. This allows me to open the door even when the bench is up. This is a nice feature both for safety and convenience.
Also notice the black ventilation grid on the left in the bathroom door. Using insulation tape and strips and black paint, I have managed to make the door practically light safe. However, this also meant poor ventilation. I therefore created a hole in the bathroom door (that actually should have been there in the first place, considering it's an enclosed bathroom!), and covered it up with these grids. However, this is not enough for light safety, so I created an internal "light-block" using black matting carton. This allows fresh air to flow in freely (drawn in by the bathroom ventilator) but effectively blocks all light.
The workbench up, ready to print. Notice the door opening nicely.
RC drying section on washing lines. I dry the FB prints on glass outside the bathroom. Also notice the other 36W fluorescence tube and Ilford safe light and multigrade head.
Last edited by Marco B; 02-09-2008 at 06:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.