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Photography Question 
Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006


Finally. Last year I started processing my own negs. This year I get to print. This year I get to print.

That's right. My wife has graciously offered the upstairs bathroom as a printing darkroom from time to time so this year I'm going for it. I will be printing before the end of February. I can hardly wait. I have my preliminary list with some advice from friends over at APUG but I would like your input as well.

I have the following.

35mm enlarger
Some Ilford paper (I think 44 sheets given to me by a local friend)
Kodak Indicator Stop Bath (from processing film)
Kodafix Fixing Agent (ditto)
other odds and ends

On my list to get from Freestyle (and also to shop around for less expensive)
More film (135 and 4x5 sheets)
Red Safelight
4- 8x10 trays
4x5 sheet film developing tank
Grain Focuser
8x11 Paper safe
Archival sheets for the negs

I hope to find a 10-12" lens on ebay cheap. Yeah, I know.
I am open to suggestions on paper and paper developer.

Thanks, guys.

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1/15/2009 6:15:42 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Congrats on jumping in to the wet darkroom. You'll love it and learn many valuable lessons that will carry you into digital processing well.

While I no longer sniff fixer; I will offer you this advice..and no offense to the fine people here at BP.

There are other newsgroups and boards that cater specifically to B&W processing; I would seek them out with a google search. Nikonians has a section specifically for this as do many others. Most of the people here are shooting digital. You may get a little advice from a few here, but far more advice elsewhere.


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1/15/2009 6:39:26 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I did wet darkroom work years ago. There is something magical about watching a piece of white paper suddenly start to form an image as it sits in the developer tray.

However, I gladly gave up my Dektol, my stop bath, my trays, my timer, my enlarger, etc., for my Epson inkjet. Why? Better prints faster and cheaper.

The times, they are a-changin'. I have an old Kodak 120 roll film camera, with one shutter speed and 3 fixed apertures. Comparing its image quality to my dSLRs is like comparing a Ford Model T from the same era to my Dodge Dakota.

Have fun and good luck with your hobby!

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1/16/2009 2:05:03 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  You didn't list stainless steel film reels, and stainless steel developer tanks.
Is your timer a regular timer or one that the enlarger plugs into so you can set the time and have the timer shut off the enlarger? Better than doing it yourself because it frees up both hands for dodge/burning.
Speaking of which, got some cardboard circles and cardboard squares with holes cut out for dodging/burning. Some people like those, some use their hands. You can rotate the cardboard to turn a circular shadow, or light, into an elliptical one.
Windshield wiper blades refills can be use as squeegees. Glue the rubber part to something.
And there's that stuff the indicates when the fixer is exhausted.

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1/16/2009 3:17:32 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  Hey, Greg. I didn't list them because I've been processing my own B&W for a year now and already have them. I'm on a budget but I will keep an eye out for an enlarging timer. Nice idea on the squeegee. I sell auto parts. Handy, huh. Plan on cutting circles as needed for D/B and keeping them as I accumulate them for use later.

Thanks all.

Anyone else reading this that wants to lose some old darkroom stuff 'cause you just went digital. I would love to take advantage of your foolishness. Love to da peoples.


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1/17/2009 1:28:04 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  What a difference a couple of years makes. Printing is pretty much ls hat for me now. And this part of the forum has fallen into serious neglect. I'll be here for a while. Hope things pick up.

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12/14/2010 6:44:14 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  Echo, echo, echo. Anybody home? Peeps? Greg? Master of gobble-dy-gook? Mark? Where'd everybody go?

Well, I'm here, back, still around, insert condition here.

Film Lives!

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1/9/2014 3:54:49 PM

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