Building a darkroom

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  • As the title suggests, I'm building a darkroom, mainly to print black and white but I have been offered some equipment for printing in colour.

    I have a shed, 3m x 2.4m and with a slanting roof.

    I've just spent the evening lining the interior of the shed with sterling board which a plan to paint white.

    I will have a cold water supply and power.

    I need some ideas on ventilation, layout and safelight / white light.

    I'm looking to do it on a budget!

    Photos to follow tomorrow morning when it's light.

  • Look forward to seeing more.

    plan to paint white.

    Why? (Why not black or dark grey)

  • Printing in colour might be more hassle than it's worth, as the chemical process is very susceptible to change of temperature.

  • I think white is good for getting a nice diffuse safelight, thinking two sources of safelight and two whitelight so I don't cast a big shadow over the trays...... using direct light in my bathroom this seemed to be an issue.

  • Yes, could well be, to be honest I'm going to focus on B+W.

  • White walls will be good for B&W. What is this white light you speak of?

  • Emmmmm like daylight from a bulb. Normal lightbulb for reviewing prints.

    I'm actually thinking about a couple of the "daylight" spectrum bulbs, otherwise I guess it will be hard to get a good idea of how a print will look in a room.

  • I the only one having different connotations with "darkroom"?!

    Damn this city Berlin

  • Sounds risky. I've had nightmares about people turning the light on in the darkroom.

  • Well it's only going to be me in there, so hopefully not an issue.

  • Le shed

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  • Do you have a copy of "The negative" ? There is a really good section on laying out a darkroom iirc

  • Spent years of my life working in dark rooms . Take a radio for distraction .

  • John Hedgecoe's Dark Room Handbook is very concise there's a lot on alternative processes in there.

  • This looks great!

  • Paint and extractor fan.

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  • Here we go!

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  • Mmh sorry I'm late on this thread... And I hope you didn't paint it in white. Black is way better ! I've never seen a white darkroom... For the size, only one safelight is enough. The white light switch should be placed high to never hit it by mistake, and the safelight one at normal height.
    Is the room completely blind (go inside in a bright day and stay in for 10 min and you will see) ? Do you have a plan ? Did you think about the variations of temperature inside ? They height is allright for an enlarger in a table ? Will you work seated or standing ?
    So many questions :)

  • I have painted it white, I've spoken with a few experienced printers and that was their recommendation but to paint the enlarging area black to cut down on reflections.

  • Mmh. White is problematic if you develop film. It is more sensitive to reflections.

  • I'll still be using my paterson tanks for film and if required i could always do developement in the dark.

  • Darkroom all painted white apart from area behind enlarger which is matt black.

    Door light tight.

    Extractor all fitted.

    Picking up LF enlarger tomorrow.

    It's quite big so largest prints will be made very low, bit of a compromise but should have good resale value if I want to shift it.

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  • That's one of the best enlarger + light combination. If you don't have much high ceiling, you should print on the ground.

  • In storage and the chemicals don't have a long shelf life.

    Thinking about this comment, at a guess, chemicals have changed since I last used them.

  • Nice.

    Old darkroom kit comes up on freecycle.

    I am very jealous, can we hire you darkroom ;)

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Building a darkroom

Posted by Avatar for mi7rennie @mi7rennie