Greenhorn needs info...

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joeyk49

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The wife said today,"You costing me so much in developing, you may as well be developing your own stuff..."

DING!

I've never developed before, but have always been interested in it. Where can I find some reliable information, preferably online, so that I can start the learning process. Once I get a foundation, where should I go from there? I have basement space to make into a darkroom, but wouldn't know where to go to start purchasing equipment...

Need some guidance...

Thanks.
 

galyons

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Hey! Don't miss the opportunity! The wife left the door wide open! You are really lucky because the internet will provide more information on getting started than anyone could possibly assimilate. Get on Google and go!

Tell you what, to welcome you to the fold, PM your address and format. If I have a developing tank and reels to fit...I send to you to get you moving!

Cheers,
Geary
 

BWGirl

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Great news! But also a little disconcerting, eh? I know the feeling! This is the sort of thing that happened to me earlier this year, except the Hubby got sick of me whining about using the dusty, unpredictable stuff at the local high school! haha

I also found a great deal of straightforward info at Ilford and in a book called "Creative Black and White Photography: Advance Camera and Darkroom Techniques" by Bernard J. Seuss. His writing is very clear and easy to understand.

Also, don't overlook all of us! My darkroom is very new (finished it about 3 months ago). I got my equipment on ebay for the most part, and am very pleased with it! So let us know if you need help!

Jeanette
 

127

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To dev film you need about $20 worth of stuff. To do the full darkroom will cost a couple of hundred - loads of people are virtually giving away their equipment.

It's VERY easy to do all this stuff, but it sounds terribly complex if you try and read it. Though there are some good online tutorials, I found it really intimidating the first few times. Fortunatly I had someone with me to hold my hand. Three sessions later, and I was fine - it's basically just pouring liquid in and out of a jar!

I'd recommend finding someone who knows what they're doing, the turn up on their doorstep with a nice bottle of wine, and a couple of exposed films. That way you get to SEE it done. I'm sure someone will volenteer to help you take those first steps...

Ian
 

gma

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I agree with 127. There is no substitute for seeing someone else develop a roll of film. You will be surprised at how very simple is really is. You just have to be very precise with measuring, temperature control and cleanliness. Best wishes.

gma
 
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joeyk49

joeyk49

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Strike while the iron's hot!

She caught me surfing Ebay and tried to back pedal. I said, "You started it!" and she said, " I know, I know!" Then she did this song and dance about budgets....yadaydadayada...

My foots firmly planted in the door. Now I just need to step inside.

Are there differences in enlargers? There sure are a lot of them on ebay...

Can I use a color enlarger to do B&W???

Still very wet behind the ears...
 

Shesh

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I'd recommend that you take a class at a local school and then look into what equipment you really need. At the very least, rent a darkroom (costs around $60 a day in this area, I heard). You will also be able to evaluate your desire in going this route. Not everyone is motivated enough to do this, and if you are one of them, the equipment may find its way back on eBay.
 

clogz

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Most makes of enlargers are good. It's the lenses that count. Also, decide what negative format you are going to use (now and in the future).I would opt for an enlarger with colour head so you can easily use variable contrast paper.
 

papagene

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Joey,
Once you get started just keep asking questions, here and anybody close at hand.
Most (well all) of my equipment was purchased prior to the e-bay era, still had some good bargains tho.
Producing good prints in your own darkroom is a lot easier than you think.
Good luck and keep us informed.
gene
 
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joeyk49

joeyk49

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Wife's chagrin

Much to my wife's chagrin, you've all given me some additional motivation. Hehehehehe....

Thanks for all the pointers. I'll probably make a pest of myselve witht he questions. But, isn't that one of the reasons you do this???

Joe
 

David Ruby

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A lot of good advice here, from some obvioulsy eager enthusiasts. I'd start lurking around Ebay for stuff like enlargers, timers, trays, etc. etc. I still am! You can pretty much get everything from Ebay if you want.

From all the watching I've done, I'd be if you are a little patient you could get a whole basic darkroom setup for anywhere from $200-$400 and up. You can usually get someone going digital so you have everything you need. You can always start upgrading after you get into it.

I was very close to buying a standard beginner 35mm englarger when I realized that if I ever wanted to print anything Medium format or even Large format, I'd have to get another enlarger. Just a few short years ago I thought all I'd ever do was 35mm, now I do all three (Ebay is awesome). I see Omega D-2 enlargers all over Ebay, and that is what I have. I originally wanted a color one so I didn't have to mess with filters for contrast, but that's not how it worked out and I'm happy using filters.

When I was new, I picked up a book called "Into Your Darkroom Step By Step". There are lots of books out there. This one is very basic, but does give you a pretty good start. Welcome and Good luck.
 
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