I have the darkroom equipment but no darkroom!

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removed-user-1

Ok, I have an Omega D2 with plenty of negative carriers, and adequate (but probably not superb) lenses for printing the major formats (35mm, 120, and 4x5"). I have several boxes of various papers and lots of RB67 negatives to print. I have been scanning them and that's just not satisfactory any longer.

Trouble is, I have extremely limited space. The only possibility, given the layout of windows in our condo, is to use the upstairs office "loft" space, about 8x8', for the actual printing, and the adjacent (only) bathroom for processing in trays. Has anybody got suggestions for converting a small room for printing, without making any permanent changes?

I have to do this in such a way that the bathroom and office space are usable for their intended purposes, and with minimal annoyance on the part of my wife (although one reason to do this is to show her how to develop and print her own film). I'm sure there are threads about doing this... thanks for any advice.
 

Denis K

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Welcome to the "I wish I had a better darkroom" club. Seating is somewhat limited at the moment.

I would be a bit reluctant to introduce someone to darkroom work in a bathroom context unless you really think they are very interested. IMHO, it sounds a little like trying to learn how to cook while on a camping trip. Something that's possible, but somewhat unlikely.

Make sure you set in a candidate room for about 20 to 30 minutes in the dark before you decide how much light infiltration you can see. You might be surprised. I know I always am.

Denis K
 
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domaz

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An old darkroom book I found had a good section on converting bathrooms to darkrooms. If you can wall-mount your D2 above the toliet and make a table that fits over the toliet to print on it should work. Wall mounting a D2 is probably no small task though. Another suggestions it had was a valve that redirected water from the shower to a hose. Chemical trays can go in the tub- especially if you only take showers and clean up all spills very well afterwards- it should be fine.
 

MattKing

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I assume you've looked over the darkroom portraits thread. Here is a link to my contribution to it:

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

Since that was posted, I've switched to an Omega D6, on a much bigger cart :smile:.

Matt
 

BradS

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I haul my Omega D2 in from the garage and set it up on the counter top in our hall bath room. I have a piece of 3/4 inch ply wood that goes on the counter top and the enlarger and timer sit on top. The trays sit atop another piece of plywood layed over the tub. The bath room is perhaps, 9 feet by 6 feet. It can be done.


here is my entry in the darkroom portraits thread - this was before I go the plywood for the countertop.
(there was a url link here which no longer exists)
 
OP
OP

removed-user-1

I assume you've looked over the darkroom portraits thread.
Actually I didn't see that, thanks for the link.

Wall-mounting the enlarger is out, the condo is rented. I was thinking of making cardboard covers for the windows and printing in the office space, if I can find enough black cloth to create a light seal for the rest of the loft space.

I agree that this situation is probably not the best classroom! Food for thought.
 

tkamiya

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I made a darkroom curtain out of "contractor grade" clean up bags. These are black and are very heavy duty trash bags. Made the trim out of duct-tape for strength and the whole thing is secured by giant thumb tucks. It works!! Cheap, big, and temporary.
 

dancqu

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Did Without

I did without one sink of a two sink counter;
space for the enlarger.
I did without the washer and dryer; space
for a counter with shelves.

I did without multiple tray processing;
space for bigger prints. Not rotary
though but tray; one tray for
processing, another for
hold & soak. Dan
 
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G'day,
To save space for your trays just make a set of selves to stack them on top of each other. Dev on top then stop and fix. Wash in the tub or somewhere else. I made a set for my large trays 20 x 24. now 3 sit where one does.
Hope this helps
Pat
 

BradS

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G'day,
To save space for your trays just make a set of selves to stack them on top of each other. Dev on top then stop and fix. Wash in the tub or somewhere else. I made a set for my large trays 20 x 24. now 3 sit where one does.
Hope this helps
Pat

I've been thinking about doing this too. Could you maybe post a photo of your set up in the 'darkroom portraits' thread? -please :smile:
 

avandesande

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I bought a metal cart at harbor freight and have my 23c on top- I roll it into my bathroom and put it in the closet when I am done.
 

Curt

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Has anyone seen a darkroom print developing area with no sink at all?
 

perkeleellinen

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My darkroom is much smaller than 8'x8' (more like 4'x5'). I solved my problem by developing the prints in a Nova slot processor. In fact, without it, I wouldn't have space for a darkroom.
 

MattKing

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Has anyone seen a darkroom print developing area with no sink at all?

I don't know whether this is what you mean Curt, but for many years I worked with a darkroom without a sink, and used the sink in a nearby room to mix chemistry and wash prints.

It is quite doable, especially if the sink in the nearby room isn't one that needs to be used frequently by others when you are in the darkroom.

Matt
 

DLawson

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Has anyone seen a darkroom print developing area with no sink at all?

My planned darkroom, which will get me out of the bathroom, won't have a sink. I'd love a sink, but the place is not well oriented with the plumbing. I'll probably use a soak tray for prints between runs to the laundry sink to wash them.

Time will tell, I *may* set up a gravity/bucket sink if I have the space.
 

Steve Smith

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Has anyone seen a darkroom print developing area with no sink at all?

Yes. Mine for about a year before I put the sink in! It took me another year to get around to plumbing in the waste.


Steve.
 

dancqu

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Sinks - Many Over Do It

Has anyone seen a darkroom print developing area
with no sink at all?

I worked with a no print area sink while stationed in France
as a combat engineering battalion photographer. The sink
was in the adjoining john.

The several darkrooms I've worked in over the years have
emphasized counter space over extended sinks. Personally
I prefer counter space; easy multi-purpose space. As a
guide line I believe a sink should be no
larger than one's largest tray. Dan
 

finstu

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A number of years ago I had a permanent darkroom in a large cupboard/closet. It did not have running water so I would mix up the chems in the bathroom put them in bottles and fill the trays in the darkroom. I had one spare tray that I would use as a transfer tray to carry fixed prints from the darkroom to the bathroom for washing. I worked like this for many years and never had a problem with it. It was much easier than having to setup everything in the bathroom and then tear everthing down in the same evening before going to bed. Now I have to use the washroom and I have to set up and tear down everytime I want to print. I place the enlarger on the washing machine and use an old ironing board to place the trays on. I don't like the setup very much and would like to use large closet but we have a lack of storage space so it won't happen. One day I may get round to clearing out the shed and setting up in there but that won't work in the winter as it gets way to cold.

There used to be darkroom tents. I don't know how good they are or how big they are or whether they are made anymore.
 
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