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Darkroom questions
Old 08-15-2005   #1
ray_g
 
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Darkroom questions

I am putting together a basic darkroom, and am getting close to being ready. So far, I am pretty well below $100 in my investment, having been lucky and patient.

My equipment came with one Voss bullet-type safelight with an OC filter and 15 W bulb. Problem is, I cannot see a thing.

I am thinking of just getting a simple red overhead bulb, about $3 from Freestyle (11Watts). Any disadvantage to that? It will be at least 4 ft away from my enlarger or trays.

Second question: a local guy is selling his equipment, and is offering me a drop-in darkroom sink, about 24 x 72 inches, for $30. This is plastic/ABS, with one faucet, hot and cold tap, and drain. I probably don't need it at this point. If I do set up a permanent darkroom in the future, it will have access to drain and water lines. My thought is, this is a pretty good price and might be hard to find in the future.

Any advice?
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Old 08-15-2005   #2
David Doler
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Buy it and put it into storage. If it's a good sink, you'll kick yourself if you don't get it.
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Old 08-15-2005   #3
ray_g
 
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I was thinking along the same lines. At worst, and I need to dispose of it, I can always donate it to the local school (if they're still teaching darkroom classes, that is).
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Old 08-15-2005   #4
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On the red bulb -- once you're functional with chemistry, just do a quick "light-leak" test to see how long it takes your paper to fog. Use a sheet of print paper and a sheet of thick cardboard (actually, a photo-paper box does nicely, too).

Turn off the lights and turn on the safe lights. Set out the sheet of photo paper. Cover all of it up but one small corner. Leave it exposed only to the safe lights for one minute. Then slide the box or cardboard about an inch (about 3 cm) to expose a bit more paper. After another minute, slide it another inch and so on. After about 10 minutes you'll have done a test on the entire sheet of paper. Then develop it normally. Check for any signs of fogging. If there is fogging, it will be worst in the corner that was exposed longest.

Usually photopaper is pretty resiliant to trace ambient light. If you're not fogging after 10 minutes, you're probably in good shape.
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Old 08-15-2005   #5
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Here's my two cents on safelights: Two need a minimum of two safelights. One over the developer tray and another over the counter work area. I prefer Kodak ones but you may need to replace the filters if they are very old(this can get expensive). I found this bulb at my local hardware store and it was about $3. I found it safe at 4 feet or so. One trick for a brighter darkroom is to use 25 watt bulbs(with appropriate filter of course) or maybe even 40 watt ones if the safelight is bounced off a ceiling or wall . You will need to test if they can fog paper.
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Old 08-15-2005   #6
Wayne R. Scott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_g

My equipment came with one Voss bullet-type safelight with an OC filter and 15 W bulb. Problem is, I cannot see a thing.

Any advice?

How long were you "in the dark"? It takes a few minutes for your eyes to acclimate to the dim safe light. After 5 to 10 minutes you will be amazed at how well you can see with a safe light.

Wayne
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Old 08-16-2005   #7
titrisol
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You can get one of those LCD safelights later.
It takes a while to get used to the dark, so take your time, turn all the lights off for a minute or 2 and then turn your safelight on.... you'll see a difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_g
I am putting together a basic darkroom, and am getting close to being ready. So far, I am pretty well below $100 in my investment, having been lucky and patient.

My equipment came with one Voss bullet-type safelight with an OC filter and 15 W bulb. Problem is, I cannot see a thing.

I am thinking of just getting a simple red overhead bulb, about $3 from Freestyle (11Watts). Any disadvantage to that? It will be at least 4 ft away from my enlarger or trays.

Second question: a local guy is selling his equipment, and is offering me a drop-in darkroom sink, about 24 x 72 inches, for $30. This is plastic/ABS, with one faucet, hot and cold tap, and drain. I probably don't need it at this point. If I do set up a permanent darkroom in the future, it will have access to drain and water lines. My thought is, this is a pretty good price and might be hard to find in the future.

Any advice?
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Old 08-17-2005   #8
Poptart
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The Thomas Duplex is the one good safelight.
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