After many moons of kneeling over a bathtub to process my 8x10 and smaller negatives and prints, I have decided to build a darkroom.
As I have never done anything in moderation, the plan is a building, 12 x16, in the back yard with hvac and plumbing.
As I am designing the basic building, the question of ceiling clearance regarding enlargers is:
I do contact printing on AZO right now, but would like to get into enlarging, most likely no color processing, at least not at this point-
I rather like 5x7 for casual field work, but 8x10 is certainly here to stay. I also do 4x5 occasionally, and if color is in the mix, I would use 4x5 because of the cost, if no other reason. Black and white will be 80 percent plus of the work, and I am not a "commercial" photographer, just an old guy who sells a few prints every so often, and never for hire.
Is it reasonable to buy an 8x10 enlarger and use it for all sizes? If so, which one and how much ceiling clearance?
If not, then 8x10 AND 4x5? or 8x10 AND 5x7?
Finally, once the enlarger choice(s) are made, should the entire ceiling be the max height of the biggest enlarger, or can I just dedicate a
place, say 6x6 ft that would have a sort of chase that would extend as high as needed? It costs a lot more to have the entire ceiling say ten feet, not to mention heating and cooling that much more space.