Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 88

Thread: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    The kinds of things that, while aren't necessities are just so darned nice to have and you don't feel like you've wasted money on them? I try to keep my dark room spartan, but I do have a few very useful not exactly a necessity accessories.
    I'll go first---

    A Print Washer. Mine's a Versalab I got it years before we were put on water meters so I suppose for once I was ahead of the times.

    A Contact Proofer. Mine's a Printfile. Easier to use than the contact frame, safer than a plain sheet of heavy glass and cleaner (no fingerprints) and far less expensive than one of those contact printers.

    An exposure guide.The old Kodak circular step tablet. I think Delta makes the same thing now. Making a 1 minute exposure with one of these on the test print is simpler than blocking the light in intervals (or at least is seems that way for me)

    A dry mount press. This one is an old bug eyed Seal Jumbo 150. It flattens fiber prints flat.

    A light box. A See-Rite from a crafts store (Michael's?) is what I have. This is great for revealing defects in negatives before printing.

    What not exactly a necessity accessories do you find useful in your dark room?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    A good stereo, and a bunch of vinyl and cd's to go with it!

    A refrigerator full of beer, okay, it's in the kitchen, but I'll make the walk...

    Bunny slippers! well, now it's just getting decadent...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    A comfy high stool so I can sit while developing film.

    The absence of phone and computer.

    A locked door, with 'no entry' posted.

    Private time, much like meditation.

  4. #4
    lenser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tim from Missouri

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    I hoping to start building my next darkroom within a few months and it will definitely include the deeply padded floor matts you find in beauty salons.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    London, UK

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    Luxuries? Bloody hell, if only. My darkroom luxuries amount to actually having a place to develop my negatives and, soon when my 35mm enlarger arrives, be able to do contact prints.

    I have a po'boy darkroom, if you could even call it that. My Ilford programmable timer might be described as a luxury by some though.

  6. #6
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    My darkroom has plenty of luxuries, because they are cheap these days.

    Peak enlarger focuser. eyeballs or cheap focusers work, but these can cost hundreds. I got one with a c-list purchase once for $10 and took it because I knew it was a nice brand, but was surprised by it's following and value when I got

    Red LED tracklights for safelights. Re-aim safelight coverage anytime.

    I do have a drymount press. I don't call it a luxury as I only paid $100 for it, but it's a huge step up from the metal-cloth print dryers or blotter books. Flattens alt process paper well too when it comes off a roll.

    The homemade UV box is a luxury compared to the sun or metal halide floodlight because it's in the darkroom and quicker.

    Upgrading from analog gralab 300's and the time-o-lites seems like a luxury too. Gralab 450/451 is the choice for me.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Forest Grove, Ore.

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    Pleasant colors and decor. Ta heck with dark gray walls, etc. I did the latter with a previous darkroom, and it was horrible.

  8. #8
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Toronto, Ontario,

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    Four sinks, to handle any size trays... Stereo system to be installed ... HVac system to deliver constant temp and fresh air.. exhaust fan to take away the stinky stuff... industrial
    shelving to hold all my chemicals.... Thomson safelights to brighten even the most stormy days... patient and loving wife who cleans all my stinky clothes.... good clients who
    give me work...brand new Jobo processor and new Drytac hot vacumm hot press... very thick industrial matts to walk on... did I mention loving wife who allows me to work to my heart content.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    A dart board with red safe light on it. I can throw a round of darts while processing a print.

    The dart board is on the door to the bathroom... There is a bathroom in my darkroom.. that is definitely a luxury.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Jersey

    Re: What are your dark room "luxuries?"

    My ZoneVI Compensating Development and Enlarging timers. They are luxuries since "simple" timers would get the job done. But in my unfinished basement/darkroom, where, especially now in winter, temperatures change significantly during either a developing or printing session, the compensating temperature probe is a huge convenience. Similarly, when changing contrast settings while printing, it is very nice to let the timer keep exposures constant without my having to recalculate each time.

    I have to admit that a number of other items folks list as luxuries seem to me to be necessities. Without a focus aid, I'm afraid my aging eyes would have trouble making sharp prints, and since I dry mount my "good" prints, the dry mount press seems a necessity. We could debate the VC head on my enlarger, since I could use gelatin filters and a simple cold light head, but that same debate could include the whole enlarger, since IIRC, Weston made contact prints using an overhead light bulb...

Similar Threads

  1. Loading film in the presence of "glow-in-the-dark" aperture scale...
    By fecaleagle in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 29-Jul-2014, 13:41
  2. Replies: 35
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2013, 00:53


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts