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Thread: Developing contact prints without a Dark Room. Is that possible?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Developing contact prints without a Dark Room. Is that possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by pepeguitarra View Post
    I am getting into 8x10 and want to do my own contact prints. The problem is that I do not have a dark room available for trays, etc. I could light proof a bathroom, but no trays. So, I have been thinking that I could use a desk lamp to provide the light source, then, after exposing the contact sheet and turning the light off, I would place the 8x10 paper inside a large Jobo tank, put the lid on it, and turn the lights on. Then, I would develop the paper by rotation (as I do with the 4x5), using the stop bath, and then the fixer. I will be able to see the picture only after it has been fixed. Any advice?
    For BW prints forget the jobo. You will need to make test strips, etc, and the rotary is a mess for that, trays are the right choice. Paper development takes a very short time, it takes less to develop than to setup the rotary... When paper has been in the stop bath for a few seconds you can open lights if you want.

    4 trays of 8x10 size takes around 40x10", you may wall mount some folding shelvings if using a bathroom, this solves most of troubles in that situation.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If developing in a bathroom remember to use the safest chem possible and find the way to prevent any spill. I'm a true specialist in Bathroom darkrooms , what it was more complicated to me it was zeroing spills, but simply one has to find the way.

  2. #12
    Randy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Virginia, USA

    Re: Developing contact prints without a Dark Room. Is that possible?

    My "darkroom" is a small bathroom with a tub. I covered the window simi-permenently with a sheet of thin plywood. As for the door, I use a length of rolled up black fabric for the space under the door. I have been processing roll films and sheet films in there for many years. As for contact printing, I use a small (8") reflector utility light with a LED bulb screwed into it. I just hold it a couple feet above my contact printing frame and turn it on for the few second exposure. My processing trays are in the tub with chemistry.
    Lately though, I have been mostly printing cyanotypes, so total darkness is not needed.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Mobile, AL

    Re: Developing contact prints without a Dark Room. Is that possible?

    Before venturing into LF my bathroom was my darkroom. One side had a small sink with a long counter where I set up an Omega B22 enlarger. The other side had the bath tub that I covered with a piece of plywood cut just short of the faucet with the chemical trays on top. A large tray was in the tub under the faucet for washing. So a bathroom will work. Light proof it and start printing.

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