Need advise with new darkroom : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

I am in the process of setting up a B & W darkroom in my basement. I have gone about this whole project backwards as I have sink,timer, etc. and no enlarger. However, I have been fortunate enough to pick up all equipment at a real low price by looking for used equipment. I want to purchase a used enlarger as I want to keep this project as low budget as possible. I will always be developing B & W in this room. Please give me some advise when choosing an enlarger, things to look for, etc. Also any other advise that you may pass along regarding establishing a new darkroom will be most helpful. I shoot 35mm and that will probably ever change as B & W will remain a hobby and I will not invest in a larger format.



-- Anonymous, July 08, 1997


Darkroom advice

Hi David,

Congratulations on your new darkroom. You should be able to buy an inexpensive enlarger without too much trouble especially if you live in a larger city. I would try and go for one of the major brands (Besseler, Durst, Omega etc.) as you may need to get parts. It's age isn't too important but make sure that the bellows is in good condition (ie not dry and cracked). I have found that overall sturdiness is really important. Also make sure that the focus is really smooth and most important doesn't slip. You should bring along a negative and grain focuser and focus the negative, wait a few minutes and check to make sure it hasn't gone out of focus in that time. If it does check to see if it can be easily adjusted or not. I had the use of a top of the line Omega once whose focus mechanism was so worn that it would start slipping as soon as you let the knob go, so it was totally useless to me. As long as the enlarger is in good general shape and complete then you can put your efforts into buying the most important component...the lens.

-- Anonymous, July 08, 1997

New darkroom

If at all possible it is a good idea to have an exhaust fan in the darkroom. A typical bathroom fan will do though you must set up a lightproof air intake vent for it to work properly. I have a second hand Bessler 23cII enlarger and enjoy using it. remember you will might have to purchase an enlarging lens so try and get one included with your second hand enlarger

-- Anonymous, July 08, 1997

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