darkroom supplies

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I've recently developed an interest in black and white photography. I would like to develop and process the film myself. My problem is this will be my first time and I'm afraid I don't know much about developing or processing, or even photography itself.

I know I have a lot to learn. So far all I have is a canon camera (EOS Rebel 2000), a book to guide me and a basement which I plan to turn into a darkroom.

What should I do or buy to get started? I'd like to know the basic items/equipments I will need for a darkroom and also where to get them. Thanks a lot!

Leilani NYC

-- Leilani (INA713L@aol.com), June 21, 2001


You might find more information on other forums as this forum deals with large format photography. However, since you've asked, I'd strongly suggest you find a class at a community college. You'll learn more and you'll learn it faster than teaching yourself. Many also require darkroom work, so you can learn before you buy.

When you finally buy, buy used. You'll save a lot.

You may wish to look at www.photo.net www.photographyreview.com

You may also wish to check out the B&W forums at http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/index.tcl

Dave Willis

-- Dave Willis (willisd@medicine.wustl.edu), June 21, 2001.

I second the recommendation for a community college class. It will give you a basic introduction.

But to go it alone, I suggest your local library is a good place to start. Check the books on photography, and you'll probably find a wealth of information.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), June 21, 2001.

Get the Ansel Adams series and read through them. A good dark room checklist is available on the National Camera Exchange web site: http://www.natcam.com

-- Donald Brewster (dpbrewster@prodigy.net), June 21, 2001.

Most reputable large camera stores (like B&H) will have film developing kits that include a roll processing tank, reels, thermometer, stirring rods and the like. To get started, all you really need is a developer (go with a liquid), stop bath and some fixer and some jugs to keep the diluted working solutions. I do agree with the others about some sort of classes though. It makes learning a little easier. Keep asking questions... that is what we are here for! Cheers.

-- Scott Walton (f64sw@hotmail.com), June 22, 2001.

I found a class to be invaluable since I could barely spell enlarger when I decided I wanted to develop and print my own B&W film.

On that note, you might want to see if a local camera shop offers a class. I took a 3-hour class from National Camera Exchange (listed in a previous post) and it was a great way to spend 3 hours. It gave me just enough info to get started and then I could use books and these boards to learn more. NatCam is in MN, so not helpful since live in NY, but check out some of your "prosumer" shops in the area and see if any offer something like this.

I've also found that some places that rent darkroom space will also offer classes on developing and printing, so be sure to check that out as well.

Good luck!

-- Jennifer Waak (jen.waak@visi.com), June 22, 2001.

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