Saturday, November 27, 2010

Darkroom Postscript 1

O.K. changed my mind! Will do 35mm black and white film printing again. After many-many-many cups of tea/coffee and several miles of walking about, decided to bid on a Leica V 35 enlarger. The enlarger was being sold by a camera store 35 miles from home. This meant that if I won the auction I would be able to go and see the enlarger before I paid for it. Yes, with much last minute bidding and quick typing, I won in the last minute of the auction. Next day was a travel day to see what exactly I had won. Was clean, complete with instructions, in original container and appeared to be unused. Yes, it fit in the car and home we went. Speed reading the set-up details led to the assembly and placement in the darkroom. Then -bad news- no power cord! Strange, but somewhat familiar power socket on the enlarger, and no cord. Quick phone call solved the problem. Did I have a computer? Yes. Seems the power cord is the same as found on a desk top computer. Who knew! Found a cord from an unused computer and sure enough it worked. (Store sent me another power cord in two days.) This is an enlarger that probably was new in 1983 and the same power cord that we use today was used at that time. The last couple of days have been spent in the darkroom getting to know and understand this new tool. After some three days and too many pieces of photographic paper, beginning to produce acceptable images from my new friend. Check back for the next darkroom installment. (click on stock image to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Film Test: Kodak TMax 100

I have a certain subject matter that I use to test film. Have photographed the Campellstown Elevator a number of times over the years. This time using TMax 100 film. After developing the film then scanned the negative and ink jet printed the scan to use as a reference for the darkroom print. Now off to the darkroom to make a print. Check back for the results. (click on image to enlarge)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black and White Film

Now that the darkroom equipment and materials are under control , it is time to select a couple of black and white films. As with photographic paper and chemicals, my usual film choices are not manufactured or changed from the last time I used film. For many years Kodak's Pan X was my film of choice. It is no longer available. My other most used film was Ilford's FP4. It is now (improved?) FP4 Plus. After a bit of research, decided to give Ilford FP4 Plus and Kodak 100 TMax a trial. Neither of these replaces the the Pan X film. The next few days I will be testing these two films. Will also - when a few rolls arrive - test the Ilford Pan F film. This could be a replacement for the Kodak Pan X film. Check back for results. (click on image to enlarge)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wall Writing

Bit of "art work" here in Richmond, Indiana. Took a day off from the darkroom and did a "walk about". Now that the weather is turning cool, will return to the darkroom and further testing. (click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Darkroom Update 7

After some time in the darkroom making a few test prints we have - Good news/Bad news. The Good - chemicals and paper worked well together. The Bad - the enlarger is NOT aligned! After a couple of hours with allen wrenches and a laser tool, the enlarger was still not aligned. Time out for a huge cup of coffee, then off to a lumber store for a two square piece of 3/4 plywood. This is now the baseboard for the enlarger. Using the three wood screws - as before - the enlarger is NOW aligned ( I think!). Next - back in the darkroom to make more test prints. Check back for the results. (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Darkroom Update 6

These are my selected print chemicals. Only the paper developer - LPD - remains from my earlier - 10 years - darkroom work. The stop bath - eco pro - and the fixer - Arista - are new and most importantly, odorless. In the past I used Agfa photographic paper. This product is no longer available, as Agfa is out of the photographic paper business. After much searching/reading/e-mailing others, I am going to use Adox MCC 110 paper. Turns out that the paper is coated using the old Agfa machines. The only claimed difference between Adox and Agfa is the base on which the coating is applied. The old paper Afga base is no longer manufactured. The new Adox base is said to have a bit colder and less warmer tone. Of course, this will depend somewhat on the developer being used. Time to get in the darkroom and get to work. Return in a day or so and check out the results. (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Darkroom Update 5

After the "dry run" a few changes ( see Darkroom Update 2). Right to left- Static Brush, Enlarger, Lamp Control (on large red crate), Timer (on small red crate) and Focusing Control. Yes I am left handed! This arrangement seems to be efficient and enjoyable to use. Next will turn out the lights and attempt to make a few prints. Check back for the next update. (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Darkroom Update 4

Four negatives have been chosen, scanned and ink jet printed. Included is a 6x9 Ilford FP4 film negative(upper left); 6x7 Agfa 100 film negative (upper center); 6x7 Ilford FP4 film negative-developed in Pryo (upper right); 4x5 Ilford FP4 negative (lower center). At this time these formats are the ones that interest me most. Notice that 35mm is not included. While I have many 35mm negatives to choose from I am not - at this time - interested in using them in the darkroom. This may change at a later date. The next step is to do a darkroom "dry run" with these negatives. The "dry run" will allow the checking of darkroom equipment placement. Everything needs to be located in a manner that will make the darkroom time enjoyable and efficient. Check back for the next update. (click on image to enlarge)