Tools of the darkroom trade

Just a couple ‘Tools of the Trade’

I was in my darkroom a bit today. I developed 4 rolls of film, Stand in R09 1:100 with gentle inversions at 20min and 40min. While I was waiting for the wash I thought I’d snap a quick pick of a small ensemble of some of my darkroom tools:


For starters the Cen-tech (harbor freight) infrared thermometer is one of the awesomest tools I’ve gotten recently for the

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Success and failures!

How’s it goin’? 60/40. Pretty much sums it up. Let’s start with the failures so we end on a positive note. 

I saw two awesome shows in Chicago last year. Earthless, a power jam band, and Radio Moscow a blues driven power rock band. I took my Konica BigMini Zoom to both loaded with some Ilford Delta

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Darkroom DIY Panoramic Negative Carrier


I first ran into this problem when I was shooting with the 35mm pano back on my Bronica SQa. I figured it’s the same length as a 6×6 fame, just a different height. I found extremely difficult to print 35mm panoramic (24mmx55mm) negatives in a 6×6 negative carrier. The reason why is coming up in a second. The solution was to get a panoramic negative carrier for my Beseler 23C.

Fast forward a few years and I make the exact same assumption and mistake when I got a Holga 120Pan Which

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How to use a print scale.

A print scale, sometimes also called a step wedge, is a darkroom tool that can make your workflow more consistent and efficient. A step wedge is functionally similar to a print scale but has a slightly different purpose.

Normally to determine the proper exposure of a print you make a test print. This is done after you frame, focus, stop down the enlarger lens, and turn off the not-safe lights. You’d then get a piece of light sensitive paper and a board. You’d set the timer for 1

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First print off my new (to me) enlarger!

Here it is, my first print off my Omega D5, which I picked up at Photostock 2015. It’s of my grandfather in law. Printing with this is very different than my Beseler 23c. This uses a Dichro head instead of a condenser.

Dichro heads use a diffuse light source, as apposed to columnated, which reduces contrast, increases exposure time, and has a different feel.

It kind of feels like I’m doing something wrong and I’m not getting prints that look how I expect but that’s ok.

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Only the chimney remains.

Found this gem in Saginaw Township. It looks like it’s nestled deep in some creepy woods but it’s right next to a house and a subdivision, and a busy road. Evidence of our transience in the middle of suburbia.

I believe this was shot with the Konica Big Mini (fixed lens) on Arista Premium 400 (believed to be Tri-X), and processed in R09 (Rodinol).

Thoughts on New55’s R3 Monobath developer

New55, a company who’s primary goal is to bring back Polaroid’s Type 55 instant film, has released a new product that is making quite a splash. It’s called R3 monobath developer. Usually developing black and white film or paper is a three step process followed washing any remaining chemical residues off the film. You develop

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