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:

Tools of the darkroom trade
Tools of the darkroom trade

For starters the Cen-tech (harbor freight) infrared thermometer is one of the awesomest tools I’ve gotten recently for the darkroom. Pull the trigger and it’s on i a couple seconds, I usually flip it from Celsius to Fahrenheit, point and click and you have the temp! Makes getting that 68-ish water temp a lot easter and faster than waiting for a dial or traditional thermometer. Plus, LASER BEAMS!

Also you can see the 3 lens turret for my Omega D5. It’s set up for 6×6 with the 80mm lens, 6×9 with the 110mm, and 4×5 with the 135mm. I’ve tried putting a 50mm lens on here for 35mm negatives, but the turret takes up too much space and it can’t focus on the negative in the carrier. Still this set up serves me pretty well and I usually leave the Beseler 23C setup for 35mm.

There’s also a 50mm F2 lens. I look through this backwards and effectively use it as a loupe. I’ve been doing this for some time with negatives and it works pretty well. For best results use a fast-ish 50-ish mm lens. Doesn’t even have to be a great one to do better than any plastic lens magnifier!

Finally a pen. You’re pretty lost of you can’t take notes in the darkroom.

Like I said, I developed 4 rolls of film, 2 FPP Svema 35mm rolls, 1 Fuji Neopan Acros 120 roll, and one Lucky SHD 100 roll. They all turned out well except for the Lucky. The Lucky was thin. Like borderline useable thin. Everything else was fine. Even the Acros which I shot over 5 years ago! Then I was thinking that I don’t recall ever having not-thin Lucky rolls. Hmmmmm, YMMV!