Dorm Room Dark Room

This is a discussion on Dorm Room Dark Room within the Darkroom forums, part of the FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM category; So as you can see, I'm a new member at photoforum. I'm a relatively amateur photographer, but part of the reason for this is that ...

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    So as you can see, I'm a new member at photoforum. I'm a relatively amateur photographer, but part of the reason for this is that I would like to go with an analogue film camera rather than digital, and as a college student making only 4.30 an hour (work study college) at 10-15 hours a week, I don't really have a lot of funds. As the title suggests, I want to make a setup that can be disassembled/stored in a relatively small space.

    So here is my basic understanding of the process and hopefully the knowledgeable people here can fill in the gaps and throw in some suggestions.

    I would have a developer chemical heated to the proper temperature depending on what chemical it is I choose to use (what would be some good ones to use in terms of price:quality and ease of use?)

    In complete darkness I load the film from the film spool onto a reel. I would then put this reel into a developing tank that contains the developer, at this point, darkness isn't important. (I imagine instead of trying to block out all the light in my dorm room I could make some sort of bag with gloves secured in so that light does not get into the bag, and so that you can insert your hands into the gloves without opening the bag. I feel like I've seen something like this in some sort of chemistry application.)

    I would then leave the film in the developer for a certain amount of time (once again depending on the chemical used) and agitate it every so often so as to increase surface contact between the film and the developer (how much agitation is too little or too much? and does this depend on the particular chemical?) The developer is then poured out of the tank and saved for reuse.

    The set of instructions I've read through said to add blix solution and to let the film sit in this for a certain period of time. I'm not entirely sure what "blix" is. Is it some kind of fixative. Are there different kinds that have different parameters for use? After this, the "blix" is poured off and saved

    The film is then washed with water that is at a particular temperature (100 degrees F)

    The film is then soaked in stabilizer and the stabilizer is then poured out and saved to be reused.

    The film is then washed with water for 10 minutes or more with water that is once again at 100 F. It was noted that 10 minutes is the minimum time for a wash, and that hotter or colder water will affect how the pictures turn out. What sort of effects does temperature differences cause, and what if any effects does washing less or more than ten minutes have?

    The last step is that the film is hung and dried and can then be used to make prints.

    I plan on using a scanner that is equipped with a film attachment to scan the negatives and make prints due to relatively low price of a scanner like this. Will this result in a low quality image? If so can I do anything to improve quality without too much extra expense?

    This is my understanding of the film developing process. I realize that spending more money usually equates to better quality results, but I'm usually pretty good at improvising tools and building things, so if you have suggestions that could make more use of those skills rather than finances that would be much appreciated.


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