My DIY Darkroom

Meh Darkroom

Film development times

My "darkroom" where I develop my black and white film is a bathroom I share with three other people. So, my set-up has to be easily put together and taken apart every time I develop film. The only things that are (semi-)permanent are my DIY film wash hose that's attached the the left-hand sink and the bathroom window blacked out with construction-grade black trash bags and painter's tape. And those both could be taken down and put back up without too much trouble. The room is 99% dark once I black-out the bathroom door (from the inside) with a large black sheet made of the same black trash bags, hung with painter's tape, and secured to the floor with a rolled-up bath mat. My chemical jugs are stored in a cardboard box on the floor to the left of the sinks, the tanks and equipment go into a duffel bag that sits on top of the box, and my stool folds up and fits in the corner. Altogether taking up about 3ftx2ft of out-of-the-way floor space.

At the moment I use mostly Kodak photo chemicals: Kodak Xtol Developer, Kodak Indicator Stop Bath, Kodak Rapid Fixer, Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, Kodak Photo Flo. Occasionally, I develop using Agfa/Adox Rodinal Developer or Photographer's Formulary PMK Pyro Developer with Photographer's Formulary TF-4 Archival Fixer. My equipment is a mixture of professional stainless steal tanks and reels, and DIY plastic and Tupperware/Rubbermaid containers and pitchers.

I develop film using the lift-rod method. While processing film (dev, stop, fix) I work in total darkness with film in open containers. Each chemical has it's own container. The developing film is transferred from chemical to chemical using a lift-rod. To agitate I use the lift-rod to lift, lower, and rotate the film reels within their containers. To keep track of my film, chemistry, and equipment in total darkness I keep to a strict routine and place all tanks in the exact same order and locations each time. Afterwards, I hang my film under a ceiling fan to dry.

Unfortunately, I do not have enough space for an enlarger or photo paper trays, so printing is out of the question. Instead, I scan my film straight from the darkroom and either print digitally or through a professional photo/print lab. 

More photos and technical info after the jump.