Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/10

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Subject: Re: [Leica] The Joy of the Darkroom and Thanks!
From: Vick Ko <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 20:45:25 -0500
References: <>

Welcome to the dark side.

It absolutely rounds out the Leica experience.
Don't worry about the smell - it will grow on you
like a comfortable fragance.

Martin Howard wrote:

> I finally, no FINALLY, got my bathroom darkroom working last night.
> Squeezed around a Valoy II enlarger I found for $30 (minus negative carrier)
> I dug out some negatives from this summer's trip along the West Coast, mixed
> up the developer, stop, and fixer (ahh -- I wonder if the smell will ever
> get out of my shower curtain ;) and set to work.
> First off, this is the first darkroom I've owned.  I've worked in darkrooms
> before, but not much.  I used to belong to a university photo club in
> Sweden, but for various reasons (mostly to do with lack of photography) I
> never really made much use of their Focomat V35-equipped darkroom.
> Until two days ago, I never understood the basics of how to make a print --
> which is odd, because I must have read a dozen books on the subject.  Sure,
> I know all about masking, dodging, burning, etc., but the basics of how to
> get a good straight print eluded me.  That is, until I reaffirmed my
> subscription to Darkroom Techniques and they sent me a little complementary
> issue entitled "Mastering the Fine Art Print", or something to that effect.
> In it, Howard Bond, whose esoteric articles I usually can't follow, wrote
> something that made everything absolutely perfectly clear.  Expose the paper
> for a textured highlight.  Control the placement of shadows by contrast
> (paper grade).  He then went on to divulge a quick and easy technique for
> making a first test strip -- to zero in on that textured highlight.
> I owe Tom A a lot -- more than I'll ever be able to pay back -- in terms of
> time and knowledge he has so graciously shared, but also in terms of
> equipment which he has been so generous to lend or give to me.  I'm
> borrowing my enlarger lens, a 50mm Ross, from him, and judging by the
> results, I don't think he's going to be getting it back any time soon! ;)
> Another piece is an Ilford darkroom exposure meter.  On one of my trips to
> Vancouver, I spent an afternoon trying to figure out how you'd use it.
> Ilford's instructions (find a mid-level grey tone) seemed pretty silly, but
> together we figured out that using it to meter for a textured highlight at a
> known time would be much better.  And it sure is.  Having got a good first
> print, I measured the textured highlight and recorded the setting on the
> EM-10 at the exposure time of 10s.  Now, I just pop another negative under
> the enlarger on a textured highlight, set the EM-10 under it at the
> calibrated setting, twiddle the aperture until the little green light comes
> on, and I know that if I expose at that setting with that filter for 10s,
> I'll get my highlights placed exactly where I want them.  It's increadible.
> Anyway, the hours flew past, and at about 1am, delirious and exhausted from
> running back and forth between closet (expose), bathroom (dev, stop, fix,
> pre-wash) and kicthen (final wash) I went to bed with a smile on my face.
> I know that many of you on this list have been so very generous with your
> knowledge over the years.  As a small token, I offer you a scan of my first
> print.  In many ways, you're all its fathers and mothers.  I was but the
> midwife ;)
> Technical data: Leica M2, 35mm f/2 Summicron (pre-asph), Fuji Neopan 100
> developed for 15min @ 72F in Rodinal 1:100, nameless variable contrast RC
> paper with perl surface (I suspect it's MG III), 2 min in Multigrade paper
> dev.
> M.
> --
> Martin Howard                    |
> Visiting Scholar, CSEL, OSU      |         53 kB/s and nothing on.
> email:        |
> www:       +----------------------------------------

Replies: Reply from "Dante A. Stella" <> (Re: [Leica] The Joy of the Darkroom and Thanks!)
In reply to: Message from Martin Howard <> ([Leica] The Joy of the Darkroom and Thanks!)