You may be photographing in broad daylight or in the middle of the night and it is no concern at all. However when you are developing a film or printing the negatives, one always needs a darkroom and the overall important darkroom equipment for processing your creative photographs into reality. The equipment required for film processing is of diverse variety and you really need a nice square room to house all of these in an organized manner.
What is required?
Before we discuss the most important pieces of equipment let us list them together:
? Books on photography
? Film processing tanks of various types
? Film Reels
? Darkroom chemicals for film processing like developers, fixers, printing chemicals, stop bath chemicals etc
? Chemical storage and jugs
? Miscellaneous chemicals and darkroom equipment like fixer test solution, hypo clearing agent, wetting agent, changing plastic bags, safe lights, timers, and trays
? Printing ancillaries like lint free cotton gloves, glass rods for stirring, printing scale wedges, dodging and burning equipment for color finishing of photographs, exposure meters or timers, funnels, safety photographic paper containers, eye magnifying glasses like the ones used by watch repairers or jewelers (called loupes), focusable magnifying equipment and dryers are some of the main items needed as darkroom equipment.
? If you intend to create art photographs or portraits and stills, an enlarger equipment is also necessary, though this can be pretty expensive.
One important factor in processing of exposed film is the lighting inside your dark room. This should be of low intensity and of dull red color as many readers would know already! This hobby requires greater understanding of the photographic processing and for a novice we suggest a suitable course to be followed before embarking in a professional or even a beginner’s way.
Salient features of the darkroom equipment
As one can realize from the above list there are many items to be considered before a processing studio is ready. Some of these are explained in the next paragraph.
1 .The tanks required for developing and printing need to be inert to the photographic chemicals and therefore either stainless steel or plastic
2. The film reels can be either manual rotation or motor driven. They are made from stainless steel or plastic. Check compatibility between the tanks and reels before buying this darkroom equipment
3. The chemicals are to be handled in a careful manner like in any laboratory. The developer, fixer, printing chemicals need to be kept in brown bottles made from glass for best safety and storage life.
4. The type of lighting inside the darkroom is important and great care must be taken to choose this item. Ceiling lights with adjustable hoods is the most useful form of lighting as one can focus it as per needs.
Miscellaneous equipments like trays, timers, enlargers, other printing items are readily available in a photography hobby center and one is advised to carefully choose them by consulting the vast information available on Internet or the expert in the local darkroom equipment shop