A 10×15-foot darkroom and an adjacent 14×15-foot room for print finishing were part of the plan when our house was built 37 years ago. Since then, minor additions and changes have been made, but the overall design has proved quite satisfactory. The design benefited from my familiarty with many darkrooms over the previous 27 years, including those of Ansel Adams and the studio where I worked during high school and college. I would have made the darkroom larger if I had known I would soon begin teaching workshops in it, but its size is generous for one person.
Figure 1 shows that the walls and ceiling are black in the enlarger corner in order to prevent light that reflects from the paper to the wall from reflecting back to the paper. In most of the room, the walls are light and the ceiling is white.
Enlarger, lens, and lights
For many years, the 4×5 Omega D2-V enlarger with 90mm Apo Rodagon lens has been used only for printing students’ roll-film negatives. The 4×5 Beseler 45V-XL enlarger is used for 4×5 through 8×10 sheet-film negatives, by means of a home-made wooden adapter. Its lenses are 180mm and 240mm El-Nikkors and the light source is an Aristo 1212 containing a V-54 tube. Both enlargers are wall mounted and the voids in the cement blocks of this part of the wall have been filled with concrete.
The coiled hose at the left is attached to a Sears air compressor. (Their compressors start at around $100.) Because I blow the dust off my negatives and the glass of the negative carrier, white spots on my prints seldom come from these sources.