In the “about” section I briefly described the circumstances of my first darkroom in the early 1970s. Today I enjoy the luxury of two rooms 2.5×2.1 m and 1.8×3.5 m connected with a door in the basement of our house. The first is the dry room, the second the wet room.
For the standard development I use four 30×40 cm trays. These are old but made from very sturdy plastics. I auctioned these and they do not have any manufacturers labels but I suspect they were made in former GDR. Prints are washed in a half-barrel type of washer which works well for the smaller formats if not more than three to four are washed at a time. Next to the washer is a microfilter, which is used to filter the water for all film processing. A two way switch below the tap allows an easy switching between the tap, washer, and filter. On the wall behind the sink, I attached a large white tile with a little aluminum drain at the bottom. This is used to hold prints after the first rinse to be inspected in white light.
Core of the dry room is my Leitz Focomat IIc a jewel of mechanics and optics. It is the older model with the wooden baseboard. With time I added a few missing features. I auctioned the little light tray which can be pulled from underneath the baseboards and which is useful to position the negative in the carrier of the instrument, which fits snug on the light tray. I bought a missing filter draw from Kienzle Phototechnik, necessary for the grade filters and attached a small tape measure to control the height of the negative carrier above the easel. I use two original Leitz easels, the 18×24 cm and the 30×40 cm one. The Focomat IIc rests on a working table; however, for more sturdiness, I fixed the top of its column to the wall with a strong holder for a satellite antenna. This reduces any movements and vibrations to a minimum.
Next to the Focomat IIc the Analyser Pro is placed on the wall, this way it is easily accessible and does not steal any space from the table top. As described in the Processing Blogg, I love this instrument. My only change was the footswitch, which is essential to free both hands for the dodging and burning. I replaced the small switch, which comes with the instrument for a heavy metal industry type switch. Above the timer is a small rag with the variable grade filters and on the wall is also a light tablet for previewing the negatives and a Kinetronix anti-static brush for cleaning the film right before inserting it into the enlarger and the material for dodging and burning.
A paper cutter is mounted on a small, hinged table on the wall this cutter is used to cut the test stripes and other handling of the paper. When not in use, this table can be stored flat on the wall and is out of the way. Above it is a wall mount to hold the large Leitz easel. Two cupboards hold photographic paper and additional gear.
Illumination of the room is once via the existing ceiling lamp, two read lights and an extra white LED light above the working area with the enlarger where the switch is in the reach from the stool in front of the enlarger.