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Dark Room Project #1

I’ve wanted to build a darkroom since I started to know photography back in 2003, back then analog photography were still the mainstream, and digital were almost out of reach. my first experience with a dark room was when i join my campus photography club, they got a small dark room with a very basic B/W enlarger, but seeing pictures appear magically from nowhere for the first was amazing. The way the pictures appear gradually, the smell of the chemicals, unfortunately never did learn how to develop my own film, and sadly when the building was renovated, the dark room was closed for good.

After that brief encounter, I’d always thought that someday, at least i will learn to develop my own film, and if lucky enough, set up my own dark room. That thought always linger, but never get realized, until last month when I decided to buy a kiev rangefinder that spark my passion for analog photography. a quick look around on a local classified forum sprung an offer of a second hand Fujimoto Lucky 69M Fujimoto Lucky 90M-S enlarger, when i visit the seller (an elderly Chinese man), it turns out that he used to operate a photo studio that gone broke, and now decided that he will sell clothes instead. With the enlarger also included are three lenses (50mm f3.5, 75mm f4.5, and 105mm f5.6), three negative carrier (35mm, 6×6, and 6×9), a digital timer, a metal developing tank with metal reels (two 135 and a 120). He initially offered it for approximately US$100, which is a little too high for me, so I decided not to pursue it, two week later the seller texts me with a new offer roughly US$70 for the whole lot, so I decided to take it. The guy was fairly nice, he even give some additional extras, such as some powder developer and papers (he even included some kind of fuel additive for no apparent reason other than just wanting to give it).

As for the darkroom, i planned to use a corner on my room for the dry side, and using the nearest bathroom for the wet side. I’m planning to use overlapping curtains with railing as the “room” and add a changing bag for maximum darkness. But the time being the first i want to do is practicing on developing some film first, I’ve read everywhere that loading a metal reels is very hard, so I’m practicing to do that first, before using real film, but if it proved to be too difficult, I’m thinking of buying a plastic one instead.

Fujimoto Lucky 90M-S enlarger

to be continued…

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