Since Sal has started to make his own BW prints in my darkroom, I have gradually updated my photo darkroom with some enhancements, as well bought more chemicals and BW papers.


Professional Red Safety Light

One of them was a new darkroom light. These special red safety darkroom light bulbs have gotten ridiculous expensive (here in Stockholm up to 45 Euro). I do not mean red party lights, which will FOG you papers. I mean the traditional red light bulbs in which light, you can handle black & white paper without fogging it. But since I have at least 3 lamps, I find it almost a waste of money to invest 100+ Euro for 3 light bulbs

Instead I bought the German Heiland Darkroom lamp. A special LED, whose LED's are truly red. You can't just take any red LED, it really must be a reliable one, otherwise you fog your expensive photopaper.

So, this Heiland LED lamp gives suddenly fantastic light in my entire darkroom (which is also my bedroom). Compared to my earlier light bulbs - a huge difference. And better for the eyes, too - because earlier it was at times so dark at the other end of the room, that my eyes just felt too funky, while developing the papers in the chemistry trays.

Sure the lamp cost 200 € - but I think it is worth it. It also produces 5000 K white light, and the whole thing can be turned around, so you can have both direct and indirect light. Very handy. Very even light is spread, too.


Contact sheets & Printing paper

Since a month I have restarted to make contact sheets of my negatives. It means that you put all the negatives of your film, onto a sheet of photo paper, in order to get a view over what those contain. Then they get stored together with every film - and you always see what is on it.

For that purpose I bought the "cheapest" Hungarian FOMA photopaper (37 € for 50 sheet, 24x30 cm), while for printing I use a finer paper from Kentmere in the UK (where it is a bit cheaper than in Germany, by the way)

The cheapest of FOMA's papers are not nice in the RC Glossy format. It blooms, which is a kind of weird reflection on the glossy surface - and the glossiness is a bit dull. It reminds me of Ilford Multigrade from the mid 80s, when it wasn't top notch. The Foma paper is OK for contact sheets, but not for finer prints.



Unexpected many Photopapers

Since some of the papers I had ordered disappeared, because the company in Germany sent ONE order as TWO packages, to the SAME address here in Stockholm, but to TWO DIFFERENT NAMES on it. (my exhusband's name from 2012). So, I had trouble with DHL to get out the photopaper (I didn't and the company had to send me new paper).

The whole story ended with that I ordered paper from the UK as well - but ended up with totally 8 new packs of 24x30/50 paper = 400 sheets.

So, Sal and I can bury our selves in photoaper, making tons of new prints *LOL*

It is ok, though. It will be used. And my closet is now full with both old, not so old, and fresh papers. Which I think is a good thing. Don't wanna run out buying photo material all the time. There is now plenty at home no matter if film, photopaper or chemicals.


Ciao. Raffe ;-)