raspberryfool: (Raspberryfool)
Facebookers will know that I've recently been slowly getting my darkroom back into working order. Just in case you missed it, I've made a nice new bellows for my enlarger to replace the old, cracked, ripped and pretty-much-useless one that came with it; okay I've no right to complain because I was given what turns out to be £1800 of photographic equipment.

Making the bellows was much easier than i'd imagined, and also very cool. I have some black cloth, which I think is cotton, that I bought for use as a black backdrop but I didn't use it. It isn't lightproof but that doesn't really matter in this context. The sections are formed with strips of cardboard cut to a precise shape and glued to the fabric. Four sets of strips are laid down and one overhangs the edge so that the seam doesn't form on the corner. Once the strips are laid, a second sheet of fabric is glued over the first, the join is made and the bellows collapsed in a concertina. I was pleasantly surprised that the collapsing stage went so well, even though one corner ended up thicker than the rest. Here's the pictures on Facebook - this has saved me over £100!

I've also made a new negative holder - something else Pcad forgot to give me - which is made from thick card and glue and finished with black paint. I still need to finalise a method of keeping the plates still but that won't me much bother as I'm almost finished now. I've fitted the new bellows and it works very well, except that I had to cut off several folds because the 50mm lens wouldn't focus properly. I'm pretty close to being able to make prints again, although i can't properly finish them without a decent print dryer or a hot mounting press. Although it's been slow, I'm very pleased with my progress on this project.