want to buy a daylab but....

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I am newly interested in emulsion lifts and am ready to buy a daylab. Can anyone fill me in on exactly what I will need (everything) with the daylab... or is this system self contained? I want to work with 8x10 images. Any and all help greatly appreciated. I have darkroom experience ( long time ago) but am new to the daylab way of doing things. You can email me at oasisfilms@aol.com thanks to anyone who takes the time to help... jeff

-- jeff smith (oasisfilms@aol.com), May 24, 1999


Dear Jeff,

Purchasing a Daylab is no different than purchasing any other major purchase. One must decide which type of "extras" they wish to have or not before making this type of decision.

Some people have been fortunate enough to find Vivitar slide processors for a few dollars at "flea markets, second hand stores and garage sales". However, these types of processors do not have any extra features such as the Daylab II which has Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow filters built in, as well as a electronic timer, the capabilities of made longer or shorter exposure controls and frankly, in my humble opinion the best processor around. Additionally, the Daylab II also allows you the freedowm to step up into the different film format sizes whereas the Vivitar only uses the 3x4" film format (if my memory serves me correctly). It sounds as if the Daylab II is what you may be searching for and yes, the processor is self- contained and light tight. I have two myself and absolutely love them. Several months ago I also purchased an SX-70 Time Zero Manipulation base for that special surreal look, the base fits right on to the Daylab II enlarger. It is such a pleasure to work with the proper equipment and materials--just makes life so much simpler.

Kathleen T. Carr the author of the definitive book titled, "Polaroid Transfers" published by Amphoto Books explains the difference in of each processor in a simple easy to follow method. She also sells new and used equipment and can be reached at KCarr@KathllenCarr.com for the purchase of the equipment you maybe seeking. I highly reccommend her book as it has the most detailed info to make successful image and emulsion transfers and Kathleen had the foresight to answer many problems one might encounter while working with the Polaroid transfers. It truly belongs in everyone's "how to" books, you will find it infinitely helpful.

There are of course other sources that sell the Daylab enlargers, you might want to post another question on this forum to see if anyone out there knows of any other Daylab sources.

By the way Jeff, you will also need to purchase an 8x10 filmholder and 8x10 film processor, in addition to the 8x10 film (which can get a little expensive). Is there a certain reason you want to jump right in to the large format first, rather than learn on the 3x4" & or 4x5" film formats before making the economic investment in the 8x10" format? That is something you might want to consider, unless of course money is no object, in which case, "Will you marry me online?" Just joshing :) Seriously though these are all things that one should consider before making a decision which includes a lot of "capital" infusion, if you get my drift. So consider your options before making your purchase(s) and I wish you the very best of luck with your new endeavor with the Polaroid processes as they are soooo unique and lovely and FUN FUN FUN to create.

Please keep me posted on your progress, and if I can help or clarify any portion of my answer for you, please contact me at Elena@nuvophoto.com.

Happy printing! Elena

-- Elena Trujillo-Spice (Elena@nuvophoto.com), May 25, 1999.

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