One of the most important peripheral tool for film photographers is the light table. These days I used a LED Tracing tablet that I bought a while ago. The light is adjustable, constant and it is about three times the thickness of a credit card!
I was looking at some images I took with a camera I was given free of charge by a family member. It was shot on the Spotmatic IIa from Pentax. More on the camera on another post but since I was checking the negatives I thought I would snap a quick picture to post on it. Checking negatives is vital before going into the darkroom. A negative that may look good on casual inspection may be out of focus or scratched in some way.
A few minutes spreading out the negatives on a light table and using a loop to take a quick look helps ensure that the time spent in the darkroom is well spent. The light table also gives you an opportunity to take some digital images of your negatives. This simplifies the process of making a contact sheet which can then be printed and kept with the negatives.
The analog to digital to analog workflow helps bring in the benefits of both mediums in my photography. There is still nothing as wonderful as holding some negatives that were properly captured and then holding the print made in the darkroom. But digital allows me to ensure that the time that I do spend in the darkroom is not wasted.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.