General Question

Foolaholic's avatar

What would it cost to fund an old camera and darkroom in your house?

Asked by Foolaholic (5801points) February 19th, 2008

equitment, film, darkroom lights, chemicals, ect…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

row4food's avatar

Here is where i buy all my photo supplies from…I have looked into setting up my own darkroom, but not actually gotten around to it. i buy black and white film and photo paper from them. they are fast, but dont take orders on saturdays…

B&H Photo Video: link

a lot of schools are getting rid of their traditional darkrooms to make way for digital labs. sometimes if you catch them at the right time, you can score an enlarger and some supplies for pretty cheap. check out some local colleges (or even high schools) in your area.

another option is a community darkroom where you pay by the hour (less if you become a member) to use their facilities. that can be a lot of fun and good networking. there are none in my area, but if there was, i’d be there. a lot.

good luck with it.

row4food's avatar

also check out this link on the same page, a guide to setting up a student darkroom, with all the supplies you’ll need to start out: linkResource-Darkroom_for_Students

ezraglenn's avatar

look on craigslist. people are always getting rid of their complete darkrooms [:( ] for pretty cheap. I have often wanted to buy enlargers because of how cheap they were on craigslist despite having nowhere to build a darkroom in my current lodgings…

Foolaholic's avatar

@row4food- thanks for the tips, the only problem being that iI live on an island and don’t have access to a lot of modern facilities. Thanks for the link!

cwilbur's avatar

If you look on Craigslist or eBay, you can find some really good deals on complete darkroom kits. The gear will probably run you about a grand, used, and then another $100—$150 or so for the chemicals and paper you need to get started.

The problem I had was in having a spare, spacious bathroom that could be made light-tight and refitted into a darkroom. You need good plumbing and ventilation, and that’s hard to come by.

row4food's avatar

there are also some restrictions as to what/how much of the chemicals you can actually put down the drain. you probably have to set up some disposal system in containers. i’m not really sure what they are…

ezraglenn's avatar

@row4food, fixer is probably the only problem as it contains heavy metals (silver) which can damage pipes. There are systems available for it’s disposal, but you can also just heavily dilute it and things should be okay.

Cardinal's avatar

No you can’t just dump fixer down the drain with lots of flush water. If dilution was your only concern, then pouring the fixer into a stream with lots of water should be OK. You have to trap the waste materials and have them diposed of properly. By now the EPA will have your name and address and will be looking for heavy metals coming from your drain. or at the very least have you on a list of places to look when the first dead fish washes up downstream from your house. Another consideration: My dad was a professional photographer and did a lot of picture developing in conjunction with the local photo club. Of the 30 or so people very active in the club, over 1/2 have of them died with some form of cancer!

ezraglenn's avatar

@Cardinal – You might attribute that to the fact that a lot of people die of cancer anyway, but that isnt a nice statistic. For the most part, if you are careful (don’t bathe in developer or drink the fixer…) there is very little risk when working in a darkroom. Simple precautions like wearing gloves and a mask when mixing chemicals should keep you pretty safe.

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