Cost of darkroom
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Old 02-29-2016   #1
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Default Cost of darkroom

Hi!

I am thinking about developing my MF and 35mm Black and White film. I have developed B&W films 10-25 years ago in collage. Long time ago.

My question: how much does it cost the buy the necessary tools/chemicals.

What do I need to start?

Thanks so much for all the help!

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Old 03-02-2016   #2
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For 35mm film you can purchase a tank and needed chemicals for under $100. For MF you may need some additional trays only if you are content to process one negative at a time. Your next problem is to find a suitable scanner.
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Old 03-07-2016   #3
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Are you thinking of printing as well as developing? I recently picked up a Beseler enlarger, plus trays, timer, safelights, Paterson tanks etc etc for $100 all in. There are certainly bargains out there to be had if you keep watching kijiji, Craigslist etc.

If you only want to develop the negatives then a tank, thermometer, developer, stopper, fixer are probably your minimum needs. I started with those and also picked up measuring cylinders, film sqeegee and other bits & pieces. And yes, a scanner. I have the Epson V550 - opinions vary (to say the least) on flatbed scanners but I have to say that I have had no issues with the quality of scans produced from my V550.
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Old 03-07-2016   #4
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I agree with goodfellow. If the tank, chemicals, and wash water are all at room temperature, you don't really need a special photographic thermometer. Any thermometer will do. It is consistency, not absolute accuracy, that matters. Squeegeeing works for some, but can leave scratches or marks if not done carefully. I use a wetting agent like Photo-Flo in distilled water for the final rinse. Scans from a good product like the V550 are fine for posting on-line, but may be inadequate for large prints. It's a matter of personal choice.
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Old 03-07-2016   #5
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Consumables you gotta pay for. If you can't get
ALL the rest for free, you ain't trying. Try a bit
harder if you want a stainless sink with filters
and temp controls. The latter is bulky, and so
maybe they'll even pay you to remove it.
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Old 04-19-2016   #6
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New here, but thought I'd chime in. If you can get a hold of a Rondinax 35, its a pretty easy way to develop 35mm. I had the habit of destroying most of my film on the reel prior to using one, and after that I got uneven development with traditional tanks. Guess I was never good with them. It uses 200ml, which is less chemicals than some of the small tanks I've used. I've seen them on ebay for around 50-100USD. Main drawback - its only one film at a time. However the consistency and ease of use is great. Also used for colour c-41 film with pretty good results.
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Old 05-20-2016   #7
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The Patterson tank for about $30.00 will develop 35mm or MF film. The reel expands to accommodate medium format.

Bucket list and approximate cost for B/W film.

1. Changing Bag-$25.00
2. Patterson Tank-$30.00
3. Thermometer-$10.00 to $25.00
4. Scissors
5. Can opener
6. Containers for chemicals are usually free from around the house.
7. Graduates for measuring chemicals, small and larger- $15.00
8. Timer
9. Developer (ID11), Fixer (Illford rapid fixer), stop bath (illfostop), photo flo. Just the stuff I use however their are many choices on chemicals. About $35.00 to get started but the cost continues as the chemicals are used.
10. Squeegee
11. cloths pins to hang film to dry on shower curtain rod unless you have something better. Bathrooms have less dust then other rooms.
12. Watch you-tube video's on how to process film. Matt Day has a good one.
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Old 06-28-2016   #8
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Thanks so much for all the info!
I have started buying all the "tools". The cost is much lower than I thought!

Another question: How does it usually take to develop 5 rolls of 35mm and 5 rolls of 120 film? Approximately...?
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Old 06-29-2016   #9
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Developing one roll might take less than half an hour. Developing several rolls in one tank takes little longer. I've used tanks that hold up to 8 35mm rolls, but prefer to use smaller tanks. A water bath before the developer may eliminate some problems, especially when the fill time of the tank is slow..
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Old 07-20-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskuvo View Post
I have started buying all the "tools".
Here are the tools I use when I am on the road.


Portable Dark Room by Narsuitus, on Flickr


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