View Full Version : Color darkrooms in SE Wisconsin (milwaukee)

chad hallblade
08-27-2009, 07:41 AM
Hey All,

I'm new to APUG, pretty excited to have found it since I'm still keen to using film. I was wondering where people on this board are printing there work these days? Home darkrooms? I'm not quite desperate to find a place to print, but would really like to find an accessible and reliable space.

What is everyone else doing? I'm specifically interested in printing color.


Mike Wilde
08-27-2009, 08:00 AM
Keep a keen eye on your local craiglist; it is likely that if you want to print color it will have to be a DIY affair at home with mail ordered supplies from B&H or Adorama. Lots of folks are clearing out their darkroom rigs from the 70's to 90's and the gear when it is found can be had for a song. Shipping an enlarger is no mean feat, so that I why I recommned Craigslist or some other local listings source.

08-27-2009, 11:34 AM
I use to print my own years ago and plan to go back to doing so. Its getting harder to find local C41 processing also (in my area) so that is first on my list of Things To Do.

Mail order is the other option however, rather expensive.

Good Luck.

Peter De Smidt
08-27-2009, 12:01 PM
I'm not sure what you're looking for, and so I'll list a couple of options. First, for the low end, a number of Walmart, Costcos... still develop and print C41 on site. Moving up, I use Burne Color Lab in Madison to develop my E6 film. My guess is they still do optical printing. Finally, a bunch of us in SE Wisconsin have full color darkrooms.

chad hallblade
08-27-2009, 12:09 PM
I'm looking for a place to enlarge and print from color negative film. I used to take open lab classes at Cardinal Stritch University. They had very nice facilities, but I think that they are no longer offering that class. Plus I would like something more immediately available. I rent a small one bedroom, I don't really have space to set up at home. So I'd like to find somewhere to rent.

I've often thought that setting up a photo space, a darkroom business would be great, there must be others like myself who are looking for a place to work, but lack the space to do so. But I'm afraid that most are moving towards printing digitally.

Those of you with color darkrooms, do you have a machine that processes your prints or do you use the traditional bins with chemicals?

Peter De Smidt
08-27-2009, 12:50 PM
Chad, I use a Jobo CPP-2. With it, I can make up to 20x24" prints. I have some contacts in Milwaukee. I'll ask them if they have any suggestions.

chad hallblade
08-27-2009, 01:04 PM
Thanks Peter, appreciate it.

Mike Wilde
08-28-2009, 08:25 AM
I have for years done it in tubes, but about two years ago a tabletop dry to dry processor came my way for $300 vai craigslist. I cleaned it, and cleaned it... and otherwise brought it back from being dead. It is now very handy. I can feed it chems after work, have dinner, and be printing with a warmed up machine less than half an hour later. With an analyser (Lici colourstar 3000 that I cant image living without to start each session quickly) I can be cranking out good prints about 10 minutes after the first test print of the night.

chad hallblade
08-28-2009, 09:50 AM
Looks like in the long run, buying my own equipment and creating my own space will be the best option. short term, i have no money for any new (or used) equipment, and need to see about renting someone else's space I guess.

08-28-2009, 11:16 AM
Chad, you might check out MATC downtown. I have a friend that use to take photo classes and I believe he said that gave him access to the darkroom. Have not seen him in awhile to ask however, perhaps a call might get you the info.

chad hallblade
08-31-2009, 07:40 AM
So would anyone out there be interested in sharing/ renting out darkroom space? Isn't there anyone who might be interested in sharing the cost of chemicals? I guess that I would be interested in Madison too, not just Milwaukee.

Peter De Smidt
08-31-2009, 10:07 AM
Madison used to have a darkroom in the student union. You'd pay a small fee per semester to sign up. You might contact them to see if it's still there.