No Buzz with Digital!
Having just returned from the Lake District after a week long holiday I'm really thinking hard about returning to film. Having spent 15 years in a darkroom before moving to film, I get no thrill out of digital photography at all and just reduce my trips to Auto Mode compact shooting all the time.
I'm worried however about what materials are still available and will it be a wise investment considering I no longer have a ddarkroom either.
Darkroom equipment is very easy and cheap to find. Temporarily blacking out a kitchen or bathroom is relatively easy. Film and chemicals are in plentiful supply from many sources, although these days mainly from internet suppliers. From your post I'm assuming you are in the UK* I would suggest your first port of call be Silverprint or Ag Photographic.
*it helps if people show their approximate location in their profiles, even if it is only a country.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Darkrooms are being given away, at least around here.
Lots of materials are still available. Even some new films that have only been around a couple years.
I am just getting in to film and darkroom stuff is cheap! I think you should go for it.
Just take your time to find the bargains, I have found eBay odd over the last year, people seem to think just because it is on eBay what ever price they get it for is a bargain, so don't get caught in a bidding war.
I did just wonder what it is about your digital photos you don't like?
Every time I spend money on materials and "upgrades" for my dark room, I consider the fact that some of my equipment will be plain museum pieces if and when film disappears. Then I think of all the money digital photographers spend on hardware and software, just to keep up. Then I look at my prints and my negatives and have this sense that they will last forever, especially when comparing them to CDs or the bits on a computer screen.
I think a dark room is an investment as wise as any other artistic studio: you pay for materials and everything you do in there is practically useless. But you are creating artwork in one of the best ways ever invented.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Search on eBay for those magic words... "Collection only".
I've seen a whole darkroom go just down the road from me, all porcelain dishes and a 35mm enlarger. The guy literally couldn't give it away. I would have taken it just for spares and just...well, just because I couldn't bear to think it might go to the skip, but the wife spotted me looking at it
About price - if you want paper print as your final result: having darkroom is cheaper that digital.
I found a very nice Omega enlarger with a dichroic head at my local Goodwill store for $25. (C76 model I believe). They have a low-end Omega enlarger (with a condenser head and a horribly fogged lens) for $15 as we speak.
About a year prior I got an older Unicolor enlarger from a Craigslist user for $15.
Chemicals are relatively cheap, especially if you order from Freestyle or Adorama and buy their store brand where available if you feel comfortable doing that. If not, then D-76, Dektol, and Fixer are around $7-8 a gallon. Ilford is slightly more expensive because of shipping from UK->US (assuming you are in the US).
Bottom line...if you have the desire to shoot film, there is absolutly not a reason in the world not to, and in fact plenty of reason to start right away.
In this digital age we here at APUG are renaissance people, we see the value in what was and that it did not need to change. We are romantic in our creation of art through true skill, ability, knowledge and know how of all of what we do. We here see what all those who support advancements in technology lack, they lack the ability to slow down and enjoy what is. People these days are looking for faster and better all the time, although art is not about about quick, it is about spending time with your artwork so it is not just a picture of a mountain, you see yourself in the tones, the quality, the focus, the time spent, the actual PRINT, the one you hold in your hands dripping wet as you come out of the darkroom squinty eyed, and you can proudly say, i made this, this is me.