Darkroom Supply Trip at the Dollar Store
Being on a very tight budget for the pinhole photography section in a children's summer art camp, I naturally sought out any ways to save money on the little things needed in a darkroom for the processes. Lets face it, analogue is not the cheapest hobby.
And where do people turn for cheap(and directly from China) items? You guessed it, the dollar store.. in my case the Dollar Tree.
I was unsure about the amount of usable items I can find there at first, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
Here's what I got:
(1) 3 Set of Plastic Funnels
(1) 2 cup Measuring Cup (surprisingly accurate)
(3) Plastic trays/tubs marketed as a "dish pan" but could definetely double as a devel. tray (Dimensions: top layer= 14.5"x11.5" bottom= 12"x9")Sure beats paying $18+ dollars http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ping_Tray.html for a couple pieces of plastic, even if they are sturdier, lay lower, are have a few special features. Especially for temporary uses.
(5) Electronic Timers in the kitchen dept.... these especially impressed me. Available in 3 colors for keeping them seperate(in case the accuracy of the timers is different, but consistency would be key in all timing) Could be used for the developing process and for keeping exposure times in and out of the darkroom, and have a handy "memory" feature which allows the previous time which went off to be restored to the screen upon completion so you never have to worry about what the time was(& you can easily add a few seconds) Plus, who wants to fork out $40 for a timer? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...oom_Timer.html
I got it all for $10.00 plus tax.
I'm sure many other useful items could be find at the dollar store as well. BTW, I'm not in any way affiliated with the Dollar Tree in case your wondering.. just found some good buys.
What about you guys? What types of good buys or items that could double as photo supplies have you found? I separate thread might be nice if sharing ideas and deals becomes popular.
Happy Shopping and Shooting(Photos, that is. :laugh:)
clothesontheline, coincidentally I picked up the same funnels and measuring cup at our Dollar Tree. I intend to get glass bottles and "nicer" stuff at some point, but went for the Dollar Tree items to hold me over.
I also picked up a few 1.5 litre plastic bottles to hold Diafine; color-coded and matching the color of the funnels.. Of course I washed them first, and became impatient, taking an hair dryer to them. One bottle started to collapse from the heat, but it still seals with the cap.
When a local camera shop closed I did get some good deals; a couple Vivitar 356 enlargers @ $15 each, a practically new Gralab timer @ $35, chemicals, some Kodak mercury thermometers very cheap (one still in it's sealed package), etc. I forgot how fast mercury thermometers respond.
Milk jugs make good temporary containers, as do pop bottles.
another vote for the plastic measuring cups.
also look for rubber or nitrile gloves.
I used to get microfiber glass cleaning towels, but now I can only find the ones for dishes, which are lousy.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
I bought a set of those dish pans years ago and they've been terrific. Also works well for a water bath for SS dev tanks. The only problem is that sometimes a print will drift down to the bottom and kind of stick itself there since there are no ridges/grooves.
I'm glad you found all this... and you know.. those trays look pretty sturdy... yeah... 18 dollars for a timer is kind of outrageous.
As an aside... those trays can be modified with a few minutes with a heat gun, if one were not comfortable with flat bottom as stated above.
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Photography-related materials I've gotten at ye olde dollar store:
* Glass marbles for putting in partially-filled chemical bottles to keep out air.
* Pre-cut 8x10 mats (2 per pack) white and also black!
* Occasional barely decent frames - sometimes 11x14 even!
* Mini easels for photo display
* Table-top tripods that I sometimes use for camera display
The dollar store timers used to have a clip on the back. I would clip them to my shirt. They now have a little stand. I tell all of my film students to get one of these. --- the funnels are also a good item to get here. It's the stuff like this that is either way over priced at the camera store, or they just don't have them ---
* Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
* When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
* When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *
$18 is for the trays.. its $40 for the timer!
Originally Posted by mesantacruz
How would the modifications work? What about putting a couple of marbles or plastic pieces in to keep prints from sticking to the bottom?
Good to know someone tried the trays with success before!
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
Could you describe the process more in depth? What about putting a few plastic pieces/ marbles in the bottom of the tray to keep it off?
Originally Posted by mesantacruz