You can however have a darkroom that's too big: our last one was. Then we overreacted...
How can anyone live that long without a darkroom? Is it possible?
Originally Posted by mtbbrian
The darkroom I built as a teenager in my mothers basement next to my room was billed as a walkin closet when she sold the house. The darkroom in my last home was a "work/storage room with sink" in the garrage. My current darkroom was built to be a large storage room when I leave. With a bit of planning a darkroom can be used for other things or at least easily remeved later. I am going to build a larger darkroom on the other side of the basement next year. It will be framed in as a bedroom with window. I will just drywall over window, when I sell I will open and finish the window and then it is a bedroom with a real strange electrical layout. A darkroom will add value to a house if it is done well.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
I had the chance this weekend to visit the photographic premises of Chambre Hardman who practised portraiture in Liverpool for a living from the 1920s to the late 60s. He employed up to 15 people to process film and prints on his premises which had previously been used by private medical consultants. None of his darkrooms were custom made and given his throughput both the film processing( mainly 5x4) and prints rooms were surprising small. He had simply blocked out the light from normal size windows. He only had two taps in either room and his print room had a home made wooden sink lined with lead. It was probably 2ft x 6ft.
Incidentally well worth a visit for APUGers who happen to be making a visit to Liverpool. The tours are timed and need to be booked in advance via the National Trust but can be booked at quite short notice.
So if he could run a business for about 45 years in such premises, I wouldn't worry about conversion problems. His premises could be reverted back into normal rooms in a matter of hours if required.
I'm moving in with my fiance' at the end of the month, and I'll be without a darkroom for a while. The main reason is that I want to do it right, from first crude sketch up through the finished room. I'll use the months during which my darkroom takes shape to file my negatives...something that should have been done years ago.
In my current house, the kitchen has been the darkroom. Living alone, nobody was ever bothered by the huge enlarger on the table. I rarely ate in, so it didn't cause me any inconvenience. Your living situation often dictates your darkroom size. As has been mentioned a number of times, many pirints have come out of a bathroom or a closet. Others convert large areas of their homes.
As to you original query: I'm sufficiently convinced that film will be available for a very long time that I'm going to build my "dream darkroom" in my new home. Plus a room for matting and framing. And storage space for my cameras. My fiance' was so convinced that when she built the house last year, she had drainage and water pipes run over to where I'll build the darkroom. (Now that's true love!)
Build the darkrrom...you'll be happy that you did.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
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Go ahead and build the darkroom - enjoy while you can. My first darkroom was basement space in my parents' house (I was 15) for printing only. The first time I got my 4x5 negs back from the lab with permanent spots that didn't belong there, I decided it was time to start processing my own film. I had a small light proof space under the steps for loading film holders - it bacame the film processing darkroom. I may still have some irregularities on my noggin from that experience. I don't think you'll ever regret having made the space.
Don't let the 'doom and gloom' folks scare you out of it. As for me, if I'm the last film photographer in the USA, I'll apply for a job at Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI). When Henry Ford was building this exhibit village in the 1920's he discovered one of the last practicing tintypists had given up his work some years earlier and was working in one of the Ford plants. Ford built a tintype studio in the village and put him to work there. He worked there until his death in the 1940's making many thousands of tintypes - famous people came from all over the world to have a tintype made. So whether as museum pieces or general practice, I still think there is a future for film photography!
"I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.
Another way to look at it: If you buy used equipment today, you'll get it for a fraction of what it cost when it was new. A few months ago, I bought a Philips PCS130 with PCS150 light source for $74 ($50 plus $24 shipping). This enlarger cost about $1,000 new in the 1980s. Thus, the original owner paid about $50 per year for the enlarger, ignoring interest and inflation. At that rate, I only need to keep it in operation for a year and a half for it to cost the same on an annual basis. Somehow I doubt if photographic paper will become unavailable so rapidly as to make that impossible.
Originally Posted by Lopaka
If, OTOH, the doom-and-gloomers are wrong, the cost will drop even more, on an annual basis, making the purchase of (used) darkroom equipment today a phenomenal bargain. For instance, if I get ten years out of my enlarger, that'll be just $7.40 per year.
Originally Posted by srs5694
I like how you think!
I'll never understand the fascination many have for big
Originally Posted by david b
sinks. I'll take a good counter any day; more versatile
and no problem to construct. Sinks are for water and
washing up. Dan
Sinks are for keeping the dry side dry.
Originally Posted by dancqu