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Thread: Darkroom hire

  1. #1
    Mr Man's Avatar
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    Darkroom hire

    I'm not sure this is in the right place to post this but here goes.

    Do you have a darkroom for hire near you? (community darkroom ect.)

    If there was one how often would you use it?

    Would it matter if there were no colour facilities?

    Would you prefer a small darkroom with only a couple of other users at any one time and limited facilities or a large one with lots of users and all the bangs and whistles.

    When printing B+W do you use RC or FB papers

    How much do you think is a fair price per hour, half day, day.

    Sorry it's a lot of questions. I am particularly interested to here from UK users outside London, where there are several darkrooms to hire, but all comments are welcome.

  2. #2

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    Our local Arts Centre has a darkroom for hire, although I have never needed it as I have my own, I am told it is very well equiped and reasoable to hire,Richard

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    Dear Mr Man,

    We have (had?) a community darkroom in Chicago that, with no advertisement, had about 8-10 regular members paying $100 per month for 24/7 access. This included b&w printing chemicals. The darkroom took care of handling the used fixer. The fee was fine as the members were mostly students who only used it occasionally and the chemicals were generally donated. Unfortunately, the present operator has not been willing or able to advertise to the general public (I found out about it on APUG and the operator had never even heard of this site.). A few posts on bulletin boards in the right locations and I think it would have had a healthy membership.

    I was using it because I had reason to be in the area about 3 days a week and, I'll be honest, it is much roomier than my own darkroom.

    Neal Wydra

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    Mr Man Are you thinking of establishing a darkroom? These sounds like market test questions. No problem with this. There are too few darkrooms outside of educational establishments which allow analogue practitioners to pursue their hobby. B&W full-time or part-time courses at colleges are well subscribed but once the course finishes the ex student often has nowhere to go to continue

    Whether it would be economically viable outside of a big city is of course another thing altogether.

    pentaxuser

  5. #5
    Mr Man's Avatar
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    Hi pentaxuser, yes I am doing a bit of market research (hope nobody is offended by that). Basically I'm thinking of four enlargers in cubicles a handline for film development print development and washing area and drying/viewing room. The space available is not very large but would probably be more comfortable than most home darkrooms. I'm not looking to make a great profit but it would have to cover cost plus a bit for management. Also I don't want to spend all my time running the place.

    Thanks for your comments Neal, 24/7 would be a definite no no but I would love to know where to get donated chemistry from. We do have a collage here that does a degree in photography but I don't know how much the students would use a private darkroom given they have them at the collage.

  6. #6

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    It's the ex student market and camera clubs that have no facilities but members that hanker after analogue processing that you need to research.

    Unless you were to offer some instructional facilities and this might be the way to go then a newcomer is unlikely to want to try dev and printing from scratch so to speak. As I said unless you have a few thriving clubs in your area with analoguers in them then I think you need to near a largish town/ smallish city to have enough custom but I am pessimistic by nature.

    Anyway best of luck

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
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    Norwich Arts Centre have one, but last time I spoke to them, they were not equipped for LF - Not sure how long it will last as (nearly?) all their photography courses are computer based.

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    Paul,

    The Norwich Arts Centre darkroom is apparently no more the last time I checked a few weeks ago.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Mr Man's Avatar
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    Thanks all. Pentaxuser yes I was thinking of running workshops in analogue photography of all sorts. but hadn't thought of camera clubs (didn't know they still existed in the internet age) most appear to be digital influenced but maybe they would be interested in special weekend courses, if I can lend them some camera bodies to go on their very expensive lenses.

  10. #10

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    Dear Mr_Man,

    Calumet and Central Camera donated chemicals, as well as from local labs and studios that closed or were reduced in size.

    Neal Wydra



 

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