Market for darkroom equipment?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by allison_mccormick, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. Hello! I'm ready to finally let go of my darkroom equipment. However, I'm wondering if anyone might point me in the right direction for a selling venue? I usually hang out around Miranda, and it's very digital there. Where would you suggest I may find the best audience?
    Ebay is always an option - I haven't used it much lately...feels as though it's getting scam-ridden and more expensive (my husband got scammed when selling a dSLR - so frustrating). Is there a better alternaive?
    Also, would you recommend selling the whole package together? I worry about the shipping - it takes up three large boxes - but am not sure if a complete package is just more appealing to people than piecemeal. I'm also worried about limiting sales to a pickup region (e.g. through one or more of the Colorado craigslist areas) just due to the limited pool of individuals still interested in a real film darkroom.
    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded question...any recommendations?
  2. One thought, in case you find no takers on your equipment, is to donate it to a facility that teaches chemical darkroom & would desire your gift.
  3. You can use's free classifieds . Even as a non-subscriber you can use it, with a few limitations. I've used it for years, both as buyer and seller, and results have been comparable to ebay with less expense. For someone who needs only occasional transactions it works fine.
  4. I am based in Aspen, building a full tilt fine art darkroom in Paonia, let me know what you have and I will consider it.
  5. We are at a low ebb for darkrom equipment values. If I had motivation and felt like dealing I would hoard enlargers and darkroom equipment for collectors and hobbiests in ten years.
  6. We are at a low ebb for darkrom equipment values. If I had motivation and felt like dealing I would hoard enlargers and darkroom equipment for collectors and hobbiests in ten years.​
    A few of us were discussing this not long ago. We predict that between the economy and the digital and film mediums still needing shaking out, it will be another 2-3 years and then the value of this stuff will start to rise, especially if it is top notch gear like Apo enlarging lenses, compensating timers and cold heads.
    But right now, it is a dreadful market for the seller. In the past 2 months, I have basically obtained around $4,000 ( used price ) worth of professional darkroom gear for some $700. I picked up a mint Seal 550 mount press from a Denver framing chain that was liquidating for $150!
    I feel for those trying to sell darkroom gear, but I am grateful to be in the position to buy it since it is my future in my career.
  7. You will probably make more selling the parts on Ebay. Individual carriers and lensboards instead of an entire enlarger package. But it is a lot more trouble. Only you can decide if the trouble is worth it. Quality things like apo lenses are still valuable. Other things are pennies on the dollar compared to new prices. If you have a price in mind try Craigslist first. If you have no idea about price Ebay will be better.
  8. I find that prices in Germany have already started going up. Last year I bought a Leitz Focomat V35 for 88 euros, this year they go for about 300. I also have two Schneider 40 mm HM (ASPH?) enlarging lenses, one bought two years ago for just over 100 euros, and the second bought a few weeks ago for 180.
  9. There is still allot of interest in Enlargers on eBay, but the market is not red-hot as it was 5-10 years ago. One of the main problems with trying to sell enlargers, is the shipping and packing that comes with it. The way an enlarger is built does not help in the least when it comes to packing or shipping.
    When I purchased my enlarger from a Photographer based in upsate NY 6 years ago, it took her about 2 weeks to try to get the shipping together. This is after callling her brother and boyfriend to help her out.
    Why not just keep the thing and save yourself all the agravation.
  10. Thanks for all the information - very informative. Realistically, I have the room to store it and could certainly hang on to it, I've just found myself in a bit of a "purging" mindset where I just want to get rid of things I don't use. From that perspective, it would be nice to sell. From the financial perspective, however, I believe I have several other items that would also fall into the category of "not be the best timing for selling" given the tightened economy and my gut feeling that many people may be selling things to free up cash.
    So, I guess I'll just have to decide which is more important - getting rid of stuff now or waiting and potentially getting a bit more money for the stuff at a later date. If only I had a crystal ball... ;)
    If anyone has a pointer to the discussion of the ebb and flow of the darkroom equipment market and the potential for an upswing later, I'd be interested in reading it. My searches didn't seem to turn anything up. Obviously, I don't figure this stuff is an investment, I'm just curious in the discussion.
  11. I have some misc darkroom equipment I'd like to give to someone who'd use it.
    Lots of trays from small to large - 3 are 16x20, about 2 boxes of stuff. No enlarger, but vintage darkroom light, timer, also a pentax SLR w/zoom. I live in LA - just contact me and pick it up. All free to someone who will make good use of it. - judy
    jmfris (at) gmail (dot) com
  12. You can try your local high school/college that teaches photography. There is usually a student who NEEDS a camera for a class and is willing (or parents are) to pay a fair price for it.
  13. I Have two Durst modular 7 enlargers that cost the earth when I bought them! I thought last year that i might let one go, but what I was getting offered for them was an insult so i am going to hang on to it. Its obviouse that an item is only worth what you can get for it and as digital seems to be the thing thees days darkroom equiment will be worth less and less - Though there will always be the purist photographers who would rather give up photography than use digital - I have tried it and hate it with a vengence! nothing can replace the pleasure of seeing a print develop in the tray and llok at the result and know everything has come together. digital always reminds me of what Eugene Atget said to man ray when he loaned him a Rolleiflex "it works faster than i can think!" and he went back to his plate camera. its too instant for me and the pictures look flat with no depth- anyone agree? - Its just my old fashioned opinion!
  14. Judy - I'll put your trays to good use. I live in Boston, though, so you'd need to ship them (I'd pay shipping, of course).
  15. I have a Beseler 23CII which has served me very well for the past 20 plus years. But I also had a lovely Omega B22, with two Schneider Componon lenses, 50mm and 75mm, plus all negative carriers, etc. ... and an el cheapo easel and some 8 x 10 trays. But the main thing was that enlarger and those beautiful lenses. So, I sold the whole shebang for $150 to a young returning Iraq War vet, just getting interested in traditional darkroom procedures. I was not a big fan of that war, but he was, is, a great kid and I figured it was my way of supporting at least one troop.
    He found an old box camera, Agfa, I think, that takes 120 film and has come up with some very fine prints. Interesting the way 20-somethings are latching on to older techniques.
    The B-22 found a good home, that's the main thing.
    (sorry... got posted twice... sysop, can you delete the first one?)
  16. "Interesting the way 20-somethings are latching on to older techniques."​
    Yup, I'm seeing a lot of interest in film photography and starting in the darkroom among folks younger than 30. I suspect that's another reason why the market value of darkroom equipment is fairly low now - the people who want it can't afford to spend much. The main thing is getting it into good hands for the next generation.
  17. I am closing my traditional/digital lab in Champaign Illinois. I have several omega chassis and Chromega color heads with power supplies if anyone knows of someone looking to buy or contract. I also have a 30 inch Chromira printer that will be for sale when I finally close the doors Oct 30, 2013 along with a 4x8 ft seal mounter. Lots of the usual suspects of timers and trays. Send me a note if you or someone you know is looking. The smaller stuff will be moved to the Niagara Falls NY area where I will end up. I can arrange a drop off in any city in between. I will post a completed list soon. Thanks for reading!

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