Ilford, the United Kingdom-based photographic film, paper, and chemicals manufacturer, is a well-known name in the analog photography world. At the start of the year, the company, which was founded in 1879, invited interested photographers to go on a virtual tour and see what its factory looks like today and how the film manufacturer operates. It also employs a modern approach and shares insightful and educational film photography videos that are accessible for everyone on the company’s YouTube channel.
The company’s latest product, the Pop-Up Darkroom, supports Ilford’s goal “of encouraging and enabling film photographers to take the next step in their analog journey and experience the creativity and magic of darkroom printing.”
The Pop-Up Darkroom has been created for film photographers who want to print their negatives but who may struggle to convert their existing spaces into suitable darkrooms. Not everyone has the space for a large darkroom or the tools to modify an existing tent into a darkroom. Ilford designed its pop-up darkroom to fit indoors, based on most standard ceiling height rooms in American, European, and Asian homes.
When erected, the darkroom stands approximately 7.2 feet (2.2m) tall and still affords a workable 4.3×4.3-foot (1.3×1.3m) space to process and print while the user is seated or standing. It has a built-in air vent that allows users to add an optional fan or air blower, and a smaller vent is included closer to the top of the darkroom to attach air extraction tubes.
The darkroom has a durable light-tight black material that clips to the frame in addition to an accompanying ground mat which adds extra protection for the flooring and can also be fastened to the darkroom material. It also has a material loop at the top to allows photographers hand a safelight.
For easy storage and transportation, the darkroom can be easily folded down using the included carry case.
The Ilford Pop-Up Darkroom will hit store shelves in the final quarter of 2021. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Digital Camera World is hearing that it will carry a price tag of around $265.