The Complete Survivalist’s Darkroom: Ch. 1, Grocery Shopping in the Wild Wild Web.

This is my grocery list for a minimal darkroom. It’s not a perfect list, but it will give you an idea of what and where to buy (if you’re starting out as a novice and want to save money).

I will elaborate on why I chose particular products later in the course, but in the meantime, this will give you a rough idea.



Underlined items are for developing film without a darkroom.

Non-underlined products are for darkroom printing.

Red items are products you can buy from specialist photography stores; I reccommend that you get them from B&H.

Purple items are easier to buy from Ebay, Amazon, second-hand stores, Craigslist and the like.

Green items are general products you can buy anywhere.

Blue items are free



  1. Kentmere 400 ASA Black & White Film, 35mm, 100′ bulk roll
  2. Ilford Multigrade FB Matt Paper, 5×7″ 100 sheet
  3. Print File Archival Storage Page for 35mm Negatives 100 Pack
  4. Ilford Multigrade Paper Developer
  5. Ilfotec HC Film Developer
  6. Any kind of acetic acid: vinegar, citric acid or human pee (if you are a crazy person or work in the latrines).
  7. Ilford Rapid Fixer
  8. A light kitchen detergent
  9. Black duct tape
  10. Black rubbish bags
  11. Access to running water, unless you don’t have access to free water.



  1. Any kind of 35mm Film camera (preferably start learning with a compact film camera)
  2. Durst M-301 Enlarger
  3. Film Changing Bag
  4. Kalt reusable 35mm cassettes for bulk film, (25 cassettes would be ideal)
  5. Scissors
  6. Thermometer
  7. Lint-free cloth (typically used to clean glasses)
  8. Clothes line pegs
  9. A watch/timer
  10. Kitchen brush
  11. Stainless Steel Developing Tank
  12. 2x stainless steel 35mm reels
  13. Bulk Film Loader
  14. 100mL measuring graduate
  15. Kitchen Tongs
  16. Micro-focus finder
  17. Screw Light Bulb
  18. LED red light or a red lightbulb (DO NOT USE A PHONE SCREEN!!)
  19. Plastic trays larger than 8×10″ (needs to hold over 600mL of liquid).
  20. Glass bottles (must exceed 500mL or higher)
  21. A peg hanger
  22. Kitchen funnels



  1. A basic Windows PC (minimum requirements: 3Gb RAM and a 2GHz Processor)
  2. Matte screen display monitor.
  3. A film scanner; I use the Epson Perfection V370 but there might be better products from Canon if you look.



  1. EpsonScan (or a different scanning software if you’re not using an Epson scanner)
  2. Darktable
  3. GIMP
  4. BIMP (batch image manipulation extension for GIMP)
  5. Adobe Bridge



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s