Announced at The Photography Show 2020 just moments ago, ILFORD Photo (with a little help from their friends at Paterson Photographic), is bringing a new pop-up darkroom and darkroom kit, both penciled in for release starting in early Q4 2021.

And, for all of you waiting for EMULSIVE Secret Santa, there’s also a little bonus in the form of the ILFORD 35mm Gift Calendar. More on that in a bit. first, let’s take a look at what we know about the darkroom kit.

Note: Pricing for all three new announcements is still subject to change but I’ve provided an indication where possible.

ILFORD Pop-Up Darkroom

As the name suggests, this is a small, portable darkroom designed for those of us who want a temporary space without needing to convert an entire room into a light-tight or workable darkroom environment.

As someone who lives in a small home with limited room for the extravagance of a dedicated darkroom, this is very, very exciting for me. Especially given how much of a pain it is to convert my bathroom space into a working darkroom (spoiler: never again).

ILFORD tells me that its, their intention is to make this as affordable as possible in order to open up access to home darkroom printing to more people. It’s no surprise to people like me who have looked into these things that current options are both limited and expensive to say the least.

ILFORD are aiming for the region of £215-265, however, as noted above, this is still to be determined, so please don’t hold them to it.

  • Dimensions when packed: 68 x 25 x 25cm
  • Dimensions when erected (approx.): Floor footprint 1.3m x 1.3m // Height 2.2m
  • Packed weight (approx.): 8kg (17.5lbs)
  • Includes: Darkroom, poles, ground sheet and storage bag.
  • Dimensions when packed: 68 x 25 x 25cm
  • Dimensions when erected (approx.): Floor footprint 1.3m x 1.3m // Height 2.2m
  • Packed weight (approx.): 8kg (17.5lbs)
  • Includes: Darkroom, poles, ground sheet and storage bag.

More details from ILFORD:

The external metal frame is approximately 2.2m tall when erected and should fit in most standard ceiling height rooms in European, American and Asian homes while still creating a workable 1.3 x 1.3m space to print while standing or seated.

A durable light tight black material clips to the frame while an accompanying ground mat offers protection for your flooring and can be fastened to the darkroom material.

A built-in air vent towards the base of the darkroom allows for an optional fan / air blower to be used and once, sealed the incoming air will also expand the inner dimensions. A smaller vent is also included closer to the top of the darkroom to attach air extraction tubes (not included).

The Pop-Up Darkroom contains a material loop at the top to hang a safelight and can easily be folded down for storage or transportation in the included carry case

One of the most exciting possibilities for me is the now very real possibility of going on the road with a portable darkroom (something I’ve been mulling around while planning a late summer road trip next year). I can’t wait to try this out (at home and on the road) but first, I’ll need a dedicated enlarger.

Speaking of that…

ILFORD & Paterson Darkroom Starter Kit

ILFORD and Paterson’s Film Starter Kit (announced on EMULSIVE on October 24th 2019) has been a huge success and one of many community efforts at introducing more new photographers to the joys (and creative possibilities) of film processing.

Both companies are back with a new collaboration in the form of the ILFORD & Paterson Darkroom Starter Kit. With an enlarger and safelight procured (also available from Paterson directly), the kit includes the following paper, chemistry and accessories to complete the set:

  • 1 x ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC DELUXE Pearl Paper 8×10” 25 sheet box
  • 1 x ILFORD MULTIGRADE Developer 500ml bottle
  • 1 x ILFORD ILFOSTOP 500ml bottle
  • 1 x ILFORD RAPID FIXER 500ml bottle
  • 1 x Paterson 1200ml Graduate Cylinder
  • 1 x Paterson 150ml Graduate Cylinder
  • 1 x Paterson Chemical Mixer
  • 1 x Paterson Thermometer Small (9”)
  • 3 x Paterson 8×10 Trays (Red / White / Grey)
  • 3 x Paterson Print Tongs (Red / White / Grey)
  • 1 x Paterson Micro Focus Finder

Similar to the Pop-Up Darkroom this is a starter kit for anyone looking to get into darkroom printing. Pricing has not been finalised but I’ve been told that ILFORD are aiming for £125-150.

ILFORD 35mm Gift Calendar

An excellent gift for film photographers in the run-up to Christmas (or other holidays)! It’s a free-standing advent-style calendar with 12 windows, behind which, you’ll find a range of ILFORD or Kentmere films and other goodies.

The price, while not yet determined will be less than purchasing the included gifts separately and while I’ve tried to get a full list, ILFORD are keeping the actual gift list very close to their chest to make sure it’s a surprise.

And there you are, two very exciting new products and one fun little Christmas (and other celebration) gift available in just a couple of months time. Long live film!

~ EM

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Founder, overlord, and editor-in-chief at I may be a benevolent gestalt entity but contrary to increasingly popular belief, I am not an AI.

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  1. The prospect of a pop-up darkroom is very exciting as someone who lives in a tiny home with no space for a dedicated darkroom!

  2. I thought about something like this on and off for a while, I always imagine something even more compact, smaller table with a series of stacked drawers for trays/paper, not even a safelight in favor of a red window controlled by a zipper and rely on ambient light, foldable table with/rack with the ultimate goal of everything fitting into a suitcase.