View Full Version : Where to sell my darkroom equipment?

25-Jul-2017, 16:51
I've been away from photography for years and I don't know where or if there is a market for darkroom equipment. I'm looking for suggestions (besides Craigslist) where I could advertise for sale.

[Item list deleted]

Are there magazines, photo clubs, forums (I didn't see a classified section in this one)...any ideas would be welcome.

(Los Angeles area...90290)

Oren Grad
25-Jul-2017, 17:32
There is a FS section here that will be available to you after 30 days - please read the Forum guidelines for the rules on that, and feel free to contact the moderators if you have any questions.

Folks here may have general advice about other sales venues.

25-Jul-2017, 21:17
I would start on Craigslist, there are people who are always looking.
There's mountains of equipment out there. Very few takers.

26-Jul-2017, 00:18
I looked at the local Los Angeles Craigslist and didn't see any Beseler CB7 enlargers for sale. That makes it hard to judge it's value. Same with my other items, I'm not finding any listings for them on line so far.

I wonder what the 30 day restriction is for...is the forum inundated with equipment for sale?

There is a local 2 year college with a large darkroom department, I'm going to approach them when I have an idea of values.

26-Jul-2017, 03:55
I've got some bad news for you. A few YEARS ago, a friend of mine who had made the switch from film to digital wanted to get rid of his analog gear -- which included lots of very nice, barely used darkroom equipment, such as TWO 4x5 Durst enlargers and Schneider lenses. He didn't want to make money on it and didn't want to spend time piece-mealing it out. He knew the gear was in good shape and thought it would be valuable to someone. I didn't want anything because I have all I need. He called all of the local colleges and universities in the area -- as well as high schools. They ALL just LAUGHED -- because they were trying to do the same thing!!! The major campus downtown with three colleges and over 50,000 students closed down their analog photo darkroom years ago.

As to the CB7 -- I have one. It is a good example. Great enlarger, but not many people know about it. Right now on EBAY there is one listed. It's in bad shape and the seller wants $150. He'll be lucky if he get $15. No one will pay to have it shipped, and no one in his town will want it -- OK, maybe to use it as a table leg.

My suggestion? If you have time -- and plenty of it, piece it out. For small items that can be shipped at a decent price, such as lenses, sell them on EBAY. Take good pictures and write good descriptions. For larger items, use Craig's List. For the items you can't sell, Craig's List has a FREE section under the FOR SALE section.

The FOR SALE section on this forum is fine, but you will have a world-wide audience on EBAY. About 1/3 of what I sell on EBAY is overseas!!! Polaroids that I find at the local thrift stores in the "throw-away" bin will sell for $75 to collectors in Japan -- where Polaroids were never sold.

I wish I had better news, but if you have the time, it can work out for you.

26-Jul-2017, 09:10
Traditional film/darkroom work is on the upswing in schools, at least in my experience talking to people about this, and some schools are lamenting that they ditched the darkroom gear in recent times. Yes, a few years ago seemed to be when this came to a head, and schools were tossing DR gear. But now they are scrambling to get that gear again - a sales rep told me a few months ago that most of their DR equipment sales are to schools right now. The photo prof at my alma mater is trying to get funding for a new darkroom build. So you may be surprised.

That being said, they aren't going to buy your stuff most likely, due to the myriad budget constraints and processes, but a wholesale donation might get you a very nice deduction on your taxes, depending.

Or put a single ad on Craigslist with that list of gear and a ballpark price for the lot and say you'll part it out as needed, first-come-first-serve, and you'll probably get some takers. But I don't know much about the market on that coast.

26-Jul-2017, 09:31
One of the charter schools in OKC that serves a mostly low-income/minority population has a photography class. It is FILM only and teaches small & medium format. They have a small, but well-equipped darkroom with mostly second-hand equipment. If you're willing to donate your stuff, try the high schools there's probably something like that out in LaLa Land.

Regarding valuations & posting to the classified section, please read the forum rules (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_gen_rules_faq_item).

26-Jul-2017, 09:53
In short, the good news is "Good LucK'. I'm sure there is a school in Burkina Faso that is dying to set up a film-based darkroom. All they have to do is find a teacher who isn't dying and you can ship all your stuff to them -- at your expense -- and get a big, I MEAN HUGE -- tax break.

I've got a bridge I want to sell you in Brooklyn.

David Karp
26-Jul-2017, 12:12
Corran is right. Using my college as an example, students never stopped taking darkroom photography courses. This is true even though we have a complete program aimed at digital-only. The college built a new darkroom and all the classes are still full.

He is also right that it is likely going to be hard to get colleges to take enlarger, etc. donations, even if they have a darkroom program. They typically have darkroom equipped with multiple copies of the same enlargers -- They all use the same parts. There may be one or two for larger formats, but don't expect to see a darkroom filled with a variety of brands/types of enlargers. On the other hand, they might be happy to accept donations of 35mm film cameras and lenses for students who cannot afford their own camera.

Nodda Duma
27-Jul-2017, 05:48
I've given away two complete sets of darkroom equipment in the past year to high school students with interest in film photography. The local high school (best in the state) has a full-blown darkroom and 40 students in their photography courses, which cover both digital and film photography.

It's getting better, folks, don't toss that equipment!

Deane Johnson
27-Jul-2017, 07:46
These days, it's sometimes a challenge to find someone who wants it for free.

27-Jul-2017, 08:09
Yes, it can be a challenge, but there are people out there that want the stuff -- whatever it is. The problem is that it takes a little bit of work to find them. That's where EBAY comes in. The WORST thing to do is throw it out. EBAY is great because you can display your "stuff" to the world.

Here's another example. Last week, I sold a Kowa neck strap to someone in Japan for $15. I was paid an additional $15 to send it to Japan (actual shipping cost). It was it great shape but it was just a neck strap. Many people would have just thrown it out because, among other things, it will only fit on SOME Kowa cameras. So if you have lightweight -- AKA under 5 pounds -- items, consider taking the time to sell them on EBAY.

For the bigger stuff, you can sell it on CRAIGSLIST -- or give away on FREECYCLE or CRAIGSLIST.

27-Jul-2017, 08:33
Since you're in L.A. why not try selling at one of the monthly Bargain Camera Shows, either in Pasadena or Anaheim? I attend the Pasadena show often and run into many young people excited about using film. Many are exploring larger formats and alternative processes. Not saying darkroom stuff will definitely sell, but worst case is you'll blow a Sunday, and spend $25 for a table.


27-Jul-2017, 10:11
I certainly would love for someone to give me another Beseler 45 or two if they are on the east coast! :)

27-Jul-2017, 11:11
Put it up on craigslist and renew the posting.
I had a hard time finding my beseler 45 when I finally decided to get one. The market is small and stutters in my experience, but the gear keeps circling around. It just takes time and patience and you might not make much money for it, but someone will be happy to use it eventually.

Another option through the high schools is to see if they are willing to inform their exiting students that you have equipment available....
Rooster, freecycle, and offer up might be other alternatives to craigslist.

28-Jul-2017, 17:16
Thanks for all the good advice. Burkina Faso is out of my range, but nearby Santa Monica College has a photography department with a 30 enlarger black and white lab, and a 22 enlarger color lab. That's a lot of enlargers for a two year school. In recent years there's been a lot of entertainment industry moving to the Santa Monica area, and also funding the local college(s). Perhaps there's a trend toward more non digital darkroom work. The local Los Angeles Craigslist should be worth a try.

5-Aug-2017, 06:22
Here's a kinda, sorta, answer to your question. A guy on EBAY has been trying to sell/auction a pretty nice Beseler 45MX chassis -- no head. All he was asking was $29. The auction/sale ended last night. He didn't get one bid.

Who knows what he will do with it now? Craig's List FREE section?

John Kasaian
5-Aug-2017, 07:14
OR buy a film camera and start developing and printing again. Put that dark room to use!

5-Aug-2017, 09:13

The guy is trying to get RID of darkroom gear. Comprende?

John Kasaian
5-Aug-2017, 13:31

The guy is trying to get RID of darkroom gear. Comprende?
Obviously, but try thinking outside the box.
It might be preferable to the OP taking a financial loss.

16-Sep-2017, 16:30
I have not read through all of the posts here, but I paid the princely sum of $20 for mine 3 years ago from Craig's list