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Ilford Pop-up Darkroom is perfect solution for developing analog photographers

Ilford Pop-up Darkroom
(Image credit: Ilford)

Ilford has come up with a great way of adding a darkroom without you needing you remodel your home. The fold-way all-black construction is essentially a tent that has been made big enough for you to stand in, and to put in a table to put your enlarger and printing trays on. The Ilford Pop-up Darkroom is being shown for the first time at The Photography Show, in Birmingham, UK - which opened its doors today for its four-day event.

The external metal frame is approximately 2.2m tall when erected and should fit in most standard ceiling height rooms, says Ilford, 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. 

Ilford Pop-up Darkroom comes in its own carry bag (Image credit: Ilford)

A built-in air vent at 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 whole contraption fits in a supplied storage bag measuring 68 x 25 x 25cm and weighing 8kg / 17.5lbs.

The retail price has not be set yet, but Digital Camera World has been told that when the Pop-up Darkroom goes on sale in November it will sell for around $265 / £215.

Ilford Pop-up Darkroom

Ilford Pop-up Darkroom at The Photography Show 2021 (Image credit: Future)

To accompany the darkroom-in-a-bag, Ilford are also launching a Darkroom Starter Kit - that they have produced in conjunction with Paterson. This will include:

• 1 x Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe Pearl Paper 8x10” 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 8x10 Trays (Red / White / Grey)

• 3 x Paterson Print Tongs (Red / White / Grey)

• 1 x Paterson Micro Focus Finder

This gives you everything you need for film printing - apart from an enlarger and a safelight - and will retail for around $150 / £125.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.