We have a fully operational darkroom in St. John’s College. Members can use them by requesting a key from the porters.

St John’s OUPS darkroom

Location: basement of Dolphin quad staircase 2 (turn right as you enter the College past the lodge and go straight ahead).

  • The darkroom is only available for OUPS members. Please note that darkroom users are required to pay a maintenance fee of £15/month to cover the cost of materials
  • You will need negatives/film and your own photographic paper only. Chemicals are provided by OUPS.
  • We currently have facilities for black and white work only. See the darkroom inventory below for a list of equipment in each darkroom.


  • Report to the lodge and present your OUPS membership card, saying you would like to use the darkroom (please be very polite ;-)
  • Sign in to the darkroom diary kept in the porters lodge.
  • Get the darkroom key from the porters, in exchange for your OUPS membership card.
  • Observe darkroom guidelines (see below) to ensure safety and convenience for yourself and other members.
  • Clean up, take all your stuff with you and return the darkroom key to the lodge. Sign yourself out in the diary. Please note in the diary if you found the darkroom in a poor state. Collect your membership card and go home to appreciate your beautiful prints!

Usage guidelines

  • Please be considerate to other members and don't use the darkroom for hours and hours.
  • For safety reasons, leave the door unlocked
  • Please finish up and be out by 10:30pm
  • Ensure all lights are off, including enlarger and all safe lights. Please leave the extractor fan on
  • Wash up everything you have used and put in back in its place.
  • Clean all the surfaces and wipe them down.
  • Mop the floor if needed.
  • Remove your negatives and any filters from the enlarger (easy to forget!)
  • Replace lids on all the chemicals securely.
  • Label any chemicals that can be re-used with the identity of the chemical, concentration and date.
  • Dispose of any chemicals that cant be reused safely either into the containers provided or down the sink.
  • Take your paper with you, as well as any negs and prints.
  • Don’t store any personal property in the darkroom.
  • Please report low chemicals or breakages to the darkroom manager, so that they can be replaced.

Please leave the darkroom in the kind of state you would wish to find it in! The tidiness and cleanliness of the darkroom has a direct impact on the quality of your prints. If you do not find the darkroom in a satisfactory state, please note the date and time and let the darkroom manager know. Please clear it up anyway so you and the next person can still use the facilities.

For more information, please contact Nas, our darkroom manager.


  • Enlarger
    • Ilford multigrade 500H head
    • 500c digital timer & contrast control
    • 500s power supply
  • Enlarger Lenses
    • 3x Nikon el-Nikkor 50mm/f2.8
  • Misc
    • 2x neg test strip makers
    • 1x variable formal test strip printer
    • 3x easel masks, various sizes
    • Guillotine
    • Digital timer
    • Patterson enlarging meter
    • Vertical print washer
    • Horizontal print washer
    • Developing cans, various sizes
    • Chemical storage bottles, various sizes
    • Measurement beakers
    • Print dryer
    • Flat bed print dryer, for FB prints