Film photography is in a very good health in Taipei. Shooting analog is very common among people of all ages, from adult photography aficionados to young instant photography shooters. Because of this, it is very easy to find lots of places to buy analog cameras and film in Taipei.
Where to buy film in Taipei
For instance, Fujifilm Instax cameras are everywhere. They are very popular among young people and it is a very common birthday present. It is extremely easy to find any of the different models of this cameras, from the casual Instax mini 8 or the more retro-looking mini 90 neo classic. Film for this camera is offered in dozens of customizations, white frame, coloured frame… although the most popular are frames with Doraemon, Hello Kitty or Line images.
These cameras and film can be found anywhere in Taipei, not only in camera shops, but also in almost every mall, or the popular bookshop chain Eslite. You can even buy them online in PCHome24 or Rakuten.
It is also easy to find regular 35mm film in one of the many photography shops around the city. There are also professional photography shops, many of them located in Hankou street, also known as the Taipei camera street. Some of the shops there offer a considerable amount of choices of regular and professional film.
Where to develop film in Taipei
When it comes to developing film, the options are a bit more scarce, but there are still some key places where I usually go.
One of my favourites is Lomography store Taipei. The main reason why I usually develop my film rolls here is because it is located right in the heart of Taipei, in the Zhongxiao Dunhua area. They are also used to work with different film formats, so I won’t have any problem if I want to develop my 120 film. In addition, you can order only to develop the film, without having to print all the pictures first. They will send you an email with the pictures, then you can ask them to print only the good shots, instead of having to pay for all of the prints.
There are some small shops in the city, most of them branded with the Kodak sign, where they sell some basic film, and also develop your prints. These places are a bit less flexible than Lomography shop, but still convenient if you have one nearby your place.
Almost every shop that develops film in Taipei also sells some basic types.
Where to buy film cameras in Taipei
Besides the before mentioned popular Instax cameras, there are plenty of shops in Taipei to buy second hand cameras, many of them offering a great selection of analog cameras.
Within walking distance from Guanghua Digital Plaza there are several second hand camera shops with the most complete offer of film cameras in Taipei. My two favourites are Pinguang Shuwei and CK Camera. Pinguang Shuwei (品光數位) is located on a second floor and they have an incredible selection of second hand digital and film cameras and lenses, although they mostly focus on Canon, Nikon and Leica models. CK Camera (成功攝影) is hidden in an alley not far from Pinguang Shuwei. They have a narrower selection of cameras, but it is still worth having a look. I bought my wonderful Leica M6 there, in perfect condition, with the original box and manuals.
Every other weekend you will also find some stalls on the alley close to the back exit of Guanghua. The guys of Lens Lins (云光御影) and Camera Spring (老相機的春天) will be there waiting for you. These pals have lots of good stuff, old cameras, lenses and cases. Don’t go looking for anything concrete there, but take a look at what’s in store that week, you might find some good deal. You might find them also in any of the frequent flee markets in Taipei, together with the guys of Shada (シャッタ 快門).
Hankou street is also a good place to look for second hand film cameras. You will have to walk around, since not all the shops sell film cameras, but it’s easy to run across with a bunch of them. The problem buying the cameras on these shops is that most of them will be wrapped in plastic, and the shop owners will not be willing to let you try the cameras before buying them (fact that doesn’t make any sense). Here’s an article from the great Japan Camera Hunter explaining his experience there.
If you are into Lomography, Lomography Store Taipei is your place. You can find plenty of cameras, accessories and film from the Austrian brand. Besides selling their flagship cameras LOMO, Diana, La Sardina, etc. they also develop film and organize workshops and courses in the store.
For Leica lovers, the iconic german brand enjoys a good health in the city, with an official Leica Store in the Bellavita mall, and three more Leica Boutiques across the city. You can find the new digital models and also the classic film cameras, as well as the whole set of lenses, accessories and more. This is clearly not the cheapest place to buy film in Taipei.
In addition, there are several antique shops in the city. You might have the chance to find some old cameras on sale on these shops. They usually have very few cameras, and in many cases they are not even sure what they have or if it’s even working. But these shops are definitely the right place to get the best deals, if you are lucky to find a good camera on sale and you have some bargain skills.
Taipei is a great place to develop your passion for photography, where you can easily find analog cameras, film, and a huge number of analog photography aficionados. Check this post if you want to see some more pictures of Taipei from an analog camera lens.
Do you know more places where you can buy or develop film? Feel free to leave them in the comments!