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What is the film photography scene like in your area?

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Nate Matos says:

I live in Portland, Oregon. Home of (as FPP has stated many times) Blue Moon Camera and machine. And by now we are all very well aware of their awesome services provided. Yet it seems to me like the huge array of film specific camera stores in the Portland metro area far exceeds anywhere else in the country.

Now that is just me basing it on what I've heard from listener letters talking about having to mail order film, or send film out for processing. Neither of these have ever been a problem for me and I realized that it could be something I take for granted. So I wanted to see what film stores are in your neck of the woods and ask about how your photography scene looks at film.

Here are the Portland area film related photo resources and images that tried to display the stores as best as possible. All photo's are from google image search, thanks to their respective owners. I will be more than happy to remove them at your request.

Blue Moon Camera
-A wonderful store in the North Portland distrcit known as St. Johns. They deal exclusivly in film cameras both new and old. My favorite thing about this store is the wonderful selection of large format lenses, camera bodies and accessories. Some predating the 1900s. They also do completely optical printing but will scan to a CD on request.

www.bluemooncamera.com

Fisheye View of Blue Moon by Zeb Andrews


Citizens photo:
-Much like Blue Moon Camera however on the East side of Portland. A little bit smaller and dealing with mostly consignment gear. A decent selection of equipment and a great selection of film and processing choices. My gripe is their hours however. Only open 4 hours on Saturdays.

www.citizensphoto.com



Pro Photo Supply:
-A HUGE store for everything photographic. I would liken it to Portlands version of B&H or Adorama. Printers, computers, and all the newest digital gear. But they Also have an enormous devotion to film. Including an entire room of processing tools, and 3 grocery store esque sized fridges that store all sorts of film. A very nice selection of rare and vintage cameras that are on consignment. The man who runs their used department (Jim) is a wealth of knowledge from common 35mm point and shoot cameras to large format as well.

www.prophotosupply.com

inside Pro Photo Supply by vj_pdx


Hollywood Camera:
-This one is probably my favorite of the bunch. Run by an older gentleman named Ed, he has had the store since coming back from Korea in the 50s. If you live in the area (or are visiting) stop in and hear some of his stories. He loves to talk haha so set aside an hour. He has tales of his children (who are now grown with kids of their own) helping him set up displays for the Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash camera packages for the holiday season many years ago. When the photo industry started going digital he stuck around and now sells used equipment that he buys from estates and other dealers. He has forgotten more than I will ever know.

(no website available)

[https://www.flickr.com/photos/38310569@N02/5200153437/]

Advanced Camera:
-These guys deal in consignment gear (no new equip) but specialize in camera repair. They can (and will) fix just about anything. I go in there whenever I buy a new camera to have shutter speeds tested. Or get a CLA. A smaller selection of film but everyone there has at least a handful of film cameras they shoot. The owners son (who I always talk to) just picked up a phenomenal NIkon S2 range

www.advancedcamera.com



Camera Works:
-Literally two blocks down the street from Advanced Camera. This store also does primarily repairs. But they have a huge selection of random camera cases and odds and ends. I stop in from time to time to see if they have something that matches a recent pickup of mine.

www.cameraworksnw.com



Knight Camera:
-I've only been here once, as it is the furthest away from where I live. A small shop but a very wide selection of equipment from Large format, to processing gear. I wish I could say more about it.

www.knight-camera.com



I'd love to see what is in everyone else area! Especially Boston if someone could be so kind as I am taking a trip there on Tuesday and haven't found any stores that have peaked my interest. Thanks!
1:56PM, 18 June 2011 PST (permalink)

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JohnMilleker.com says:

Not great, photo shops in general aren't that plentiful in Maryland to begin with. We have a few local developing places, quality is OK. A few of the 'Pro Lab' places have treated a few local filmies quite poorly.

There's a Film In Baltimore group that is moderately active, we have a meetup at a place in the city every now and then to discuss cameras, film, processes and of course drink beer.

Local camera clubs are discontinuing slide contests (Which I guess is for the best, since some people actually have sent digital images to have slides made of them). The last chance for real film photography has been Black & White print contests. But those have been flooded with people hell bent on taking their vomit-inducing miserable HDR programs from ruining color images to black and white images. And the judges? They're eating it up.
115 months ago (permalink)

fair wing [deleted] says:

We have a shop in our city that does film, though either they don't want to or it's such a niche that it doesn't work financially for them, because it's absurdly expensive - so I send things to Sharp and Blue Moon.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Shawn Hoke says:

Wow, Portland does look well represented.

I live in NYC, so we have the big three of course, Adorama (LOVE), B&H (hate this place, it's like the Wal Mart of photography), and Calumet. Adorama is great for used film gear. They have a huge selection. Calumet is decent for new gear and they stock a great selection of film.

Then we have several smaller photo stores that do a little bit of film, mostly digital. I guess K&M would be the fourth of the big three, since they have quite a bit of used gear.

Processing is no problem here, but our local drug store chain (Duane Reade) just stopped processing film. Totally broke my heart!
Originally posted 115 months ago. (permalink)
Shawn Hoke edited this topic 115 months ago.

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Paul Glover says:

We have one pro lab here in Roanoke, Photo USA. They're well priced for C41 and so far have done a good job. They dev E6 and B&W as well, both a bit spendy but the E6 isn't very much more than mailing out when you consider postage. I have some slide film on the way and will be letting them develop it. They stock film, 35mm archival sleeves and some paper as well. I think they had some D76 in stock too.

As far as film shooters go, I'm in a local photo group and other than the one meetup where my wife came along with her Minolta Maxxum 5000AF, I'm always the only one there using film gear. There are a couple of members of the group who sometimes shoot film.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Unbendable Girder says:

One place left in Townsville, North Queensland (Australia).
They are terrible. best option is mail out to Brisbane (QLD's capital)

There aren't even many people interested in film here, a bit of a trend with the young hipsters though is emerging. I could otherwise count on one hand the film shooters. (the ones i know of anyway)

Fortunately i only have to mail out for E6, i process b&w and c41 at home.
115 months ago (permalink)

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mat4226 is a group moderator mat4226 says:

My local photo scene looks at film photographers like people with crabs crawling out their eyes. The group being so tight-knit and all, I have the advantage of personally knowing everyone I could possibly come to for processing products, etc. (yay discounts!). Fortunately, about an hour north in Toledo, OH, there's a few stores picking up on Impossible films and Lomography. And if I make the trek down to Columbus, OH, I get to visit great stores like Midwest Photo Exchange and the Columbus Camera Group.

This next week, I'm heading up nearly to the upper peninsula of Michigan to attend Photostock 2011. There's bound to be plenty of film shooters there including medium and large format photographers. Joy!
115 months ago (permalink)

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er_code_blue says:

Yep, living in Dublin, OH Midwest Photo Exchange is where it's at. Need to make my way up to Aperture Tremont in Cleveland to get my instant fix sometime.

Mat, there's a new store of used stuff in Columbus thought you'd like: www.yelp.com/biz/world-of-used-photography-columbus
Originally posted 115 months ago. (permalink)
er_code_blue edited this topic 115 months ago.

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Nate Matos says:

Wow I ha no idea that it was like this everywhere else. May I suggest Portland be the west coast meetup location? Haha
115 months ago (permalink)

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mat4226 is a group moderator mat4226 says:

Wow Andy, thanks for the info! I may be making a trip that way this week before heading to Photostock. Need to load up on more sheet film and stuff.

Yeah, Portland is a pretty sweet city, I've always wanted to go. Might I suggest that you schedule such a meetup for MANY months down the road, maybe even next year. Also, that gives you more time to organize sweet activities and such. ^__^
115 months ago (permalink)

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Nate Matos says:

Oh it would have to be within the next two months... or this time next year. We have a very narrow window of nice weather. Even then it isn't guaranteed. For instance it's been raining all weekend... then back to sun for the week. So it's a total crapshoot. And seeing as how the last two meet-ups happened within only the last few months a break could be nice haha.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Dan Domme says:

The Camera Shop in town develops C-41, E-6 and B&W. You can buy some film there and some chemicals - I get my stop and fixer there. When I shop there, it's for convenience, as the prices at Freestyle are much better. Also, I'm known by name and can have hour-long discussions on film gear while I'm there.

I'm jealous of all you people who have more than one film shop around. Apparently back in the day there were three huge film centers in town. Now it's these guys and CVS if you want your 35mm C-41 developed.
115 months ago (permalink)

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bblhed says:

Within 20 minuets of my house in Watertown Connecticut there are 4 places that do ONE HOUR processing of C-41 to prints or scan, and two of them will do 120 but want an insane amount of money to scan it. All 4 places sell a wide range of film including B&W and slides, but only two of them have 120 film in stock. Two places sell only Kodak, one is Fuji only, and one sells both, although one of the Kodak shops has Fuji instant film on the shelf. I can walk into one place and get chemicals.

For E-6 there is only one place that does send out, and B&W gets processed at my house so that is less than one hour service.
Originally posted 115 months ago. (permalink)
bblhed edited this topic 115 months ago.

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lancekingphoto says:

Here in Oak Ridge, East Tennessee, there are no photo stores in town. So my only choice is to have Walmart send it out for me, or I can get 35mm C-41 processing at one of 2 or 3 local, 1-hour labs. I have recently started processing my own b&w film at home, which is a real time saver (not to mention great fun).

If I drive 20-30 minutes to Knoxville, there are a few stores with labs that will process 120 film; one of them (Thompson Photo), will do color 120 processing while you wait, providing their machine is warmed up. I've also used them for b&w prior to developing my own. They do great work, but it's not very convenient to drive all the way to the other end of Knoxville from here,

Most people I meet in these parts are somewhat surprised that film of nearly any kind of still available in this day and age.
115 months ago (permalink)

fair wing [deleted] says:

Noticed today while out & about that the other film shop in town didn't close like I thought they did - they moved a few miles down the road and changed names. Still do film, though they don't have a web site so I have no idea of their prices and services.
115 months ago (permalink)

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nickrapak says:

The film photography scene is pretty good in my area (Northern suburbs of Philadelphia). Within a half-hour drive, there are three decent labs (Jack's Cameras, Cardinal Camera, and New York Camera), one of which has a very good used and darkroom selection (New York Camera).

In the city, there is Philadelphia Photographics, which is a top-quality pro lab.

In Wilmington, DE, about an hour south, there is Colourworks, which is another top-quality lab that still does optical B&W and RA-4 enlargements. They are also one of the few labs that does 70mm film, which is useful for me as I re-spool 70mm film to use in 116 cameras.
115 months ago (permalink)

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ArthurJS says:

pdexposures-

Boston area- Hunt's in Melrose, and in Boston, Ritz in Boston, LB Wheaton in Worcester, Newtonville Camera in Newton, EB Levine in Waltham, I am sure there are others- but those come to mind.

-Arthur
115 months ago (permalink)

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treeplanter says:

I live in a small, rural town in northern Michigan so the film scene here is non-existent. I do have access to a good C-41 lab about 90 minutes away, but that's about it.

And yes, I do most of my processing at home (thank god for Freestyle).
115 months ago (permalink)

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Nate Matos says:

Arthur-

Thanks!!
115 months ago (permalink)

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Tyson of Habein Studio says:

Great Falls, Montana. We have a store (Public Drug) that sells tri-x, superia, portra, ektar, and a few of those in 120. They also have developing chemicals for black and white, tripods, bags, etc.

And that's it. The 1 store. No one develops film here outside of c41 at the chain minilabs. I have yet to meet another person shooting film in any serious way, so it's kind of a miracle that the one store still carries any sort of film at all. Nice folks in there, though. Always look at me a bit odd...

Closest place to develop black and white and slide is 4 hours away. That's the only reason I started black and white myself.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Alex Luyckx is a group moderator Alex Luyckx says:

Here is Southern Ontario the film scene is pretty good. We have a Lomography store in Toronto.

Also in Toronto is the main Henry's Store, along with Vistek and Downtown Camera all three still stock film and do processing for C41, E6, and B/W. Henry's and Vistek are chains which have stores across most of the country.

In Hamilton there are two really great stores, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech. Camtech is usually where I go when I need repair work done on my classics. Belle Arte also has a great selection of used Analog gear especially in Medium Format.

If you own a Leica take it to North Halton Camera exchange in Georgetown, the owner is a former Leica employee.

And finally in Burlington is Burlington Camera who has their entire basement dedicated to Darkroom supply and hardware and has an amazing selection of used equipment along with that they down processing on c41, e6, and b/w.
115 months ago (permalink)

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ChristianPedersen says:

Whoa! You're spoiled :D

In Benbecula (Outer Hebrides) where I've lived for the past two years there aren't any photography shops or even places to develop film. There's barely even a supermarket! There's still a big photography scene here and a darkroom at one of the community centers. Actually, I think there are a few darkrooms spread across the islands plus a few that people have set up for themselves. Fine art and nature photography are really big out here, but still, most people will just have digital cameras.

when I was in Beijing there were far more options. I had a lomo shop right around the corner from my flat as well as a few other urban outfitters type stores peppered through the city carrying various lomo cameras and film. There were a few great places to get film developed near the national museum as well as a few in 798 art district. You could even rent darkroom time there. There were also a few huge photography markets with shops specialising in everything from tripods to panoramic cameras. It was mostly about digital, but there was tonnes of film and an amazing selection of film cameras. Of course all prices were negotiable, but as a laowai with broken mandarin it's really difficult to bargain down to what my Chinese friends would normally pay. Even at sticker price Lucky film has never been cheaper. Seriously. I could buy a brick of 20 for what I payed for a roll of HP5+ in Aberdeen.

In general the film photography scenes that I'm exposed to are usually young people interested in the lomo style. They like the way film looks and they like messing around with it.
115 months ago (permalink)

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michaelcalleia says:

Beyond the biggies (B&H, Adorama, and Calumet), I keep wondering if there any "hidden gems" left in New York City.

Lesser known but awesome little places like, like Nippon Photo Clinic Service or Lens and Repro.

Another example may be Marty's Camera Repair out in Forest Hills (never been there or used them).
115 months ago (permalink)

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chuckthewriter says:

In Albany NY, we have McGreevy Pro Lab, which does a decent job of processing C-41, E-6 and B&W. They are able to handle all three formats, as well as in any size film I throw at them - 120, 127, 616, 620, 35mm.
115 months ago (permalink)

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Laclaustra says:

My local shop is in the Daytona Flea Market,
Clems Classic Cameras Opens Fri-Sat-Sun
1425 Tomoka Farms Rd, Daytona Beach, FL 32124
(386) 738-0549
If they Don't have something, Id be surprise.
106 months ago (permalink)

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scholzj1 says:

Wanted to add Newspace to the portland list. Not a shop but a great photo resource. They have community darkrooms, scanners, digital workstations, a lighting studio and a rotating gallery.
106 months ago (permalink)

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Randy Babajtis says:

There is actually a huge amount of film labs, stores and other photo related goodies. I imagine it's fairly similar in other large cities. Theres more labs and stores here than I can list, but most notably we have...

Labs-
A&I Photo and Richard Photo Lab are probably my favorites locally. The prices are a bit high and they are tough to get to traffic wise so I tend to do mail order...

Shops-
Freestyle photo of course is the local and maybe national Mecca for all things analogue. There are a ton of smaller mom and pop type places and the bigger stores like Samys and Calumet although they don't have a ton of film stuff.

Oddball and misc-
Here in my immediate neighborhood (Burbank) theres a few more labs and stores I don't really frequent, but we do have Pro 8mm which has cameras, film and processing for 8mm. I'm ashamed to say I have not paid them a visit even though I live less than a mile from them.

Theres also the amazing "The Lab Ciba" which does fantastic Cibachrome prints. I was looking recently to get some done and discovered I lived right down the street from them. Great place, Frank the owner and printer is super knowledgable and gave me a tour of the place and chatted me up for about an hour last time I went. I have 2 prints in the works there now. Can't wait, it's tough to beat a nice Cibachrome print.

Also once a month in Pasadena there is a HUGE camera swap meet. Just about any camera or lens you can imagine is there, and mostly at reasonable prices. Everything from 8x10 to minox is there and well represented. You can even find some great stuff on occasion if you get there early enough (snagged 3 working packs of polaroid 600 for $3 a few months back). Truly a magical place with the sweet musk of old cameras and stale coffee hanging in the air :) A must see if you ever happen to be in the area.
106 months ago (permalink)

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Nate Matos says:

Scholzj1-

Newspace is great, can't believe I forgot about that!
106 months ago (permalink)

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dragonballyee says:

Philly has a few shops in and just outside of town:
Webbcam photo is a Nikon specialist, but carries lots of other brands. They have a case of used film gear, mostly 35mm, but the occasional medium format body. They also have a fridge stocked with film. This is the go to spot for students as they have tons of paper and are closer to the colleges than Calumet.

Calumet is the big chain in town. Excellent service as always. Fridges full of fresh film.

Photo Lounge has mostly digital stuff, but process B&W and C41 and have a few used 35mm bodies. They have a small stock of unrefrigerated 35mm and 120.

Philadelphia Photographics is the big volume processor in town. They do B&W, C41 and E6. No film/gear for sale though.

Allen's Camera is a nice and big store a little ways outside of the city, but with a huge stock of new and used film gear and film stock. I've only been there a couple of times (no car, hitched a ride with a friend), but would go back more often if I could.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Flaver-D says:

On the south shore of Montreal (Canada), it's like a no-man's land of photography. There are a few clubs that concentrate exclusively on digital and in-fighting.

The only places that will process film at a decent price are the drugstore for 3 day service and Walmart for 1 hour work.

The drugstore still carries film, but I'm their only customer who still does 35mm.

There are a few camera stores but they almost all got rid of their C-41 machinery (except one) and have to send out. Getting them to process a single roll of 35mm, no prints costs around 10$ plus tax... expensive by any standards.

E-6 processing? Just forget about it. Bring in 120 film and you get the dirty look, even at "pro labs".

Film cameras are considered only good for the trash bin by the majority. There are no used camera stores. People get their cameras mostly at Staples and Best Buy.

But on the good side, some of my best gear came from church basement bazaars and charity shops. Quality not guaranteed but prices often make it worth taking a chance.

Carrying a plastic camera is very frowned upon as it's considered "not logical".

I don't know any other photographer in the region... pretty desolate isn't it?
105 months ago (permalink)

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Alex Luyckx is a group moderator Alex Luyckx says:

have you looked in Old Montreal...there's a great store (not sure if it's still there it's been a couple years since I was in Montreal)...simply called Photoservice.

www.photoservice.ca/

Shouldn't be too hard to get to with the metro.
Originally posted 105 months ago. (permalink)
Alex Luyckx edited this topic 105 months ago.

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Flaver-D says:

I know the place. In Montreal, there's only Photoservice and Lozeau who can be considered serious players. But with all the road work being done around the Longueuil metro and in town, whether I go by car or by foot, it still takes me about an hour just to get there... maybe a bit more.
Just to give you an idea, Champlain bridge gets funneled to 1 lane just as it gets into Montreal. The fact that Turcot yard doesn't crumble to the ground is a daily miracle. Viger street is closed for the construction of the hospital. The government tore down a part of the access to the tunnel. So all the traffic is automatically redirected towards Jacques-Cartier bridge and the metro. The Dorval circle is also under extensive repair so access to the airport is almost impossible.

You don't know how lucky you are in TO... Montreal is now pretty much hellish when it comes to going places.
Just check this out
www.quebec511.gouv.qc.ca/en/
Originally posted 105 months ago. (permalink)
Flaver-D edited this topic 105 months ago.

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Maiky1015 says:

I live in New York City..enough said:)
105 months ago (permalink)

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Alex Luyckx is a group moderator Alex Luyckx says:

ouch! That seriously sucks man! Toronto's fairly easy to get around these days, by foot or transit, I rarely drive into the city.

As for Toronto...film processing, if you're in city, Toronto Image Works or Downtown Camera (either directly or through the Lomography Store).

Outside of Toronto, Burlington Camera.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Nate Matos says:

Maiky-

Well, it's really not enough said. Everyone knows about the big ones like B&H and Adorama, the point of this thread is to talk about smaller stores, maybe ones that people didn't know about.

For instance if someone were to visit Portland they would probably make it a point to visit Blue Moon because it has been discussed on the podcast so often, however little would they know that there are many more camera and photography outlets and stores in the Portland area.
105 months ago (permalink)

economic balance [deleted] says:

We have only one camera store here in Charlotte, Biggs Camera. They have been around since the 50's and they offer student discounts. :) They have a nice selection of used equipment at reasonable prices and their film processing is also quite reasonable. Their film prices are ludicrous though. $13 a roll for Velvia 50!!!

My brother is moving to Seattle in a couple of months so I'll be sure to drive down to Portland to check out all those camera stores.

I go to Chapel Hill, NC every month or so and there is one camera store that is strictly film called Camera Works. It is a small house flooded with cameras. The owner is very friendly and his prices are reasonable. He has all of his personal collection on display and it is a joy to see all his cameras. It is by far my favorite film camera store. He also does repairs. He fixed my Retina IIIc's shutter about a year ago.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Alex Luyckx is a group moderator Alex Luyckx says:

Oh and I forgot to Mention North Halton Camera Exchange. I don't know if they do processing or not...I'll investigate next time I'm in. But they have a good selection of used equipment...

But the best part, the owner, is a former Leica Employee and does repair work.
105 months ago (permalink)

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RalphHightower says:

Dead in Columbia, SC. Walgreens sells Kodak BW400CN film and develops.

I have to send traditional B&W film out of state for developing. Anything other than Kodak consumer color film, I have to order out of state.
105 months ago (permalink)

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Felim O says:

I own a minilab/camera shop in the North West of Ireland and we are the only camera shop left in the town (there once were 4).

As far as I know we are the only one still processing film in the county.

We process/print/scan 35mm colour, crossprocess, and hand process 35mm B&W. E6 is sent out. We sell Fuji colour 35mm films, Kobak B&W and Foma B&W.

Interestingly we started selling second hand 35mm film cameras just over a year ago and it has taken off. We sell on average 2 a week, not bad for 28000 population of the town and 58000 for the county. The most popular second hand cameras are Praktica, Zenit, Zorki and Smena 8, infact anything that looks very retro.
105 months ago (permalink)

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