Header image courtesy of Showa (via Facebook)
Originally published by David Yeung. Last updated by Jianne Soriano.
Film photography, also known as analogue photography, has been coming back in vogue, with more and more people developing new interests or switching back to this old-school artform. An aspect of why people are finding joy in this bygone craft is its sense of technicality and the nostalgic result when the photos are developed.
Hong Kong has many shops that specialise in selling and developing film negatives or positives and almost all such retailers have extensive knowledge when it comes to film photography. Whether you are just getting started with film or looking to carry on your passion, here is our selection of the best film photography shops in Hong Kong.
Showa has two shops—one in Causeway Bay and the other in Mong Kok—both selling a collection of film cameras mainly for 35-millimetre and also 120-millimetre film formats. Most of its products are sourced from the Japanese market and prominent brands include Nikon, Minolta, and Canon. Showa also provides various types of film developing services once you finish shooting up your roll. If you’re new to analogue photography, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for their expertise; they will gladly help you pick out the best gear and teach you the basics of film photography if you are a budding beginner.
Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, Meteor caters to more advanced film photography enthusiasts. This minimalistic shop mainly sells a range of high-quality rangefinder Leica film cameras, which come with steeper price tags that might intimidate the average entry-level photographer. Other than cameras and accessories, Meteor also features appealing photobooks in an almost gallery-like setting. Due to the quality of products and location of the store, expect the cameras to be more expensive than other outlets. It also hosts exhibitions from time to time to feature local photographers and promote their work.
Meteor, Lin Fook House, 3 Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2392 0363
Situated in one of the oldest and most vibrant neighbourhoods in Hong Kong, Sunrise Professional Photofinishing is a no-frills second-hand film camera shop. It has some of the oldest second-hand cameras on the market, and you may even uncover used models dating back to World War II. Sunrise initially opened in the 1970s as a neighbourhood shop for photography needs but was eventually taken over by two young film photographers to indulge their passion for collecting second-hand cameras.
Sunrise Professional Photofinishing, Shop B2, 333 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po
If you find yourself in the Central neighbourhood and need a quick camera fix or film development service, Chung Pui Photo Supplies is the place to go. This shop also sells second-hand film cameras but its selection is fairly limited compared to others on the list. However, in terms of quick and fast film developments for a reasonable price, there are few places in the area that can get the job done as well as Chung Pui.
Chung Pui Photo Supplies Hong Kong, 44 Stanley Street, Central | (+852) 2845 2539
David Chan Company is located in a shopping arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui and the owner is a charismatic, passionate, and knowledgeable person who runs the shop himself. You name it, they’ve got it: Chan’s collection of second-hand and vintage film cameras is truly a sight, as it is displayed right by the hallway of the shopping arcade. This hidden shop is not hard to miss, as there will be many cameras displayed right by the shop’s door!
David Chan Company, Champagne Building, 16 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
This cosy and comfortable shop located in Tsim Sha Tsui carries a wide assortment of film cameras and film screening devices. Like many other film camera shops, the staff is willing to help you pick out your very first film camera or help explain some misconceptions about film photography, so don’t be shy about asking for advice. HKCamera is stacked from top to bottom with all sorts of cameras, so it’s always a good idea to ask someone to help you find what product or model you are searching for.
HKCamera, 1/F, 59 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3188 1690
Dot-Well Photo Workshop is another well-known store for film photographers due to the variety of services it offers. In addition to film processing services for digital files and film printing, it also offers film scanning for various film formats. If you’re looking to get your film ready as soon as possible, Dot-Well promises to get it developed within an hour. You have the option of getting the files on a disc, a USB drive, or sent to your WhatsApp.
Other than its film processing services, Dot-Well is also an ideal option if you want to purchase a new camera or film or need an equipment repair. The store might be small but it’s packed with photography gear including disposable and vintage cameras.
Dot-Well Photo Workshop, G/F, 44 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852 2368 3826)
Image Playground aims to preserve the art of analogism in the digital age and cultivate an appreciation for the aesthetic of classic photography. While it focuses on film developing and scanning services, it also has other living essentials to offer, such as Japanese homeware, snacks, and even pet products! Image Playground has everything you need when it comes to film photography such as Polaroids, disposable cameras, and instant film. With various branches across the city, it’s your one-stop shop for everything film-related.