Category Archives: supplies

Analogue photography is far from dead

I was at the camera swap in Vancouver today. I was surprised at just how busy it was at just after 10am on a Sunday morning. What was even more surprising though was the sheer volume of film cameras for sale. I didn’t see much digital stuff at all, other than some Canon and Nikon lenses. What I saw at table after table was film cameras. Lots of lots of 35mm rangefinders in particular, but also quite a few medium format cameras and large format ones also. It was fantastic to see hundreds of film cameras for sale and people actually buying. Shooting film is far from an obsolete process and I think it will only continue to pick up pace for the near future.

Things are so rosy at the moment, we even have three brand new silver gelatin papers brought out by major players in the last year. Ilford has a POP (printing out)/direct positive paper new on the market as well as a great pinhole camera to use it in. They’ve also brought out a fine art textured paper, their first new one in 13 years. Freestyle just brought out their own fine art paper and I think it will do well. And to top it all off, Jobo is bringing out a new film/paper processor, 2 years after they stopped production of the last model. All of this definitely puts paid to the regular bleating about the death of film.

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Sources for film and darkroom supplies

If you love printing in the darkroom as much as I do, finding a reliable source for supplies including film, paper and chemicals is pretty important. Here in Canada, its pretty limited. If you are lucky, you may have a local store in a large metro such as Vancouver, that carries some stuff. If not, mail order it is, and depending on what you want, may be hard to come by.

For local stuff, I use Beau Photo now and then. A lot of the paper and chemicals I use they don’t carry. Now, they tell me they can special order it in, but it’ll take a month. If I need it in a week or so, that won’t really do. But they are the best source locally for the widest variety of things overall. Another option in Vancouver that still carries some stuff is Lens and Shutter on Broadway. You won’t find it on their website, but they still have some stuff in store.


Canadian mail order is not something I’ve done much. Here are some options you can try though.
The Camera Store in Calgary
Darkroom Central in Winnipeg
The Frugal Photographer in Calgary
Henry’s in Toronto


Now for myself, I live within a short hop of the border and my preferred order spot is Freestyle Photographic, down in California. Fast service and the largest selection, as well of course, good prices. A pretty good source for the more esoteric stuff too.


Other options in the US include
Photographer’s Formulary in Montana – large selection of bulk chemicals too
Digital Truth in Texas – also manufactures EcoPro environmentally friendly chemistry
Calumet Photo in Illinois


Have fun printing!

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