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The guide to film cameras in Singapore
Photo: Unsplash

The ultimate guide to film cameras in Singapore

Where to purchase these bad boys, where to go to process film rolls and some nifty disposable camera apps to play around with

Written by
Julia Lachica
,
Jayme Chong
&
Cheryl Sekkappan
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Film photography is back. This fad, mainly propelled by youngsters who have recently shown interest in shooting photos on film for a different look and experience from digital, has led to a growing pool of people purchasing film cameras and more fiddling around with disposable camera apps like Huji on smartphones. To ease you into this trend, we’ve rounded a list of places you can go to get yourself a point-and-shoot and develop your films, as well as free apps you can try to get that feel before investing in one of these classics.

RECOMMENDED: The best smart home gadgets in Singapore and the best retro shops in Singapore to nail the old-school look

Where to buy film cameras

Filmthrills
Photograph: @filmthrills_/Instagram

Filmthrills

To ease yourself into film photography, check out Instagram shop Filmthrills. The shop regularly posts a large selection of affordable point and shoots, with the occasional SLR and 'bridge' cameras across brands like Minolta, Pentax and Olympus. We hear that some of these vintage cameras are sourced directly from Japan, where they've been checked and refurbished. Some specific camera drops are untested though – meaning there's no guarantee they're fully functional. Filmthrills always makes it clear in the caption so you know exactly what you're in for.

  • Shopping
  • City Hall

Black Market Camera is one of Singapore’s more renowned camera stores. It carries popular brands like Nikon, Canon, Kodak and Fujifilm, and boasts a massive collection of photography and lifestyle equipment. This ranges from film cameras like the Kodak Powerflash Disposable Camera and Holga 120N Classic to accessories like batteries, tripods and lenses. It also sells pre-loved items, like vintage Polaroid cameras and old-school Fujifilm digital cameras, that are in tip-top condition.

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Thirtysix by 8storeytree
  • Shopping
  • Novena

8storeytree is the official distributor for MiNT Camera – a company that specialises in Polaroid instant film cameras and accessories – in Singapore and Malaysia. So, look forward to cameras like the SLR670S, SX-70, and InstantFlex TL70 at its retail boutique, Thirtysix. Alongside that, the store features an extensive range of analogue cameras like the Ilford XP2 and HP5 Plus Single Use Cameras, Lomography products, photography accessories, film processing services, and an endless supply of films that can last you over four years.

Power Photo Store
  • Shopping
  • Geylang

Apart from specialising in mechanical and quartz watch repairs, Power Photo Store sells a fine range of brand new vintage film cameras which are reasonably priced and in mint condition. Its owner, Brian Lingo, even has a Carousell page where you can online-shop most of these classics – great if you’re lazy to travel down to the physical store. It features products like the Concord 801 Junior 35, Minolta AF-T, and Epoque ET-100 underwater camera.

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  • Shopping
  • City Hall

This well-known store buys and sells both brand new and pre-loved digital and film cameras, carrying the usual brands like Canon and Kodak, and also others like Mamiya and Pentax. You can also find photography equipment and accessories like tripods and dry cabinets on sale. Its services comprise trade-ins, and equipment repair and maintenance on all photography equipment, including digital and analogue cameras. 

Where to develop your film

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Chinatown

Get your film rolls developed and scanned at affordable prices at Hands On Film. The independent studio and film lab processes 35mm and 120mm film, with prices starting at $8 and $10 for colour and black and white 35mm respectively, with add-ons depending on the file format and scan resolutions. Everything is hand-developed in-house, so you can be sure that your precious rolls are treated with the utmost care. If you're into DIY culture, take up their film developing course ($40). Over three hours, the folks at Hands On Film will teach you how to load your film rolls into a developing tank, all the way through to the scanning process.

Despite not having a physical store in which you can stroll in to get your film rolls developed, Analog Film Lab plays the game differently from the others. The film lab accepts E-6, C-41 and B/W films for processing and are handled by fellow photographers as well, so mailed films will be handled with utmost care.

Looking for a dark-room to process your own films? Analog Film Lab rents out a darkroom for those who want first-hand experience in making black and white prints out of your own negatives.

Mailing Address:
Analog Film Lab
My Mail Box 887960
Singapore 919191

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  • Shopping
  • Novena

Having its start in the early 80s, Whampoa Colour Centre has become one of the hand-full of film processing shops in Singapore. This photofinishing lab has been a regular in a lot of first-time film photographers thanks to their affordable prices and quick film processing.

Triple D Mini Lab Centre
  • Shopping
  • Rochor

Having been in the business since March 1986, expect a high level of expertise from an experienced team of staff at this photofinishing lab. Its services include digital photo printing from 3R to S12R, processing and scanning of analogue films, as well as digitalising your old negatives. Triple D also offers a large variety of film types, like 35mm and 120mm colour and black and white negatives, expired slides, and instant film. Plus, it’s got the Kodak Sport Waterproof Camera and Kodak Power Flash Single Use Camera on sale.

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Ruby Photo Co. Pte Ltd
  • Shopping
  • City Hall

Ruby Photo started out in 1945 and has since come a long way. It has established its reputation for quality photography equipment and materials in the photography community. It does film processing, and sells a huge bunch of different films, like the Kodak Portra 400 35mm and Ilford HP5 Plus 400 35mm, and batteries.

Free film camera apps

RNI Films
Photo: iTunes

RNI Films

Letting you have more control over how you want your photos to turn out, the RNI Films app lets users choose from their library of analogue slides and negatives. From Agfa to Kodak, this film app is packed with different film effects. Users are also able to adjust small details that make film photographs distinct, such as the amount of dust and grain on the photograph.

CALLA CAM
Photo: iTunes

CALLA CAM

Having almost the same interface as a lot of the photo editing apps in the market, CALLA CAM is easy to use and is packed with film varieties. The app offers packages with different effects, from black & white to the likes of any colour negatives there is.

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Huji Cam

Huji Cam

Known for its saturated single filter and ‘98 timestamp, Huji is a crowd favourite. It has amassed millions of downloads worldwide and even has noteworthy users like Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. This retro app recreates photos you’d get when you shoot with a 1998 disposable camera. It develops each shot instantly and gives you the option to add a date stamp, where you can keep it default (today’s date and year 1998) or change it to the current date and year. You can also adjust the image quality to low, set a timer, and enable random light effects. Unless you upgrade to premium, you won’t be able to import photos from your camera roll into the app.

KD Pro Disposable Camera
Photo by: iTunes

KD Pro Disposable Camera

This free app includes four types of filters: Black and White, Kudak (Kodak), and Kuji and Kuji Light (Fujifilm), allowing you to mix up different styles in one roll. You can enable 3D effects, light leaks, and a date stamp to make your images look more legit. Plus, you’re allowed more flexibility on how you’d want the date to look like – think choosing different date formats and editing the year. It also allows you to select your own development time, ranging from instant and an hour to a whole day. To enhance this experience even more, there’s an option to manually wind your film. If you decide to go premium, you’ll unlock a lot more perks like being able to redevelop images and customise the camera colour.

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1888
Photo by: iTunes

1888

1888 is regularly compared to Huji, inevitably becoming the globally-renowned app’s main rival. Like any other disposable camera app, you can expect the usual date stamps, vintage filter and light leaks from 1888. But what stands out for this app is its subtle light effects, lighter camera colour and grainier look, nailing the retro vibe one hundred percent. It also has an option where you can print your photos in matte and have it shipped directly to your doorstep. For those considering to purchase the app in full, you’ll have access to more filters and free shipping on prints, and you’ll get to upload and process pictures from your camera roll.

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