Photo: Almost Maldivian at Ao Noi, Ko Kut.

Thailand forum

Film photography on the road

Posted by tututudor on 3/10/2011 at 18:07

Hello,

I was thinking to bring my film camera along for a three-week trip in Thailand, and was wondering about some practicalities.

For instance, whether I can find "photo shops" that develop 35mm film. Or if film is readily available in shops etc..

I will also carry a small digital camera (as back-up), but it would be great to know how practical it is to use a 35mm one during a trip like this.

Any experiences?

#1 tututudor has been a member since 29/9/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by Tilapia on 3/10/2011 at 21:43

Hi Tututudor,

When I was last in Thailand there were still shops selling film. Most of it was Fuji print film. The stuff on display was starting to look a bit sun-bleached. And many of these places still developed film, though I can't comment on the quality. I always found in the past that they did a pretty decent job and I wouldn't think things have changed much. Still, it's been years since I've had film developed there.

So, you can get film, and you can get your film developed, but considering how few and far between these places might be, and that you'll only be there for a few weeks, you'd probably be better off bringing your own film and getting it developed at home ... wherever that may be.

Whether or not it is practical depends entirely on what kind of photography you're doing and how seriously you take it. Personally, I have found that my digital photos are not as good as my slides ... there are many reasons for this, I'm sure. But my digital cameras certainly make things much less expensive and more convenient.

#2 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,495
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Posted by tututudor on 4/10/2011 at 03:25

Hi Tilapia,
Thanks for the answer.

Yes, I think I'll do that - I'll pack a bag of rolls, and carry them around with me.
Given the heat & humidity I hope I'll get something out of them; this if I don't lose any on the way...But if all goes well, the end-result will be worth the effort.

Cheers

#3 tututudor has been a member since 29/9/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by Tilapia on 4/10/2011 at 04:29

Doubt you'll have any trouble. Rarely have I found that the heat and humidity there to be much of an issue. The only real problems I've had have come from dust in the battery compartment, and on the sensor of my DSLR from changing lenses.

Just in case you haven't seen it, there's a Photography forum on TF. Lots of similar conversations there from the past. Check it out.

#4 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,495
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Posted by goonistik on 4/10/2011 at 11:01

So long as the film has been stored properly and it hasn't expired, than the heat and humidity won't be a problem for a few months. The film will still perform within parameters. If you can, buy some pro-film before your trip.

Getting film processed to a high standard will be a problem. Your best bet is to ask around apug.org for the best pro labs in Bangkok. Searching google, I am coming across a place called IQ labs in Silom.

Color film processing in labs is automated but it is still up to the operator to follow chemistry replenishment rates. So long as the operator follows that, you should get good results.

In SEA, it is getting harder to get film and selections are limited. So bring plenty of film, especially if you plan to use slide film. If a film goes out of stock, it can take weeks for supplies to be replenished.

#5 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
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