No doubt Shanghai is a sweet place to be shooting your street photography.
New gear or vintage. Digital or film. It’s all good.
But if you are part of the burgeoning analogue scene, you may be looking for somewhere you can buy and develop 35mm film in Shanghai.
So, to help you out, I’ll tell you where I go for mine.
This is not a run down of all the film labs in Shanghai.
Nor has anyone paid or even asked me to write this.
It’s just me telling you about a place I use and recommend because I think it might be useful to you.
Buying and developing 35mm film in Shanghai
The place I go to is called Weima Professional Photo.
It’s got a few things going for it.
- central location
- decent prices
- good results
- English-speaking staff
- shelves and shelves of film for sale
Weima Professional Photo Location
Weima Professional Photo is about ten minutes walk from the Jing’an Temple subway station.
The address is 501, Wulumuqi Bei Lu (North Wulumuqi Road), and the phone number 8621-62482187.
The shop is pretty small and in an alleyway off the main road, but it’s not difficult to find.
I’ll show you the most direct way to get there from the nearest subway station.
And then, if that all seems too hard, I’ll give you a card to show a taxi driver instead.
Here we go.
1. Take exit 5 at Jing’an Temple subway station, turn right, take this escalator up to the street, and cross Huashan Road when you reach the top
2. head south down Huashan Road until you get to the footbridge; you can it use to cross Yan’an Road, making sure you come down on the south west escalator or stairs
3. walk west along Yan’an Road until you reach Wulumuqi Bei Lu (North Wulumuqi Road) and turn left
4. head south down Wulumuqi Bei Lu until you see this alleyway on the left and go up it, finding Weima on the right where the small, round black sign is
There’s a map for you too. Because you might be in China and Google might not work for you, it’s a screenshot.
If you can get on Google Maps, you can find those directions by clicking here.
And if you want to forego all of the above and take a taxi, just show them the address in Chinese here:
Prices at Weima Professional Photo, Shanghai
Like anything, if you want the cheapest when buying 35mm film in Shanghai, go online.
Go on Taobao.
I went on Taobao to cross-reference the prices of 35mm film at Weima and found them to be as you’d expect – a little bit higher.
Like 5 or 10 RMB per roll, depending on what you go for.
However, if you get your 35mm film from Taobao, what are you buying?
How old is it? How has it been looked after? Where has it been kept?
I’d trust the people in a shop more.
And the Ilford PAN 400 I bought at Weima was new, with 4 years still left until it expires.
Maybe none of that matters. But it’s good to know.
I’ll say also that it’s good to support a bricks ‘n’ mortar film photography shop, even if they are a touch more expensive than online sellers.
Use it or lose it.
As for developing my film, I’ve paid 40 RMB per roll for colour and 50 RMB for Ilford monochrome.
Prices depend on how big you want your prints.
I get mine scanned onto a USB stick to publish here.
Film available at Weima Photo, Shanghai
Shelves and shelves.
And a fridge, of course.
Just like you would with the food while in Shanghai, you can try some of the local stuff too.
The Ilford PAN 400 I bought is available in Asia (and other markets) but not in the US or UK.
And while the Seagull 100 and 400 is made by a Japanese company, it does borrow the name of the old Shanghai-based camera manufacturer.
Quality of film processing at Weima
If you’re going to develop your 35mm film in Shanghai, you need a place you can trust with your rolls.
I’ve had good results at Weima, and they do seem to have a good reputation in other places I’ve seen them mentioned online.
They’re a lab. There’s no portrait studio on the side. There’s no cafe. They don’t also develop film. They just develop film.
I like places that specialise.
And not to judge or discriminate based on age but the guy doing the processing is pretty senior.
Without asking, I’m presuming he’s been doing this a long time.
I like places that have experience.
And as mentioned earlier, while we’re on the subject of the staff, the girl who works the front desk speaks English.
There are so many variables, of course, that publishing results from a lab might not tell you much apart from well they didn’t destroy my rolls.
Film, camera, light, skills of photographer all differ.
But, regardless, here are some photographs I’ve had developed at Weima.
My photographs have always been ready in 4 days.
Maybe there’s an express service. I’ve never asked because I’ve never needed them any quicker than 4 days.
I’ll say again that there are alternatives to Weima Professional Photo in Shanghai.
I’ve just never tried them.
Yes, you can buy and probably develop film cheaper elsewhere. You may find a place with a quicker turnaround.
There might be a lab closer to where you’re staying.
I don’t know because Weima was the first place I tried and they’ve never given me a reason to try anywhere else.
So I still go there and, based on my own experience, can recommend you do too.
However, maybe you have a different place you buy and develop 35mm film in Shanghai.
If so, please shout up in the comments below!
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