Film Processing is Alive and Well at London Drugs!

While cell phones and digital cameras have largely taken over the photographic industry, FILM PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT DEAD! It’s alive and well in the London Drugs Photo Department and particularly attractive to a generation that never had to wait longer than half a second to see the results of their snap! To accommodate these up and coming film photographers and artists (and those who are just too darn stubborn to make the leap to digital) we have been hard at work making sure we have the tools, the know-how and in some cases the creativity to give our customers the quality they expect from a London Drugs photograph.

Single Use Cameras

If you want to give film a shot and you don’t want to invest in an eBay camera, a single-use camera could be for you! It used to be that people carried one of these little guys around with them everywhere “just in case” they had to take a photo. These days, everyone is pretty well soldered to their cell phones so nobody is without a camera when they need it, but there are still times when a single-use camera could come in handy.

Since the only part of the single-use that actually needs a battery is the flash, a dead battery doesn’t leave you completely camera-less unlike a phone that could leave you high and dry after 52 levels of candy crush. So if you’re camping or find yourself with no phone (GASP) or a dead phone battery, a single-use camera could save the day!

Worried you might damage your new iPhone while skiing? Single-use camera. Afraid your DSLR will get lost or stolen at a concert or festival? Single-use camera. Want to allow the guests at your wedding to take some photos from a different perspective? You guessed it – single-use cameras.

These cameras also come in an underwater style which means yes, you can take them underwater! They’re reasonably good for snorkeling or perhaps in the swimming pool where there’s still a decent amount of natural light available as these cameras do not have a flash. So while you can’t catch the Loch ness monster at 40 meters, you might be able to at 5-10!


Fujifilm Quicksnap Waterproof Camera shown above


Toy Cameras


This is where things get seriously, legitimately FUN. If you have a tinkerer in your life – you know – the one who takes your new alarm-clock apart to see how it works and pulls all the guts out of your computer to see what’s in it – they’re going to LOVE this. There is a KIT that you can buy to build your own film camera! If you can build IKEA furniture, you can build a camera from scratch AND it actually works!

Konstruktor_part 2
Diana series

If you’re not into building your own, you can also buy toy cameras that are completely made of plastic – some even come with multiple lenses similar to an SLR. The neat thing about these cameras is that every one is a little bit different. The lenses may be slightly warped or something might not fit quite perfectly which lends itself to light leaks, flares and differential focus. I can literally hear your OCD squirming, but seriously, this is like the original Instagram! If you want funky colors and effects that make your images truly one-of-a-kind, this is an AWESOME way to go.

The Diana Instant Camera - Black - HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store


And don’t forget World Toy Camera Day is October 16th this year!

Pinhole Cameras

If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty and McGyver a camera out of a matchbox, a pop can some film and tape…GO FOR IT! I’m not kidding you. It really is this simple to create your own pin-hole camera and you may even have everything you need on-hand right this second. There are plenty of tutorials on the web for different ways to create one of these truly DIY cameras, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different equipment and methods – you might create some pretty unique looking artwork!

C-41 Process (35mm & 110 film)

Being the most recent predecessor to digital photography, this is the most common type of film processing. It relies upon the development of silver throughout several chemical baths to create an inverted copy of the image you have taken. Our technology allows us to pass the negative through each chemical bath at a controlled speed to ensure that each photo on your roll is properly developed.

Some of these film processors have been with us for more than a decade and these old gals require some tender loving care to keep them in tip top shape which is why we clean them regularly, refresh the chemicals as needed and run a control strip every day to ensure our chemicals are in balance.

Many of our locations can still accommodate film developing in an hour.


E-6 Process (slide film)

Remember the good old days when Grandma & Grandpa came back from a trip to Hawaii and the whole family gathered together in front of the projection screen to see the gorgeous slideshow of the entire journey? No? You are MISSING OUT! Slide film can produce crisp, vibrant photographic-like tiny images on what’s called a ‘positive.’ During the chemical process, slide film undergoes a process called a reversal bath which creates the positive image.

If you wanted to, after you’d shot a roll of slide film, you could keep the little cardboard framed beauties as images all on their own. It could make for a kind of neat instagram-like display if you put them up against a light colored background, but more often than not you’ll want to print those bad boys or put them on a CD to share instantly with your friends and family – and guess what, London Drugs has you covered there too!

120/126 and ‘other’ films

Not sure if we can develop or print from the film you found in your great-grandmother’s hat box? Bring it in and we’ll take a look! In many cases we can send your film out to another location to be developed, or we can scan and print your images directly from your already-processed odd-shaped negative on our high quality flatbed scanner.


About the Author

meganMeghan is a meal-planning, food-prepping, Pinterest addict. She likes coffee – a lot. A mom of 2 boys, Meghan has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, which she uses on a daily basis when helping customers create memories. Meghan is honoured to witness your histories unfold in real-time.

Known as “a social media pro,” LDExpert Meghan blogs about her experiences as Photolab Manager at You can also follow her on Twitter.

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