London is one of the best cities in the world for film photographers. Maybe even the best city. Not only are there a surprising number of photo labs that still develop film in London, but a good majority of these labs do professional quality work.
No matter what type of film you like to shoot, you’ll definitely be able to find a spot that develops it. Whether you’d prefer someone to do the work for you, or you’d rather get your hands dirty in the darkroom, you have plenty of great options.
Check out our ultimate list of 15 places for film developing film in London, including which services are offered at each spot and a map of their locations.
If you’re looking for the absolute best quality for your films developing and scanning, it’d be hard to go wrong with Bayeux.
This high-end photo lab develops every type of film – 35mm, 120 and large format are all processed in-house, whether C-41 colour, black and white, or even E-6 slide film. All film is processed dip and dunk.
Not only is the quality great, but you can also expect just 2-3 hour service for all film types, which can be tough to find for anything other than 35mm colour.
Other offerings include prints (both digital and traditional darkroom prints), contact sheets, and high resolution scanning completed with your choice of scanner.
To learn more, you can check out Bayeux.
Metro Imaging is another great photo lab geared towards professionals who need the utmost care and attention with their photos. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best places for film developing in London.
Metro Imaging develops all types of film – 35mm, 120, and large format, C-41 colour, black and white, and E-6. Developing can be completed the same day if dropped off before 10:30 and scanning/printing are completed within 48 hours.
You’ll be able to find a good selection of fresh film stocks and you can choose between digital prints and digital C-type prints. It’s also worth noting that Metro Imaging offers a 20% student discount.
If you’re interested, you can learn more at Metro Imaging.
Photobook Cafe Location: 4 Leonard Circus, London EC2A 4DQ, United Kingdom
Located in Shoreditch since 1996, Rapid Eye is dedicated to preserving the art of film photography in London. Not only through their photo lab, but also their Photobook Cafe, a cafe that features a library of photo books and zines to browse.
35mm, 120, and 4×5 film are all developed at Rapid eye, whether it’s C-41 colour or black and white. Film is processed dip and dunk.
If you’re interested in rolling up your sleeves, there is also a darkroom available for hire. No membership is required, although beginners must first take an introductory class to get acquainted with the process and the gear.
Students may be interested in taking advantage of their 15% discount, which could save quite a bit of money over time.
Film can be dropped off at the Photobook Cafe, which acts as a front-of-house for the lab.
More information can be found at Rapid Eye.
Originally founded in 1979 as The Photo Co Op, this organization has grown considerably, eventually becoming known as Photofusion. While they do offer film developing, it’s a lot more than that – they consider themselves “London’s largest independent photography resource centre”.
First and foremost, Photofusion offers developing of 35mm, 120 and 4×5 film, either C-41 colour or black and white. For black and white film, you have a choice between two different types of developing chemicals.
Aside from the lab, Photofusion offers a wide variety of classes, darkroom rentals, and rotating photo exhibitions.
To see everything they have to offer, check out Photofusion.
Chan Photographic Imaging
Chan Photographic Imaging is another fantastic place to develop film in London. With a deep dedication to analogue photography, your film will be in good hands.
You can drop off your 35mm, 120, and large format film, both c-41 colour and black and white for developing. Film is processed dip and dunk to ensure your film is as safe as possible.
Any type of scanning or printing services you may need can be accomplished by Chan Photographic and they also offer darkroom rentals if you’d rather do things yourself.
Check out more info at Chan Photographic Imaging.
Especially if you prefer to shoot colour film, you may be interested in checking out Artful Dodgers.
Colour film of all types – 35mm, 120, and large format – is processed on-site. You can also bring in black and white film, although it will be developed elsewhere.
With a lot of their business focussed on large format printing for exhibitions, this is another good spot to check out if you’re interested in getting prints of your own. They offer both digital and darkroom prints, as well as a 20% discount for students.
For more information, head to Artful Dodgers.
Without more than an Instagram to promote their business, Moderne Lab may be a little bit under the radar for the average film photographer in London.
That said, they are beloved by quite a few professional photographers, many of whom use this lab for commercial work in fashion and advertising.
Moderne Lab can develop your 35mm and medium format film, both C-41 colour and black and white.
You won’t find much info, but you can check out some of their work, as well as updates on shop closures and such on their Instagram page.
Black and White Basement
While most photo labs in London offer developing for black and white film, there’s only one shop committed entirely to photography’s original medium.
Black and White Basement is an old-school darkroom that can process any type of film, so long as it’s black and white. They also offer traditional darkroom prints, which is the ultimate way to see your B&W images.
If you’d rather do things yourself, their printing and developing darkroom is available for hire. The cost to use the darkroom includes chemicals and guidance from one of their experienced technicians.
Find out more at Black and White Basement.
If the name didn’t already give it away, Analogue Films is another option for film developing in London. Guess that’s what they call “truth in advertising”.
This spot can develop 120 medium format film and 35mm, both colour and black and white. For colour film, you have the option of same-day, next-day, or “regular” service, each for a different price. Black and white only offers “regular” service.
This is also a good place to stock up on some fresh film stocks while you’re dropping off your finished rolls.
Feel free to check out Analogue Films for more info and prices.
Aperture runs two different shops – a photo lab and a camera store that specializes in reselling used cameras and repairs. Aperture printing (the photo lab) is another option for film or disposable camera developing in London.
C-41 colour, black and white, and slide film can all be developed, both 35mm and 120 formats.
Colour film usually takes three days, where black and white or E-6 is generally ready in a week.
Find more at Aperture Printing.
A collaborative space for film photographers in London, SW Darkroom aims to make traditional printing of film photos more accessible to those who are interested.
The main focus of this spot may be darkroom printing, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t develop film, as well. 35mm and 120 are both accepted, whether C-41 colour or black and white.
If you were intrigued by the DIY printing aspect of SW Darkroom, you should know that they don’t require a membership, and you can even pay a bit extra to have someone assist you with printing.
Rates for the darkroom and processing can be found at SW Darkroom.
Eyeculture is a no-frills photo lab that hardly fits more than a few blokes at a time. You know the type – passport photos, 4×6 prints, and not much else.
They offer film developing for 35mm and 120 formats, both C-41 colour and black and white.
While they don’t have an official website, you can find a bit more info here.
Camden Location: 75 Camden High St, London NW1 7JL, United Kingdom
There are quite a few “Kodak Express” shops around London and the rest of the UK. While decades ago, the main focus of these shops was film developing, only a handful still offer the service, as they have moved towards more general photo lab offerings.
Both the Camden and Kilburn locations still develop film – 35mm and 120, colour and black and white.
Not the most extraordinary place to get your film developed, but still an option, especially in a pinch.
Founded in 1983 and eventually growing into a successful franchise business, Snappy Snaps operated over 100 locations at one point.
These ubiquitous yellow storefronts offer film developing for 35mm film, both C-41 colour and black and white.
While we’d almost always choose another option on this list, the convenience of Snappy Snaps is a major plus.
Oxford Street Location: 145 Oxford St, London W1D 2JD, United Kingdom
Kingston Location: 18/20 Thames St, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1PE, United Kingdom
Bromley Location: 97 High St, Bromley BR1 1JQ, United Kingdom
With 3 locations in Greater London, and a few more sprinkled across the UK, Jessops is a well known camera shop.
They offer just about everything photo-related: gear, accessories, classes, repairs, and film developing. That said, Jessops only accepts 35mm colour film and turnaround time is usually ten days.
If you’re ever shopping for something photo-related, it’s at least nice that you can drop off a roll of film at the same time.
You can find out more at Jessops.
Map of Film Developing in London
Note: Snappy Snap locations are marked with a blue marker, all other photo labs are red.
Do you know any other places for film developing in London? Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anywhere!