Where to Develop Film in Melbourne in 2023.
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If you’d asked us fifteen years ago how many places would still be developing film in 2022, our answer would’ve been pretty bleak. We would’ve been dead wrong.
As the “film photography resurgence” continues to gain steam, we can happily say that we’ve got a list of over 20 places to develop film in Melbourne. To help you make the best choice, we’ve included a list of services offered by each lab and a map of their locations.
Whether you’re a beginner in film photography, new to Melbourne or just visiting, you should have no problem finding your new go-to photo lab. Check out the list below.
Most Popular Places to Develop Film in Melbourne
With such a large number of photo labs still offering film developing in Melbourne, you’ll have your pick of the litter. No two labs are the same and every photographer’s needs are different, but there should be at least one spot on the list that appeals to everyone. Let’s start by looking at some of the most popular.
FILM NEVER DIE
We sure hope that film never dies, which is a great place to start our list of the best places for film developing in Melbourne. Film Never Die is a photolab focused solely on analogue photography.
C-41 colour, black and white, and slide film are all accepted for processing, both 35mm and 120. While E-6 slide film is accepted, it’s also the one type of film that is outsourced to another lab for developing.
You can expect a decently quick turnaround on your photos – colour is usually completed in two days, black and white in three, and slide film in five.
Aside from the photolab, Film Never Die has a fantastic selection of used film cameras of every type and for every budget. They also stock fresh film stocks, batteries, photo zines, and film-focussed apparel.
Established in 2013 by a group of devoted analogue photographers, Hillvale Photo is definitely worth checking out if you shoot film in Melbourne.
As far as film developing goes, Hillvale processes 35mm and 120 film, whether it is C-41 colour, black and white, or E-6. Once again, E-6 slide film is not developed in-house.
Service times usually run about three to five days for colour and B&W film, five to seven days for slide film. To make things more convenient, there are a few Film Dropboxes around Melbourne if the main lab isn’t in your area.
You can also find a great selection of film stocks, including some unique options like Hillvale’s own stock. Aside from running the photo lab, these fine folks also operate Hillvale Gallery, a space to check out photo exhibitions.
Vanbar Imaging is another place for film developing in Melbourne. It’s worth noting that this is one of the few labs in town that develops large format film.
You can bring any type of film for processing at Vanbar – C-41 colour, black and white, and slide film are all processed in house. They accept 35mm, 120, as well as large format.
While the photolab keeps busy with film developing, that’s only a small part of the operation. Vanbar is a full-service photo shop that stocks any type of gear or accessories you may be interested in.
If you need colour film or disposable cameras developed quickly, you may be interested in Halide Supply. C-41 can be developed the same day, with 24 hour service for scans or prints.
Whether you’ve got black and white, colour, or even slide film, it can be processed on-site at Halide. They accept 35mm and 120 medium format.
To save some money, a lot of photographers these days are having a lab develop their film, and then handling the scanning themselves. Halide offers a great solution for those who don’t have the gear to do so – a scanning membership that gets you 3 months of access to the scanner of your choice.
Outside of the photolab, you can expect to find fresh rolls of film, used cameras and lenses, and even vintage, film-related apparel and accessories.
One of the few labs on this list that handles slide film processing in-house, Ikigai Camera is another one of our favorite spots to develop film.
You can bring your 35mm and 120 film, whether it’s C-41 colour, black and white, or E-6. Aside from the main lab, Ikigai also has a few Drop Boxes around Melbourne.
Unlike some of the other photo labs in Melbourne, you can order prints with your developing. You can also find fresh film stocks for sale.
One of the oldest labs on this list, CPL Digital has been developing film in Melbourne since 1968. They’re also in the business of photo and fine art printing.
35mm and 120 format film are both processed at CPL, whether it is C-41 colour or black and white.
As a business that specializes in printing, it’s no surprise that their offerings in this regard are some of the best in town. If you’re an analogue purist, you’ll be pleased to know that CPL offers digital C-Prints, as well as silver gelatin black and white darkroom prints.
WALKENS HOUSE OF FILM
With a name like “House of Film”, it’s pretty clear what you’re in for – if you’re a film photographer in Melbourne, you should definitely check out Walkens.
The most common formats can be developed – 35mm and 120 film, both colour and black and white.
Walkens House of Film also stocks a great selection of fresh film, interesting accessories like straps and photo zines, plus darkroom equipment for DIY developing. Film is truly the name of the game at this small, independent photo shop.
WORK IN PROCESS
Work in Process is a great photo lab that offers film developing for almost any kind of film you like to shoot (sorry E-6 lovers).
35mm, 120 and large format film are all fair game, as long as they’re C-41 colour or black and white.
There are a handful of options when it comes to scanning, although printing is not offered. That said, Work in Process also operates a darkroom for hire. You can reserve four hour blocks to print your own black and white or colour film. Workshops are available to get beginners up to speed.
While this spot may not appeal to everyone, we had to mention Open Lab – one of the newest places to develop film in Melbourne.
This is a fully-equipped, self-service lab with all of the commercial film processing equipment you need to develop and scan your photos. Monthly membership is required (as well as an induction session) and then you can book specific time slots to use the equipment.
Aside from potentially saving money, we love the experience of developing, and even scanning, our own film. If it’s something you’ve considered, it’d be hard to find a better place to get started than Open Lab.
More Places for Film Developing in Melbourne
While the photo labs above may be the most popular, there are a lot more places that still develop film in Melbourne. Some of these spots may not have the most thorough list of offerings, but we wanted to give you all of the possible options.
This is another option that only applies to those interested in developing their own film, but it’s worth mentioning Melbourne Camera Club.
Operating in some capacity for over 13 decades, this club turned nonprofit has loads of programming and resources for photographers of all kinds.
As a part of their Analogue Photography Group, members have access to a darkroom for hire. Other offerings include classes, workshops, and photography exhibitions.
If you’re looking for a photo lab that still offers 1-hour film developing, you might be interested in checking out Photo Barn.
They offer developing of 35mm and 120 film, both C-41 colour and black and white. Colour is usually ready in an hour, while black and white is processed by hand and less frequently, so it usually takes about a week.
Peninsula Camera is another place to find fast film or disposable camera developing in Melbourne. Colour film is usually processed in one hour.
Aside from colour, they also develop black and white and slide film, both 35mm and 120 formats.
Other notable offerings are printing, a big selection of used cameras and lenses, as well as repairs.
ELLIOTT’S PHOTOGRAPHIC CENTRE
Elliott’s Photographic Centre has been developing film in Melbourne since before anyone reading this website was born. (Side note – if there are any 81+ year olds that read Lens Lurker, please let us know).
35mm, APS, and 120 film can all be developed in-house. Otherwise, you can find most standard photo lab offerings.
THE PHOTO SHOP PORT MELBOURNE
The Photo Shop Port Melbourne may not provide the most film-related services, but they still develop 35mm film. Expect a turnaround of four to six days.
Photo Color is one of many Kodak Express photo labs, which can be found all across the country. 35mm and 120 film can both be developed, so long as it is C-41 colour.
Photobee is another photolab that still develops film in Melbourne. 35mm and 120 medium format are both accepted, both black and white and colour.
L&D PHOTO EXPRESS
L&D Photo Express is the kind of hole in the wall minilab you used to be able to find all over the place. They still offer developing of 35mm colour film in an hour – often times even quicker.
This lab seems to be a bit of a mess with many people complaining about issues with their orders. Definitely not the spot we’d recommend for important rolls.
DANDENONG IMAGE CENTRE
Definitely the slowest photo lab on this list, Dandenong Image Centre does still offer film processing, even if it takes a while. Developing is limited to 35mm colour film and only happens once every two weeks.
Ted’s Cameras is a sizable chain of camera shops with 17 locations across Australia. 35mm colour film and disposable cameras can be developed at any of their 7 Locations in the Melbourne Area.
DigiDirect operates a handful of full service photo stores – aside from the Melbourne location, they have shops in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth.
Their in-store photo labs accept 35mm colour film for processing. Black and white is developed at two of their locations in Sydney.
Camera House has two locations that still offer film developing- Croydon and Ringwood.
35mm and 120 medium format film are both accepted. You can develop black and white film in either size, or C-41 colour in 35mm.
Roylaines Photo & Electronics offers film developing for 35mm and 120 film, both C-41 colour as well as black and white.
Map of Where to Develop Film in Melbourne
Do you know any other good places for film developing in Melbourne? Do you have a favorite on this list? Let us know in the comments!
L&D Photo on Smith Street Collingwood is an old-school 1 hour minilab. The joint is a bit of a mess, which may cause some concern about chemistry quality control, but I’ve never had any problems there.
And Open Lab on Easey Street Collingwood is another DIY option.
Thanks, Steven! Added to the list.
Halide express. Shop 5a 200 bourke st. Melb ( in arcade)
Thanks, Nicky. Updated
CameraHouse in Croydon and Ringwood too 🙂 Just to have some more variety for the suburbs! Love the list x
Thanks! Added to the list!
Roylaines in Warragul process c41 and b/w film
Thanks! Added it to the list.
Yall forgot photoxpert in Ringwood and camera house in Croyden. pretty sure they both do same day processing too
Thanks! Added them to the list.