Just to make it easier for you guys, I’ve collected all the important notes from this blog into one single page. Also added a FAQ part so you can get answers faster without waiting for email replies.
Where do you get your films developed from?
Where do you buy cameras from?
If you don’t have any idea about whats going on then KEH is the best place. If you do have a fair idea then ebay. If you know your cameras in and out and can figure out the difference between things like “Nikkor and Nikkon*” then maybe you could go to flea markets and stuff.
You can also look at my “Shop” page. Its updated with any cameras I or my friends are selling. The page is constantly updated so have a look.
* Nikkor is the standard designation for Nikon’s lens lines. The first ‘Nikon’ lenses were the Series E lenses, which were a lower-end consumer line frome the late 70’s and 80’s. I’m not sure if any of the low-end lenses still use that designation anymore.
Where do you buy films from?
The best is Nikhil Enterprises in Bombay, he’s a nice chap down near Bora Baazar and usually stocks decent stuff which is not priced like the black market.
Where can I get my camera serviced / repaired?
Mini Photo in Bora Baazar, Bombay is the best place. There are other repair center’s like a Pritam Photo Repair in Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk but its not as skilled. Mini has serviced my most exotic cameras and they are generally the sweetest people ever!
Where do you get your scanning done?
I scan my own negatives for most occasions. If you want really quality scans then you can contact either Idea Creative (Cheap, they use a Epson V700, good results) or SV Photographics or Printers Devil (both of them have access to Imacon X series scanners, expensive but great results).
If you’re not making prints for a show, then you could just ask Idea Creative.
Whats your opinion of local labs processing and scanning film?
They are especially great if you want your film to look like it was molested by some monkeys on cocaine.
Where can I buy the photobooks you review from?
Amazon is a great place to look for them. There is also Biblio. In rare cases, the bookdepository also works. Of course its best to just wander a international book store like Claire de Rouen and find what fancies you.
Also if you’re interested in books, Mahesh Shantaram and his wonderful wife Vidya run a open-house in Bangalore where he opens his collection to the public to come and read. Join his facebook page here. His collection is much larger than mine so do check it out!
Where do I get a Lomo Camera from?
Unfortunately, we don’t have Lomography India officially anymore. But you can still get your hands on them via photovatika. Or if you don’t mind then you can order them directly from the Lomography website. In the end they both turn out to be about the same cost.
Whats the deal with duty on photographic equipment import?
Indian Customs don’t differentiate between analog and digital equipment. For them if its related to photography, its chargeable 33% duty. So everything from cameras (new & old) or films are charged duty.
You can be lucky and not be charged anything if you’re importing via post. And if you’re luckier, you might get ceased at customs and might have to come down to Delhi / Bombay to pay the duty and get your stuff released. If you’re shipping via a courier like DHL or UPS, then you’re sure to be charged but the stuff will never get ceased or stopped at customs.
I want to study photography. Are their any places I can learn from in India?
The only place to learn anything interesting is Pathshala in Dhaka. They have the most interesting, brilliant work coming out of the Indian subcontinent. If you’re not going there then you might as well just head off and shoot on your own and you’ll learn much more than some South Delhi / Mumbai institute.
Constellation Cafe promotes a lot of film / analog content. Do you think its better to use film than digital?
No I really don’t find one better than the other. I shoot both film and digital depending on the work I’m producing. Constellation Cafe supports film because its a dying medium and there are only a few places to get information about it.
How should I store film / negatives?
Technically everything should be stored at near freezing temperature (except instant film which should never be frozen). Its all described in detail on this blog post.
Would you review my work and tell me what you think?
Got a question which has not been covered? Leave a comment here or drop an email and we can surely work on that!