Montreal’s Best Old-School Camera Shops

Digital cameras have turned us all into brilliant photographers; snap a thousand shots, and one, surely, will be a masterpiece. Shooting that masterpiece with film, however, isn’t so easy. It requires focus, thoughtfulness – and, some might say, talent. But it’s all the more gratifying when it comes. Here, four Montreal camera shops keeping 35mm alive.

Camtec Photo
This shop carries a wide variety of Leica models, the brand of choice for Henri Cartier-Bresson. A range of models – from the M2 ($700) to the M9 ($7,000) – means there’s something for everyone. Also, look for other German brands, including Voigtlander and Zeiss, makers of excellent, affordable lenses. 26 Notre Dame St. E., 514-875-5110.

Simon’s Cameras Inc.
Founded in 1930, Simon’s is Montreal’s oldest independent camera shop. Don’t let its resemblance to a hardware store confuse you; this place is home to new and used treasures, like models of the discontinued Japanese brand, Minolta, and mint condition Nikons. The staff comprises serious photo-philes; head here for well-informed advice. 11 St. Antoine St. W., 514-861-5401.

Photo Service

The shop’s ambience may be a touch sterile, but Photo Service’s comprehensive, uh, photo services, are top-notch. They do it all: retouching, enlargement and film-to-CD development, plus an extensive gear rental program. 222 Notre-Dame St. W., 514-849-2291.

Royal Photo

Royal Photo’s fridge is jam-packed with sweet rolls, like the 100 ISO Kodak 35mm film ($7), perfect for outdoor shots, and the 400 ISO Ilford 35mm ($7), for indoors. Plus, there are accessories, including lithium batteries, light meters and more. 1108 De Maisonneuve Blvd.W., 514-844-1766.

Image courtesy of rebecca anne.

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