Is This the World’s Best 35mm Analog Camera Store?

Analog camera store Japan

Japanese photography store Champ Camera has rustled up quite a social media following because of the shop’s remarkable collection of rare and unusual films.

Champ Camera has four locations just south of Tokyo, and Matt Murray of the YouTube channel Matt Loves Cameras made the pilgrimage to the Tama Plaza location late last year.

In an Fstoppers article about his experience, Murray highlights 20 of the rarest and most fascinating films he found at Champ Camera. He also offers tips and tricks for fellow photographers who want to see what Champ Camera provides.

“Champ Camera has one of the world’s best ranges of 35mm film for sale. Although their stores aren’t huge, the range and variety of film they sell is incredible,” says Murray. However, as Murray notes and some photographers on Reddit have unfortunately learned, Champ Camera doesn’t sell film via their website, not even for Japanese photographers.

Champ Camera store

Given how many of the shop’s films are rare and expired, it should be no surprise that there are also purchase limits. Each customer can buy five films, and the shop requests that photographers not rush to different locations to buy five more films.

One of the coolest parts of the Champ Camera experience is that customers can scan QR codes in the store to see examples of photos captured with each of the available films, which is excellent for photographers who want to try something new but don’t quite know where to start.

Champ Camera photography store in Japan

Kiro 400 Film

Mr. Negative 700S film

FuMoTo ISO 400 film

FuMoTo ISO 400 film

From Murray’s visit to the Tama Plaza location, 20 films stood out, including Agfa Ultra 100, “an ultra high color saturation color negative film made in Germany in the early 2000s.” Murray bought a roll for 2,500 yen, or about $16.50, and is “really looking forward to shooting this roll” and showing the results on YouTube.

Despite not often shooting with black-and-white film, Murray couldn’t help himself when he found Efke KB 25 at Champ Camera. These films were made in Croatia until 2015 and promise a wide exposure latitude. Murray has already shot the expired film and sent it to a friend, Alex Luyckx, in Canada for development. “I loved the results,” Murray says.

Murray only bought these two films, but there are plenty of other amazing ones he saw at Champ Camera, including Escura Negative Film, Fotos Film 400, FuMoTo (which has an adorable photography-obsessed rabbit on its packaging), Koikoi color negative film, Film Photography Project Monster Films, Marix, Rollei Paul and Reinhold, and so much more.

Murray is not the first photographer to visit Champ Camera and share their experience online. Photographer Ryo Murata was one of the first YouTubers to discuss the shop.

Champ Camera is worth a visit for any photography enthusiasts who travel to the Tokyo area. Murray has previously reviewed some of the films he saw on his YouTube channel. And yes, Champ Camera also sells cameras, including the latest digital ones, and lenses. The store has it all!

Image credits: Champ Camera