View Full Version : A bouquet: Vancouver photo stores

05-27-2008, 10:42 PM
I'm visiting Vancouver this month and really have to say something nice about some of the dealers here.

Yesterday I went to Beau Photo and today I went to Leo's Camera, both located in Vancouver (as I'm sure all of you know). Wow - what great dealers.

I managed to leave over $200 at each of them even though I wasn't really looking to buy anything. :)

Both have an exceptional stock of analog materials. Beau has tons of film (from many different manufacturers) with sizes as large as 8x10 in stock. (I didn't check Leo's film stocks since I have far too much film.) Both stores have huge selections of photographic paper and chemistry.

I've been to Toronto many times and nobody there (that I've visited) has the darkroom stock that either of these dealers has.

Anyway, if you are going to visit Vancouver, visit these stores. If you live here and don't use them, use them some and encourage them to keep supporting film photography.

05-27-2008, 11:24 PM
Sweeeet! I'm moving out to the island this month and I'm glad to know nearby Vancouver has enough to keep me happy on the film / chemistry front. Benefit of a big city, I guess.

05-27-2008, 11:58 PM
I have only one complaint about Beau photo - they are not open weekends or evenings. Anyone who shops there would be doing us in the 'burbs a real favour if you could mention that they could have even more loyal fans if they'd open when we could get to them more easily.

They also don't really have a web store.

With respect to Leos, please encourage them, because while they are still quite good, they aren't as enthusiastic about the darkroom supplies as they used to be.


05-28-2008, 06:52 AM
I was quite impressed with Beau when I was there in '05. As I recall, they had a good selection of film at the time. I felt like a kid in a candy store.


Michel Hardy-Vallée
05-28-2008, 07:35 AM
I dropped by Leo's camera (the one on Granville, anyway) when I was in Vancouver, and managed to find some Forte PWT with ivory base. Needless to say, I was impressed. The owner also has a rad collection of cameras at the front of the store, so I could play with a Zorki and a Kiev, which made me go for the Kiev.

05-28-2008, 03:45 PM
I used to frequent Leo's and I thought the selection wasn't too bad. Spent a few bucks there. I would really like to go to Beau Photo Supply which the next time I take a day trip to Vancouver from Victoria I'll stop by. I want to try some of the Foma paper.

jd callow
05-28-2008, 04:24 PM
last month and the begining of this month I spent over 3k at Beau and have mixed feelings, but mostly positive. I'll try leo's first chance I get.

05-28-2008, 05:54 PM
There is an interesting-looking camera store on 41st St. just west of East and West Boulevard. I didn't have a chance to write down the name, but it seemed to have a good stock of used stuff visible in the window. Any word on this place?

Colin Corneau
05-28-2008, 05:59 PM
I can vouch for both of these stores...have not spent as much time or money, but I've visited both and the staff were knowledgeable and friendly, and the stock was impressive, too.

The nicest paper I ever printed with -- Oriental Warmtone VC fibre based -- was obtained at Beau.

05-28-2008, 06:40 PM
There is an interesting-looking camera store on 41st St. just west of East and West Boulevard. I didn't have a chance to write down the name, but it seemed to have a good stock of used stuff visible in the window. Any word on this place?


You are referring to Kerrisdale cameras. Their used inventory at that main store is okay, although maybe a little pricey. They used to be great for film and darkroom and pro level equipment, but sadly they are now a pale imitation of their former self.

They have a few different stores. Strangely, the last time I was in their Victoria store, on Vancouver Island, it was a bit better for Darkroom supplies.

Lens and Shutter, on Broadway isn't too bad for darkroom, but the selection is shrinking every time I go there. The film choice is okay there, but clearly they prefer Fuji to Kodak.

If you are looking for 35mm P & S cameras, the Fotofun store near my office in New Westminster bought out somebody's inventory of a raft of that type of camera, and they are selling them all at really low prices (generally between $14.99 through $29.99). They are good people to deal with, and they continue to offer E6 and C41 and optical enlargements to 8x12, but their film and darkroom stock isn't great, and tends to be pricey.


05-28-2008, 06:46 PM
With respect to Leos, there is great history there. The original owner (Leo!) was absolutely entranced with 16mm movies. He used to shoot 16mm Kodachrome in copious quantities, and have it developed at the Kodak lab my Dad worked at. He was quite character.

That collector's section of that store looks like the entire store did just a few years ago. It used to be a treasure trove of the rare and unusual. It still has a bit of that character, but it is very clear that there is a much more businesslike approach there now.

Leos does have good TV ads, which trumpet the fact that they offer services supplies and equipment to both professional and amateur photographers, whether they shoot film, digital, movie or video.

It is in a bit of a rough area of town (the Granville Mall area), but it seems to be able to co-exist with everyone there.


06-14-2008, 11:36 PM
I've shopped at all of the aforementioned stores, but for the past few years, I've only been going to Beau Photo. While I agree that their somewhat limited hours can sometimes be a bit of a pain, they're still my favourite. Remember, they're a wholesaler, not a retail commission sales store. I find it to be a fairly laid back and friendly environment. Having gone there for years, I've also gotten to know some of the staff, who will go out of their way for a special order, if needed. Far and away what I like most about Beau, is their rental department.

Removed Account
06-19-2008, 03:48 AM
I ordered some chemicals from Beau Photo a few months ago (Rodinal and a 5L bottle of Ilford Rapid Fixer). They had it packaged and ready to go before I even confirmed the order with them! It arrived quickly, and they had fantastic communication by e-mail. They even put up with my random questions about ordering colour products and asking for specific pricing. I hope to make a trip over to Van to visit them in person, and can recommend them wholeheartedly!

02-15-2009, 12:07 PM
I've gone to Beau Photo twice now, and I'm really impresssed with their film collection - they are the only Canadian retailer I know who stocks Efke and Rollei films. Nice collection of used gear as well. Nice people, too.