Labs and photo equipment stores in Praha (Prague), Czech Republic
JANUARY 2005 This web page is designed for those people who live in Praha or are planning to visit this town. Based on my experiences, I have realized that it is quite difficult to find out a decent photo lab, where one can let develop his films and slides without being worried of its quality. It is also difficult to find out a reliable store, where photo equipment is not overpriced and where the staff has good knowledge of what they are selling. After years of shopping around I have come to the following conclusion:
It is probably the largest specialized photo store in the town and in the country, too. Alongside a wide assortment of both digital and analog photo equipment of most brands, services, bazaar of used equipment and other accessories (frames, albums, small stuff) are offered. A small gallery is placed at the premises; there are held the exhibitions of unknown authors. The exhibitions changes almost every Monday and it worth visiting the place only for this reason only. I enjoy visiting this place occasionally just to watch pieces of equipment, which Iíd like to own once. Most of the staff is either photographers or keen amateurs and are capable to advise any request.
I do my shoping here, when I need anything quickly. For more expensive purchases, I prefer Internet stores, since those are cheaper.
As for developing facilities, there are several labs at the premises. I use this place only in case of emergency as film developing is expensive and quality may vary.
This is the victim of changes. Once famous business is closed down now.
I used to developing my prints here. I was delivering data on CD and the results were fine. I use large formats only. Recently the price of prints of my favorite formats had increased, almost doubled. Thatís the reason why I stopped to go there and saved money for color printer, which is becoming more economical solution. The lab for color prints is 300dpi (Frontier). The print formats in pixels and the color table for the lab machine are available at the web site. My experience with these information is not very good because often lab overrides my setting. It is caused partly because of the incorrect machine settings, but I also think the staff is not that careful while prints processing, too.
This lab advertises professional services and offers really a large portfolio of lab services. They are a little bit more expensive. The lab seats in the basement of a large villa. It does not have any large advertisement to be seen from the street and you have to ring the bell to be entered in. Staff is quite friendly; I have never experienced any unfriendliness.
I have moved my E6 processing here. They are damn good. After few rolls already developed there they are still damn good! It is possible to develop slides without scratching. I have seen it here!
Foma - Foto
You can visit their web site here. However, marketing department is doing poor job and even online shop is not available to send shipments abroad.
JANUARY 2007. Paladix photo online store has been closed. Its a big loss. Maybe they were not cheapest, but prices were reasonable at bottom end of the scale. What made it legendary it was its fast responce, intuitive navigating and excellent system for tracking and monitoring of orders and deliveries. There is currently no good alternative on the market.
If you plan to visit Praha and to purchase some equipment over here, you may find online stores useful for price comparison. Instead of legendary Paladix, where I have got most of my equipment I suggest now Oehling. It works - I have tried - but it is a branch of German chain. Bad is, they often offer grey import and one have to rely on them in term of guarantee. Good is, some items are really good bargain. Another store is Centrum FotoSkoda eObchod. Note that this one charges online prices at approximately 95% of the price level of the shelve price in their brick-and-mortar store. Prices are in Czech coronas (Kc or CZK). Actual currency rate may be found at web site of any bank, for instance here.
* please, take opening hours for information purposes only as I am not monitoring recent changes
Copyright by Michal Vallo