5/23/13 new updates about the store closing and re-opening this May 2013 towards the bottom of the post!

Are you a fan of analogue photography and cameras? If you are in Seoul you are in luck, Koreans LOVE photography! It is easily one of the most popular hobbies here in Korea with all ages and as a result you have almost any camera at any price-range at your finger tips to buy new or even used.

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Thankfully the love for photography is not just reserved for fancy high-tech digital cameras, the analogue camera movement is alive and well in Seoul! One of the best locations for these sorts of camera lovers is the Lomography Store located in artsy Hongdae, a perfect location!

This shop is a world-wide chain and the only one located in Korea!  It has been here about 4 years and judging by the traffic we saw coming in and out, it is doing very well!

When you step it it feels like you are in the past and in the future at the same time.  Lots of colors and amazing retro camera bodies, but these are new and use traditional film! Yes, do you remember those days when you used to have to develop your photos before you could see them?? Here that method is celebrated as a unique art-form!

I am from San Francisco so given the artsy vibe of that city you can guess that yes, I am at least familiar with the analogue film trend/movement.  Although I am not a photographer, I do really appreciate the availability of these cameras and the vast selection a LOT an an artist~ it is a great medium of self expression and I see the appeal.

Honestly, I have never been in a Lomography Store before or even knew a proper “reboot” brand existed for these~ I used to just see a camera style or two in misc boutiques back home or on sale at places like urban outfitters.  Coming across this international chain in Korea of all places was a big surprise and thrilled me! I used to think these cameras were a bit hard to acquire and often vintage you + where would you even have film processed now??  Fear not, the Lomography shop takes care of all that for you!

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You can buy a wide range of brands, styles, accessories, film, AND get it developed at this store!

How awesome is that?

Bling-bling gold Diana F+ Camera

In 2004 Lomography made the world’s first compact Fisheye camera! These are so much fun and the Seoul store sells them in a variety of sizes and colors for you to play with!

They also have a nice selection of Lomography artbooks~

looooooong book~♥

“It began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s, when two students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking shots from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded with the mindblowing photos that it producedthe colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before!” - Lomography.com

Lomography has shops all over the world!  This shop is Korea’s one and only location

Aside from the cameras, they also sell lots of fun little things like key chains, buttons, shorts, bags, cases etc

Animal prints and fun colors = awesome!

The motto of Lomography is “Don’t Think, Just Shoot.” No do-overs~ every photo is a unique piece of art and the results are always a bit of a surprise ♥ That is what makes these cameras so fun, the lack of control!

Apparently the most popular model in Korea to buy is the “Diana” which is a camera that first appeared in the 1960′s.

The originals were made in Hong Kong and used as cheap plastic toys, prizes, promotional items etc and suffered from light leaks and all sorts of image “problems” due to its poor construction….. but this is exactly what makes it appealing now! The new versions offer the same quirks, plus some added features like panaroma, shutter speeds, exposure variations, and more.

Where to buy film in Seoul?

So what about film for your cameras? Not so easy to find anymore, is it? No worries~ the Lomography store in Seoul has plenty of film to pick from including some expired film which can produce fun results.

I had not idea they made such films now~ you can buy ones that will make your photos black and white, ultra saturated, deeper blacks and many more! How cool is that?

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If you have film to develop you can drop it off at this location!

Lomo Kitty!!

The back walls of the shop are filled with awesome Lomography photos (aka  LomoWalls )~ so much vivid color everywhere I looked!  The temptation to buy a camera was rising….

The photo wall makes an amazing backdrop! As you can see, we dresses in spikes and skulls to match today~ BECAUSE WE ARE ADORABLE DAWWWW.

In the back of the shop they had some seating, I assume it is for group/club meetings, or if you are waiting for film to process perhaps?  Anyway, check out the amazing wrap sticker they made for the air-con!  Now every time I see a screen like that I am going to think about a frowning face haha!!

The CMYK Diana F+ camera looked like candy when we saw it!  My camera looks so ugly in comparision D:

You can buy a baby version of your camera to use as a keychain! How cute is that? These are amazing pocket fisheye cameras ♥

Filters are always a lot of fun to play with, I have a few on my photoshop that I like using… but ah, something about controlling every aspect of it kinda kills the surprise!  It is just not the same! Maybe I should ask for a Lomo camera for Christmas? ^^

They had a large inventory of Sprocket Rocket cameras in every color you could want!  These have a fun feature which allow you take panoramic shots with the image extending to the whole area of the film including the sprocket holes along the border!

What an interesting result ♥ This one looks like a lot of fun for photo albums.

The Lubitel 166+ twin-lens lothario camera~

They had plenty of camera “Kits” that let you buy everything you need to get started in one easy swoop!

Well Hello there…..?

Nara gazing in awe at all the pretty colors lol

Analogue Lomokino Movie Maker!

Just like the other locations, the Seoul Lomography shop offers plenty of classes, shows, events, and activities to help build the community!

Update!  2013 Seoul Lomo Lab store closing AND now re-launch!!!

UPDATE~~~  Wonderful news!  I had updated this article on 2/17/2013 to report that Seoul Lomo Lab had closed its doors after 4 years of business.  Thankfully as of 5/2013  they have re-opened the Seoul Lomography shop and are having a large sale to celebrate!  I did not have time to talk with them in length, so I can not say just HOW much has changed with this re-launch ~  but they still had a huge selection and the store looked pretty much the same minus some inventory and a few display items.

It may now be an unofficial lomo location since I saw a larger focus has been made on stocking Instax camera products by Fuji Film, but they had dozens of Lomo models including some new special addition ones so it is still very much worth a visit if you wish to purchase a camera! This could change in the next few months as they get things rolling again, so if you visit and find out anything new please do share in the comments!  Glad to see them back in business in some form!  If anything, the developing lab or club meetings may be the only things that change somewhat with this re-launch, but this is just my speculation at this time ^^

Directions to Lomography Shop + Gallery in Seoul ( Hongdae )

로모그래피 Lomography Hongdae

서울특별시 마포구 서교동 362-14 1층

Hours:  Everyday 1:00 pm -9:00 pm

If you are coming by the subway, you are going to want to take the Green Line #2 to Hongdae aka Hongik University

The shop location is a bit far back into Hongdae, but if you are familiar with the area you should have no problems since it is right behind the popular Hongdae park. If you are new to Seoul or coming here on vacation your best best will be to eyeball the map above since Hongdae is a bit crowded and always changing so photos of the streets do not always look the same!

While walking from the metro you are going to have to cross a large street to get from one side of Hongdae (the side with the metro station and mainly pubs + restaurants) to the other side where all the shops and some of the clubs are.  Everyone pretty much crosses where they feel like it, so just follow the crowds to the street filled with clothing shops and people~  it should be easy to spot.  You are going to walk down this road of shops till almost the end where (as of this posting in 2012) you will see a Lush and a very pink Etude House on your left, this is the road you want to turn down to head towards Hongdae Park.

When you hit Hongdae Park you are going to want to take a right down the side street~

Keep walking and stay to the right, you will continue down a small road and eventually hit the shop on your left!  It is set a bit back from the road, but they usually have signs and large camera cutouts so you can see it as you are walking!

Lomography.com

Lomography Seoul Facebook Page

Have you been to this location? What is your favorite camera? Did you find out about this location thanks to this post? Comment below and share! ♥

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29 Responses to “로모그래피 Lomography in Seoul~ Rainbow Ocean of Analogue Cameras! *Re-Opened!!*”

  • I’m wanting a lomo camera for Christmas! I’m most interested in the Diana Mini as it’d fit easily in my purse and uses 35mm film. I think taking pictures with film is a bit more fun than digital. I have an old Pentax K-1000 (an SLR) from my uncle that’s been very neat to use.

  • I love taking photos.

    I need to buy a camera for me =/

  • I love this write up!
    I used to work in a photolab, it was so interesting. Especially when 35mm was still the most popular way to take photos. The early digital cameras where horrible by comparison.

    I never knew these sorts of camera lines existed! They sound like fantastic fun :D

    • Elle:

      How neat! Yeah, when I went to school it was the last year they had the traditional photo labs on campus (as a requirement anyway) for students, once I graduated they removed all the darkrooms and made the whole thing digital… I was not a photo major, but I still felt a bit sad about that. It is nice to see that some form of it is still around and seemingly popular! They really looked like a whole lot of fun, after spending some time in the store I was SUPER tempted by that baby Diana or Fisheye haha :D

  • Custom avatar Moni:

    Cool post! I’m not very artsy myself, but I do appreciate well taken photos. I see there’s one store in Madrid, so maybe one day I can check it out! :)

  • welp, thanks to you i guess i’ll go visit that Lomography store in Austin. i’ve been taking it for granted but come to think of it, there aren’t many Lomography stores around!

  • Custom avatar Lisa:

    You’ve reminded me of how much I wanted a toy camera a couple of years ago! I’m too spoiled by convenience and cheapness of digital, so I can’t bare to get a film one, but I found one on ebay that’s perfect! Well, I found it on a few different sites but ebay had the cheapest price. ;)

    • Elle:

      Awesome!! I hope it has adorable colors :D Yeah, these are the fancy versions, but I bet you can have just as much fun with any older camera and bum film because the issues are what makes these photos unique!

  • Custom avatar Christina:

    I LOVE THE CAMERAS!!(Especially the blue one on that wall) I will have to say, the outfit Nara was wearing is too CUUTE! I want his hat :) Your outfits are SO hard to choose on which one is my favorite, because they are all so Magnificent! So I have a few questions that I hope you have time to reply back to me about…Well first is I am interested to know what you are going to be for Halloween this year :) I am going to be a very adorable lady bug. And the second question is….where do you edit your pictures? I love them :} Anyways bye bye Elley-Kinz ^^

    • Elle:

      Hi Christina! Aw thank you :D Oh man, I LOVE Halloween and want to dress up so bad… but I have not made any plans yet and costumes are a little tricky to get here. I just got back from Japan and saw so many amazing Halloween dresses, but I did not buy them because I was afraid I would not use them. A few night clubs say they are having Halloween parties, but yeah~ still not sure since they do not sound that unique. Your costume sounds super cute though, I bet it will look great.
      Glad you like the photos! I take them with a Canon S100 and edit with photoshop CS5 most of the time ♥

  • Custom avatar vanessa:

    I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv LOMOGRAPHY!!!!

  • woah, I came to this blog by accident, and I love it! Korea is the country no.1 I want to visit right now, so it’s really fun to read your blog ^w^ AWESOME, keep up the great work! :D

  • Custom avatar Heather:

    Hi Elle! I’m the store manager of Lomography Gallery Store Seoul. I’m very appreciate for your wonderful posting about our store! If you drop by Lomography Gallery Store Seoul next time, please look for Heather! :D

    • Elle:

      Hello Heather! I am so glad you are happy with the posting, thank you for allowing me to take photos of the location to feature! ♥ ♥ You have wonderful store, and so much selection! It was very busy with customer, I can see why it is so popular! We will stop by to say hello to you sometime soon ^^ thank you for visiting my posting. ~앨리

  • Custom avatar Bunny:

    OH MY GOSH! How did I miss this post?! I own at least FOUR of their cameras and I just LOVE the brand. The variety of photos you can take with them is amazing. ^-^

  • Custom avatar Shannon:

    Oh my…I just saw a site online that said this shop has closed. Really? I wanted to go there tomorrow. Now, where can I buy a Lomo camera in Seoul? I really hate how so many good things close down here.

    • Elle:

      Oh no, I just checked the facebook and you are correct :( after 4 years they closed this month on the 17th after a sale and will focus with mainly online sales now~ what a pity! Thank you for posting here about it though, I will update the post right now…. so sad it closed. They still have misc camera shops for “fun” stuff around Seoul, I think I saw Lomos at a few assorted camera shops that cater to students that want things like that and the Fuji instax~ I will check my notes and post a new shop to visit soon hopefully! If you find someplace please do let me know here as well <3

    • Custom avatar Elle:

      Good news Shannon! Hopefully you get this comment, but the Lomo Lab has re-opened this month and is having a sale! I have updated the post~ stopped by the shop today and they have a lot of models out ^^

  • How much does the fujifilm instax camera generally cost in Korea?
    I’m Muslim Woman and wearing Hijab, it is possible to me to visit Korean sauna? i read on internet, sauna required the visitor to change clothes into sauna costume (t-shirt and short)
    Thanks for information ^^

    • Elle:

      Hello! The price varies depending on the location and model ^^

      as for the sauna, no clothing is allowed on your body in the bathing area which is women only so everything is removed. When you exit the bath you re-dress in the clothing provided and head to the unisex area for relaxing. In this area you can take what you like with you, so I would think putting your scarf on again at this time would be fine since it is a rest area :) however they very most likely will still require you wear the sauna clothing for your body~ but covering the head would not be any issue I would think.

      If you are a little nervous about the process I recommend visiting dragon hill spa near itaewon for your first bath house visit ^^ they deal with foreigners often so it is a smooth first experience vs a normal local one.

      • next week i’m going to Korea and i’ll try Dragon Hill spa!
        really thanks for your info and recommendation ^^
        너무 감사합니다 앨리!!

        • Elle:

          my pleasure Dinda!! Have a good time! Also, if you need more information on visiting in Korea as a Muslim (with Halal foods and everything) A few nice blogs related to the subject have popped up recently! http://www.muslimbackpackerseoul.com/ for example and one other I enjoy referring visitors to is http://budgettravel2korea.blogspot.com :) Both have lots of great information and both women are muslim bloggers as well so they may be able to answer any other questions you may have in better detail <3 places to eat, halal Korean dishes, and such!

  • Hi, can you give us an idea of the price range of Instax Mini 8 and films? :) I’m going to Seoul next month and will be staying within Hongdae. Oh also I’d like to have my haircut there, do you know a great salon that is affordable and has staff that can communicate in English?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Elle:

      Sorry I cant off the top of my head, generally instax prices are standard. Not dirt cheap, not overpriced. As for english speaking affordable salon, sorry I cant help you because I never went to one that spoke english~ other foreigners have a few salons they like for english speakers (not sure about hongdae though) but I find those places to be extremely overpriced!! Good luck~ be careful with haircuts in korea, they can be a little unreliable in terms of quality for visitors. Same thing for manicures~

      • I forgot to ask, where do I look for Instax in Seoul? :) I read your Barbie Salon experience and thinking of going there..thanks for the advice Elle.

        • Elle:

          My pleasure :) instax is everyplace~ check this lomo location for sure and bookshops (like large ones at the mall!) Kyobo is the best one :) I have not featured it yet, but they have several locations around the city. Around ewha is another good camera shop but the name totally slips my mind right now x_x

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My name is Elle and I am an Illustrator & Gallery painter from California, but currently I am living in Seoul with my Korean Fiancé!

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