Photographs and Information about Taiwan's Culture, Nature and People by Rich Matheson

Photography Resource for Tainan

One of the main reasons for starting this blog was in the hopes of helping Tainan Xpats to find photo stuff. I bought my very first SLR here in Taiwan in 1991. It was a gorgeous fully manual silver Nikon FM2. I don’t remember what lens I bought with it, just that it was a cheap Tamron zoom. Got the whole kit stolen while I was sleeping on a ship in the Philippines a few months later. The waist strap had broken that day and I tied it under my cot. when I woke up, it was gone.
Anyway, I bought that first FM2 down in Kaohsiung on the advice of a friend, but have since bought almost every camera, lens and accessory in Tainan city, where I live.
My first BW darkroom was given to me by a friend in Canada, once that was set up I was hooked. I set up two more in Tainan. The final one was “Dee-Luxe“. I rented a whole apartment for it, built eight feet of sinks a light lock door (so people could come in and go out while I was working) and a nice overhead extractor system. Sadly, both digital and my lack of darkroom skill (I think I am better at building) converged and the darkroom is now long gone.
Well, the point of this preamble is: I have bought a lot of equipment over the years and feel qualified to give advice on where to buy photographic equipment.

So, this will grow as I have time to write but will put up a draft and add to it over the years. I have now settled in to my favorite stores and haven’t actively looked for new places in a while so anyone that knows of some good shops let me know via e-mail or comments.

If you want to know where to find something, ask. I may know.

Camera Stores

Horng Sheng (previously called Home Lai ) Image Equipment Store

#222 Ming Chuan Road Sec. 1, Tainan City

Tel: (06) 228-9895
Here’s a map:

Great for new stuff. Boss used to be a camera repairman, then opened camera shop about 20 years ago. No grey market stuff, All Nikon products from Lin Trading company, so full warranties and service. Only criticisms would be that they once tried to sell my friend a brand new Leica M? for her first novice camera. Not saying this is not a fine camera but sheesh, pretty expensive for a first camera. Two, they can be a little dismissive of large amounts of money being dropped. When I drop wads, like I have many times there, I expect to be treated well. Minor points.

Here is a link to an article I wrote in 2004

Da Hua or Gloryman Used Camera Specialist
大華相機 — 二手相機專賣店

Tainan City, #362-1 Hsi Men Road Sec. 2
TEL:06-2208581 / FAX:06-2205523

(星期日及國定假日公休 )
Open Mon. to Sat. 2:00PM to 10:00PM
Yes, that’s 2PM. Many a time I have gone earlier to find him closed.
Closed Sundays and Holidays

Awesome shop. Lots of great lenses, go at beginning of the month for best selection. The boss, Alex Chen, speaks great English and is very knowledgeable and helpful. Tripods, medium format, lighting, macro, lots of adaptors and fun odds and ends for DIY projects.
Here is a link to an article I wrote in 2004
Great website. You can see what he has in stock:

Rising Sun Teams

Two locations:
旗鑑店/台南市民族路二段34號 TEL:06-228-6128 FAX:06-228-3386
Kirin Store
Tainan City,
#34 Ming Tzu road, Sec. 2
青年店/台南市青年路197號 TEL:06-228-2505

Ching Nian Store
Tainan City, #197 Ching Nian Road

Opened June 6th 2001 on Ching Nian Rd, I noticed them for connectivity. The boss was into microscope photography and was the man to go to for connecting stuff. I was going to connect a consumer telescope to my 801s. never did though. They still do this kind of stuff but have moved across the road and opened a new branch on Ming Tzu. I don’t know if the boss is still around. Their web site says first and second floors of Ming Tzu are display areas, 3 and 4 floors are management areas and the 7th floor is where the altar is. Funny, I never noticed the second floor. Mental note to check that out. I always check there if I can’t find some odd knick-knack and know several people who recommend them for camera gear. Probably a good place for birders with spotting scopes.

Hong Ming Specialist Camera Shop

Tainan City, #122 Ming Tzu Road, Sec. 2

Great shop. Always good for flash equipment, specialty holders, reflectors, soft boxes etc. Sleek design, one of the first shops to embrace digital, hence, doing quite well now. Great for Olympus or Sony digital systems. Slobber over the 200,000NTD lens in the window.

Shuang Mei Camera Shop

One of the oldest shops in town, and one of the few left on old gov. circle. There was a time when there were at least eight camera shops on the circle, now there may be three. Worth checking out for lenses, cheap film (says William) and other knick knacks like bags, tripods, and those silica packets that suck moisture out of your camera bag. June 12th, 2008-just drove by and it was totally cleared out. saw the boss directing so am assuming (hoping) it is just a renovation.

Darkroom Equipment
horng Sheng



horng Sheng(slides)
Shen Bao

Ming Tzu/Hai An
Dong Men
Ebu’s friend


For backdrops darkening windows etc. here are some shops that sell cloth and canvas:

Place just off old gov. circle on Jung Jeng road (past fire station) sells canvas stuff. good white , but never bought black there. Sure they could get some if you ask.

there are some shops on dung men, heading towards Ren De freeway on-ramp. left side of road after Jung Hua East. they sell canvas covers for blue trucks and those lovely waterproof canvasses you see on big trucks. sizes made to order. decent value. also add grommets and straps.

cheapest shop for material is a little hard to explain. don’t have address offhand. going west on Ching Nian raod, cross tracks and bei men road. take first left onto ?? street. there are two shops, both on right hand side of street. the first (smaller) shop is cheaper.

Easier to find shop is on corner of you ai jie and Ching Nian.


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  1. Pingback: Links 26 May 2008 - David on Formosa

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