Also have Mamiya RB67 with several lenses and backs. Many a year ago I stood in line at Marty Forscher's repair shop in NYC; the guy in front of me asked Marty " can you recommend a durable, adaptable excellent 35mm camera? Any questions, he said. I still shoot with my trusty Nikon F, vintage - and recommend it to anyone seeking a film camera. Its really a surprise that none of the Nikon Fs' are on this list. Its a surprise that the EOS3 film isn't on the list.
Are they too expensive to make the cut? If not for reliability issues, I would recommend the Minox Super compact, spectacular results and aperture priority for exposure. Then there is the Rollei 35 sonnar and tessar. Wonderful camera for street photography. I would add the Olympus OM-2 which I consider one of the best film cameras ever made. I got an extremely high percentage of well exposed shots including in moonlight.
Very strange selection; some clear gems and then four ghastly auto plastic pieces. I think you're discounting the plastic autos unfairly. They make quality photos assuming they are pointed in the right direction and are enjoyable for many of us to use.
I would like to see an Olympus Trip 35 on this list myself. Pentax K, without a doubt. Some film schools require it - mechanical, rugged; the photographer has to do the work, not some little electronic doo-dah which is certain to fail. At photo shows free shutter speed tests, my Ks have always been spot on for each speed. The Nikon and Canon folks in line were always disappointed to learn that their cameras varied in shutter speed somewhat.
The last really cool film camera was the Nikon FM3a. It's my favorite! A little too expensive for this article. It only gets to see daylight every few months when I fire off a few shots to keep the shutter lubricated. The auto cameras are nice. But I sure would like to see a list of manual cameras that do not require batteries.
Why do you want mechanical shutter speeds? Electronic shutters are more accurate, more reliable, and you get intermediate shutter speeds in automatic mode.
The best people in my live, and the coolest places I've been are because of skateboarding. Now I use a Contax G2. But it's film, so Loading is effortless as seen below , you can take as much or as little control over the camera as you like. Too bad that my Contax T2 now has a short circuit and doesn't work anymore. I would say Mamiya 7II is the same case, the camera is valued higher than the cost when it was brand new and I think the electronic of the camera might fail one day. I have a feeling that audible sensors will simply be too slow to react, especially with something more modern and quiet like the Nikon F or F6.
Batteries are cheap, small, and last almost forever. Put some spare batteries in your camera bag. I think the Nikon FE is best for most people. It really has no flaws. I've seen a lot of old Nikon FE cameras and they all worked. A Nikon FM is also good, but do you really need mechanical shutter speeds? The batteries in an FE last almost forever. The FE electronic shutter is more accurate. The Nikon FE2 is more advanced, but is also more expensive. It is cheap, plentiful, reliable, all metal body, metal shutter. It is a much better camera than the Pentax K When new, the K was an entry level camera.
The Super Program has a program mode and a depth of field preview. All the ME Supers I've seen still work. Canon AE-1 and Canon A Plastic bodies, funny hard to find batteries, cloth shutters that start to squeak after a while. Olympus OM1: Mercury battery, cloth shutter, removable hot shoe that's always cracked.
Olympus OM2: Cloth shutter, removable hot shoe that's always cracked. All the OM2 cameras I've seen always had some minor problem. Olympus OM4: Cloth shutter, really poor battery life, more expensive. Olympus OM4T: Cloth shutter, expensive, a pretty nice camera overall.
Canon EOS 3 with eye-controlled focus. Some of my all-time favorite travel photos were taken with this camera. I still have and occasionally use both. I have two EOS 5s and they both work perfectly despite being left in a corner when not needed. Film photography is a little like relaxing in a comfy leather armchair, just slow down and relax. The lens of the Olympus is like no other Coke Bottle Bottom I have had many photos published using the Mju-II. Perhaps you need to find another sample? It had both Shutter and Aperture Priority as well as full Programmed mode and manual of course.
It uses the same FD lens mount, and was used by many Fleet Street photographers in its day. Olympus Pen-F half-frame! My first camera and I was thrilled that I could take twice as many photos as a regular shooter :. The Olympus XA : I had, well still have one. It is about the same size as a pack of cigarettes. However, one should be cautious about something else : zone cameras often get light leaks.
But I really liked it. It was my first good camera.. It was amazing camera. TTL, Matrix Metering. Program, App and Shutter priority. Ahead of its time.
Those prices are many thousands of dollars less than they were ten or fifteen years ago. The Mamiya RZ67 is easy to use, and as long as roll film and processing remain available, it represents a true bargain. How about ridiculously expensive film cameras?
Have y'all seen the prices lately of some of these high end compacts? Ricoh GR1-? Minolta TC-1? Fuji Klasse? Konica Hexar AF?
All seem to be in short supply and highly sought after. Yet their long term reliability has got to be questionable, and if they malfunction there is NO repair option. I get the feeling that there is a fairly strong resurgence in film and I'd love to see someone produce a modern version of one of these cameras. I'd wager there'd be a good market for it. Too bad that my Contax T2 now has a short circuit and doesn't work anymore.
But that was an extremely good camera with a top Zeiss lens. They won't repair it alas. In the near term I think there are to many good, cheap, used film bodies to make it worth anyones while to produce a brand spanking new one. If you don't know what I'm referring to, you've never tried using one under changing lighting conditions. Designed for professional use, the Insta Pro 2 is a degree camera that captures stereoscopic 3D video at up to 8K resolution, and which has a price tag in the same league as a Canon 1D X II or Nikon D5.
What is a camera like this capable of? Read our review to find out. Can it take some market share away from the heavy hitters of the video editing world? Having reviewed the 24MP S1, we are progressing with the S1R and have taken a preliminary look at its video capabilities. The Canon RF 35mm F1.
Promising good close focus capabilities and built-in stabilization, is this the perfect lens for EOS R and RP shooters? Find out in our full review. The Panasonic S1 is not only the best-built 24MP full-frame mirrorless camera on the market though it is heavy , it keeps up with the best of its competitors in most respects. If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
Whether you're hitting the beach in the Northern Hemisphere or the ski slopes in the Southern, a rugged compact camera makes a great companion. In this buying guide we've taken a look at nine current models and chosen our favorites. The fixed lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy.
Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch. These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. Ricoh has updated the vintage Pentax mm F3. Optically, the lens is unchanged from the original.
References to a tele-camera have been found in the code of a leaked version of Google's camera app. Canon might've increased its market share, but overall the digital camera market took quite a nosedive in , according to the latest statistics from Nikkei. We've re-shot our studio scene using a full production Fujifilm GFX , resulting in some of the best image quality we've ever tested.
Ricoh has released the latest firmware update for its GR III camera, bringing with it a few new features and overall stability improvements. In a notice on its website, Tamron Japan says shipments of its mm F2. As you might expect, the gallery is full of adorable little puppers, young and old. Chris decided to find out by using the Pixel 3 XL as his only camera on a big trip. Was it up to the task? Take a look a look at some of the photos they shot and decide for yourself if the Pixel 3 is good enough to be your go-to travel camera.
A cosplay photo shoot raised concerns on a California beach when a model was seen carrying a rifle around without any indication it wasn't a real gun. The new quick release adapter replaces works with Manfrotto tripods, as well as all Arca-type tripods. Whether you're new to the Micro Four Thirds system or a seasoned veteran, there are plenty of lenses available for you.
We've used pretty much all of them, and in this guide we're giving your our recommendations for the best MFT lenses for various situations. Tamron's mm F2.
It's compact, light-weight and most importantly, sharp, with well-controlled distortion. For all these reasons we decided to update our previously posted sample gallery. The Fraunhofer Institute is testing out various drone models to assess the impact of a drone colliding with an aircraft. Have you ever wondered what it's like to shoot a year old camera? Photographer and unusual camera enthusiast Mathieu Stern has done just that and has shared the experience in his latest YouTube video.
The app now comes with motion blur and light trail modes. Shutter speeds can be pre-selected or set to bulb mode. See the original September press release detailing Hasselblad's involvement with the Apollo 11 mission and the cameras used on the surface of the Moon. Keith Partridge is an award-winning cinematographer who shoots in some of the most remote places on Earth, and whose credits include the BBC series 'Human Planet' and the film 'Touching the Void'. He tells us what it's like to film in some of the most unforgiving places on the planet. We've tested and re-scored the Sony a9 with a focus on the AF enhancements that firmware 5.
Submit a News Tip! Reading mode: Light Dark. Login Register. Best cameras and lenses Now reading: Analog gems: 10 excellent, affordable film cameras comments.
Analog Gems part 1 Battles rage over whether digital or analog is the better medium. Tags: analog , cameras , film. View Comments Comments All Estona I was always fascinated by film photography, it seems to me that it has a special atmosphere! Mazinga The Pentax LX is still now the best camera for long time exposures with variable light. Howard The Olympus OM-2 was my favorite film camera. Sara Valentine I expected a better cost-benefit analysis. Sara Valentine The point is about choosing film over digital.
You and DPR got it dead wrong. For what I spent on my Xpan, I could have bought a new Fuji XT3, which will share the same fate as every other digital body. Im sure by then I will have gotten my moneys worth and then some. Nikon and Canon should release a film camera. I bet they will. I was banned from a photo forum for insisting it is an absurd situation LOL.
We need a new dollar film camera. I will wax on. The largest issue is finding competent repair shops. They will look at the camera and tell me whether it is worth repairing or not, and give me a good approximation of the cost. Mid-State has been in business for decades, but there is no apprentice picking up the craft there. I have had pretty good luck purchasing from Japanese sellers on ebay. Unfortunately there is not a camera shop nearby that stocks point and shoot film cameras. I returned it and received a refund promptly. Despite the remote nature of the purchase, ebay does provide a measure of protection for a limited time.
Regardless, age takes its inevitable toll. My Nikon L35AF, a wonderful camera was unfortunately dropped twice last weekend in NYC and it stopped working, then it started working again. The jury is still out on that one, but it was not a big outlay and a great camera. I cannot push myself any more to spend a big amount of money again on an expensive electronic based film camera. I just trashed a Fuji Klasse that gave up the ghost. That one hurt a ton. To conclude, low cost and capable is the way to go from here on out when it comes to battery dependent cameras.
As for Leicas, the good news is there are and will probably always be good repair services available. I own an M6 and an M3. Give me the choice on which one to take on vacation and I will always take the M3. Its all to easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of this re-burgeoning film photography world and you are right on the button to raise this issue of a limited supply of ageing equipment; caveat emptor buyer beware as always is a worthy motto here. That might take a little research and employing many of the points about understanding your needs made above and in doing so they would learn more about the subject and make the right choice.
Good stuff Hamish, keep it coming I should have a little post for you sometime soon. Interesting essay. I purchased most of my cameras between off eBay. I look at the prices today, of the cameras I bought, and I am blown away. It is crazy ridiculous in my opinion.
I started photography courses and developing when I was I like total control over my camera starting with the camera and ending when I printed the photos. While I have a fair number of SLRs that have aperture control and program control I have yet to use those options to this day. I think mechanical and shoot mechanical. I also prefer stick or automatic. Now that brings me to the cameras mentioned here. No different than a F versus my F which will still be on the road when the dies.
So as long as people want to act like lemmings and chase the latest fad then go right ahead. If you want to learn photography, then one could do better than a simple point and shoot, whether or not a low end Pentax or currently high end Contax. Whilst I was waiting for them to fetch my repaired camera someone came in and asked about the T4. The hype is real. Sorry about your SV. He is the man when it comes to Pentax film cameras. Not an issue. Right now hes is repairing my 3rd Pentax SL body a Spotmatic without the light meter. You could also just think of it as the cost of photography.
The luxury of resell price for photography pretty much is limited to lenses and film cameras, very few digital bodies have held their value. I would say go look for deals, I agree that the prices have gone ridiculous on some of the cult cameras but if you actually plan on using and keeping them it could be worth it. The difference is risk. People need to stop following the hype as there are some pretty good compacts out there that are still very cheap.
This is such a great post.
A lot of wisdom. At that time, Nippon camera from NYC told me that they will not be able to fix the motor and electronic parts. Everything has to go back to Hasselblad if they still provide service to the camera. It is a great camera, but the risks are high. I would say Mamiya 7II is the same case, the camera is valued higher than the cost when it was brand new and I think the electronic of the camera might fail one day.
I would only invest one a fully mechanical camera….. There are so many great points in this article! Thank you very much! And it takes beautiful photos. The hype is real though. Great post, congratulations, and great replies, timely and needed. I specially liked a few basic ideas as fragility, durability of repairs, limitations of internet reviews and value of all mechanical cameras.
I have personal experiences illustrating many of these points: — I suffered a case of fragility with an Olympus 35RD rangefinder. Really wonderful 40mm fixed lens, but broke twice and is now irreparable, and I learned that this is due to problems in the design. It works fine and is extremely nice but my lens is clearly inferior to that of the 35RD and the shutter shake and sound are huge design again.
I had a Yashica EM, and there is a big difference in handling and feeling, and sharper images below f5. The first is weight, at the end it may be decisive.
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The OM2n with l50 1. The second is the number of cameras you can in practice use. I have the feeling that you get the most of a camera when you shoot a lot with it. Nice article. Of course, my plan now is to buy up all the Fuji DL models on the auction site and then get one of those Instagram influencers to pose with one. Wait, what am I saying…. One of them bricked on me and I sold it to someone who wanted it even broken. I tested it with a battery in shop and everything worked.
One roll of film later and it bricked. The funny thing is I resold it to the same guy who obviously is harvesting parts or something. Have they reached out to you for a review? I was lucky to get the collection I have now. Great post! Whether mechanical or electronic, any or these pieces do have a limited time on this earth. The rechargeable batteries even still work too! Personally have a collection of R lenses I recently reverted back to their R mounts so I gambled.
How do you get a small family? Likewise there are specialists in Leica reincarnation, and born again Rolleiflexs Let alone one or two who can exorcise Linhofs of all warts and demons. The point is; all these brands are expensive to buy used, but you can keep them going. Not so true as cameras moved from clockwork to electronics.
If you can keep your s Omega Watch going, you can keep your clockwork Leica going. This is the same as the old car world, old cheap cars can be hard to find parts for as it it is not worth making bespoke part runs. We are beginning to see this trend in high end cameras, they are getting too valuable not to keep going.
How ever the golden rule of old cars is that the purchase price is just the down payment on the rebuild, and that is getting true of old cameras. But large initial outlay will be redeemed when you sell it, in that they should not have lost, much, if anything.
That said, Hamish spot on piece. Cameras that were never used, but aged anyway. At this time I already knew that Fuji was refusing to service existing ones, due to the lack of parts excuse. So I inquired to the shop about the warranty, and was told it had the full Fuji warranty and as they were new, Fuji would take care of any issues. Guess what? Some of these new cameras had the notorious battery drain issue batteries die after a couple of days that older cameras were seeing.
Leicas and the Nikon F6 are.
Otherwise aim cheap! The photos nearly always are indistinguishable. I am late to the party here, but I must 2nd 3rd, 4th, 5th…45th? I sold beautiful film cameras and lenses Nikon FM2 and F3 kits in an effort to break into digital. Thankfully if they is the right word I learned my GAS lesson trying to acquire used digital bodies and lenses before I came back to film. I have lusted after so many film bodies but tempered myself only to owning two truly analog film rangefinder bodies ie, will function with no batteries.
Your remarks were spot on. Excellent article: You are right about complex electronic cameras. The issue of using them long term will be few if any, available spares and unskilled technicians. Alternatively buy a Sovar Wong serviced F2 and never look back! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Featured Thoughts on Cameras Thinking about spending a stack of cash on a film camera? Read this first! Posted on January 22, The trough Contents 1 The trough 2 The peak…? Do you enjoy reading 35mmc? Either way, want to help out, become a patron of 35mmc here: Become a Patron! By Hamish Gill. Hamish Gill I started taking photos at the age of 9. You Might Also Like. Reply Dave Walker January 22, at am This has impeccable timing.
Reply Terry B January 22, at pm Hamish, some very useful comments and valid observations. Reply Charles Morgan January 22, at pm A much needed breath of fresh air. Reply Faraz January 22, at pm Seems that the only films cameras now that are still cheap relative to value are electronic SLRs. Reply Mike Eckman January 22, at pm This should be required reading for anyone looking to get into this hobby.
Reply Ryan January 22, at pm Great read and I agree with pretty much everything said. Reply Bernhard January 22, at pm Thx for your insights. Reply Aivaras January 22, at pm Deep thoughts. Really good insight, worth reading not only for film beginners. Reply Andi January 22, at pm Great read and a very good point to think about. Reply Gary January 22, at pm Big old medium format seems to be on the rise as well, I picked up a Pentax 67II for a song 10 years ago and am amazed at the prices they are getting now, happily it keeps on ticking over and shooting with it still feels clunky……..
Reply janourda January 22, at pm Buy anything you can afford at the moment, anything you feel good with and carry it all the time. Reply Floyd K. Takeuchi January 22, at pm Thank you for the splash-in-the-face reality check. Reply Sam January 22, at pm Lets not forget buying a camera only where the cost starts, no you have to buy film, good film if you want sharp pictures. Reply Nigel Haycock January 23, at am Its all to easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of this re-burgeoning film photography world and you are right on the button to raise this issue of a limited supply of ageing equipment; caveat emptor buyer beware as always is a worthy motto here.
Reply Hamish Gill January 27, at pm facepalm. Reply Joey January 23, at pm You could also just think of it as the cost of photography. Reply Hamish Gill January 27, at pm The difference is risk.
Reply francois karm January 26, at pm buy a leica M-a …. Reply Ed January 27, at pm This is such a great post. Reply Kai January 30, at am There are so many great points in this article! Reply Tom February 18, at pm Late on this one, but a great piece! Reply Hamish Gill March 7, at pm Thanks very much for your thoughts! Reply Rob April 5, at am Nice article. Reply M April 15, at am Great post! Reply The case for dull and dependable budget SLRs - Kosmo Foto April 15, at pm […] a recent post on 35mmc, Hamish Gill has some cautionary advice for those buying film cameras — and possibly entering into a world of expensive […].