Do you still yearn for film, or grew up in the digital era and want to know what all the fuss is about? Do you want to strip away all the bells and whistles and focus purely on creating terrific images without distraction? It sounds like you’re looking for a film camera.
Film isn’t for everyone – it’s not convenient and you need to know more about photography (such as the magic triangle) to create good photos. It takes skill and determination, but in exchange you’ll see some real improvement in the quality of your images.
So, with Christmas nearly here, consider splurging on a bit of old (but still good) technology with one of these amazing cameras – we’ll cover 5 this week and five next week.
Even if you’ve only been photographing seriously for a little while, you’ll still know that Leica makes incredible cameras, with the M series being as close to perfection as thought possible. Compact and offering a variety of lens options it’s no wonder why this camera is still used by many photographers. Yes, they are expense, but boy are they worth it.
Since medium format is considered the preference for weddings and portraits, it’s no wonder why the Contax 645 still holds its own among its digital cousins. For experienced photogs the Contax is relatively easy to use and offers f/2.0 apertures for amazing bokeh. They’re pretty rare – so don’t hold your breath!
This camera has proved popular among students, both for its affordability as well as its retro style. For first timers this camera may be a perfect match, with lots of lens options available. For travel photography the lightweight body is a shutter-bug’s dream.
This camera is just fun to look at, but inside it has all the components to make fantastic photos. Featuring a view-down screen and hand crank for moving the film, this “Rolls Royce” of film cameras includes top-of-the-line optics and amazing image quality.
Mamiya 7 II
One of the first cameras to meld medium-format with a smaller body, the Mamiya features a shutter insides the lens, which lets photographers sync their flash to 1/500th second – twice as fast as most consumer-level cameras. It also utilizes a quiet shutter, making it a favourite for wedding photographers looking to keep a low profile.
Where can you find great used film cameras? If you know what you’re looking for, thrift stores and garages sales. If you don’t, stick to places like eBay where you can get a sense of the seller’s credibility (and have a way of getting your money back).
Stay tuned for five more great film cameras next week!