These are the best film cameras you can buy right now

Apr 6, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

These are the best film cameras you can buy right now

Apr 6, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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As film photography seems to be making a comeback, you may want to try it yourself. If you’ve never shot film before, choosing the right camera can be a confusing and intimidating process. But worry not: Jay P. Morgan and Kenneth Merrill will help you. In the latest video from The Slanted Lens, they discuss some of their favorite film cameras and why you should get them. If you’re still trying to decide which film camera is right for you, this video will help you pick.

Here are the cameras Jay and Kenneth mention in the video, with some of their pros and cons.

Hasselblad 500CM

Credits: Jacopo Werther/Wikimedia Commons

Jay’s favorite is the medium format Hasselblad 500CM. It produces square format images and combined with Hasselblad’s Zeiss lens, the photos will be razor sharp. Jay points out that this camera is great for weddings, and it has a removable back. On the minus side, it’s not very fast and it has no light meter.

Canon AT-1

via Wikimedia Commons

Kenneth’s number one film camera is the Canon AT-1. It’s a great starter camera due to its affordability. It’s cheap and pairs with Canon FD lenses (which are also very affordable). It shoots 35mm film which doesn’t take much money to develop. This camera needs a battery to work and has an internal light meter.

Yashica-D

Credits: Bruce Berrien

Another camera Jay recommends is a gorgeous, vintage Yashica-D. It uses 120mm film, but it’s an affordable camera you can find at $200-$400. On the minus side, just like Hasselblad – it doesn’t come with the built-in light meter.

Canon F-1

Credits: INeverCry/Wikimedia Commons

Canon F-1 is Kenneth’s choice and it’s a professional grade film camera. You can get a fully mechanical one or one with an electronic meter. A lot of photographers used it during the ‘60s and ‘70s because it doesn’t need a battery to work. It’s an affordable choice nowadays as it will cost you around $300-$350.

Graflex Speed Graphic

Credits: Seth Anderson/Wikimedia Commons

This is Jay’s “favorite camera ever made,” as he says in the video. Graflex Speed Graphic was the go-to camera from the 1940s to the 1960s. A flash handle from one of these was even used as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.

It shoots 4×5 negative film. It’s a pretty expensive choice because you’ll spend around $23 to develop a single photo. But, you’ll get images that are great for print.

Pentax 645NII

via Wikimedia Commons

The next recommendation is Kenneth’s and it’s the Pentax 645NII.This is the last medium format camera Pentax made before switching to fully digital. It combines digital features like spot metering with shooting film. Kenneth says it’s great for weddings and events because it’s pretty fast – it shoots 3 frames per second. On the minus side, it doesn’t have a removable back. This setup will set you back for about $1,000.

Sinar F

Credits: Guillaume Piolle/Wikimedia Commons

Sinar F is a 4×5 camera that you can get today for only $300-$400 for the body. Along with a lens, the entire setup will cost you $800 tops. It’s great for portraits, but it’s not really a field camera since it’s bulky and heavy.

Pentax 67

Credits: Jan von Erpecom/Wikimedia Commons

The Pentax 67 is similar to the 645NII Kenneth previously mentioned but without all the bells and whistles. It comes with a wooden handle and shoots bigger negatives than Hasselblad, but smaller than 4×5. The negative side is its weight and size, as well as the limit of 10 about exposures.

Nikon F3

Credits: Martintoy/Wikimedia Commons

The last camera from Jay is Nikon F3. A great thing about Nikon film cameras is that they’re compatible with your Nikon lenses. So, if you already shoot Nikon, you can get the F3 for about $300 and you don’t need to worry about the lenses.

Leica M2

Credits: Les Meloures/Wikimedia Commons

The last recommendation from Kenneth is the Leica M2 rangefinder camera. He says it’s great for street photography because it’s really quiet. Also, it has frame lines which help you compose the shot and see what’s going on outside of the frame.

O the minus side, like all Leicas, this one is also pretty expensive. Body only costs minimum $1,000 on eBay. But if you’re serious about film photography, maybe you should give it a shot and invest in this camera.

After these recommendations from Jay and Kenneth, all you have to do is think of your budget and what you want to shoot. I don’t shoot film too often (although I’ve rekindled my passion for it recently), so I’d go for one of the budget 35mm options. For now.

Which film camera would be your first choice? If you already shoot film (or you did before), what’s the camera you’d recommend?

[The BEST Film Camera to Buy Right Now via The Slanted Lens]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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6 responses to “These are the best film cameras you can buy right now”

  1. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    My Nikon F4S is best for me.

  2. attheswapmeet Avatar
    attheswapmeet

    IMO the OM system is better value for the money for a beginning, or professional film SLR camera. The Canon F-1 is great but Canon glass is expensive and the bodies and lenses are gigantic compared to Olympus and of no better quality optically.

  3. photographer_22 Avatar
    photographer_22

    Definitely the FM3A over the F3 for me. I hate that little LCD.

    1. photographer_22 Avatar
      photographer_22

      or for an even cheaper price the F100 is fun to use.

  4. Merilee Mann Avatar
    Merilee Mann

    My favourite camera of all time is the Olympus OM2SP which I bought second-hand in 1999. It also has the macro and the wide-angle lenses. I still have it but haven’t used it lately.

  5. M.Saeed Avatar
    M.Saeed

    I am the proud owner of following of the above listed best film cameras :
    HASSELBLAD 500CM,
    YASHICA-D,
    PENTAX 645,
    PENTAX 67.
    In addition, I also have Ziess Ikon Contina III, Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa, Rellieflax TLR,
    Mamiya RB 67, Mamiya ZX 67 complete system, Olympus AZ 300 plus, all in mint condition being not used more than a handful of times.