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SteveYork

How many film cameras do people still own and use?

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Every couple years I go through this -- should I get rid of my rangefinder stuff? Should I dump the recently acquired Leicaflex system? And with the recent hike in the local cost of developing, the voices in my head are even stronger.

 

Add to this the recent "perfect storm" on my trip to Churchill Canada where (1) I left a bag of film at home; (2) one of my mechanical cameras broke on the first day leaving me with just one functioning camera; (3) I had no expertise of using telephotos on SLRs (you really do have to hold them still); and (4) that there is a big difference between my current rangefinder lenses and the 70's optics I was suing -- all mixed with perfect sun and a lot of bears...

 

...and I'm starting to wonder whether it is time to go digital.

 

 

PS -- On that trip to Churchill, there was about 35 tourists, with lots of big and expensive cameras, and only two of use were shooting film.

 

Please someone, talk me out of it.

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its not about cameras and lenses. its about the pictures. do you prefer the look of film? if so keep using it. no matter the money. its still cheaper and easier than in the days of atget. and nothing worth having comes for free.

Edited by dsj

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True, that's a consideration. I like the look of film better then digital, because digital is too clinical. It's not that digital is bad; just that I like the look of film better. But for traveling, convenience comes into play too. Several of the "digital people" on my last trip admitted that they like the look of film better, but the convenience of digital won them over. But what you say is a very valid consideration.

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I am an IT guy. Although I mostly use digital cameras when traveling, every journey starts with lots of dithering over backups for the brittle technology involved in digital photography.

 

How many spare batteries shall I carry? Does one charger suffice, or shall I prepare myself for the eventual failure of that cheap-looking thingy? How many storage cards? Do I dare leaving the only copies of my images on the storage card or shall I carry the disk copier? If so, is it large enough to hold successive daily copies of the ever growing data volume on the card? Will the power plug adapter really work in the country I am going to visit, and in the particular hotel?

 

As to the original question:

1 viewfinder (8x11mm), 1 TLR (6x6 cm), 2 RF (one of which is up for sale), 1 RF ordered but not arrived yet.

Edited by pop
original question answered

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I have 6 film-cameras ( 3 slr and 3 rf ) and 1 dslr . I like them all and try to use them from time to time . Nikons since 1973 and Leicas since 2000 .

I hope film will still be around forever , especially colourfilm . For me a camera is still a magic-box . I like the different sound and feeling of every camera , and I also love beautiful pictures , as you all do !

 

Etienne Michiels

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Film: Leica M6, Nikon F80, Bronica ETRSi and Linhof 4x5

Digital: Nikon L12, D80 and D300s

All used indiscriminately. On the last trip to Antarctis, there were only two film cameras against 150+ digital (and I was shooting both).

Take care,

Jean

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Just sold my Leica R8 and R gear to invest in an M8 but still using my Contax G2 & G1 on a regular basis. I feel bad because I enjoy using them so much my lonely Nikon FA just get's left there on the shelf gathering dust - for me probably the best Nikon 35mm SLR made apart from the F6 and I've owned most of them over the years but always have a soft spot for the FA.

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If I had a film camera (and perhaps I will) I think I would be happy using it. Saying this as a M9 user. When I have a good picture, it is not because it is digital but rather because of the captured subject/scene. The rest is just convenience, but I could do without it.

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I would cut down to what you're using, as distinct from having acquired. I'm down to five bodies which I think I'll keep. For B&W I use two Leica MPs, an Exakta IIa and a Fotoman 617. For the family snaps I use a Fuji S5. I've sold a stack of bodies over the last couple of years with no regrets, and usability and reliability have been the factors in my choices of what to keep. Now I've started on the lenses, the idea is to keep the stuff I'm using and get rid of the rest. My current guideline is to sell everything I haven't used for two years. After I'm done I should be down to twelve lenses. Leica that is.

Personally I wouldn't take the Fuji S5 on a trip. Not only do I like the look of film better, it's archival. I always take the two MPs.

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Film: Mamiya 7II, Hasselblad 501CM, Canon A-1, Leica M6 (sold)

Digital: M9

 

I keep telling myself all the time, "at least one of the remaining film cameras has got to go; gotta free up funds". But so far I could not come to a decision - each of those cameras is so unique and can be used in ways the others can't. The Mamiya is ideal for hiking and has the quietest shutter ever heard. The Hasselblad is great for macros and portraits. The cute little A-1 is a great companion for travel to places where I would not dare to take my Leica gear. And the M9? It produces great pictures for sure. Color - no contest. But B&W - although the M9 clearly outresolves 35mm film and is *very* close to medium format, I believe film still has a noticeable edge here in terms of dynamic range and smooth tonality.

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After retiring and no longer shooting for pay, I actually sold my Nikon D700 and replaced it with a mint F100 to go along with my M6TTL. I don't miss digital and am now lusting after a Mamiya 7II.

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I have quite a few film cameras and two digitals. I prefer film most of the time which is why I continue to use it.

 

Digital has many advantages and I do use it for certain situations or alongside my film cameras (Canon body for my R lenses) but I'm not a press photographer so I don't need to be able to wire images to meet deadlines and although I'm not the most patient person I can wait usually a few days to see my results!

 

I can process/scan my own B&W film and I'm lucky that I live where there are plenty of places I can get C41 or slides processed, so that's not an issue for me - I do understand some people who have switched to digital purely because of the problems with availability of commercial processing, although in that situation I'd be tempted to give C41/E6 another try at home.

 

Only you can decide what's best for you. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the difference between your SLR and rangefinder lenses. Do you have an M8/9?

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its not about cameras and lenses. its about the pictures. do you prefer the look of film? if so keep using it. no matter the money. its still cheaper and easier than in the days of atget. and nothing worth having comes for free.

 

How TRUE... How absolutely, utterly, deeply TRUE!

I love Black & White and I have only one film camera and one lens: An M4-P and a 50mm Summicron. I have never sold it because I have yet to find a digital system that can outperform it in what I require...

Edited by maurometallo

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Three -- Leica SL2; Leica R5; Canon FTb.

 

I use them all on a regular basis and all three still function very well.

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Leica M6, Hasselbad 500 c/m along my Leica M8.

Since june i did not use the M8 very much but will hold on to it.

For the time beeing i am enjoying the M6- 500 c/m combo and use them every week.

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Three film in regular use: MP, M2 and Rolleiflex 2.8f

Two film that spend too much time on the shelf: Nikon FM2n and Minolta CLE

Two digital with sporadic use: Nikon D300 and Pana LX3

 

I can't bring myself to part with the FM2n or the CLE as these two helped spark my interest in photography.

 

Taking the plunge and selling the film gear to help fund an M9 crosses my mind but then I pull another roll of TriX out of the developing spool and I know I don't want to give this up. I know I would spend much of my time trying to make digital look like film so why not make film look like film

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Five:

2 Rolleiflexes for big pictures,

1 Petri Color 35 for situations, where I can't be sure enough that nothing will happen to the camera or which demand the most compact of cameras

2 M-Leicas for all other situations

 

What comes to making pictures, there is a huge bunch of film cameras, which have no real substitute in digital cameras in terms of functionality or feeling. So with those cases there's no competition at all, actually.

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