• Monday , 6 July 2020

Surprising Words of Wisdom on Choosing the Right Film Camera

Code Canyon

Hamish Gill, who runs a fantastic film-centric blog, 35mmc, has a great article up that addresses an often-asked question he receives: “Which film camera should I buy?” The spoiler is he doesn’t have an answer.

It’s a refreshing take on blog posts that are all over the Internet. Interest in analog photography has swelled in recent years. I’ve been caught up in the wave as well. I started with digital photography in school about a decade back, and for most of the following years, I stayed in the digital realm. It’s what I knew, it was relatively easy, and my photos worked for what I needed.

A few years back, I started to research medium format photography, and when confronted with the astronomical prices in the digital space, I turned to film options. There was a wealth of info online, and eBay was a great resource for finding specific gear at fairly good used prices, especially if I was patient.

I settled on a Mamiya 645 Pro. It was kitted out with the auto winder, metering prism, and 80mm f/2.8 lens. I guess looking back, the leap was from full-frame digital to medium format film, and I completely skipped over 35mm film. I shot one roll through that camera, had the pictures developed, and was impressed with the look of medium format.

Then, the camera sat on a shelf for the next year. That happens a lot with me. In fact, the article image is just one tub I currently have of film gear. But that G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) has actually developed into a lucrative side business of finding and selling used gear. It’s a boutique thing, but it helps pay the bills, so sometimes, G.A.S. isn’t all too bad.

And that leads directly back to Hamish’s advice in his post. He explains the problem G.A.S. can represent, especially as you start out in analog photography. He also includes some baseline information, like the difference between point and shoots and SLRs, how autofocus comes into play, what lens to get if you opt for an SLR, rangefinders and how they work. It’s information I wish I had laid out but which I discovered after hours of research.

Overall, it’s a solid primer for someone just stepping onto the scene and wanting to expand their photographic hobby skill-set.

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