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Film Camera
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Frank H.
(porker110) - M

Locale: California
Film Camera on 04/01/2012 12:01:44 MDT Print View

Yes, I know film cameras weight a lot and plus the film you have to carry around. Oh well. Just wondering if anyone still carries theirs in the back country for more than an over nighter and if so what do you bring. Camera, case etc.


Jeff Loen
(jloen) - F
film cameras on 04/02/2012 21:01:09 MDT Print View

I've hiked with medium and large format film cameras, but my favorite is the Rollei 35, from the 1970's. Small, sturdy, and has an excellent Zeiss lens. I have better cameras but I seem to get my best shots with the Rollei. It's a quirky camera, but has a cult-like following and you can expect to pay $200-400 for the most preferred models (35S and SE) that have the Sonnar lens, although he Tessar lens on the 35 model is excellent too.
I did the 100 mile wilderness on the AT a few years ago with a Contax G and three lenses, and had a blast.
I shoot only B&W and develop and print in my home darkroom.
I've tried digital, and went back to film.

Frank H.
(porker110) - M

Locale: California
Film on 04/02/2012 21:08:30 MDT Print View


That's wonderful to hear that someone still carries around these heavy machines. I'm taking a basic photography class at the local college. We get to develop our own film and print them as well. I've been mainly shooting with a 35mm and recently bought a medium format camera. Eventually want to get a large format. I want to start taking more pictures in the back country. Once you go film, you usually never go back. Its a lot more fun than digital.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Film on 04/02/2012 21:43:57 MDT Print View

One time I was shooting in Death Valley National Park with a guy who was shooting an 8x10 camera. Wow. You want to talk about large format! Unfortunately for him, wind was rocking his camera despite the huge wooden tripod he used. So, he was burning through way too much expensive film and getting virtually nothing to show for it.

I was shooting 35mm slide film and DSLR. Very nimble and portable.


Jonathan Rozes

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Re: Film Camera on 04/03/2012 10:56:23 MDT Print View

Still using:

Lomo LC-A - relatively small, lightweight, and highly quirky. It also makes a very satisfying "ping" when you pop the shutter release.

Hasselblad SWC/M - minimalist MF with a stunning lens. I'm very slowly using up my stash of Verichrome Pan, which I consider to be the best b/w 120 landscape film ever made.

Chamonix 8x10 - 1st gen, maple and carbon fiber. It's light enough for multi-day trips if the destination warrants it; under 15 lbs for camera, film holders, tripod, two lenses and all the usual LF paraphernalia.

Jeff Loen
(jloen) - F
film cameras on 04/03/2012 11:33:33 MDT Print View

There is a resurgence in film use (I will stop short of engaging in the film/digital debate because they are really two different mediums, each with their own strengths and weaknesses). All I'll say is that you won't solve all your problems going digital, and you will discover new pesky problems, like fast obsolescence.

Kodak's sales of film went up 20% last year, and they have introduced some new films, including Portra color print film which is amazing. So the rumors of demise are highly exaggerated.

I so enjoy seeing the fresh images on a new roll as it comes out of the wash tank, and watching images appear like magic on a wet print in the darkroom. You have the ability to craft your shots like a gourmet meal. Like anything handmade it is challenging and difficult, but there is a huge sense of satisfaction when everything goes well.

Blair Blair
(David_Brett) - F
Compare on 04/11/2012 08:23:28 MDT Print View

Well if we compare film camera and digital ,
Then no one better as compare the digital,
In film camera there is chance for cut pics, but save in digital camera.

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Pocket film cameras on 04/15/2012 21:49:19 MDT Print View

There are lots of good small film cameras.

Here are three of the best:

Nikon 28Ti

Olympus XA

Ricoh GR1

Alan Kilmer
(SoCalAl) - F
Canon Elan on 04/17/2012 11:08:11 MDT Print View

I've been using Canon DSLRs for a few years now and a couple of years ago came across someone selling their old Elan 7n on craigslist for $35 including battery grip. I had one lens (Sigma 30mm) that wouldn't work with it, but my zooms, fisheye, and 50mm work. I've been using it on occasion shooting Ilford B&W film but the processing costs are too high to use it on a regular basis. Sometimes I'll take it hiking with a 28mm prime and if it's sunny I'll put a red filter on the lens.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Pocket film cameras on 04/17/2012 11:21:28 MDT Print View

If anyone is interested in an Olympus XA, PM me and I'll start a thread in Gear Swap - I should start using it again but I don't need two. They are great little 35mm cameras and the automatic light meter is fabulous - I've taken 45-second exposures of the very last of a sunset and a 30-second shot of the aurora by setting it on a rock with the self-timer.

Note that there were several models in that XA series: XA, XA1, XA2 and you want the fully adjustable one, IMO.

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
Re: Re: Pocket film cameras on 04/17/2012 14:18:16 MDT Print View

All the XA (except XA3) are fabulous , as anything designed by the almighty Maitani Yoshihisa. I specially like the XA and XA4 (the XA2 is quite good for "booze photo sessions" and has the fastest shutter).

The original XA is one of the best cameras ever, no kidding, a true optical masterpiece and a must for a photographer.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Film Camera on 04/17/2012 14:49:40 MDT Print View

The Olympus Stylus series cameras will make a very decent image. My favorite is the Stylus Epic non-zoom, with a f2.8 35mm lens. Very much pocket sized and can be found in thrift stores and garage sales for pennies on the dollar.

The Yashica T4 point and shoot had a Zeiss lens and was highly regarded by film photographers. A clean used one can run $150!

I had a Leica CL compact years ago that was a fantastic small camera. I miss it :(

I shot with a 4x5 outdoors, but not very far from the car. I had a studio-oriented monorail and it was abut 40 pounds with case, tripod, film holders, etc, etc, etc. I did a lot of work with 60cm roll film cameras and they were a very good compromise for weight, film cost and quality of image.

Digital cameras are so liberating! No thought to film expense and the contrast range is so kind. Shooting snowy peaks surrounded by dark evergreens was always an exposure compromise with transparency film.

I think video is very under rated for outdoor photography. Even the little point and shoots turn out some very nice videos. I need to learn more about digital editing. I cut my teeth on motion pictures with a Bolex 16mm and A/B editing in collage. The film and processing was SO expensive on a student budget. We had one of the first Sony reel-to-reel video decks and camera. It was black and white and the image tube would flare if you pointed it at just about any light source. It was great to polish techniques with before using "real" film. The ability to do HD video with a device that fits in my shirt pocket amazes me still (no pun).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Pocket film cameras on 04/17/2012 15:13:15 MDT Print View

The XA was one of my best pocket cameras ever.


John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
XA on 04/17/2012 16:39:24 MDT Print View

I wish I had never gotten rid of my XA. Wonderful outdoor images.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Film cameras. on 04/17/2012 17:57:30 MDT Print View

"Verichrome Pan, which I consider to be the best b/w 120 landscape film ever made."
I have a bunch of antique folding cameras. There were some really good and relatively light 620 and 120 cameras made.

I've seen some gorgeous pictures taken by Olympus XA on Everest, I think in a book by an Australian expedition years ago.

The Olympus half frame cameras were really good. I could never afford the SLR (pen F), but did have a non-slr Olympus Pen D which was great for learning photography (72 shots on a 36 shot roll).

Some of the old Leicas rangefinders were pretty light and compact.

Still, most of these light, good cameras were a pound or more, which would be considered heavy for a digital camera.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Film Camera on 04/18/2012 17:36:51 MDT Print View

Ah the XA...
I had an A16 flash on mine . It is resting somewhere in the Tasman sea.
(my first and last yacht trip)
Maitani was both a keen photographer as well as the chief engineer at Olympus, so he designed cameras that he wanted to use.
(he was a climber too, hence the bent towards compact design and for example the all mechanical OM1)
I met him when he just finish designing the OM2.

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
Re: Film Camera on 04/18/2012 18:49:52 MDT Print View

First the Ur, now Maitani.
I hate you...

Edited by 337guanacos on 04/18/2012 18:51:11 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Film Camera on 04/18/2012 19:23:42 MDT Print View

Apparently I have people hating me for better reasons..
(ever noticed that negative/dull people tend to hate someone with a passion? And no I don't mean you (thanks for the compliment...) )

One person I would have liked to meet was Akio Morita ( I loved Sony...)

Anyway a great litle and (possibly) inexpensive compact camera is the Ricoh 500 GX, the Ricoh answer to the XA.

I have told this story before...
In NZ I was working for the retail side of the Canon importers , so I used to shoot with Canons..
Maitani came to NZ to test launch the OM2 system.
With a few other retailers (4 or 5) we set down with him and had a presentation of his slides taken mostly with the OM1 and Pen F (climbing shots and landscapes) .
I had provided a B&H Cube projector (built in screen)
Then Maitani compared the OM2 to the Canon AE1 .
He also had some of the more exotic bits that a shop does not usually carry
(macro stuff and longer lenses)
A few days after that I sold my Canon gear and bought (bit by bit) an Olympus system

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
Re: Film Camera on 04/18/2012 19:28:59 MDT Print View


Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Film Camera on 05/24/2012 13:31:26 MDT Print View

It is my understanding that one of the big advantages of film cameras is that you can get outstanding quality for very little weight. Film is film. A smaller film camera might have inferior optics compared to a bigger camera, but the film will be the same. On the other hand, with a digital camera, the sensors won't be as good as a big camera.

One of the big things to consider is what you plan on doing with the pictures. If you are putting them on the web, then it makes sense to go digital. If you are making slides, then film is the way to go. Even the most expensive digital projectors are not nearly as sharp as a conventional slide projector. With prints, I would think that film is better, but I think you can get comparable quality with a really good printer and digital camera.