Are Any Film Cameras Still Being Made?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by Vincent Peri, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. I bought doubles, even triples, of favorite 35mm SLRS 10+ years ago when many in nice shape went for very little money. Mint or EXC+ medium format gear(Bronica and Mamiya) wasn't much more. If doing it again today, I'd probably skip it, due mostly to the thinned ranks of qualified repair talent. Sure, there are the Sherry Krauters and Sover Wongs of this world, but 25-40 year-old prosumer/amateur 35mm SLRs are tough to get fixed and easier just to pitch. When pros turned away from film, medium format repairs got scarce, too.

    I'm a light film user and trust my back-ups will last me. I stopped buying film gear around 5 years ago mainly because the quality had slipped dramatically.
  2. And I will continue to peruse Nikkormats that one has a hard time spending more than $100 on. My latest is a very clean FT3. Though a less optioned kid sis of the F’s I don’t think any other camera has a superior build.
    ] and robert_bowring like this.
  3. ]


    Agree highly. My old Nikkormat FTn is as well built as any F. And dependable, faithful, and loyal.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  4. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    $100 for a Nikkormat seems a bit high to me :) For that price, I could buy four Cosina-based SLRs (Argus STL 1000, Ricoh Singlex TLS, Chinon Memotron, Vivitar 450/SLD, etc.), Perhaps not as refined but every bit as rugged, with reliable Copal shutters. I paid $10 for my GAF L-ES in mint condition, and it's one of the best users I have, not to mention the huge choice of great lenses available.

    I have used a couple of Nikkormats and they are well made, though I never cared for their ergonomics.
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  5. ]


    Ricoh Singlex TLS is not Cosina built, and an excellent camera. Better Cosina models are fine. I prefer Nikkormat build quality (and so would you if you had Cerebral Palsy, I've brassed up, dinged, and dented my fair share of cameras and fine lenses). I like old Rikenon and Nikkor Lenses. And prefer manual and mechanical.
  6. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    According to Learn Camera Repair (a site created by professional repair technician Gene Pate) the Ricoh Singlex TLS was made by Cosina. It was also sold as the Sears TLS.

    Cosina Camera List | Learn Camera Repair
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  7. ]


    The original Ricoh Singlex was definitely Ricoh mount (and also adapted for Nikon F mount as the Nikkorex, also sold as a rare Sears SL 11 version with Sears branded Nikon F mounted lenses, themselves rare). That original Ricoh SLR was designed by Mamiya (the Prismat) There was also a K-Mart version. of the Ricoh Singlex TLS, as a Focal. It's rare. Thanks for clarification. Ricoh made some very nice cameras (and still does today).
  8. I am hopeful that the renewed interest in film cameras by young people will generate more film production. They seem to be finding mom and dad's grandma's and grandpa's film cameras and finding the mystique of exposing and then anticipating seeing the results the age old "DID THEY COME OUT"? if you will. As for myself I am quite happy with my AGFA BILLY COMPUR. IKOFLEX 1 AND 2 BRONICA S2A AND LEICA M-3 all of which will be eminently usable when the planned obsolescence built into digital machines render them expensive paperweights or doorstops.
  9. I just posted this one to the LF forum:

    New large format cameras?

    As I understand it, I am supposed to post the link, and not discuss it here, but it seems that there
    are now new LF cameras. I suspect that isn't what was expected when this thread was started.
  10. There still exists such a sufficient supply of high quality cameras on the used market that manufacture of new cameras unnecessary.
    Also, the better made cameras were complex, largely hand crafted instruments. A simple Nikon F would cost a fortune to make now. Digital cameras are cheaper to make, plus regular upgrades to supposedly improved models to stimulate the market. For the same reason that our new cars have touchscreens rather than knobs and buttons. Of course, when electronic go bad and replacements are unavailable both cameras and cars die.
  11. LF cameras are large, and might be hand crafted, but not so complex.

    Especially since lens and shutter are often sold separately.

    Even so, it is surprising to see it happen.
  12. AJG


    I can see new field cameras, possibly, but not new monorails, although I think you can still buy a new Toyo. When Sinar P2 4x5s are available for $500-600 used, it is hard to argue that the world needs a new large format monorail camera. The prices at that link were pretty breathtaking--$200 or so for one 4x5 sheet film holder? That is just a tad optimistic in my book.
  13. I only looked at the first page, with only one price. The 4x5 plate holder is out of stock for the same price.

    But look at it this way: they don't have to sell many of them!
  14. AJG


    Actually, if they set up tooling and make molds for plastic parts they will still need to sell quite a few to make back their investment.
    kmac likes this.
  15. Not necessarily, machinery is numerically controlled these days, programmable, much more so than in the 60s-70s

    The Nikon F being a rather simple camera compared with later wiz bang auto everything cameras, would take no time at all to produce with the great variety of NC machines available. Labor costs spiral downwards and production efficiency spirals upwards

    Elon Musk would attest to that, everything he gets made, including components for his space vehicles, are made in quick time because of programmable NC machines.
    James Bryant likes this.
  16. It seems that many of the plastic parts are made on 3D printers, so no molds.

    And as noted above, the metal parts are done on CNC machines, though if needed
    molds for plastic could also be done with CNC.
  17. How to make plastic lens elements with CNC Router

    glen_h likes this.

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