Best Film Cameras

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by Ludmilla, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. I love the smell of a darkroom.

    With that said, I handle enough chemical nasties in my day job that "aged" fixer smells downright pleasant :) . Not too long ago, I needed a low BP solvent for gas chromatography work(ended up going the opposite route to do what was I was trying with DMF, a very high boiling solvent, but I digress). I ended up working a lot with carbon disulfide(CS2)-I use to use a liter or two a week of the stuff when I was working in a fuel lab. It's NASTY smelling stuff...and even worse if you accidentally catch it on fire(don't ask how I know that one). I also tried tetramethylsilane(TMS), but it's too expensive, and couldn't find a fluorcarbon or CFC that we had in stock with a low enough BP for my purposes but high enough to handle at room temperatures.

    Fixer does give off some nice sulfur compounds that stink, especially when it sits out in a tray. Rapid fixers, with their combination of ammonia and sulfur compounds, are even worse than plain hypo.
    Kent T likes this.
  2. C’mon, Silent Street, there has always been rivalry between photographers based on equipment. Nikon v Canon didn’t start with digital photography. Most of us can handle it.
  3. Far too many P&S models, and lacking in TLR & view camera options completely!

    I think such a short list should have examples of a wide variety of camera styles, the SLR deserve several entries - perhaps a 645 model, a sports 35mm model, and a particularly flexible 35mm model - . To me box cameras & P&S only really deserve one entry each unless perhaps if adding a specialist underwater P&S.

    With a rangefinder, 3 SLRs, TLR, box, P&S, view camera that's 8 cameras leaving room for a couple more quirky models of particular interest such as the Minox spy camera :)

    Ruling out a vast number of models based of the old batteries when current alternatives are readily available is IMO wrong - probably done to simplify things for the author rather than anything else.
  4. As far as darkrooms go, well, I got rid of my enlarger about 15 years ago. But I still shoot a lot of film, and one thing I can't tolerate is how expensive it's become to get it processed. It's bad enough that film has gotten so expensive, but to have to shell out $10 or more per roll for processing is more than I can handle. So I've amped up my darkroom again -- well, can't really call it a darkroom. My darkroom these days is a changing bag that I use to spool my film onto reels for my developing tank. So now, as a cost-cutting move, I've begun doing all my film processing -- B&W, C-41, and E-6. It saves me a ton of money doing it myself. Developing C-41 is actually easier than developing E-6, I've found. In either case, one just has to keep an eye on temperature and, with the right setup, this isn't that difficult to do. Of course, after developing the color negatives especially, there's some rather exacting work that has to be done with image processing software to get the images looking halfway decent. But once that's accomplished, getting hardcopy prints is simple. My printer can handle photo-quality prints up to 9 x 13, and anything larger than that, I can just take the images, loaded onto a jump drive, down to Costco, where they can print images up to poster size, should I feel the need. Problem solved.

    Silent Street, those folks who own Phase 1 Hassies and the like are really forced to hold their extreme views, since they've invested the equivalent of a nice new car in their gear. I wonder if Phase 1 depreciation is at all similar to automotive depreciation. Probably worse.
  5. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    They (Phase 1 outfits) are not purchased but leased, as this provides tax advantages. The same goes for their cars/vans, usually salary sacrificed. In other words, these high flyers are up to their asterisks in ongoing financial provisioning for their toys, and God help them if the work peeters out, as it often does in the fickle commercial/industrial and fashion industries (doing well presently, but it never remains steady).
  6. Houston, TX, where I live, with a greater metropolitan population of some 4 million people, has only one pro photo lab left. It offers same day turnaround on E6 processing -- and C41, I presume, although I've only used them for E6. A roll of 120, processed only, runs about $12. As I recall, they charge the same for 35mm. Not so bad, I suppose, unless you have several rolls to be developed. In which case, it becomes much more economic to do the developing myself.
  7. Lab near me does 120 C41 for $8.50/roll develop only, $16.50/roll for develop and scan.

    If I am not in a rush, and plan for when I am already going in that direction, it isn't bad,
    and avoids postage costs.

    C41 35mm is $8 and $18, respectively. I have a fast enough scanner that I scan them myself.
  8. Tomban, I thought I should check in at the lab's website and see what their current prices are -- only t o find that they are no longer processing film. Dang. The last pro lab in Houston is gone. I guess it's Dwayne's and a few others now. Long may they live.
  9. My local lab doesn't even charge $13 for E6...they're at $4.50 for C-41 35mm or 120, or $10.99 for E-6(either format). The only way I can run up a $14/roll bill is on 220 E6.

    I only have them scan APS(since it's a pig to do myself) but I think that just adds a couple of dollars.

    BTW, most labs I've used charge ABOUT the same price for 120 as they do 35mm-36, although I suspect the price difference(if there is one) depends on the exact configuration of the processing lab. My local labs-for both E-6 and C-41-use mini-lab type machines where two rolls of film are taped to a plastic card that pulls the rest of the film through the machine. It can only take 2 rolls at a time regardless of their width. 120 actually has a bit less surface area than 135-36, so requires a bit less chemistry, although the practical difference isn't that great. On the other hand, 120 does take a bit more work for the labs here, since they have to transfer it to a reusable can that is fed into the processor.

    If I were paying $20+ for C-41 process only, or process+minilab quality scans, I'd definitely be looking elsewhere.
  10. Lab near me is $10 for E6 135-36 developing, and $2.50 for mounting.

    If I remember right, it used to cost more for developing and less for mounting, but
    I might have forgotten. I suppose I could mount them myself and save money,
    but probably not all that much.
  11. It’s interesting to compare prices, and using Dwayne’s as the benchmark $10 or so doesn’t seem terribly out of line.

    My lab doesn’t charge for mounting with development. When I was looking at doing B&W reversal myself, they told me $1/roll if I brought them uncut for mounting
  12. I develop my own E6 and I don't bother with mounting. I don't project my slides, so I don't have to have mounts. I just use archival sleeves. I like the sleeves because I can write comments and the date on them.
  13. I guess I"m digital now except there's nothing as good as sitting on your porch with a just returned box of slides, a hand held slide viewer, and a black coffee/beer (your choice). I'll have to get out my Konica EF3 and delve into my freezer stash of Ellite Chrome before the cold weather comes.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  14. When we got our first color TV at home, about 1968, my dad told me about flying spot scanners.

    One could get a device that would display slides on the TV screen, continually scanning and then
    generating a video signal. (Probably takes three photomultiplier tubes.)

    But we never got one. I presume that they are pretty expensive.

    But now, we can scan slides to DVD or even USB stick, and easily display them in HDTV.

    So now, the more rare viewing with a slide projector on a screen seems special and exotic.
    I suppose one could use a digital projector to project them on a traditional slide screen.
    With enough resolution to hide the pixels, and show the dust and other imperfections, it
    might almost work. Then add the sound of the slides going into, and out of, the tray.
    (I have a stack loader for my Carousel projector, so different sound.)

    Yes, getting slides back is still special. Not quite the same for an unmounted roll.
  15. The N90x is the best film camera I
    have. It delivers perfect exposures with uncanny accuracy. Has AF also, and TTL flash.
    georg_s|1 likes this.
  16. I've given a few people their first film camera - and all of them were just concerned that it was a film camera. Film to them came in two flavors, black and white, and color. They were all happy with whatever the minilab spit out, underexposed photos with grainy shadows and all - it's "different" enough for them
    cameragary likes this.
  17. Nikon F2 is to SLR, what Leica M3 is to rangefinder. Some of the best film cameras, and the lens range is superb. Agree with the earlier comment about the Nikon and Nikkormats, and the Canon F1, new and old. And the Canon FTb. I also love the Minolta SRT cameras.
    millard_thomas|1 likes this.
  18. A Pentax KX or KM is a better buy, and nicer Pentax K-Mount film cameras. The Pentax Takumar lens line's also superb.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  19. My affordable favorite is the Nikkormat FT3. They sell cheap and have an amazing build quality. Not as customizable as the F’s but for what I do they are more than enough.
    Kent T likes this.
  20. The FT3 is a little harder to find, as they didn't make them so long before the FM.

    Also, my FT3 cost 4x what my FTb cost, or $33 more, whichever way you like to look at it.

    But yes, as the FM was my first Nikon, the FT3 seems somewhat familiar.

    FTb are pretty easy to find for $10 or so, sometimes with lens.
    And as well as I know, pretty likely to work.
    Kent T likes this.

Share This Page