Best Film Cameras

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

  1. The smell of the darkroom is interesting, but after not knowing it for some years, the
    smell of Kodak backing paper for roll film came back to me. I don't remember right now
    that others have the same smell, but Kodak roll film has the same smell as 50 years ago.
    (Well, some of my roll film is 50 years old, so I know why it has the same smell.)
  2. Having repaired cameras for years, I would say that some of the best 35mm film cameras in my estimation were the Yashica FR series and the related Contax line. Just sayin'

    And btw I am a retired pensioner from a different camera company.
    stuart_pratt likes this.
  3. I had an FR1 for a few years, sold it as I am a left eye viewer and it has the Nikon trick of needing the advance lever out to turn the meter on, and it pokes you in the eye. Mine had the frame counter issue that I successfully fixed with some on line instructions, but it was a very sturdy camera.Loved my RTS 2 also, and regret selling it. My FX-D, however, not in the same echelon of build quality is still going strong after 37 years.
    michael_linn likes this.
  4. I just rolled up 100 feet of b&w 24 exposure. I’ve always liked b&w and enjoy working in a darkroom even now, it’s more fun than a computer but color is just too easy to do digitally and way less expensive. It’s a good time to be a photographer.

    Rick H.
  5. I would say that the FX-D is basically a Contax 139Q without the mirror damper. Spent a bit of time inside several of both models.

    That is really the only difference. As I stated in an earlier thread (perhaps much earlier than I remember!) I carried a pair of 139's as my primary film cameras for a number of years and expeditions.
  6. I had the Canon T-90 for a dozen years. It ended up with the sticky shutter problem (Im told its from lack of use that causes that), and I had the shutter replaced in it. After new shutter was put in, that too failed in short order. After sending the camera out for repair, the camera outlet fried the camera and it became a doorstop. I'd love to own another of this camera, but its failure rate is high, so I don't think I'd risk it again. It is a really nice camera though. F100 on the list is a good choice. Owned one for a few years and loved using the camera. Uses the modern G lenses too. Only issue was the battery latch had issues and wouldnt seat the battery clip in properly, allowing power failure at times. I would get another of this camera though. AE-1 I own still. Its a basic camera. I wish it was aperture priority instead of shutter, but you learn to live with it. I also have a T-70 which is also pretty basic. Its a slow camera in use, but does the basics well enough. Pretty cheap on the used market too. My favorite 35mm was my Elan 7. Quiet and quick in use. My film door cover latch is failing though, so I have to push it shut to keep the door closed now. I have two of this camera. I also own a Contax 35mm which use the Zeiss lenses on it.

    For film I mostly use medium format now. Cameras I own are the Pentax 67II, Pentax 645N, Yashica A, and the Mamiya RZ67. I recommend all of them (except maybe the Yashica A), as they all work really well.
    stuart_pratt likes this.
  7. For me the Fuji645 is well out of the 'affordable' bracket, and anything with a metal body - Nikon FM2 for example - has an asking price well above its real worth.

    Here's my addition to that list. Ugly by some standards, and hence relatively cheap. It also appears to have a plastic body, but it's actually magnesium alloy.
    Another advantage is its lack of potentially sticky foam light-seals. The back uses a foam-free labyrinth light trap. It takes common AA cells that last for many films too.

    A sample pic from the above:
  8. I have an FT3 but I notice the metering is erratic. It works, then it doesn't, then it works again.
  9. The “best” camera is always the one that I am using at the time. But if longevity is any measure, the one I am using these last few days is my 1936 Leica IIIa with 1946 Elmar and modern Voigtlander 35mm. Compact and easy to use, with distinct rangefinder patch and crystal clear viewfinder. The tiny Voigtlander 28/35 finder is hardly noticeable. A camera for fast and discreet picture taking.
    Because I already spend too much time sitting behind a computer doing other tasks, digital has no attraction for me. This is not a statement about which is capture or film photography...but simply personal choice. My best photo friends shoot digital but there is something about film that digital lacks. However I do own a digital camera and use it for special projects.
  10. That's for darn sure, but perhaps not in the sense you mean.
    andycollins4716 and rodeo_joe|1 like this.
  11. Before I buy anything, I do my research hopefully to not be disappointed after my purchase. I always seem to run into these "Best Camera for 2022" or Best Watches for 2021, or Best whatever for the year 2030 online articles. The thing about these articles is that they are very Subjective and are meant to lead you to certain websites, so you can buy one of the items on the list.

    You got to wonder who is deciding what is 'Best' and what criteria are they using. I usually go by Specs, reviews and what is important to me, not so-called popularity. This article does list some Gems, but to say they are "The Best" 10 film cameras to purchase in 2022 is ludicrous and misleading. Actually there are hundreds of good film cameras selling on eBay right now that would make that list.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
  12. "Listicles" are classic click-bait. The DP line-up has a few too many once-popular p&s models--most all but impossible to repair in 2022 and often stars of cult followings that grossly inflate prices. The Minolta X-700 is renowned for its failure-prone junk electronic components. I've had zero issues with early Nikon AF models(e.g., 801S, N90s)that do double duty as great MF cameras, as well as the FM/FE variants. Anyone seriously considering film cameras should scout local repair resources first. When nice film gear was dirt cheap 10+ years ago, I bought back-ups for bodies I liked as insurance. My sense is that unlike then, so much on the market now is iffy and not infrequently beat to death, amateur surgery victims,semi-functional or just plain busted.

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