Favorite modern film camera experience

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. What's the best experience you've had with any of your modern film cameras? Two stand out for me. First, in 1995 I took a 3-week trip to Indonesia and I took my 1-year old Canon EOS A2. It was important to me to look like a serious photographer at the time (yes, I know that's terribly shallow...I've grown immensely since that time!), so I had my A2 with the vertical grip and a couple of lenses that I thought were pretty impressive then, but wouldn't care to use now. I took hundreds of pictures and got to know my camera quite well. I also read Galen Rowell's book "Vision" while on that trip; if you've never read that book do so. The trip itself was phenomenal and being able to photograph as freely as I did (not being constrained by the p&s camera I'd used prior to the A2) and bring back some wonderful pictures was an unforgettable experience. The second amazing experience, which was just as incredible as the first, was a photo trip my significant other and I took in 2003 to Yosemite for 3 weeks. We took a lot of gear, including my then-new Canon 10D and my Canon 1vHS. My 10D was my first DSLR that I owned (I'd used a Nikon D1 prior to that, but it wasn't mine) so it got a lot of use as it was still a bit of a novelty to me. My 1vHS was supposed to be my film backup for the 10D but I ended up using it almost as much. Yosemite is a soul-stirring place, one I could visit every year. Both cameras performed flawlessly with the 1vHS getting soaked at Bridalveil Falls but never missing a beat. What are your best and most memorable experiences you've had with your modern film cameras?
  2. I spent a summer documenting a drum and bugle corps on and off the field with my new T90 and Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 ATX. Nothing memorable on those trips really, but I had a blast, and got to know and love the camera during that time. It is still in my top two or three favorite cameras, along with my 1V and whatever else I happen to be using at the moment.
  3. I used to shoot airshows until very recently with a Nikon F5 and 300 f/4 over one shoulder and a F80 and 80-200 f/2.8 over the other. The F5 rocked! Then I picked up an RB67 and the F5 looked way too big - why do I need a big 35mm when I've got a big 6x7.. I now roll with the RB67 and an OM2N, which is the smallest SLR I could get.
  4. My best experience is fairly recent. I have been shooting film for a couple of years now, mostly with manual slr's. I bought an EOS 600/630 for next to nothing on Ebay back then, but was never satisfied with the 1-point AF. Then last year, I took the plunge and got myself an EOS 3. Compared to the 600/630 (and my 400D), this body is in another league. The first time I used it (apart from some test rolls) was last November in Tuscany. The light was amazing, the autumn colours even more so. Combining that with Fuji Velvia, and you end up with some really amazing results IMO. Plus, it was such a joy to work with, very precise AF, even with the 50mm f/1.8.
    A few examples (and yes, as my wife pointed out to me, the colours are a bit more dramatic than in real life, but who cares?):
    Lamp post
  5. My best experience and continued pleasure comes from a Bessa R mounted with Jupiter 8 lens. In my short travels of two days or so it is such a lovely little body and lens combination. The camera is small and light and the metal hood seem to often make the older snapper come and stop by asking me what I am shooting! During a recent trip to London taking a few shots behind the Houses of Parliament a grey haired gentleman decided to talk to me as I was waiting for his wife to shoot the Burghers of Calais sculpture with her very small digital point and shoot. He smiled and said, 'What a beautiful looking real camera you are carrying!'. So we chatted for a while, he handled my camera for a while and then proceeded to tell me how he used to rely on rangefinders until the mid seventies.
    I had a lovely afternoon of shooting Velvia 50! Here are a few of the results -
  6. Henrik, both of those pictures are stunning! The colors are beautiful (I like saturated color) and the second one looks like you could step into it. Starvy, that's a very nice series of shots. The Bessa performed very nicely, it seems; I'd like to check out a Bessa one day.
  7. Thanks Andy. For the Vineyard shot, I tried using the 400D as well, but even after post processing, it looked dull compared to the Velvia shots.
  8. A week ago I went to see a retiring professional photographer who was selling up most of his gear. I was a little late so others had had the best pickings, but I did buy a Manfrotto tripod and a couple of heads for it, and a few other bits. Although he had sold all his cameras, he said he had two faulty Canon T90's which I could have for nothing - he thought I might be able to make one good one out of the two! He also gave me an old 75-150 lens.
    I got them home and put batteries in, but one camera was completely dead. The display came up on the other, but there was only a faint clicking sound when I pressed the shutter. I remembered reading somewhere that these suffer from sticking electromagnets which can sometimes be freed up by a sharp knock with the shutter pressed. Tried knocking it on the table - no luck. I then though, what have I got to lose, and started to knock it on the floor, as hard as I dared without breaking anything (they are built like tanks). After a few hard knocks it whirred into life! Still kept locking up and giving EEEE displays but I repeated the treatment, operated it lots of times, and eventually it is now working consistently.
    I now looked at the "dead" camera. The battery terminals were cleaned, when it came alive but it still needed the same treatment as the first camera to get it working. So I've now got two T90's that are working OK (touch wood) and I'm just waiting for the opportunity to put some film through, when I'll try & post the results.
    By the way, anyone wanting to do this on their own cameras does it at their own risk!
  9. My first trip to Paris in 1995 was on assignment for the Getty Museum. I had to shoot a Rococo canopy bed the museum wanted conserved by the gilding experts there. All Hasselblad work. A few weeks before the trip I had just bought my first EOS camera the Canon A2E (I still have it!). Up to that point I laughed and poked fun at auto focus anything. Well this was no joke. Just look at the subject and it focuses. And it was so quiet. It was like science fiction. I loved it and roaming the streets of Paris with that camera was truly memorable.
  10. Another EOS A2E memory- while its plastic body felt more akin to a TV remote than camera (and the non-L lenses didn't help) the thing was accurate and very rugged.
    It didn't break your back during those long USGP and World Superbike weekends at Laguna Seca either...
  11. Hi Andy - my Maxxum 7000 with Maxxum 5000 as a backup were my honeymoon cameras, and I had a lot of fun using them almost 2-1 to my prosumer digital I was using then (An Olympus C-4040).
    They are as close to a classic as you can get, but still give you the benefits of the modern cameras. I love how the shutter sounds together with the film advance, like music to my ears. They got heavy use in Pompey, Ravello, Positano, Athens, and Santorini, and never skipped a beat. There was a wind storm in Santorini one of the days, although it was sunny, we were being blasted with sand and dust all over the place, but my good old Maxxums kept on firing, while the digital was tucked away. Anyway here is a shot of the Positano shore from my trip, which coincidentally, was at the same time as your Yosemite trip :)
  12. New to this forum, and still enjoying the use my EOS 3 & Elan 7e.
    My favorite experience was attaching my EF 100-400 with 1.4X to my EOS 3 with the large viewfinder and having AF @ f/8! But, . . . the mirror slap & shutter noise is like slamming the door of a Ford Model T, and having to re-slam to get it to latch!
    I do some Wildlife, so that was the downside to the EOS3 if close to the subject. Now the Elan 7e, . . . no auto focus with the TC attached, but the "whisper quite" mirror, shutter & wind were very nice, . . . you really had to "listen" to hear it!
  13. I'm late to your party, Andy, but it's a great idea. I was presented with an insignificant award from my professional peers for this pic back in 1985, for "Design Concept and Execution", and it meant a lot to me, then. Nothing like a little peer appreciation! Camera was Mamiya RB67, film probably Ektachrome Professional.
  14. Last year I picked up a pocket camera, the Nikon 35Ti. After learning how to use it, and making a cheat sheet for myself for the cryptic user defined stuff, it went with me on a small trip. Coming home thru NY State I was passing Fort Ticonderoga, a place I had never been to. I remembered all the Disney stuff as kid about Ethan Allen, Fess Parker in the woods, and Spencer Tracy, Walter Brennan and Robert Young from Northwest Passage (yeah, I know, disjointed memories).
    So, I stopped and played tourist for a bit. The camera had Ektar 100 and the hazy day in Augurst was not too warm at all. Here's a re-enactor showing how a 1740-ish guy would make an impression on the enemy.
  15. After starting with digital (Nikon D70, then D200) I became fascinated with B/W film photography when I discovered Photo.net about 4 years ago. I bought my first film camera ever, a Bronica GS-1, and bought everything I needed to develop my film. I was blown away just looking at the negatives!
    Shortly thereafter, I moved to Savannah, Georgia and was looking for local camera shops. I found one nearby and went to take a look. I was chatting with the store owners about how I had just gotten into film. They asked if I would be interested in using their darkroom. Of course, I was very excited to learn how to print. They graciously told me I could use their darkroom any time I wanted as long as they were open. They even provided chemistry and as much paper of many varieties as I could handle, for free!
    I learned so much and went there almost every weekend. I have been in love with film photography ever since, and have recently graduated to 4x5. I love it! I just wish I had more time off to go shoot. I have since built a darkroom in my house.
  16. Well, it says "modern film camera", and the GS-1 is somewhat modern...
  17. Great shots, everyone!
    Louis--Wonderful lines and tone in that shot. Pretty cool that your experience was also in '95 with an A2(E).
    Rick--That's an awesome action shot! Beautiful color!
    Ralf- Also beautiful color and excellent sharpness. I'll be taking the same combo out this weekend as I also bought the 70-210 to go with the 24-85 for the Maxxum.
    Rick--What a great concept shot, but not a great outcome from the burger's perspective, though.
    Jim--Fantastic shot! I love the color and the composition in this shot, especially the man's pose.
    Nathan--What a great story! Incidentally, I spent my childhood growing up in Columbus, GA. I sometimes miss seeing the red clay.

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