What are you doing with your older cameras?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by raymondc, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. I am one of those who shoot film and digital. Digital has allowed me equipment I have never thought, ie I got a RB67 not too long ago. What has happened to your older cameras?
    I have kept film in the freezer but have been slow in using them up. They can only last so long also. I find that for most travelling we do digital has so much more convenience in a large busy city that most general people visit. I do shoot some 35mm b/w film where possible but my slide film are limited. Unless I am visiting the rural side or a smaller town it's just not that convenient to shoot film slowly. Also now that larger formats are more affordable, the 35mm cameras gets used less. Seems like a waste for it just to sit there unused for so often. I did get the film bodies used but still. Once upon a time they were some of the best 35mm cameras. Even the medium formats, I could just imagine those who bought them new and how much they are worth now many of whom may not use them very often now.
    i have too many 35mm cameras to count.
    i also have 20+ rolls of color print film in the freezer.
    since the new walmart opened and has no mini lab,
    i have not used any colo film and only 2 or 3 rolls of b@w.
    there seem to be no mini-labs.
    the other factor is my eyes.
    oct 11 is when i am supposed to have a cataract operation.
    we will see.
    meanwhile i take out the film cameras
    the argus af, the kodak signet, the miranda s, pentaxes and the canons.
    they will, I hope , eventually get used
    I also have digicams. Including a 10mp Olympus xz-1. donaTED BY A PHOTO-NETTER
    lest I forget a seagull 203 and a speed and crown graphic 4X5 and a 4 x 5
    usmc combaT GRAPHIC.
    OH YES A BOX OF 20" P&S 35MM
  3. Black and white film lasts a long time.
    I just developed a roll of VP116 that I shot in June, and that expired in 1974. The fog is noticeable, but not all that bad. Some shots focussed on the background, not on the people in the foreground, which isn't the fault of old film.
    I bring one or two film cameras on vacations, usually only carry one along with a DSLR.
  4. SCL


    I try to keep all my old film cameras up to snuff, and occasionally use them with B&W film, as there are no longer any color processors in my county. I occasionally even add a terrific old lens which some chap is disposing of at bargain prices. But, all said and done, digital is getting most of my shots these days, especially since I can use many of the old excellent film lenses on my micro 4/3 body.
  5. I have several older film cameras, a few of which need repair, two Zeiss Continas (one with an Optar
    Tessar lens and two Agfa Solinettes, one with a Solinar lens. I also have a Yashica 35 GSN and a Konica
    neither of which I have tried out yet. And a small stash of slide film in the freezer. Some day---.
  6. I sold most of my entire collection of Minolta manual focus equipment going back to the early 1960's, keeping about a dozen of the nearly 100 pieces of cameras, lenses, etc., to KEH. Most of it was esoteric and collectable equipment so KEH agreed to the rest collection for those items. I kept my original SRT model, my first X-700 with MD-1, and a brand new (in the box) XD11, probably the best camera they made, along with 8 lenses and a Tamron 300mm f2.8 with both multipliers and MC/MD and Canon EOS (5D and 1N) adaptors.
  7. I'm buying those older cameras, to use them. Film can still be bought, especially B&W doesn't seem to be too big of an issue if you're OK with buying online. So I see no reason yet to be more cautious with film than normally reasonable, nor to start stocking it in quantities that could last me multiple years.
    E6 processing turns out hard to find, and the film very expensive, so I'm still on the fence whether I want to get the necessary equipment for it to develop myself. C41 processing in my area is still plenty available, mostly large labs, not the best quality, but I use dirt cheap colour film anyway :)
  8. What am I doing with my older cameras ?
    Good question.
    Most of them are just lying there gathering dust. I should give them to somebody or just put them in the garbage.
    Others (2 or 3), I use sometimes because they are smaller and handy for travelling light.
    Still others (2 or 3 early last century) are lying in cupboards waiting to become valuable treasuries.
  9. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Yeah, a lot of older film stuff here. I just put a couple of them out on the shelf for display! Last year, an Argus C3 was picked up for sentimental value. It needs a good CLA, but I do want to run some film through it. Two A-1 bodies and full kit. Don't know what to do--every time I think about shooting one the digital is what is needed that day. Two RB67 bodies and full kit. Same thing as the Canon's. Part of it is I have not unpacked and set up the darkroom again--five years we have been here now.
    Got a Yashica 124 I simply love. Picked up a nice Minolta Autocord for $25 last year (heck of a deal). Still thinking about shooting them. My Busch Pressman D is on the workbench right now--the Rapax shutter needs a CLA. Somewhere in the basement is a Toyoview CX. An entire shelf in the big freezer in the basement is filled with film--some quite rare now. Efke, Bergger, Plus-X, and Tech Pan. Lots of FP-4 and Tri-X Pro. Wishful thinking, or back to work some day?
    The digital mode has really changed the game. There are so many things I simply could not achieve the same results with on the wet side--but there are things on the wet side that could not happen with digital. Some day there will be a fine mess for those who deal with my estate to sort out....
  10. I had no intention of being a collector but it looks like I've become one by default. My first camera was my dad's Contax IIIA and a couple of lenses. I've not only kept the IIIA and had it refurbished but I've added another couple Zeiss lenses to fill out the line. I don't use it but it sure is pretty to look at. My second camera from the 70's was a real live Nikon F with normal prism. I do have a bunch of Nippon Kogaku lenses that aren't worth very much so I've made this a collection also. Finally, I ultimately gravitated towards and RB 67 Pro S with 50, 140, and 360. I've kept this collection also although it would make a fine boat anchor. Got some outstanding images with it through.


  11. "What are you doing with your older cameras?"
    I still use them...I am just back from a mountain trip with a F3/50mm ZF2 in my backpack, ready to process the films in my bathroom. I am sure that I have some great ones. What a pleasure to compose slowly a landscape through a 100% viewfinder, and with only two settings on the all metal camera. And there is also the processing cuisine... A lot of fun..
  12. I take out the Fuji 617 occasionally to awe children! Who wants to buy my gently used EOS 5 bodies? Or the EOS 3, of which I was once so proud.
  13. My older cameras? I shoot them. love my B&W film.
  14. "What are you doing with your older cameras?"
    Using them. Well, mostly. I've added larger formats over the years and use those more than 35mm. I really just have two 35mm cameras - both Pentax; an H1a and a PZ1p. The H1a sees slightly more use than the PZ1p. I really should use both more and do more shooting overall. When I go out into the woods to shoot, I tend to take either the 4x5 Chamonix (and maybe the dSLR tucked in somewhere) or the dSLR and the P645N. I have others (folders and a Hasselblad), but don't use them often.
    Yes, I have too many cameras. Tough.
  15. My film cameras are collecting dust. I keep them on display in my den. Keeping them clean and working well is a pain. I still love 'em though, as fine precision devices. I keep thinking I'm going to shoot them again. Then I shoot my Sony A7RII and know I may never go back.
  16. I have two Olympus film cameras sat in a drawer, each with a partly-used film and a probably-dead-by-now Wein cell in. I should at least replace the batteries and finish the films before deciding whether to part with them.
  17. Happily, enough of the film ecosystem survives here in Toronto to keep me shooting 35mm and 120 on my Nikon and Bronica/Mamiya MF kits. Collapse of local labs tests anyone's commitment to film when DIY processing or mail order services are the only options. Scanning 120 negs with a Nikon D7200 is ironically extending the fun of shooting medium format for me.
  18. After several years of digital, I rediscovered b&w film last November. You will be amazed how the Zeiss lenses I bought for the Nikon D800 do on b&w film. I don't know why but I am really enjoying the film. My serious photography goes back to 1966. It could be that I am a better b&w film photographer than digital.
  19. It's been two years since I last worked in my darkroom and I also have several exposed B&W films in the freezer or basement refrigerator. It has been a lot easier to use digital with its convenient image feedback and to give my files to a local store that does very good color and B&W prints up to 24 x 36 inches (but mostly smaller, as for a recent show of 50 images), the smaller ones on Fuji Crystal Archive paper (wet processing by machine).
    The convenience of visualising and shooting digital has my film cameras and lenses collecting dust, but I am determined to return to the darkroom (this winter will be make or break in that regard) for some of my photography, and for the pleasures found there.
    I may sell 2 or 3 of my 35mm film bodies and some lenses, as I feel also that their sitting on the shelf makes little sense. Nonetheless, I intend to do some photography with one 35mm camera (a manual M4-P Leica) and a few MF cameras that I still have (An old Autocord, and a 1990s 6x9cm Fujifilm GSW 690 III that is great for landscape, architecture and some human events projects and for printmaking to good sizes). When not in use, full range shutter exercises done every few months keep these devices in good health.
    I have little interest in film scanning (a decent scanner is out of my price range) to replicate my digital output and see film as a first step in darkroom printing. I still see the latter as a long term and sustainable photography activity for B&W prints.
    Yes, I will also give, or sell cheaply, some smaller cameras to young or budding "image hunters", and sell off what is not being used.
  20. If its not working and beyond repair and has no value, I just sit down with a set of miniature screwdriver and take it apart, just to see what's inside.
  21. "The convenience of visualising and shooting digital"
    Arthur, the convenience, yes, but what about the fun of delayed gratification?
  22. Didier, you are right, delayed gratification is pleasant and a valuable part of the magic of the traditional photography process. Anticipation and the element of surprise are intriguing and perhaps make the exercise and product additionally appealing. When the negative is not as ideal as we might wish, or as we perceived our subject, dodging and burning in printing can be applied. This is similar in some ways to "post production" of digital files to improve or to alter them.
    Convenience is perhaps not the best word to use in qualifying digital photography. When I have an image in mind or a specific aim of a photographic approach, the ability to have quick feedback during the process can facilitate the approach and lead to a desired result. At other times, we may have little or no preconception of the result, which can sometimes be rewarding. Whether it is traditional or digital photography, quick feedback or not makes little difference to that result.
    Delayed gratification is associated with a lot of our human activity. Working hard at one's profession or trade or in raising a family are rewarding processes in life, but further gratification or recognition by others may come much later.
  23. "but further gratification or recognition by others may come much later"Arthur.
    Gratification is about yourself. If you are looking for gratification look to the sufferings of many on this planet.
    Recognition by others is a bye product of any Art.
  24. I still use them. I have a decent digital that I use for snapshots, but mostly I still take black and white on film and develop and print in my darkroom (using scans just as proof sheets), and color slides that I scan and print. No real advantage to the color, I guess, except better permanence and access as technology changes. For black and white, the darkroom is faster and better. My film cameras range from around 5 to 48 years old, and almost all of them work fine.
  25. Andrew, I guess that your 5 years old camera is a F6? And what about your 48 years one?
  26. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Today is trash pickup day. Thank you for reminding me.
  27. I finally sold off my next-to-last film outfit (F3HP with 4 Nikkor primes) a couple of weeks ago, because, much as I loved the camera, I just wasn't using it. The cash was nice, but the sense of relief at not having this splendid device sitting there gathering dust was almost as good. I have a Nikonos with a couple of lenses that I might keep for the beach, but, to be honest, I could just as easily sell it and buy an inexpensive waterproof digital.
  28. When the time comes for me to go digital (i.e. my Coolscan dies), I will keep my hardware in a dust-free environment, whatever the money (small anyway) I will be able to get from it. So many souvenirs... It would be like throwing away my retired pair of 100% leather mountain shoes...
  29. No discussion here on the advantages of digital and the final result. But I wonder if the digital paraphernalia has the same appeal as have the traditional stuff. With a single digital point and shoot I make the works for internet, but the most of my photos (in reality not so much) are made with film cameras. Despite I am not a collector – just an amateur photographer with some experience, I own around 30 old film cameras – from 35mm up to 4x5 (Contax IIa, Rollei SLX, Koni Omega 200, Linhof 6x9, etc), all of them in nice conditions. It’s a pleasure to look at these extremely well made pieces, even if I don’t use them all the time. I have a little darkroom at home with a good 4x5 enlarger (Omega D4) and make the B/W by myself. Appart of the efficience of digital cameras and lenses, they seem not to have an attractive look.
  30. I've just kept one, because it seems the epitome of what photography was when I started. It still makes marvelous photos.
  31. it


    I am shooting almost everyday with my 503CW and have just got my great-grandfather's Cycle-Poco 4x5 fixed and am planning to shoot with that as well.
  32. "cycle Poco" 4x5, is it the same camera as Jame's one above in this thread?
  33. I have gone through my huge collection of film cameras and given away a bunch, but I have not the heart quite yet to dispose of them all. I haven't shot much film over the past couple of years, but still have a bunch in the freezer. My wife still has her F100's too, and a lot of Velvia 50 in the freezer. I figure that since we don't need the disappointingly small money most of my well used stuff would bring, I might as well keep it, because one of these days I might get the urge again. And anyway, I just can't bear to part with the old Nikons. And the Minoltas. And the Olympus XE's. And of course the Leica IIIb. Oh, and the Miranda....Sorry, it's hopeless.
  34. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I still have half a dozen film Nikons. Recently saw a device called a Hangie on Petapixel. Thinking of hanging a few of the oldest cameras next to my "latest photo" display in the family room.
  35. " a device called a Hangie", interesting, but what about just framed photos of your cameras? (as long as you still keep two of them...)
  36. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Didier -- my wife tolerates and even encourages my photo obsession. Hanging a couple of cameras is within the range of her décor sensibilities - 13x19 photos of cameras, not so much!
  37. @Arlindo - you mention the appeal of it. With the Hasselblad Q1D and the Fujifilm GFX50S. It is nice but it doesn't have a practical appeal for me as film cameras. Digital stuff just go out of date although they are still the very same camera I once bought. Whereas the film cameras have depreciated to a point near the floor. There will be likely no replacements and one could have and use that knowing that it is a good investment. Pick up a $200US RB67 kit, or a $1k Hasselblad 500 kit.
    Although I have thought about this in the distant future when I am not around what is the point of this. Others are unlikely want this stuff. Instead of a hard drive film takes so much more room to store the film, time to scan or send it out, the darkroom for those inclined.
  38. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I've never had as many cameras as most of you- I have no particular affection or interest in them. So my pair of Bronicas and Mamiya 7 were eBayed a couple of years after I started with Dslrs. I sold them without guilt and I don't miss them any more than I'd miss a washing machine we'd replaced. I now have three Canon 5D bodies and one set of lenses; a Mk 3 which is the camera I use; Mk 2 which is the camera I carry in case the newer one breaks, but hasn't been used since I replaced it; and a 5D original that I haven't used since 2010 and do feel guilty that I haven't sold it yet, though it was my travelling back-up till early 2015.
  39. The value of the old film cameras is in the great results you get w/ them, which is unrelated to what the monetary value may be.
  40. Well...i use them.
    All my cameras are at least 30 years old.
    What percentage of your digital cameras, that you use on a regular basis, are even 10 years old.?
    It seems a tired discussion at this point. My cameras use film, my amplifiers use tubes, and my phone and television use digital technology.
    I develop my own film and wet print in a darkroom like your are supposed to do.

Share This Page