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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

OT - If you were to own one film camera
Robert Boag, Photographer
Richmond | VA | US | Posted: 2:05 AM on 10.17.13
->> I have dabbled in film photography over the years and would love to invest a little more money into a solid film camera that would give me a little different look and feel from what I produce digitally. Something for slower images but that I could carry with me all the time. I was wondering what film cameras members had in their bags that they thought gave them a special look/feel or they simply loved to shoot and have on them. I have been thinking everything from rangefinders, panoramic, to 4x5 but I think I would like to keep it relatively small and portable

Thanks
Robert
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Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 2:27 AM on 10.17.13
->> Geez this thread makes me feel old. I "dabbled" in film photography myself for about fifteen years until 1994. It was called daily assignment work. (-:
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Rafael Agustin Delgado, Photographer, Assistant
Pasadena | Ca | USA | Posted: 2:36 AM on 10.17.13
->> Rolleifix with iford fp4 has been my favorite combination for any thing film. It easy to use and very practical and one does not have to worry about framing horizontal versus vertical. 6x6 is the same either way.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 2:40 AM on 10.17.13
->> You've never dabbled in film until you've dabbled on deadline...
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 2:59 AM on 10.17.13
->> Nikon F100. Fantastic meter and can use the way old sharp Nikkor manual-focus lenses.

or a Leica M6.
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Michael Johnson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Geneseo | NY | USA | Posted: 8:58 AM on 10.17.13
->> I still own my first camera (a 120 toy camera with smurfs on it) and a few others like my Pentax K1000. The one film camera I always wanted was a Nikon F5. There are a few others I liked but that one as a kid in high school was the dream camera.
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Tim Hynds, Photo Editor, Photographer
Sioux City | IA | USA | Posted: 9:19 AM on 10.17.13
->> Yeah, daily assignment work for 15 years also.

The last film camera I used on a daily basis was also the best, the Nikon F5.

That said, I love my M42.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 9:46 AM on 10.17.13
->> Leica M4P with a 35mm f/2 Summicron welded to the body. Done.

Yes, I've tried the digital Ls but there's something about the act of operating that sexy film advance lever after every frame that really makes you stop and think about what you're doing.

The Leica M3 and M4P make me wish someone would invent a drop-in digital back for old 35mm bodies. Oh, and maybe one for the Hasselblad XPan too please while you're at it.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 9:50 AM on 10.17.13
->> Micheal..got buy a F5, there are afew out there still for sale.
Robert...I kept two film bodies. Nikon 8008 & N90s. Just in case there is a dirty bomb attack. Wish I had kept the F4s, but needed cash to get a D100.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:12 AM on 10.17.13
->> After liquidating my film gear and switching to digital, I occasionally miss the leaf shutter sound of the Mamiya RB67 and looking at negatives the size of poker cards. No meter, no batteries, just a straight up all mechanical manual camera.

35mm film on a deadline is something that I do not miss. It is fun to look back on it and laugh at the relative simplicity of the digital age, but it is not something that I actively wish upon myself to do again. I used the Minolta Maxxum system when I was shooting film, and the flash metering was simply amazing. Those were great cameras and lenses.

To answer the question, if I ever chose to have a film body again I would probably go with the Mamiya RB67 even if it is nearly the size of a shoebox. :)
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David Hungate, Photographer
Roanoke | VA | United States | Posted: 11:18 AM on 10.17.13
->> Nikon F3 with an MD-4 motor drive. That, along with the 180 2.8 was just about the best. Oh, and the 35mm 2.0. You could get in close and all would be fine until you pressed the shutter. A bit noisy.

But how I loved that sound.... that lovely sound of an F3 with a motor drive. It sounds like a camera. It sounds creative. It sounds manly. It sounds like everything I aspired to when I was young. It sounded like National Geographic, NYT, Washington Post and Life magazine all at once.

It was the camera sound used at the beginning of the Duran Duran song "Girls on Film". It is the sound effects editors still use (even when the camera in the movie is digital, sometimes).

http://www.freesound.org/people/Corsica_S/sounds/155756/
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 11:22 AM on 10.17.13
->> Hasselblad 501CM, a 120 back, a 45 degree finder, a split level focus screen and the 80mm lens. Perfection.
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Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 10.17.13
->> The Hasselblad 553 ELX with a PM45 Prism Viewfinder and the 150mm F/4 Sonnar T* Telephoto delivered a look to the human face that seemed otherworldly. The results were just stunning. I mention the viewfinder because rather than looking at a smallish focusing screen like a 35mm or DSLR might offer, the PM45 provided a relatively huge viewfinder image to compose with. It was a terrific combination of tools to make pictures..
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Ting Shen, Student/Intern, Photographer
Chicago | IL | U.S. | Posted: 11:46 AM on 10.17.13
->> Mamiya 7's as always. the best medium format rangefinder at a decent price range used.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Montreal | QC | Canada | Posted: 11:53 AM on 10.17.13
->> Agree with David H . . . Nikon F3HP with MD-4 motor. Still have one sitting on my office shelf, just can't bear to part with it.
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 10.17.13
->> what blanco said. i absolutely love my M3.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:58 PM on 10.17.13
->> Go classic. Get a Leica M4 with a 50mm F/2 Summicron.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:28 PM on 10.17.13
->> I shot with Nikon F5's and loved them. But I think my favorite film camera was either my Nikon 35ti or Yashica T4 Super. Both were point-and-shoots.

The 35ti had a 35mm 2.8 aspherical lens and had probably the coolest looking display ever put on a camera. It was analog and looked like it was designed by a watch maker. Here's an image:
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2291/1523396451_475b9bb42c_o.jpg It also had aperture priority, exposure compensation and manual focus.

The T4 had a Zeiss 35mm 3.5 and also had a waist-level finder. The 35ti was about $1000 new, while the T4 was less than $200.

But my favorite would have to be a Speed Graphic with a Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5. The David Burnett Special.

Mine is currently in the shop getting a tuneup.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 2:18 PM on 10.17.13
->> Nikon f5 or f3t/motordrive with 35 f1.4.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 3:32 PM on 10.17.13
->> For me, it was the Canon EOS 1. It was built like a tank and could use the 70-200 2.8 EF lens, which you can still use on the 1DX digital. I also enjoyed the Nikon F2A along with the 105 2.5 lens for basketball.
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Louis Brems, Photographer, Photo Editor
Rock Island | IL | United States | Posted: 3:38 PM on 10.17.13
->> My Camera would still be the one i own. The Canon 1NRS. It has a Pellicle Mirror for continuous viewing, even during exposure. Never loose sight of your subject.
My question is with all this talk of mirrorless why not just put pellicle mirrors in the new digital bodies?
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 3:41 PM on 10.17.13
->> I go with Mr. Hungate...an Nikon F3 with motor drive....it also doubles as a hammer. 8)
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Nik Habicht, Photographer
Levittown | PA | USA | Posted: 12:07 AM on 10.18.13
->> If money was no object, I would wish for am M4P with 35 and 75 mm, both Summilux,and a 21/2.8. Or a pair of M4P bodies. Toss in a handheld incident meter and spot meter, some Tri-X and TMAX 3200 and I'm good.....

I'm nostalgic for the sound of the motordriven Canon A-1, or the feel of the Canon T-90....

If I was really going to do it though, it would have to be either an EOS-3 with a booster or a 1VS, because they'd be compatible with my glass.....
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:41 AM on 10.18.13
->> The film SLR camera that always felt the best in my hand was the Nikno FM/FM-2 with motor. But if I had to pick one camera, it would be a Leica M4.

--Mark
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 8:47 AM on 10.18.13
->> OH geez... Joey Terrill isn't kidding. That 150mm Sonar was incredible.. I used it with the 500CM.(If you shot wide angle, the 40mm Distagon was nuts. ) Other contenders for me.. the F3/Motor with the 105mm or 20mm... and last but not least, Pentax Spotmatic with a 85mm (that camera was so well balanced in your hands it was like holding a good woman (like my wife.. :) )
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Steve Ueckert, Photographer
Houston | TX | | Posted: 9:08 AM on 10.18.13
->> If Nikon, consider the F100 (budget) or F6 (high end) or for manual focus, the FM3A w/MD-12, the last all mechanical Nikon. The FM3A was said to be assembled to higher standards and is somewhat of a cult camera and priced accordingly.

The FM3A will do both full manual or aperture priority AE. If you want an only manual body, consider the FM2n but with one of the later FM3A screens. If you want aperture priority automation, then the FE2 or even F5, F4, or F3.

The F2 and even F still have followings, but repair of the meters is pretty much out of the question.

If Canon, consider the EOS 3 (budget) or EOS 1V (high end).

These choices will integrate with the current lenses, and most manual focus Nikkors.

If you are comfortable with rangefinders, consider the Leica M4-2 (budget) or M6 (ttl meter) or MP (considered a boutique camera by some, considered the best built Leica by others). Any of the Summicrons should be acceptable and the newer APO & ASPH Summicrons are perhaps the state of the art benchmarks for optical quality.

If you want a different look with a more deliberate approach, go big, such as a Pentax 67 or Mamiya RB (or RZ) 67 for reflex viewing or a Mamiya 7 for a rangefinder.

Then there is even bigger, Speed Graphic with Aero Ektar, think David Burnett.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 9:19 AM on 10.18.13
->> I still have a FM-2 with MD-12 somewhere in the attic ... If I ever got the desire to shoot film again, that is the camera I likely would dust off ... paired with a Sekonic L-398 ... who needs stinking batteries?
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington - Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 9:19 AM on 10.18.13
->> I think I still have 3 or 4 in the cupboard. My favorite of those is the Canon FTBn - the first 35mm SLR I ever purchased.

However, I'll side with Preston and Joey on the 'blads. Hands down, the most right feel and view I've ever experienced. A 35mm viewfinder is just a toy compared to the real thing you get when using a 'blad. They won't make you squint or go blind.
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 11:12 AM on 10.18.13
->> Still have my Canon T-90 and an A1 with motor drive. Also have a small, but nice Olympus P&S that would take up no room in my bag.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 7:14 PM on 10.18.13
->> Leica M6ttl with a 35 summilux. yes i own this, for my personal work canon t90 wiht an 85 mm f1.2 for paid work
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 11:28 PM on 10.18.13
->> I'm not sure I could ever part with my M6 or my Fuji 6x9.
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Shelly Castellano, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huntington Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 10.19.13
->> I miss my old Nikkormat FT with 50mm lens. It was tack sharp, only needed a battery for the light meter. It was metal-bladed, vertical travel, focal plane shutter with a speed range of 1 to 1/1000 second plus Bulb and flash X-sync of 1/125th second. Best camera a kid could use in school, the body was ugly but it made the best frames. Made you work for the shot, focus and all.... Ah, the good old days!
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
New England | | | Posted: 10:59 AM on 10.19.13
->> Nikon F3hp with MD-4, unless you can find an F3P with MD-4.

The F3hp is an absolute tank. Mine fell from the cat walks at the Lake Placid Olympic Hockey Arena in 1994 , it still shoots just fine (it did need a new prism though)
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David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 10.19.13
->> http://fishfraud.blogspot.com/2011/03/steven-frischling-on-ice-part-2.html
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
New England | | | Posted: 2:24 PM on 10.19.13
->> Wow David, let's go back to an unnamed blog from someone who wasn't there.

Feel free to also state I wasn't at the 1994 ECAC Shooting for Harvard and tell people I don't have an F3hp with the frame counter stuck on 40 and aperture priority that doesn't work.

You ain't the most ethical guy out there either you know.

Funny how you say "never refer to me again" but you love to refer to me. Must be hard to know you went from being an NY Times Photo Editor to a quasi-editor in Toledo to managing a dark room at a college. The kind of career people dream about. You're living the dream buddy!
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 10.19.13
->> In the game of Cantor Vs. Frishling I'll side with Cantor.
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Peter Zuzga, Photographer
Waukesha | WI | USA | Posted: 10:55 PM on 10.19.13
->> Nikon F3P with a MD4 motor and the firing rate converter.
You could use it as a jack stand on Saturday and shoot a football game on Sunday with that box.
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Michael Chen, Assistant, Photographer
Saratoga | CA | USA | Posted: 11:08 PM on 10.19.13
->> For 135, any film Leica M, really. The big finder of the M3 with a 50mm was my favorite, but any of the Leica Ms will do.

Medium format, Hasselblad 501CM. Like the old 500CM I used, but better.

Large format, a 4x5 Speed Graphic. The built-in shutter in the camera means I can also use lenses that don't have their own shutter, and the rangefinder means I can have a go at handholding the thing instead of staring at the ground glass under a dark cloth.
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Thread Title: OT - If you were to own one film camera
Thread Started By: Robert Boag
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