The BEST Film Camera to Buy Right Now


Jay: Today, we’re gonna take a look at film
cameras, and what we suggest if you’re looking to buy a film camera, and, kind of, some ideas
which ones you should get and applications, right? Kenneth: Yeah. I mean, the great thing about film is there
are so many different cameras at so many different price points to do so many different things
in so many different formats, you have a lot of choices. But the downside is that sometimes you don’t
really know where to start if you’re not into it. Jay: If you’re not sure, if you’ve never shot
film, you’re gonna have a… It’s a pretty confusing thing to get going
on. So, here’s a couple of suggestions. So my number one camera… We’ll go back and forth. My number one favorite camera in the world
is the Hasselblad. Kenneth: It’s a great camera. Jay: Yes, it is. So 500 centimeters, these run about $1,000
for this whole set up to $1,400. Fabulous for doing weddings. Fabulous for… Not exactly a… Kenneth: It’s not a fast camera. Jay: No, not a fast camera. It has no meter. So the downside of this camera is there’s
no meter. You got to view find it, get a look into the
top of. So if you get it up high, it’s hard to get
in there and look. But, the upside is beautiful, sharp images… Kenneth: Beautiful. Just…yeah. Jay: …on that size lens. You got to interchange the back and the back
so you can change it out… Kenneth: It’s PDF format, so very clean. Jay: PDF format, very clean. So you got that large 120, that medium format. You get 12 shots in a roll. Kenneth: The thing I love about Hasselblad
is the square image. It’s so unique. I love it. Jay: So there’s no horizontal. There’s no vertical. They’re just square. Kenneth: I’ll start in with a budget option
for my number one camera. This is a great starter camera if you’re getting
to film, but you’re not sure you wanna invest too much. It’s a Canon AT-1. The more common version is the AE-1. They’re both around about $200. It does have a meter. It takes a battery. It has basically, anything you need in a basic
film camera. Shoots 35 millimeter. Great starter point. The great thing about Canon FT lenses is they’re
all super cheap. You can get a full set of lenses for just
like $1,000. It’ll be great, yeah. Jay: Wow. So it’s easy to pick up a lens and it has
a couple of lenses with it. Kenneth: That might be a little bit of exaggeration. The thing about it…the advantage is the
cost. So the Hasselblad is gonna run you, you know,
$20, $30 to develop 12 images. This is gonna run you $20, $30 to develop
36 images, so. Jay: Much different. All right. My number two camera is… I just think it’s so vintage. This old twin-lens reflex. You’re looking down here. You’re focusing one lens to be able to look
through, one lens to take the picture. I think these are fabulous. Kenneth: I love them. Jay: Again, it’s 120 film. So you’re getting a 120 image. These run about $400, $500. Kenneth: Really? Jay: Well, these I saw lower in the $200 range
on eBay. But if you want just a really… Kenneth: Super fun experience. Jay: This is really, a vintage experience. Kenneth: Again, medium format camera. You’re gonna get about 12 exposures per roll,
and there’s no meter, so be prepared. Jay: No meter. Kenneth: But really fun. All right. My next choice would be, I don’t have it with
me, but the Canon F1. So the Canon F1 is a step up from this. Canon F1 is like a real professional-grade
camera. Still, all the same, you know? You can get one that’s full mechanical without
a meter, or you can get one that’s electronic with a meter. The F1 is what a lot of photographers used
in, like, the ’60s and ’70s if they’re going to, like, Antarctic or something like that. Because it’s mechanical, and you don’t need
battery and you can just shoot it whenever, but it’s also still lightweight. You can get winders for it as it goes really
fast. You’re gonna get that for around $300 or $350
if you wanna go for something a little more robust than this. Jay: All right. I seem to be leaning towards the vintage cameras. My favorite camera ever made, bar none, is
a Speed Graphic. I think the Speed Graphic is the coolest camera
ever made. You see, any film from the ’50s, ’60s, everybody
shot new stuff on Speed Graphics. It’s a 4 by 5 camera. You shoot 4 by 5 negative film… Wait, you shoot 4 by 5 film in this thing. So you got the big film backs that go in the
back. It collapses… And it’ll take me too long to… Collapses into just a little box here, but
this is a great camera. I know several universities that I have spoken
at that are still learning on this camera. They buy them and they are very… They’re worker’s cameras. They’re great to carry around. They’re pretty light. Kenneth: That 4 by 5 negative too, is amazing. Jay: Huge. Kenneth: In my opinion, you’re gonna get more
quality out of your 4 by 5 negatives than any digital camera will ever be able to get. Jay: Oh, yeah. I mean, that’s an incredible image size. But it’s pretty expensive. You’re now costing you… Kenneth: Twenty dollars for one exposure. Jay: You’re getting up there. Is it really $20 for an exposure? Kenneth: Oh yeah, yeah. Jay: So, when you calculate the film and the
processing? Kenneth: Oh, yeah. When you calculate the film it’s gonna be
like $23 for an exposure. Jay: Oh, my. Well, I was shot this a long time. I actually have four of them. I just love the Speed Graphics. I think they’re the greatest camera ever. They’re just the coolest looking camera. Kenneth: All right. My next recommendation is the Pentax 645NII. So, this is the last medium format, digital
camera that Pentax made before they moved to digital. This was started manufacturing, I think, 2001. And the great thing about it is very shootable,
very friendly. For people that are used to shooting digital,
you have all the bells and whistles on this. You can choose spot metering, evaluated metering,
spot focus, interface focus. Jay: So you got a meter in that, unlike my
Speed Graphic which has nothing. Takes a picture. Kenneth: This shoots three films per second. You have exposure compensation. You can go… Like, all the bells and whistles in a camera. Jay: It’s a great camera. Kenneth: It’s a great camera, very good for
shooting, like, weddings and events. I would say this is the best wedding or event
film camera that’s on the market right now just because it’s so fast. The one downside is you don’t have removable
backs. So you can’t… Jay: So the whole back come out slow there…yeah. Kenneth: Yeah. You have to pull it out and load. You can’t swap out black and white and color
at will. You have to shoot through your whole roll
and then change it back. Jay: Which is the advantage of the Hasselblad. You can have a back for color… Kenneth: For sure. For sure. Jay: …back for black and white. Kenneth: But other than that, great camera. The lenses are really nice, and this whole
thing is gonna run to you about $1,000. It shoots a 6 centimeter by 4 and a half centimeter
image, so you’re gonna get 14… Jay: So you got a vertical and horizontal? Kenneth: Yeah, it’s vertical and horizontal. You get 14 images per roll. Jay: Well, I’m gonna step up to the camera
that I shot everything that’s in my book called “The Slanted Lens.” I mean, I shot 4 by 5 forever. This is a Sinar F camera, which is their basic,
bottom of the line. Sinar was the king of 4 by 5 view cameras
in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s. I mean, it was really the master. The P… I can’t remember the name now, P or P2. Kenneth: P2, yeah. Jay: P2 was like a $4,000, 4 by 5 view camera. This is much cheaper than that. You can buy these now, just the body, for
$300 or $400, then the lens, you know, even less for the body. So you can get in to this set up here for,
I don’t know, $500 or $600, maybe $800 at the most. Kenneth: I love this. I love this for portrait. If you have the time, you have the setting,
I just love using it for portrait. The lenses are awesome. You get the nicest back in the background
for the 4 by 5. And it really just makes you slow down and
work for your image, which is a great thing in a world where it’s just like click, click,
click, click, you know, adjust, adjust, click, click, click. Jay: The back of the back flips up vertical
or horizontal so it can go either way, and it’s easy, you know. It’s not considered a field camera as in you
can haul it up on top of a mountain. It’s a little heavy for that. There are some more 4 by 5… [crosstalk 00:06:57]… Kenneth: …would do it. Jay: Yeah, he probably would. Probably take an 8 by 10 up there. So there you go, the Sinar F. Kenneth: All right. So my next recommendation is not with us. It’s the Pentax 67. So the 67 is a little similar to this, but
it’s much older so it doesn’t have the bells and whistles. It has a really cool wooden handle. That’s probably my favorite part about it. No, just kidding. It looks cool. The thing I like about the 67 is its very
large exposure. So you’re larger than the Hasselblad because
you’re a little bit wider… Jay: So you’re doing 10 frames on a roll. Kenneth: You’re doing 10 frames on a roll. Jay: That’s right. So this is like the RB or the RZ. Kenneth: Yeah, exactly. So you do have a horizontal or vertical, but
it’s just a mass of negative. But it’s not quite the Hassel that like a
4 by 5 is. I like it because it’s like as big as you
can get with your negative before you have to, like, really jump into this. Jay: It’s a massive camera, actually. Kenneth: Yeah. It is really big. Jay: It’s like a big whale on your hand. Kenneth: So the downside to the Pentax 67
is the weight, and the size, and the limit of exposures, and it’s much more mechanical. It doesn’t have all the electronics and stuff. So it’s not a speed camera, but really great
for beautiful imagery. Jay: In the day of film though, compared to
a Hasselblad, when you went to the RB or the RZ, you just got this almost…it’s a 3×4
almost, and so it’s just a really big negative and a compact, compact, and a… Kenneth: It’s relatively compact. Jay: Yeah, relatively compact body. Kenneth: You could travel with it. You could travel with it. And in some ways it’s a little bit flatter
than this, which is nice, but those are gonna run you around $1,000 too. Jay: Okay. My next one here is the Nikon. This is the F3, and I shot a million things
on the F3. This is a great film camera, and this is an
excellent camera to carry when you are on a trip along. Kenneth: The nice thing about these old Nikon
film cameras is you can use your same lenses. So if you’re shooting Nikon right now, go
buy a Nikon body for $300 bucks, and you can use all your lenses. That’s great. Jay: And you’re on the go. You’re right. It’s fabulous that way. Yeah. Oh, that’s excellent. Kenneth: So this is like Nikon’s equivalent
of the Canon F1. They’re like the…yeah, very similar. Jay: Yup. Similar world, but better, so. Kenneth: My last recommendation is a Leica. So I love range finders, and… Jay: Leave the Ferrari for last. Kenneth: The sad part about digital photography
is there are no digital range finders except Leicas. Jay: Leicas. Kenneth: …which cost $3,000, $4,000, $5,000,
$8,000. Jay: $10,000, yeah. Kenneth: So, this is a Leica M2. People consider this to be the most classic
Leica. It wasn’t their first one. The M3 was their first one. But the M3 didn’t have any frame lines for
35 millimeter. It was 50 millimeter or tighter. So this has 35 millimeter, 50 millimeter,
and 90 millimeter frame lines. It’s a range finder so you’re not seeing through
the lens, which means you have to use a little prism to make sure you’re focused. It’s a really different way of working, but
I personally love it. I love the fact that you have frame lines
because you can actually see what’s going on outside of your frame, so you can anticipate
things a lot better. It’s very quiet. So between those two things, it’s really good
for street photography. The body alone, for like a good one that you
can count on, probably gonna be about $1,000 unless you get lucky. Jay: Still $1,000. Kenneth: And then I bought, like, a cheap
knock off lens. I bought a Voigtlander Nokton 1.5, so it only
cost me $450. But a Leica 50 millimeter lens is gonna cost
you minimum, $600 for like a 2.8. If you wanna get like an actual nice Leica
lens, it’s like a Summicron or something, you’re looking at $1,600 to $3,000. So, not for the faint of heart. If you wanna get into film at a cheap price
point where you can still shoot lots of exposures and not spend a lot of money, 35 millimeter
cameras are great to look at. Maybe not necessarily the Leica, but I mean,
Nikon and Canon both have great budget offerings. Jay: And if you look around, your grandma
has one of these at her house, like, probably right now. Kenneth: Yeah, that’s probably true too. Or in a thrift store. Jay: Yeah. They’re everywhere. So a great entry point, those walk around
cameras to shoot 35. I think when you step up into weddings, I
think you’re better off into the Hasselblad or into the 645. Kenneth: Yeah. I would say most professional applications
these days if you wanna shoot medium format, unless you’re really looking for a gritty
feel. But yeah, I love the Pentax for its, kind
of, auto capabilities, I guess, but I really love the Hasselblad just for the lenses and
for their square format. Jay: Although, if I were shooting weddings
and I was a hybrid shooter, I would probably shoot digital, obviously, hybrid shooter. And I would just hang a 35 on my hip, and
I would just click off couple of shots every so often, and you would get some pretty interesting
things in that. It feels very candid, very interesting. So there would be an application there, for
sure. But if you really wanna get in to, like, great… Kenneth: Serious film photography. Jay: …serious…yeah. And great scenics, very staged portraits,
the 4 by 5 can’t be beat. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful look. And I think it’s worth stepping into and playing
with, so. We need to do that. We need to do some 4 by 5 portraits here on
the Slanted Lens. Kenneth: We should. So, post your photos on our Facebook group,
and tell us what you’re using. Tell us what cameras you like, and keep those
cameras rolling. Jay: Keep on clicking.

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