|The Canon 1/2 frame Demi EE17|
So below is my list of notable film cameras, worthy of a spot in your china cabinet or sock drawer even when there is no longer film available. They are in no other order then the way I thought of them. Some represent a technological breakthrough while others represent steadfast resilience in the professional world and some are meanful to me, but all are particularly cool in some way or another.
|Syliva taking a break from her Peking Duck|
Canon EOS 1v The look and feel of a high end digital camera in a fantastic film camera. Some have called it the finest (actually, the most technologically advanced) 35mm film camera ever made. All the modern lenses work, it's truly a joy to handle and shoot with. It can be set up with two different grips, one holding 8 AA batteries and one holding only 4 AA batteries. It will work without a grip too, its tough to make a call on which set up is the most comfortable, as all three configurations make the camera easy to handle and a joy to shoot with.
Canon new F1 with 85mm f/1.2. The workhorse of the 80's and 90's, plus the first professional camera I ever owned. Crazy fast motor and tack sharp lens, coupled with HP5 it is truly something to beat. This was a staple of the press corp for years.
Canonet QL17 GIII, dubbed the poor mans Leica, with it's built in meter, razor sharp lens, and 1.2 million sold over 11 years. Everybody should have this extremely affordable classic in their collection.
|The New Fuji X100...familiar???|
Leica M6 .85x with a 35mm Summicron, the stealthiest, quietist and classist of all 35mm cameras, not a whole lot else you can say about this treasure.
Nikon F3 and motor, wonderfully ergonomic camera, with modern Zeiss lenses now available this is a manual focus classic that's hard to beat. Twenty years ago all my father wanted were Zeiss lenses for his F3, now that he can finally do it, he shoots with a D90...
Linhof Technika 3, 4 or Master, this was a fantastic system built to the highest of German precision. Available with an anatomical grip, zooming finder, fully articulated rotating back and enough bellows to use a 500mm Tele-Xenar! This camera is truly a joy to use, the movements can only be described as magical, I realize that sounds weird...but ask any user and they will agree.
Hasselblad Superwide, the 38mm Zeiss Biogon is often regarded as the very best wide angle lens every designed. I've only shot with one a couple times, even used Ernie Brooks's personal camera when I was in college. The images it produces are remarkable.
Twin lens Rolliflex, c330 Mamiya or Yashica 124. The TLR was the mainstay of photography for so long, any camera collector or photo enthusiast should have a clean functioning TLR in their collection. Benefitted by it's lack of mirror, use of rectilinear lenses and leaf shutter, the TLR camera has produced more advertising, fashion and news pictures in its time then anything until the modern mainstay of 35mm moved in. Richard Avedon started shooting 8x10 for his portraits because he felt the Rollie was making the images and not him...
Mamiya 6 with 50mm and 75mm quite possibly the most perfectly designed medium format camera of all time and definitely my desert island camera. Super small, always oriented in the right direction and razor sharp optics with a leaf shutter, with its collapsing lens, this is much smaller and lighter then a 35mm with a motor! I've long preferred the Mamiya 6's square format to the more popular 6x7 producing Mamiya 7.
617 Linhof or Fuji pending with 72mm and 90mm, I honestly am surprised how these have held their value so well but they have. Especially when you can: File-Automate-Photomerge-Perspective.....done :)
Hasselblad XPan In the same boat as the medium flat field cameras above, one can produce similar images digitally but there is something about the razor sharp lenses and unique size that keeps this camera at the top of the heap. This camera created quite a stir when it hit the streets and is still quite popular today.
So long after film has lost its allure and practically, picking up one these, or a favorite of the your own, might just remind you what got you interested in photography in the first place!