For this week’s Film Friday, I wanted to share a little sneak peek into the film camera collection I’ve been building. I began collecting vintage/antique cameras early on in my photography career simply for decor. But as time passed, I quickly developed a real interest in film photography. I began noticing all my favorite photographers shot on film, at least for personal projects if not full time. I made the decision to start buying not only beautiful film cameras, but also functional ones. Instead of collecting dust on my shelves, I wanted to be able to grab one on the go and actually USE it. I also own two instant film cameras, but that’s for another post.
These are my three 100% functional film cameras. A Voigtländer Vitoret, Canon EOS Elan, and a Canon FTb.
Let’s begin with the first camera I ever purchased specifically to shoot film. The Canon FTb. It came with a 50 1.8 (the same lens I learned how to shoot my DSLR with!), a strap, tripod, flash, and a gorgeous leather bag. When I first got it, I was intimidated by this camera. It sat in its bag with a few rolls of film for MONTHS. I hadn’t shot any film for about ten years. I was terrified I’d absolutely suck at it, that I’d ruin rolls of expensive film (and I did). But when I finally began playing with it, it produced amazing results. I’m still a little wary of this old camera and that my user error will continue to ruin rolls of film, but I’m slowly gaining confidence.
Next is a camera I purchased recently. After our Atlanta photographer’s group meeting on film, I immediately dashed over to KEH to grab an autofocus film DSLR that could interchange lenses with my digital DSLRs. Can you believe I picked up this pretty baby for only $11?! In my excited haste, I completely forgot to buy the accompanying battery for the camera though! I was so used to my non-battery FTb I didn’t even think about the fact this camera requires one. A battery is on its way and I’ll soon be out shooting with this camera. It’ll be my go-to film body I take on shoots.
During that same meeting on film, I won a very special camera from our guest speaker, Neal Carpenter of Inward Studio. Neal gave an incredibly informative and inspiring presentation on film and afterward he pop quizzed us on a specific topic. I answered the closest and won this Voigtländer Vitoret! But what’s so special about it? Neal’s late father gave it to him. I’ve lost a father as well, so I know how much sentimental value is attached to this particular camera. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s already my most prized camera. I’m studying its manual so I do it justice the first time I take it out for a spin.
Lastly, these are a couple of my decor cameras that are likely functional as well. I had Neal check them over and he sees no obvious reason why they wouldn’t work. So as soon as I’ve begun mastering the cameras above, these will be my next challenge! From left to right, an Agfa Isolette, Kodak Duaflex II, and a Kodak Instamatic X-15.
Do you ever shoot film? In what ways do you challenge yourself within your chosen career path? As always, tips on film photography are always welcome here!