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11-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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Loving the one you're with

Every now and then I see a thread here or on flickr or elsewhere, with people asking what is their favorite, or maybe the best, film body. I start to answer and I get good and stuck, and usually don't post. Does anybody else go through that?

As a collector of Pentax film bodies over the last couple of years -- what an inexpensive and rewarding hobby -- I have to say I love how they are all designed. When I pick one up, load it, and keep it with me a few days, I always think, why am I not shooting with this one all the time? That goes for the lowly P30n as much as for the LX. When using the MX, I sometimes think, here is the perfect SLR. Sometimes I crave the simplicity of a K1000[/SE] - no numbers in the viewfinder, really lets me feel connected with the subject. And great for bulb exposures in the evening, no worrying about the shutter draining the battery. I've recently had brief, pleasant affairs with a ZX-M and a Program Plus... And right now, the ME Super, with its quiet rangefinder-like release, shooting color film through an M35/2.8 lens... mmmm.

Amazing that a lot of these cost $10-$20 or so, although a few have needed minor tinkering to get into shooting condition. The whole collection together so far has been a lot less expensive than many digital shooters spend repeatedly, every year or two, on something that will have lost half its value before they can blink. This is the best time ever to be using film.

Sounds schmaltzy I guess, but my favorite film body really is whatever one is with me today.

11-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #2
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Whenever I get tempted to buy a new body I ask myself if there is any one camera that I already own that I spend as much time as I would like shooting with. The answer is always so and it is obvious that what I need is more time, not more cameras. Then I pick up my barely used (by me - very well used before I picked it up) Honeywell and go for a walk.
11-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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Yes to this. While I may have a couple I don't like (mainly in the auto everything area) there's something to love about every camera. And I don't really need any more/better/cooler ones, I need more time and film.
11-11-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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I'm with you on the satisfaction of shooting with those old, great build-quality, film bodies. The killer really is the development and scanning of the film, a $30 expense per roll. So film shooting for me is relegated to those rare moments, where I just must have the 'film' look.

11-11-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I'm with you on the satisfaction of shooting with those old, great build-quality, film bodies. The killer really is the development and scanning of the film, a $30 expense per roll. So film shooting for me is relegated to those rare moments, where I just must have the 'film' look.
Well I always wonder whether the object of my photography is to end up with an 11x14 print suitable for display or to get out, think about the scene and the camera and the film, plan the shot and then see how I did.

Walgreens brand c-41 BW works just as well for this as Ektar or TMAX, developed and scanned at a pro lab.

Some day maybe I'll think about a printable image, but for now the hobby is about using the old, mechanical, marvelously engineered tools.

I just got an Ashai Pentax K here (paid WAY more than my budget, but the camera is as old as I am and I have to try it) - the experience will be about TAKING the pictures with the K, not about displaying them (at least for now).
11-11-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The killer really is the development and scanning of the film, a $30 expense per roll.


Well yeah, that would be a killer for me too. I develop and scan all my own, even the color. B/W is very cheap to use if you're a DIYer, especially with bulk (Freestyle/Arista) film.
11-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote


Well yeah, that would be a killer for me too. I develop and scan all my own, even the color. B/W is very cheap to use if you're a DIYer, especially with bulk (Freestyle/Arista) film.
I tried home scanning. The dust kills me. Living in dry Arizona it seems impossible to scan anything without dust problems. No matter how much I use my rocketblower on the negative, dust remains. I also suspect that some dust found it's way into my film scanner and I can't do much about that.

So therefore I have decided to go to a pro lab when I shoot film and then just limit film shooting to a few outings a year. My next film expedition will be with the 6x7. That's also an interesting challenge. You have 10 shots, better make the best of it (I can't see myself change film on a 6x7 in the field, but perhaps it's doable - seems to require three hands, though...)!
11-11-2009, 09:34 PM   #8
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Minolta SR-T.

While I adore my Pentax MX, the SRT-201 is a far, far better camera. Much more solid construction, a far nicer meter... and it was passed down to me by my father.

11-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote


Sounds schmaltzy I guess, but my favorite film body really is whatever one is with me today.
This, my friends, is what separates the photographers from the PWCs.
11-11-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This, my friends, is what separates the photographers from the PWCs.
It does? I guess there are two ways to take that. No pretentions here to being a big-P Photographer. I would understand being accused of being more interested in cameras than in photography, but what's the harm -- we've all got hobbies.
11-11-2009, 10:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote
It does? I guess there are two ways to take that. No pretentions here to being a big-P Photographer. I would understand being accused of being more interested in cameras than in photography, but what's the harm -- we've all got hobbies.
Yep...I take photographs as a means of personal expression. I also do photography as a hobby that includes accumulating unusual and arcane knowledge about cameras, media, and technique. As a side interest, I also am a small time collector of cameras and lenses...cuz I like 'em.
11-12-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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I don't really have a favorite. There are a few cameras I use regularly for different jobs but I bought the cameras I have because I was curious about their imaging properties (e.g. sharpness, vignetting...bokeh ). I guess deep down I am a lens lover rather than camera lover. I will buy a whole new system just to sample the lenses. I have Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Leica M + R, Rolleis, old folders, compact P+S's, large format... all sorts. I got a whole bunch of stuff way back when I was clueless, then I got keyed into the various properties of lenses and found "deficiencies" in my system so I got another... then another etc. My policy is to never sell any camera gear because 1. its not worth it and 2. I know I will regret it and end up chasing another one on the bay
I am still on the search for that 1 system which has it all: acceptable sharpness etc etc and great bokeh through all the focal lengths from 24-100 or so. Pentax is the closest so far. Gotta love the LX and some old glass

I have always thought it was soooo cool to have one camera and a small set of lenses that you use exclusively. This makes me biased towards black cameras and they got to be metal. Plastic doesn't wear well, ok it wears too well, it never changes appearance! Chrome is just impossible to wear through unless you really use it like a hardcore PJ. So black it is. My dream is still to have a black paint Leica M2... but that will never happen with my lowly income! The only reason I like to buy a nice mint camera is so I can use it and use it until it looks like its been dragged through hell and back. Then I know where each mark on the camera came from and it sort of tells a story. Kind of like a good friend thats with you all the time.

I don't mind collectors of gear because everyone has their own way of having fun but it is kind of annoying when they drive the prices up. I admit I do sometimes fall in love with some of the engineering marvels of yesteryear and I have to fondle them but primarily I like to think of myself as being more interested in the picture making process than the gear itself. I would be quite happy to dump all my cameras except for 1 in exchange for free time (travel expenses paid of course ) to take photos. Something to look forard to when I retire maybe...
11-12-2009, 07:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yep...I take photographs as a means of personal expression. I also do photography as a hobby that includes accumulating unusual and arcane knowledge about cameras, media, and technique. As a side interest, I also am a small time collector of cameras and lenses...cuz I like 'em.
Glad to see somebody finally post up and SAY IT!

Its OK to like to buy a camera once in a while cuz you like it
11-12-2009, 08:37 PM   #14
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I have a few film cameras, can't say I love them all equally , but I really enjoy using most of the manual film cameras more.
11-12-2009, 10:30 PM   #15
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I have a Ricoh from about 1980 - it cost $5 (CDN) from a boot sale right here in Tsawwassen. They wanted $8 but I played hardball. Anyway, I love this camera and I have no want or need to upgrade this beauty.

I've bought a number of lenses and now I have Canon dSLR stuff and Pentax 35mm. I even thought of swapping my Canon for the Pentax equivelant. Not too long though... you got to love the one you're with after all
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