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Author Topic: Film cameras, help!  (Read 2408 times)

Leopard Lupus

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Film cameras, help!
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:25:26 AM »
Hello CR folks!
I'm looking for a high IQ quality film camera. I've been shooting with a Canon A-1 with my beloved 50mm f/1.4 for years. After looking around a bit, I discovered Hasselblad, Zeiss and Mamiya. With my 5D mk ll I use Zeiss glass because I'm addicted to build quality.

I'm looking for suggestions on a system to purchase. The format doesn't really matter as I'm only firm on the fact it has to be film. I've seen the Hassbelblad 203FE, Mamiya 7 ii and the Zeiss Ikon Rangefinder. Any thoughts?


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Film cameras, help!
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:25:26 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 01:25:49 AM »
A film camera is just basically a box to hold the film.  As long as its a reasonable and functional body, the IQ of the image is dependent on the film used, and the lens used.  You can find some pretty good Canon 35mm film bodies on ebay for $5-$25.  The pro level 1 series are pricier.
You do need a body to match the lenses, you can't get away from a system concept without carefully selecting the right bodies, lenses, and adapters.  Most of the old lenses used for film 30+ years ago are not up to digital standards, medium format will yield better results. 
For IQ and 35mm on a budget, I'd look at a Olympus OM system, old Olympus glass is pretty good, and cost is low. 
You can get old Zeiss Distagon T* lenses for Hassleblad 500 series bodies, they are not up to digital standards, but are pretty good on MF film.  I had a complete Hasselblad system with Zeiss Distagon T* lenses, they were fairly expensive lenses that were great on medium format, but not as good as lower cost modern Canon lenses.  They were wonderful for manual focus though, smooth as glass!

dr croubie

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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 01:32:53 AM »
Medium Format, best bang-for-the-buck would have to be the Hartblei 1006.

Takes all Pentacon Six lenses (like the Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f/4 ~$100, Biometar 80/2.8 ~$50-100, Biometar 120/2.8 ~$100-150, Sonnar 180/2.8 ~$100-300, Sonnar 300/4 $200-300), all Kiev 60 lenses (and Kiev 88 / Hasselblad 1000/1600 lenses via a $10 adapter) including the Zodiak/Arsat 30mm f/3.5 fisheye ~$1-200 (which is nearly as good as the Hasselblad $3000 fisheye).
It's better than the Kiev 88CM because it offers mirror-lockup, takes NT backs (which are back/forwards compatible to Hasselblad backs), and does double-exposures. Can take 6x6 and 6x45 film backs.
(I'm getting a 1006 when I can afford it).

Step up is the Mamiya RB/RZ67, and Pentax 67, I haven't experienced either but the Pentax 67 45mm is apparently a very good landscape lens (from what I've heard, the RB/RZ 67 is more a studio camera).

Down a size, why not just stick with Canon EF lenses? An EOS 3 will set you back $150-250 shipped, a 1V up to $400-500. I'm addicted to my EOS 3 only a few days after getting it. AF craps all over my 7D, especially with spot-metering-linkage and eye-control AF (won't help you with Zeiss lenses though, but the build quality on the 3 is as good as a 7D)

Down a size again, for a cheap rangefinder, check out the FED/Zorki line of soviet-ripoff-leicas. Can't go wrong for $25, if you get a good one you can stick on a Leica LTM39 lens for much better IQ...
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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 10:41:46 AM »
I just bought a Fuji GW690ii, not really a system camera, has one fixed lens. But holly crap 6x9 shots are amazing!


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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 11:06:32 AM »
You can Get a Mamiya 645 kit with an 80mm f2.8 lens (50mm equiv in 35mm format) for under 500USD.


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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 03:46:59 PM »
You can get a good 35mm film camera for less that $50.00, and a really good one for less that $200. If you
venture into medium format, the cost goes up but nothing compared to ten years ago.  If I were going to
start with medium format today, I would buy a Pentax 645 and two or three lenses.  They are very reasonable
on Ebay - camera less than $400, lenses about $200 apiece.  The reason I would pick this is the film system
was good, but all accessories are compatible with the Pentax 645 digital.   That way if you decide to switch
media, you already have an investment in glass and can start right away.  I'm not sure about Hasselblad or
Mamiya digital offerings as they are way out of my price range

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Re: Film cameras, help!
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 03:46:59 PM »