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Author Topic: Film Camera & Film Recommendations  (Read 3983 times)

libertyranger

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Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:31:31 PM »
As the title says, I am looking for a film camera suggestions.  I would like a Canon and one that works with my current EF lenses (50mm 1.8 and a few others).  I'm not sure what my budget is.  I know there is the 1V that I could find used for a decent price, but what do you guys recommend....

My first SLR was a Rebel T3i so i am not familiar with film based camera, however I would like to learn.  I know there are things that film can do that digital still cannot. 

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to everyone's perspective on a good Canon Film Camera and their film of choice :)

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Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:31:31 PM »

libertyranger

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 12:33:49 PM »
I should add that I would like a fairly new one.  Nothing to old.  So far I've seen the Rebel G, Elan 7, and 1D Mark V (think it was the last high end film camera that Canon made).

Jettatore

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 01:01:11 PM »
If you don't mind a completely off the wall suggestion compared to what you initially posted...  I'd go for Medium Format.

"Which 6x6 camera is best? If you're rich and strong, I like the Rollei 6008 single-lens reflex system. If you are traveling and want something light, the Mamiya 6 rangefinder system is wonderful. If you're poor, you might consider a twin-lens reflex such as the Yashica 124 or Mamiya."
http://photo.net/equipment/medium-format/choosing#choice

If that suggestion isn't helpful, my apologies, I'm also searching for an article I read a few months ago to help answer your actual question.  But I'd recommend either spending more time with digital post production editing, or go into a format of film that would likely be simply unaffordable in today's digital market without a lot of DIY knowledge.  Also if you aren't planning to develop the film or at least the prints yourself this seems like an utter waste of time in the 35mm format, the idea that digital hasn't surpassed 35mm film yet (a notion that was brought up in a post on this forum not to long ago) is basically laughable and anyone who really believes this simply needs to learn more about digital photo editing, like it or not (and failing that effort, a simple collection of digital filters or color correction actions can and will quickly mimic any stylistic qualities, like muted color tones, etc., that those photographers are 'accidentally' or 'for free' getting with film that they like so much, i.e. it's a simple task to reproduce such filmic qualities in digital if you know what you are doing.

If you want to go into the developing process of traditional photography, that makes a lot of sense, but again, I'd move into an affordable medium format which will help differentiate the possibilities between your 35mm digital efforts and your film interests, giving you an excited set of reasons to pursue both over the longer term.

libertyranger

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 01:21:07 PM »
If you don't mind a completely off the wall suggestion compared to what you initially posted...  I'd go for Medium Format.

"Which 6x6 camera is best? If you're rich and strong, I like the Rollei 6008 single-lens reflex system. If you are traveling and want something light, the Mamiya 6 rangefinder system is wonderful. If you're poor, you might consider a twin-lens reflex such as the Yashica 124 or Mamiya."
http://photo.net/equipment/medium-format/choosing#choice

If that suggestion isn't helpful, my apologies, I'm also searching for an article I read a few months ago to help answer your actual question.  But I'd recommend either spending more time with digital post production editing, or go into a format of film that would likely be simply unaffordable in today's digital market without a lot of DIY knowledge.  Also if you aren't planning to develop the film or at least the prints yourself this seems like an utter waste of time in the 35mm format, the idea that digital hasn't surpassed 35mm film yet (a notion that was brought up in a post on this forum not to long ago) is basically laughable and anyone who really believes this simply needs to learn more about digital photo editing, like it or not (and failing that effort, a simple collection of digital filters or color correction actions can and will quickly mimic any stylistic qualities, like muted color tones, etc., that those photographers are 'accidentally' or 'for free' getting with film that they like so much, i.e. it's a simple task to reproduce such filmic qualities in digital if you know what you are doing.

If you want to go into the developing process of traditional photography, that makes a lot of sense, but again, I'd move into an affordable medium format which will help differentiate the possibilities between your 35mm digital efforts and your film interests, giving you an excited set of reasons to pursue both over the longer term.

Thank you for the suggestion.  I think I just want to try film out.  As far as my comment goes about film offering more than digital, I suppose I am just repeating what I've read in my research.  However, I know I could definitely learn more about digital editing and will continue to do so.

I would like to get my own darkroom some day.  Perhaps for now, I would have the film processed at my local photography store.  I just want to try out the film side of things, since being a younger man, did not have the opportunity to when I was younger (film was quite expensive to me when I was 12).  I thought 35mm, due to it being "full frame."  I would like to have a full frame camera some day (5DIII), however want to try it out and know film would be cheaper at the moment and just plain fun to learn/experiment with.

Jettatore

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 01:26:06 PM »
Yeah I thought about 35mm film as a fun (cheap) way to test out the full frame capabilities of my L lenses, and then I just got a used 5D classic instead for a reasonable price.  I completely understand wanting to get into film photography, no qualms there.  I'm having trouble finding that article that I wanted to share with you, still looking though, here's two other links in the meantime.  If I find the right article I'll post it...

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/why-we-love-film.htm
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/index.htm#35mm

Kernuak

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 03:11:26 PM »
One thing to bear in mind, many of the lower end film cameras didn't have mirror lockup, so if you use that, it is important to know. I hit that problem when I bought a cheap EOS 500 to try out (it had a faster maximum shutterspeed than my old Zenith). In the end I bought a secondhand EOS 3 , probably the third best film camera Canon made and in the last generation. I also has far superior AF to any Prosumer Canon DSLR, with the exception of the 5D MkIII and much cheaper than a secondhand 40D (I think it was about £130). It also has equivalent weatherproofing to the 7D and 5D MkIII according to Canon. I need to get back to using it again actually.
Just for info, there is no such camera as the 1D MkV (the D would signify digital), you are probably thinking about the 1V (I think because it was the fifth professional EOS camera), which was still a current camera, at least a couple of years ago and sold secondhand for over £400. The other 1 series camera was the older 1N I think, which in some ways isn't as good as the EOS 3 on specs, but is better in others.
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distant.star

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 03:57:29 PM »


.

For what you seem to suggest you want to do, I'd advise:

Find a good beginner photography course, probably at a community college. Even today, they almost always start with film and might even provide cameras to use. They will have a darkroom and printing equipment so you'll get all that experience without having to expend anything for equipment. You'll also learn the old rudimentary things like dodging/burning, cropping, etc. -- and that will give you a much greater appreciation for what happens in digital post processing.

In a class you'll also have two great things you can't get any other way -- first, a group of like-minded people with the same passion, a real "community" and; second an instructor who can guide you to a place you probably can't get to on your own, at least not quickly.

If you end up buying a camera, get a Canon since you already have the lenses. I like to start film people on a manual focusing rangefinder, but lens choices are limited. With a Canon EOS SLR, you'll also learn more about the lenses you use on the digital and how their performance differs with film.

Finally, don't overlook borrowing an old film camera. If you were around here, I'd be happy to lend you an old Canon SLR. Maybe a pro photographer in your area would lend you a film camera he doesn't use anymore. You may also have a local photo club where people have lots of good, old equipment lying around.

Whatever you do, have fun!
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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 03:57:29 PM »

libertyranger

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 04:20:18 PM »
Thanks for the feedback so far!  I really appreciate it.  It looks like the 1V and EOS 3 were some of the latest generation film cameras from the Canon film days.  I'll check these out :)

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 05:16:04 PM »
I understand that you want to see what your EF lenses do. Notwithstanding, you might want to check FD lenses and the corresponding 35mm cameras. At times you can find amazing stuff for very little money. Comes with the risk of finding out of how mediocre built today's lenses are and how terrible "modern" viewfinders are. You wouldn't believe how much fun you can have with an A1 or AE-1p, FD 50 1.4 and a good copy of the old 135 lenses. Or even the cheap little 28mm lens.

And if you get into it: the F1n to me is still one of the greatest cameras ever...

The problem remains the cost of film and the lack of labs that do a good job. Which then brings you to wanting to do your own processing and enlarging...
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RunAndGun

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 05:32:54 PM »
You can find EOS 3's for almost nothing.  I picked up one that was in almost mint condition for $199 a few months ago.

SandyP

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 06:15:16 PM »
I have a 5D Mark II, and a 5D Mark III.... but 90% of my portrait work is actually with film. For a year now.

I'd seriously suggest going right for Medium Format, truly. 35mm film is nice, very nice, but really not the same kind of experience or "quality" that Medium or Large Format can bring you.

If you're going to Canon film cameras, I'd suggest the EOS 3 as well. It has a 45 AF point system that is still better than many Canon cameras today! And it's cheap. Very cheap. And you can use all your EF lenses. I have a 1V, which is like Canon's flagship film camera, but it's bulky and heavy.

But really, for 99% of my serious film shooting, it's either 645, 6x6 or 6x7 format cameras I use. The difference in the negatives is SUBSTANTIAL. And makes a huge difference. The old camera systems, many of them, have lenses that are just as good as today, or better in some cases. In either case, it's about lenses having "character". My 80mm f/1.9 lens on my 645 camera (about the same as a 50mm f/1.1 lens on a full frame camera such as a 5D Mark III) has old coatings, and flares a bit weird, but it has more character and such a cool look to the photos in various kinds of light. It's more interesting. And I love it. My other systems, hell, lenses in many cases can be bought for very cheap. There are exceptions there too though, of course. So much variety!



I scanned my own film for over a year. Sucks. Takes a long time to get right, sharpness/resolution isn't great, and it's a big time sink for most people. I put it aside.

The thing is.... the negative is similar to a RAW file, if you want to think about it that way (I'm sure you know this, just saying though...) and depending on what lab (because they use different scanners, with different software, with different people running them) you'll get very different results back. Which can be frustrating.

Let's just say this:

I scanned my own film = 1/10 for happiness of tones and range/colors, etc. 3/10 happy with resolution.
I send it to a local lab that I prefer = 7/10 happy with tones and range/colors, etc. 5/10 happy with resolution.
I send it to a pro lab in the USA (I'm in Canada) = 11/10 happy with tones and such, 10/10 happy with resolution.


The thing is, there are three major labs in the USA that (well there are many more than three, many more) but there are three in the USA that are extremely popular, and people from around the world actually send them film. Myself included. These are (Richard Photo Lab, Pro Photo Irvine and Indie Film Lab, I personally use Indie Film Lab).

These labs will bring out every last ounce of quality and tones/depth from your film photos. The difference is literally MASSIVE.

I'm tired of shooting my film and knowing that there is so much beauty locked inside the film, and knowing that it's a pain in the ass to get it out of there myself. So.... off to the pro labs it goes. Results = better than any editing I can do on my digital. End of story.


Medium Format to me is a nice middle ground.

wickidwombat

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2012, 09:22:43 PM »
I picked up an elan 7 for less than a hundred bucks its sort of like a rebel sized and build film camera and works with all EF lenses

lots around cheap on ebay

ilford do some nice Black and white film

fuji still do velvia for colour film
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7enderbender

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 09:26:21 PM »
I have a 5D Mark II, and a 5D Mark III.... but 90% of my portrait work is actually with film. For a year now.

I'd seriously suggest going right for Medium Format, truly. 35mm film is nice, very nice, but really not the same kind of experience or "quality" that Medium or Large Format can bring you.

If you're going to Canon film cameras, I'd suggest the EOS 3 as well. It has a 45 AF point system that is still better than many Canon cameras today! And it's cheap. Very cheap. And you can use all your EF lenses. I have a 1V, which is like Canon's flagship film camera, but it's bulky and heavy.

But really, for 99% of my serious film shooting, it's either 645, 6x6 or 6x7 format cameras I use. The difference in the negatives is SUBSTANTIAL. And makes a huge difference. The old camera systems, many of them, have lenses that are just as good as today, or better in some cases. In either case, it's about lenses having "character". My 80mm f/1.9 lens on my 645 camera (about the same as a 50mm f/1.1 lens on a full frame camera such as a 5D Mark III) has old coatings, and flares a bit weird, but it has more character and such a cool look to the photos in various kinds of light. It's more interesting. And I love it. My other systems, hell, lenses in many cases can be bought for very cheap. There are exceptions there too though, of course. So much variety!



I scanned my own film for over a year. Sucks. Takes a long time to get right, sharpness/resolution isn't great, and it's a big time sink for most people. I put it aside.

The thing is.... the negative is similar to a RAW file, if you want to think about it that way (I'm sure you know this, just saying though...) and depending on what lab (because they use different scanners, with different software, with different people running them) you'll get very different results back. Which can be frustrating.

Let's just say this:

I scanned my own film = 1/10 for happiness of tones and range/colors, etc. 3/10 happy with resolution.
I send it to a local lab that I prefer = 7/10 happy with tones and range/colors, etc. 5/10 happy with resolution.
I send it to a pro lab in the USA (I'm in Canada) = 11/10 happy with tones and such, 10/10 happy with resolution.


The thing is, there are three major labs in the USA that (well there are many more than three, many more) but there are three in the USA that are extremely popular, and people from around the world actually send them film. Myself included. These are (Richard Photo Lab, Pro Photo Irvine and Indie Film Lab, I personally use Indie Film Lab).

These labs will bring out every last ounce of quality and tones/depth from your film photos. The difference is literally MASSIVE.

I'm tired of shooting my film and knowing that there is so much beauty locked inside the film, and knowing that it's a pain in the ass to get it out of there myself. So.... off to the pro labs it goes. Results = better than any editing I can do on my digital. End of story.


Medium Format to me is a nice middle ground.


Thanks for sharing this. Especially the details on the labs. This inspires me now to really go hunting for a Mamaya or perhaps Hasselblad. Has been on my list of things for a while.

So if I understand you correctly: you process the film yourself and then send them off to be scanned at Indie Film? What if you want prints? Have you found any place that would still make traditional chemical prints?

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 09:26:21 PM »

dr croubie

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 10:27:43 PM »
do a search for 'eos 3' on these forums, i'm sure you'll find more than a few reccomendations for them.
The 1V is the best canon film slr ever made, you can maybe still find one $1600 new, or $500 second-hand.
I got myself an EOS 3 a few weeks ago, £90+20, less than $200 shipped. Second-best AF ever, 45pt with f/8 centre (second only to the 1DX and 5D3 AF, that is). Eye-control focus, I love it. Weather-sealed to the hilt, as good as a 7D or 5D3. Takes the same focussing screens as 1-series (i've got EC-Civ in mine atm).

The only reason *not* to get one is you can't even afford $200 (with resale value you could probably get it back if you sold it on ebay if you didn't like it), or you'd rather get the 1V (which is better in most things, but no eye-control AF).

Or if you just want a cheap disposable, get an eos 5 or 10, or a few.
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crasher8

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 11:15:54 PM »
I'd go as low as an Elan 7 and maybe as high as an EOS3. Check the pressure plate for burrs, bring a cheapo supermarket roll with you to test the loading and rewind functions. Open the shutter on Bulb to check movement.

Problem with a film body? It will make you want to go FF on digital!

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Re: Film Camera & Film Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 11:15:54 PM »